#MarketingMondays: A Lesson from the News

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, running for the Democratic 2016 Presidential Candidacy

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, running for the Republican 2016 Presidential Candidacy

This presidential campaign cycle, we’ve been given quite a show. We have a self-proclaimed socialist, the wife of a former President, a billionaire with no political experience, the son and brother of former presidents, and a doctor with no political experience running for our nation’s highest elected public office. We won’t get into personal views, but have you noticed that the people who really are “out there” are the ones who get all of the media attention?

Jeb Bush is the son of George H.W. Bush and the brother of George W. Bush. The Bush last name kinda sorta carries a lot of weight. Jeb was relatively well known before entering the presidential race, yet he really doesn’t get much media attention. His last-name-recognition counterpart is Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and New York Senator, and wife of Bill Clinton. Everyone on the planet, practically, knows who Hillary is, but like Jeb, doesn’t get tons and tons and tons of media attention.
 
We all know who gets the media attention. Two guys, mainly. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and it makes sense. When someone’s talking about banning Muslims from coming into the country and someone’s talking about making college free, people are going to pay attention because both ideas are more than a bit “out there”.
 
We’re not here to debate politics, so how does all of this relate to books and publishing? Simple. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The easiest way to get people talking about your book is to make it controversial and to build off of that. Dan Brown did it very, very well with The Da Vinci Code. He got called out by the Pope’s right-hand man at the time, but he’s worth over a hundred million dollars now because of his books.
 
Presidential candidates are smart people whether we agree with them or not. The smartest ones know that saying some potentially odd things gets them media attention. Don’t start saying anything too offensive, but think of ways in which you can make your book and your promotion of it controversial, unique, and newsworthy.
 
~ Christian Lee

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