Four Things to AVOID When Promoting Your Book! – by Norm Spitzig

Four Things to AVOID When Promoting Your Book! – by Norm Spitzig


When you self-publish a book (I’ve had a total of five, including my recently released, new edition of Private Clubs in America and around the World), the many book-marketing companies begin circling like vultures. Aggressive, nonsense-spewing vultures. I’m not quite sure how they so quickly discovered my contact information, but no matter. These vultures have clearly perfected the art of preying on emotionally vulnerable authors with their too-good-to-be-true, get-rich-quick marketing schemes as a sure-fire way to wealth and fame. My advice is to step back, take a deep breath, delete all their intrusive and annoying e-mails and texts, and move on with your life.

With some modest self-marketing on my part over the past month, primarily on LinkedIn and occasionally on Facebook, Private Clubs in America and around the World has (as of the date of this writing) been sitting comfortably atop the BookLocker best-seller list for for more than three weeks. Woohoo! (Yes, I know this can’t and won’t last, but it has indeed been good fun savoring my “fifteen minutes of self-publishing fame.”) The core reason for my modest success, I believe, is that I know my audience of potential readers VERY well, and have been communicating with them in an individual and personalized manner when and as time permits. I have also graciously accepted the kind offers of several good personal friends and fellow professionals in the worldwide private club industry to tell their circle of friends about my book. Thank you all, ladies and gentlemen!


A total waste of time and money, in my opinion, is paying big bucks for a book review. Sure, there are talented reviewers out there who will actually read (not skim!) your book, and compose a candid, insightful review, but such people are as rare as an honest politician and, as I just said, are not cheap. Plus, truth be told, the odds that such a review, in and of itself, will generate incrementally additional sales sufficient to cover the actual cost of the review are longer than Pete Rose finally getting into the baseball Hall of Fame. (Okay, I admit. I am BIG Pete Rose-as-a-player fan!)


Another monumentally time-wasting book-marketing strategy is to compose and send out (or worse, pay someone three figures or more to compose and send out on your behalf!) fancy press releases that announce and glorify the earth-shattering awesomeness of your book. I know from my first-hand experiences many years ago that, as enticing as this may at first sound, the return on investment is, for all practice purposes, a big fat goose egg. These press releases go to someone’s spam folder 99% of the time! Save your money and take your spouse out for a five-star dinner.


But the absolute DUMBEST thing I ever did in my many ill-advised self-publishing fiascos was fork over additional money for two thousand (Count ‘em: TWO THOUSAND!) customized bookmarks that had the front and back covers of my latest book vaingloriously displayed on them. What in the world was I thinking! (If only I had instead purchased additional Microsoft stock!) I recently discovered the remaining one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven of these ridiculously stupid purchases in the attic and promptly tossed them into the garbage.)

NOTE: BookLocker does NOT sell bookmarks to authors, and advises authors to not purchase them from elsewhere.

To summarize and perhaps be annoyingly blunt: you can market your book until you are blue in the face, but unless you have written a REALLY GOOD book–one that is expertly crafted on a topic that you, as the author, know very, very well, and is professionally edited and published by a reputable and respected company with a long history of success–your book will not sell over time. (Well, maybe good old Aunt Emma will still buy a copy.) It is really that simple. Successful marketing is the last step in the publishing process, not the first!

Norm Spitzig is internationally recognized as an eloquent and visionary leader in the worldwide private club industry. Before his recent retirement, Norm served as a Principal & Senior Partner in Master Club Advisors, a global firm that specialized in private club executive search, strategic planning and leadership training.


Angela is not only the publisher of She is President & CEO of,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.


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