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A new way to learn how to promote your book

 I received an e-mail yesterday from an author asking me to recommend publicists for her self-published non-fiction book.

The company producing the book for her was pitching a six-week publicity “blast” costing $8,000. She did some internet research about the publisher’s publicity services and found author comments saying the services offered weren’t worth the charges.

Um, ya think?

Don’t let them fool you

I checked the publisher’s website and learned that for $6,000, you could get an in-house publicist working on your behalf for six weeks, a “professionally” written book announcement press release sent to a mass media list customized to your book’s needs, a recorded radio interview hosted on the publisher’s website, a copy of that interview for your use, and six weeks of news tracking (probably monitoring for press release use).

I was stunned. Angry. And kind of depressed to think about the authors spending this kind of money for a program that should cost a fraction of what this publisher charges.

It was yet another reminder that authors need more affordable alternatives to pricey packages that are executed by underpaid novices rather than by veteran book publicists who know how to get results by finding newsworthy angles in an author’s work.

Consider the D-I-Y approach

They need to learn how to do it themselves.

It’s just one reason why I created the two “Book Marketing 101: How to Build Book Buzz” courses, one each for fiction and nonfiction.

Both courses are for authors who don’t want or need personalized instructor guidance and feedback and are comfortable with a self-paced, written format.

Compare pricey blast package with D-I-Y instruction

And when I compare the price and content of these two courses with the publisher package, I can’t help but smile. I know which one of us is truly working to make a difference for authors.

Take note of the following for the $97 Book Marketing 101 courses versus a $6,000 publisher package:

+++++

Publisher: Six weeks of attention from a “personal publicist.”

Basic E-course: Learn how to do much more than what the in-house publicist will do for you, and learn how to use your new skills and tactics to get — and keep — your book in the news for as long as it’s available.

+++++

Publisher: A professionally written book announcement press release.

Basic E-course: Content includes a copy of my popular e-book that teaches you how to do it, step-by-step: Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book.

+++++

Publisher: Distribution of your press release to 1,000 media outlets.

Basic E-course: Links to reputable services (probably the same ones that publisher uses) that will do that for you at a cost of around $300 as well as a list of free press release distribution sites.

+++++

Publisher: Recorded audio interview posted on publisher’s website and sent to the author, too.

Basic E-course: Specific instructions on how to get interviewed on “true” radio stations coast-to-coast so that people listening to the radio in their car or on the job will benefit from your expertise and learn about your book.

+++++

Publisher: Six weeks of news tracking.

Basic E-course: Instructions on how to set up free Google Alerts that will track online mentions of your book and your name.

+++++

And that’s not all

The Book Marketing 101 courses also teach you how to:

  • Generate book reviews
  • Secure priceless media interviews and exposure through a number of effective tactics
  • Use social media to promote your book
  • Plan and execute a successful virtual book tour
  • Use articles to market your book
  • Generate public speaking engagements
  • Do many other things that will contribute to your book’s long term success

You get all of that, and more, for $97. Compare that to the $6,000 package offered to my author friend.

You owe it to yourself to learn how to promote your book. There’s never been a more affordable and effective way to do that. Check out the Book Marketing 101 courses now.

Questions? Send me a note to sbATbuildbookbuzz.com.

Excellent blast image by Stuart Williams via Compfight

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10 Comments

  1. Sandra,
    What a rip off! I’ve gotten numerous calls from a self-publishing arm of a large publisher with the same offers. No thank you!

    The thing they offer are redculous too: 1 press release, inclusion in their newsletter and a radio interview that will be available as a reply for 30 days. Give me a break.

    I self-published my book and have learned a great deal about marketing since then.

    Thanks for the great advice too.
    Best,
    Angela

    1. Thanks, Angela. It’s a constant learning experience, isn’t it?

      It makes me sad to think that so many authors spend this much money to get so little. A good book publicist could do a lot of very targeted work on your behalf with that budget.

      Sanady

  2. It’s astonishing that some of these companies are still getting away with these fees — and sad that they are because enough authors are willing (or desperate enough or naive enough) to pay them. I had an author come to me for advice a few years ago who’d been taken for over $20,000! Unfortunately, the problem is, the sleazy companies out there know exactly how to phrase their promises so that they are not legally binding. Or to put it another way, they deliver what they claim — it just isn’t as valuable as some authors think (as you point out). My mission in self-publishing has been to help authors steer clear of these traps, and I’m glad to see you’re fighting the good fight as well. And by the way, this type of rip-off is one of the reasons I started http://www.SelfPubSmart.com last year. It’s the only site featuring ratings and reviews of “self-publishing companies” by the authors who have used them.

    1. Thanks, Andrew. I love when someone shares my outrage! ; )

      I think these authors also trust their publishing companies, and believe that they have their authors’ best interests at heart. And maybe they do — but they are more focused on how much they can make from authors than on they are on delivering value or tangible results.

      Sandy

  3. That $79 course is a bargain and valuable even for authors who choose not to DIY. A course like this helps you evaluate your options and make smart choices that work for your skills and your budget.

  4. People like these make it hard to know who to trust. I am working hard to get a recently released self-published book into the hands of nore readers and your ebook-“Build Book Buzz” has been helpful. Thanks so much!

    1. So true, Myrtle! It’s hard to know who to trust, which is discouraging. And thanks for the kind words about my resources — I appreciate that!

      Sandy

  5. Hi,
    I was one of those who paid the big bucks for what amounted to no results. I’m not sure where my results are coming from (my posts on FB? Friends?) but my book has been out for almost 2 years. I’ve sold about 350 copies, have 100 or so more in inventory. Do you have a book or ebook to help me move the rest? I’ve subscribed to Jeff Molander but so far haven’t seen results I knew came from his advice (mostly to offer value free to get prospects interested). Thanks, Gail

    1. Gail, I’m really sorry to hear that and I’m sure you were disappointed. As for your question about whether I have a book or an e-book, you might want to consider one of my four-week e-courses for authors. The Premium E-course uses a group format and I provide feedback and advice (http://buildbookbuzz.com/self-published-how-to-build-book-buzz-workshop/). The Basic E-course has the same course content, but no support, feedback, or guidance from me (http://buildbookbuzz.com/bp101basicecourse/). These are both links to nonfiction courses. If you book is fiction, you can get links to the course pages at http://buildbookbuzz.com/training.

      Sandy

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