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I recently received this email message from an author:
I am not sure what services that I need beyond a review. I have a book signing kit and materials on their way. I have several local events set up. I am pretty sure [subsidy press] is working on a press release. They are making several internal changes within their company and I have literally had 13 different people discuss what stage I am at, what will come next and options for marketing.
Should I begin with the small package and go from there or is it best to invest in the largest package? I am most interested in having one person talk to me that will read my book and advise me from that point. I have been told so many different avenues that I should pursue, based on the special being run at that moment, that I am now thoroughly confused, to be honest.
I’ve heard this so many times and I’m sure you, as an author, can relate to these words. There is a saying that suggests we “get the biggest bang for our buck” but the problem is, there are countless options for that designated buck and many people want it.I
f you are an author that used a subsidy press, you will find that some of them will inundate you with all the promotional packages they have to offer… and they sure do sound great. But wait, they want how much??? Did she say $2500 for a one minute video that I can get for less than a hundred dollars elsewhere? But wait again… they will distribute the video to 200,000 potential customers. Okay, so that sounds really attractive, but is this distribution worth $2400? And who are these potential customers?
Or should you get a “standard review” for $395 in about 9 weeks, or should you pay an extra $100 and get it in 5 weeks. But wait… all you get is a review. That’s it. They don’t post the review anywhere except on their own site.
Or should you pay $999 to have 12 press releases sent out to a “customized database”? Or should you pay $1999 to be promoted to 500 venues to “assist you with securing speaking engagements”? Or should you contract a publicist for a three-month period to the tune of $12,000 to $15,000, with no guarantees?
Yes, it is confusing and I can confidently say that each one will give you a good sales pitch as to why their service is so good and you should use it. But, is it really what you need? Deciding what you need is not easy, especially with so many telling you that you need something different. I’ve never been able to understand how someone else can decide for you what you actually need.
You may find this statement from me “interesting,” considering I’m in the business of selling publicity packages. Yes, I am selling them, but there is no way I can tell you what you need to purchase. I can certainly make suggestions and offer advice, but to tell you what you need would be highly presumptuous of me.
So what do you do?
First of all, you need to consider what your budget is for marketing your book. If it’s $3000, why would you blow the whole enchilada on a video that you wouldn’t have any money left with which to market it? The next thing is to research what is available and ask a LOT of questions. Choose someone that has credibility and is an open book (pun intended) by being upfront with their pricing, but watch out for red flags. I’m being reminded of an author that was promised all kinds of publicity only to sell 6 books. It ended up it costing him $995.00 per book. If someone promises you results run the opposite way! It’s not going to happen. The only thing that can be guaranteed is something physical…like a review, or posting it on different sites, or featuring it on a website. Even that becomes iffy and you should always follow up.
Yes, it’s confusing. What do you find most confusing when deciding what marketing you should do? How did you handle it? I’d like to hear from you here.