There are plenty of political campaign books out there that offer information from experienced managers and consultants on how to win races on all levels. Whether you’re a candidate for your local school board or for Congress, there are a dozen different texts that you can order online or buy in a bookstore that promise to tell you the secrets of how to be victorious on election day.
But do political campaign books really help candidates for office win elections? Well, they certainly can, but not in every instance.
If you’re a new candidate and don’t know much about how to organize and plan a political campaign, buying a book or two to help you start out is definitely a smart move. While experienced campaigners might consider things like fundraising an volunteer recruitment to be common sense, it can be very difficult to put a campaign together if you’ve never done it before.
Political campaign books can help you make the right plans before you kick off your campaign, but you shouldn’t rely on them too much once your horse has left the gate. If you do buy a campaign how-to book, make sure that you read it before you launch your campaign, not while you’re on the trail.
And don’t invest in too many political campaigning books, either. While you might find some good information in one or two, you’ll discover that reading any more than that will just have you re-digesting the same information.
Because there’s such a wide variety of campaign books and materials available for sale, there’s no reason why you should buy a product that isn’t specifically tailored for the level of your race. If you’re running for city council or mayor of a small town, then pick a book that has to do with local campaigning.
Larger campaigns are more complex and difficult to manage, and for help you’ll find books that deal specifically with aspects of campaign finance, negative campaigning and grassroots motivation. The candidate in a large race, however, rarely has to educate himself on the finer points of campaigning, since that’s what good campaign managers and consultants are there for.
If you are running in a local election, however, you’ll likely have to act as your own campaign manager, chief fundraiser and grassroots organizer. In this case, reading a good refresher on successful tactics can help before your campaign kicks off.