Groundhog’s Day book marketing messages from Punxsutawney Phil and Phil Connors
When you hear the words “Groundhog Day,” who are you more likely to think of? Punxsutawney Phil, THE groundhog for whom the day is named, or Bill Murray, star of the ubiquitous movie of the same name?
There are book marketing lessons to be drawn from both.
First, all is not as it might seem. The way Punxsutawney Phil is said to determine if winter is on its way out and spring is around the corner is by whether or not he sees his shadow. To me, it’s always seemed counterintuitive that Phil’s not seeing his shadow (cloudy day) means winter’s at its end, while seeing his shadow (sunny day) means 6 more weeks of winter.
So where might all not be as it seems when it comes to your book marketing? One place is in your results with things like blogging or social media. When you’re just ramping up and you’re not seeing many results (it feels like no one’s reading your blog and you’re not attracting many friends or followers on Facebook or Twitter), it may seem as though the effort is futile. On the contrary, my dear SBMs!* Push through the “it’s not working!” thoughts and keep on keeping on. Far too many bloggers quit, just as they were about to turn the corner on the traction they were seeking. Keep blogging. Keep Facebooking and Tweeting. Do your research, and get better at it, to be sure. But don’t quit.
Phil Connors (Bill Murray’s character in the movie), on the other hand, offers a seemingly opposite lesson. In realizing the futility of his effort to break the cycle of the recurring day (he wakes up every morning and it’s 6 a.m. on Groundhog’s Day AGAIN), he turns caddish behavior into an art form, seducing women, stealing money, driving recklessly, and eventually getting thrown in jail. Yet nothing changes.
You’ve more than likely heard the “definition of insanity”: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result. I’ve always thought it’s much less the definition of insanity than human nature; in clinging to what we know, we remain in our comfort zones. There’s only one problem with remaining in our comfort zones: It’s pretty much impossible to grow there.
So the second lesson is to selectively stop doing what you’ve been doing. Yes – I said keep blogging and keep posting your tweets and Facebook updates. But stop looking for reasons people won’t buy your book. Stop telling yourself there are lots of other books out there like yours, so why should people buy the one you wrote? Stop hiding behind the safety of exclusively promoting your book online and get out there to meet real, live people! STOP the thinking and behaviors that are sabotaging your success.
It’s not necessarily the best books – or products in general – that rise to the top, although a high-quality book sure helps. It’s consistency of message. Consistency of marketing. Consistency of posting. Consistency of touching your mailing list. Being there, being there, being there. Stay the course. Tap all the resources you have – and if you don’t have any resources yet, go out and get some.
Happy Groundhog’s Day to you – whether or not spring comes soon to your little corner of the World of Books.
*Savvy Book Marketer
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