Seven Ways to Make a Down Economy Work for You (and your book)

by | Oct 9, 2008 | Book Marketing Basics

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If you’re sick of hearing all the bad news then come sit by me. I’m so tired of it I could scream. So here’s some good news. Seven ways to make all of this pandemonium work for you. Enjoy!

1) Books are a hot property now. Why? Because they’re a low-ticket item. Producer and media trainer Laura Holka said that her show is really eager to book authors because a book is something everyone can afford.

2) While everyone else is sticking their head in the sand it’s time to get out and market, market, market. Fear is paralyzing and I’ve talked to numerous authors who feel like now is the time to step back and hold off on their marketing. That’s their choice, it shouldn’t be yours. The stage is empty, it’s time for you to make your entrance.

3) History has shown us that difficult times brings with it opportunity. Where’s your opportunity? Maybe it’s to showcase the benefits of your book more: now, more than ever consumers aren’t looking to be sold, they’re looking for benefits. We’ve done this too, in fact we’re getting ready to roll out a whole series of really inexpensive and cool ways to promote online. See? There’s always an upside.

4) Inspiration. We all need it, especially now. If you can inspire someone with your book, or entertain/enlighten then get out there. We all need a shot in the arm right now.

5) While the media is still grappling with understanding the bailout you can be pitching them on topics related to what’s going on. Consider this: inexpensive ways to still enjoy a luxurious spa weekend (perhaps spending time at a local masseuse school, consumers can purchase spa-quality services for a fraction of the cost); how to sell your market despite the down turn in real estate; money saving tips; understanding volatile stock market. See? You get the idea. There are a million stories out there and you could be one of them. Now, more than ever there are a lot of spin-offs you can craft from a story that’s taken the world attention.

6) You’re a writer. I know, big surprise. Well, 83% of Americans want to write a book and guess what? You have a story to tell. If you have nothing else to talk about then talk about that. Especially now when people are thinking about the things they haven’t done and it’s getting to the end of the year and some of us are wondering where those new year’s resolutions went (yes, THIS is the year I’m going to write that book). Don’t think this will work? When I was promoting my first book, The Cliffhanger, back in 1999 that’s what I positioned myself on: getting published. I got tons of interviews. So can you.

7) The Internet is the new black. If nothing else, use this time to get out onto some sites and promote yourself, update your blog (you do have one, right?) – update that Facebook page, update your Twitter account. Market, market, market. Even when the world seems to be spinning out of control and nothing is making sense it’s a good time to keep your head on straight, turn off the pundits, put down the depressing financial section of the newspaper and get busy.


  1. Yvonne Perry

    Thanks for the great reminder, Penny.

  2. Wayne Hurlbert

    Recessions are, paradoxically, a great time to market a book. Many authors will be reluctant to spend time and money marketing their books, for whatever reasons, leaving the available book buying market wide open for authors who step up and publicize their books. In effect, the book market for every category of book will have less competition, and not more.

    Readers won’t disappear in a recession. In fact, readers will become more numerous, as other forms of entertainment or information gathering get priced out of their range. A book is always an affordable option, provided the author is willing to market the title in new and innovative ways.

    The internet is one of the least cost, and most effective ways to reach a reading audience. In a down economy, it will be the marketing message delivery channel of choice for both buyers and sellers. That includes authors and publishers.

  3. Rowena Cherry

    Thank you for the list and encouragement, Penny. We think alike! For the last three months I’ve been talking about good value, and the fact that one of my books takes 6 – 8 hours to read, which works out at $1 an hour for the entertainment.

  4. Malcolm R. Campbell

    Hmm, up to now, I’ve been telling people that my books are cheaper than ground beef and just as lean. Your advice sounds more upbeat and less greasy.


  5. Penny

    Ha! That’s great Malcolm! Yes, a little less greasy that’s for sure –

    Good luck with your book and thanks for reading our blog, Penny

  6. Avo

    Can you provide more information on this?


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