If there’s one thing self-published authors want, but know very little about, it’s promoting their work. They know about Twitter and Facebook, but beyond that … it’s anyone’s guess.
So, a number of a number of enterprising opportunists are all too willing to help – for a fee of course. They set up a website or a blog even, promising self-published authors to promote their book. They dazzle them with the amount of subscribers, promising self-published authors to feature their work and then watch the dollars come rolling in.
One blogger claims to have 700.000 subscribers. There’s no proof, you have to take his word for it, but by his own admission only 100.000 actually read his blog.
Even this I doubt. Out of those 100,000 more than half probably end up in a spam box. If a message makes it to the inbox, the reader might just do what I do when I get similar emails … delete, delete, delete.
If the message get read, the book might not appeal to the reader. They might not have a credit card to make a purchase (there are still people who do not have a credit card) or if they have a credit card, they might be hesitant using the number online (I’m one of them). They might be willing to buy the book, but find themselves short on cash.
Others take a different approach, they offer to put self-published authors on their mailing list. The price varies, children’s books cost less than novels and the more expensive the book, the more expensive the listing. If all the entrepreneur does is sending an email, what does it matter what kind of book it is or how much it costs?
And then there are those who take the honest approach. They sent authors the website of their magazine (like I received yesterday) and offer them advertising space.
While I prefer honesty over some scam any day, this too doesn’t work out sometimes. A full page ad was going to set me back $4.000, a small photo with a description $1.000, merely mentioning the title of the book was $75.
With all this going on, what is the answer to get decent promotion … a publicist. Not just any publicist though, a reputable one. How to tell the difference between a scammer and the real thing … ask for references in your geographical area. After all, what works in Appleton, Wisconsin might not work in Los Angeles, California. Small towns are very different from big cities.
And always keep in mind … if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.