Whether you’re a casual bookworm or a full time scholar on literature, you would know that this week is in fact Banned Books Week.

As the name implies, this week is to commemorate the books that have had a history of being banned once (be it at any point in history or any place in the world).

However, there are other ways to ‘ban’ a book without it necessarily meeting the formal requirements.

Things like literature can be stigmatized in more ways than just kicking them out of the library catalog. In a similar way, one doesn’t have to illegalize your business to create enough bad press that will dissuade prospects from engaging you. The question is though, does it always work?

According to this related article from Forbes, it may not.

Despite the intense hate from critics, there exist many books that have only benefited from the hate. Ironically, this hate is now comparable to other types of contempt books get due to religious or political reasons.

How did this happen though? Does this mean that critics and other influencers in your industry are fallible? Obvious answer: yes. More importantly, they can still be fallible in the face of good, targeted marketing.

  • Find those who find you appealing – Not anybody can take a liking to Ayn Rand. Those who do though tend to stand out with their staunch emphasis on individualism. Simply put, find those who like you and determine what sets them apart from those who don’t.
  • You’re still not the only marketer out there – You’re not the only one who can use marketing to defy critics. They aren’t necessarily your allies either.  Take the case of Lord of the Rings and Twlight. Fans of one are likely to rip the throats (or axe the heads) of the other.
  • Use the attention – Negative attention is still attention. While people may be less amiable to you, at least you’ve got their eyes. It can be an opportunity to give your side. It sounds hard but it’s certainly better making your case before the eyes of prospects than just letting them pass by.

While Banned Books Week is meant to represent the fight against censorship, it also (perhaps indirectly) demonstrates what happens when a lot of bad press ends up working against those making it. The next time you get sidetracked by a critic, know that messing with their standards could be the one thing that sets you apart and bring more successful marketing to your business.