In These Difficult Times, Decide to Make Your Book Publicity a Force for Good


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These are difficult times in America. The coronavirus has given way to a series of historic, cascading crises: a lethal once-in-a-century pandemic, Depression-era levels of joblessness and economic despair, and glaring racial disparities and health inequities afflicting communities of color, only to be exacerbated by the continued killing of Black Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. It’s no wonder that people of all stripes are living with unthinkable angst and uncertainty.

Yet as hard as things are, life must go on. And if you’re an author — especially one with a new or recent release — this includes publicizing your book. Still, to meet the moment, why not decide to make your efforts a force for good? That is, to use your ideas and expertise to consciously help others in their hour of need.

Fix a problem. Tell a story. Expose an untruth. Be an advocate. Make a plea. Provide a playbook with practical tips and advice. These are just some of the ways that you can inform or inspire people in combination with your book.

No matter your specialty — business, science, technology, education, parenting, mental health, public policy, or whatever else it may be — the opportunities are virtually limitless. Start by thinking about your key audience. Then consider their current pain points, whether at home, in their workplace or business, or within their family or community. For instance, among other things, they may be seeking guidance or solutions on paying their bills, staying safe and healthy, saving their small business, navigating remote work or distance learning, job hunting during a pandemic and recession, coping with loss and grief, or rallying for a racial reckoning.

As you develop your ideas, remember the importance of having a clear theme or big idea, keeping it real, and minding your tone as much as your content. Moreover, this isn’t the time for braggadocio or blatant self-promotion. Focus your attention on others—not yourself or your book. 

“There is a crack in everything,” wrote the legendary poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. “That’s how the light gets in.” So during these difficult times, decide to make your book publicity a force for good. That way, you can be the crack that lets the light get in.

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