| |

Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome

Today’s article is brought to you by the letter P.

P is for Periscope.

Periscope, all the rage among marketers and others today, can quickly trigger Shiny Object Syndrome.

If your inbox is like mine, you’ve received lots of messages telling you how amazing this new video tool is. (In four weeks, I’ve received 57 messages mentioning Periscope.)

This could be the only message you’ll get that mentions it but doesn’t say, “OHMYGOSH! You must check out Periscope! It is SO amazing!”

Why? Because this new video app from Twitter might not help you reach the right readers for your book.

Are your book’s readers using this shiny object?

Here’s the thing: You want to use book marketing tools and tactics that help you reach the people who are most likely to buy your book – your target audience.

If you know your target audience well – their age, gender, lifestyle, location, income, education level, social media habits, etc. – you will know if Periscope or any other cool tool will help you get in front of them.

If you don’t, well, you could be wasting a lot of time on Periscope or with any other shiny object, whether it’s podcasting, Goodreads, or Wattpad.

Answer these questions

Before you are distracted by the newest shiny object that everyone seems to be chattering about, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who is using this tool or service?
  2. Who will I reach if I use it?
  3. Is my target audience – the people who are most likely to love my book – using itl?

If the people using it are your target audience, it could be worth exploring. If the people using it aren’t those who will love your book, then keep moving along.

To prevent the many problems caused by Shiny Object Syndrome, you must know your audience and the tactics that will help you reach that audience. Spend some time learning more about how to determine your target audience and what you need to know to reach them.

What shiny object have you chased recently? Where did it take you?

Subscribe to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter and get the free special report, “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources,” immediately!

Similar Posts


  1. What a great article and visual name to attach to all the endless marketing attempts to distract us and enrich others.

    I’ve set up an Outlook rule so that all marketing emails from people I follow automatically go into a marketing folder. It’s amazing how many people think you want to hear from them daily. This folder lets me quickly delete 95% of them and only open the true gems–like yours.

    Now when I delete the emails I’ll think of them as “shiny objects” knowing that they don’t pass your three question test. Thanks!

    1. Patsy, that is SO smart! This rule/folder approach eliminates clutter and distraction in your inbox, too. (And I’m so glad you use the word “gem” for mine — that means so much to me!)

      Thanks for this helpful feedback.


  2. Sooo true! I receive several pitches every day promising another “technique” for getting more readers. I was taking a lot of time looking into them – when I should have been writing content for my websites and tweaking my Amazon book details to attract readers. I finally realized that until I have built some “cred” through content that attracts readers “shiny objects” aren’t going to help. And since I made that decision, I have seen my stats & sales improve, slowly but they are up. I don’t think that is coincidence, and my life is now less-stressed and more focused!

  3. Sandy – your point is so true. I listen to webinars and read about new tricks and techniques and then ask myself “why did I just spend time doing that?” Another new one is BLAB – really? I was raised hearing that as a negative term for talking on and on without saying much of value. I agree with others, I do NOT need to be hearing from other people constantly. I do actually have a life that does not revolve around them.

    1. Thanks, Virginia. It all comes down to those 3 questions I pose in the article, right? (Especially with Blab.)


  4. I love the “disease” name–Shiny Object Syndrome. There are many Shiny Objects that grab my attention and distract me from what I should be doing! SOS–yes I need help in resisting it.

  5. Thank you for your “Shiny Object Syndrome” post. It makes wonderful sense. I have been resisting the temptation to discover “Periscope” (and other goodies) for a while now. I suspect that the newest generation of electronic media are more likely to serve as opportunities to waste one’s time than to move one forward.

    Robert Fripp

    1. Robert, it all depends. What’s right for me isn’t necessarily right for someone else, and vice versa. You will probably find Periscope business success stories, etc., that are definitely legitimate. But is their audience the same as yours?

      Taking your time and doing some research before jumping on the newest bandwagon cruising by usually makes sense.


  6. While I agree with what you are saying about shiny object syndrome in general, I disagree on Periscope. I really like Periscope as a way to get my content recorded-whether my audience is there or not. Sometimes, it may be that your audience is not using that platform, but if you like the medium, you can use it to record content and then repurpose it to other platforms. So, when I do a Periscope (and I’ve only done a few but plan on using it regularly), I download it and put it on You Tube. I can also give it away on other platforms and I can use it for a freebie in my weekly eBook Profit Secrets Newsletter. So, I think you have to look beyond just who is using Periscope and decide if the tool itself works for you and if you want to incorporate into your marketing.

    1. Thanks, Ellen. I wasn’t picking on Periscope. I was just using it as example of the latest shiny object and how authors need to be thoughtful about whether the latest & greatest serves a purpose for them — or not. It was podcasting not so long ago, and many authors with target audiences that don’t listen to podcasts invested a lot of time trying to figure out that technology because they were hearing so much about it.

      Now…with that cleared up…please let me know if you’d consider writing a guest post here about how you’re using Periscope’s technology and why you prefer it over other video options. If that’s appealing, please send me a note — sbATbuildbookbuzz.com. I think your experience could be really helpful!



  7. Thank you Sandra, for verifying what my gut told me about Periscope in general and all platforms. I can’t afford to spend a lot of time on anything that only lasts a short period of time. At my age, if I put in the effort to do something, I need it to last as long as possible.

    1. What’s new and cool might work for some, but not for all, and that’s the problem. It’s often presented as a solution for everyone when it isn’t really.

      : )


  8. Thanks so much – I get really confused and fed up with the number of ‘marketing’ emails I get each day. When I was first published I used to think I had to engage in each and every one. Now I tend to just ignore all but the most popular ones, and the ones which I know writers and readers frequent. Your ‘three pointer’ is a very handy guide!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *