January 31st, 2009

tilting @ windmills

Promotion Companies?

Anybody use on of those promo companies? Do you like them? Would you recommend them?

Anybody got an opinion about those promo companies?

I looked one up. For US$35 a month they'll promote your new release on up to 50 lists (as appropriate). Now I can do that, but I'd lose a huge chunk of writing time doing so. (I know because it took me half a day to announce on 12 lists.) Would it make any difference to you, the target customer, if the promo was posted by the author vs. "Joe's Promotions"?

Whaddya think? 

ETA: Thanks everyone. It's been put on the "Too Good to be True" shelf. ;-D

Going Pro 101

My Marketing Plan by Storm Grant

I just saw a list a new publisher sent out to all their authors telling them to market everywhere. Basically if one wanted to spend all one's time and money to drive book sales up, the list is pretty comprehensive.

There are two schools of thought about book sales, esp. on your first book. One is to get sales up even if you spend more than you make in order to start your career off right. The other is not to spend more than you have to because it cuts into your profits.

Personally, I felt this new publisher wanted their authors to do all the promotion to make the publisher money. It seemed rather out of balance. What are they doing to promote your book? I think this is very short sighted of them since what they really need is to get their writers writing more books. But I've never been a professional publisher (just fanzines) so maybe there's never a lack of new stuff coming in even if people never publish with you twice. OTOH, if a start-up publisher isn't well capitalized, then they desperately need all the revenue they can get initially, and people who sign on with a new publisher should probably consider this. Maybe later, once they're established, they'll hire a part-time publicist.

Different publishers offer different amounts of marketing on your behalf and sometimes you don't know this until you see the contract... often not even then.

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I've written a few marketing plans in my day. I usually break them down into: Publicity, Sales Promotion, and Personal Selling.

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If you think I've missed something, please let me know.


I think that's it. I'm done now. I'd better get back to writing or I'll never have anything else to publish.