Are authors and book publicists really just actors?

I love going to the theater, especially to small, off-Broadway shows in New York City. I prefer a good drama over a musical any day, though Les Miserables is my favorite play of all time. I have seen it 10 or 11 times. As much as I love the stage, I never thought I would want to be an actor. But now I see that we are all actors, repeating scripted lines on cue, presenting a public face to all.

I used to think actors were trapped in some kind of time warp prison, where each night they would become a puppet who utters the words someone feeds them. The words never change, thus the emotions and results don’t get altered either. It is a limited world of prediction, filled with no surprises, no opportunity for upward mobility. These actors just blindly and loyally sleepwalk their way through life, aging with very restated word.

Who wants to eat the same meal every day, without the slightest variance?

Actors simply read from the script, with no room to improvise or surprise. They are mere robots programmed to do a task, pawns in someone else’s chess game.

But then it hit me.

We all repeat lines, act within limits, and tend to do the same thing day in and day out.

I have been acting all of my life.

“For today’s performance of book marketer, the role will be played by Brian Feinblum.”

How many times do I say the same things — to authors, colleagues, potential clients, and the media? How often do I  act in a way that was modeled long ago by myself? How often do I find myself in a deja vu predicament?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not bored. I am just coming to the realization that my audience changes hourly but my script remains intact. Sure, it gets revised with current references, recent examples, and mentions of the latest web sites and hottest books, but it all follows a pattern, a formula that up until now was disguised to me.

Authors, too, are actors. They play to expectations. We want them to be quirky, intellectual, filled with stories and evidence of an addiction or life scar. We demand they fit our image of a writer.

Authors will end up saying the same thing over and over when they do book signing talks, contact the news media, or network on social media. They are individualistic and creative when it comes to crafting their book, but they become Ricky Ricardo when they are marketing. Bang the drums. Smile. Sing your line: Ba ba looooo. Ba ba loooo.

Can we break free of our repetitive ways, even though they bring us some measure of success and pleasure? I don’t know the next line. My script has ended. Can someone tell me my line?

 

Please Contact Me For Help

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at [email protected] He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.

 

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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: