Well-known Book Publicity Firm Refuses to Provide Book Sales Numbers!

Well-known Book Publicity Firm Refuses to Provide Book Sales Numbers!

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.

BY WHOM?!?!

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.

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About The Author

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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 lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

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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!

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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.)


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4 Responses to "Well-known Book Publicity Firm Refuses to Provide Book Sales Numbers!"

  1. Barry Knister  July 4, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    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.

  2. PATRICK HARRISON  June 8, 2019 at 11:17 am

    “a well-known book publicity firm” and you don’t tell us who it is?

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  June 8, 2019 at 4:18 pm

      I didn’t name names because we want authors to be wary of all of these types of firms.

      Angela Hoy, Publisher
      WritersWeekly.com

  3. Pamela Allegretto  May 24, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    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.