I was spammed by a well-known book publicity firm last week so I took that opportunity to ask them a very simple question. All authors who are considering paying a marketing firm upwards of $1,000 or more should ask the same question:
How many authors have purchased your $995 package and, of those, how many earned $995 or more in book sales as a direct result of your services?
I have paraphrased the rep’s responses below, with my comments appearing underneath in ALL CAPS.
She said publicity is a difficult task for authors and that her firm knows how to get publicity. She then pitched a plan that costs almost (she wrote “only”) $1,000, saying it’s guaranteed to get 20 hits.
ONLY 20 HITS? FOR ALMOST $1,000?!?! THAT DOES *NOT* MEAN BOOK SALES. IT JUST MEANS SOME MEDIA PERSON CLICKED OR EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN YOUR BOOK. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT PERSON WILL WRITE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR BOOK, AND ,THERE IS CERTAINLY NO GUARANTEE OF BOOK SALES. THEY COULD EVEN WRITE A NEGATIVE ARTICLE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR BOOK. WORSE, MAYBE THEY’RE JUST TRYING TO GET A FREE REVIEW COPY OF YOUR BOOK, AND HAVE NO INTENTION OF WRITING ABOUT YOUR BOOK AT ALL. OH, AND DID YOU NOTICE SHE DIDN’T ANSWER MY QUESTION?
She wrote they’d been voted #1 for book PR.
She says they’ll send a press release (yawn) to thousands of media personnel.
PRESS RELEASES ARE BORING AND MOST ARE TOSSED IN THE VIRTUAL TRASH. WITH MORE THAN 1 MILLION BOOKS PUBLISHED EACH YEAR NOW, MEDIA PERSONNEL NO LONGER PAY ATTENTION TO MOST PRESS RELEASES. AND, SHE STILL HADN’T ANSWERED MY QUESTION.
She provided a link to testimonials.
WHAT ABOUT ANSWERING MY QUESTION, LADY?
She then invites me to contact her to “see their plans.”
I responded to her email with this:
Authors I work with always tell me how successful their specific marketing activities have been, including number of copies sold. We can’t use your service, nor recommend it to our thousands of readers and authors, without firm numbers that show the majority of your clients end up profiting as a direct result of your services.
She responded with the link to the testimonials again, and once again stated they’d been voted #1…but didn’t say by whom.
AND, SHE STILL DIDN’T ANSWER MY QUESTION!
Remember that I was spammed by this outfit. So, while they claim to be experts in publicity, they’re using spam to promote their own company. Furthermore, I asked to be removed from their list back in 2017. I got tired of receiving unsolicited email (spam!) regarding books that are not writing-related at all. One was about cadaver trafficking. Seriously! Authors are paying that company to waste everyone’s time, including editors.
Authors: While it may be tempting to hand off book publicity to a third party, I can almost guarantee that book sales resulting from a press release are NOT going to pay for the cost of that press release.
Do yourself a favor and do your own easy, FREE publicity when promoting your book.
If you must hire a publicist, click here for recommendations.
- Free Online Publicity Increases Profits By Stephanie Ann
- WHY BIG PUBLISHERS MEAN SMALL PUBLICITY By Chris Gavaler
- Press Release vs. Publicity Release
- I Thought Outside the Box – And Got FAR More Publicity! – by J.K.A Short
- Podcasting: A New Publicity Tool for Writers By Charles Hodgson
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!
Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!
7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition
At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.
And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!
Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!
Read more here:
This sounds all too familiar. After being scammed, I started challenging publicists this way: if you truly have confidence in your ability to choose “product” that has a strong chance of success, why wouldn’t you be willing to operate on the literary-agent model? But not for 15 percent. What do you say we split the profits fifty-fifty?
I’m sure you can guess what the answer to that is. But I am too old to go through the long drill of platform-building, so I am giving one more marketer a try. I suspect I will just be validating that old-reliable definition of madness: repeating what has often failed, but certain the outcome this time will be different.
“a well-known book publicity firm” and you don’t tell us who it is?
I didn’t name names because we want authors to be wary of all of these types of firms.
Angela Hoy, Publisher
I participate in multiple author/book groups on Facebook, where I post my book/reviews/interviews for free. Occasionally, I will get a comment from one of these book promoters telling me how interested they are in my book and how they have “hand-selected” me to promote my book on their book promo website. I do check them out, and they all, so far, have been money pits.