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It’s been a while without a lot of new responses. I have a few new entries, and I’m going to try to make this guy fit in the window. Rosa Sophia, please let me know if it’s still cut off for you!
**These ratings for book marketing companies are all based strictly on customer experience and opinion. This is a running list and I will be happy to add other customer opinions of book marketing companies to this list. To include your ratings, please comment on this post or email me at katepolicani@gmail (dot) com.
|Company Name||Type of service||Pass?||Costs||Comments|
|99 cent Network||Listing||Fail||$45||No obvious return for money and no visibility of book on site. No answers to emails inquiring about where to find the book|
|AtoMr Book Blog Tours||Tours, Book Buzz||Pass||$99||Did ” an awesome job” “super happy with the results” “booked blogs that get awesome traffic and have a lot of avid readers”|
|Bewitch-ing Blog Tours||Tours||Fail||“half the people who signed up didn’t post and only 3 did reviews even though it was supposed to be 15”|
|Book-Daily||Listing||Fail||$49||“amount of sales doesn’t seem to be worth cost”|
|Book-Whirl||SCAM||Fail|| Scam Report
|Goddess Fish Promos||Tour Reviews||Neut.||$30||“didn’t break even” but supplied publicity|
|Inno-vative Online Book Tours / Reading Addiction||Tours, Amazon Reviews||Fail||$100||“A big flop, didn’t follow through as they had promised” “Three blogs didn’t post at all. The ones
who did post had very low followings, and NONE of them posted their review on amazon. Lame excuses from staff.” Bloggers posted ebook giveaway when customer didn’t offer them/wrong day. The ones who did post the correct giveaway all posted separate rafflecopter forms, preventing a fair winner or forcing customer to send 20 prize packs
“Hasn’t given me any sales OR amazon reviews. Stay away from them.”
|Kindle Daily Nation||Listings||Fail||$160||“no results” (used to be great but saturated with too many books)|
|Kindle Promo Indie Book Listing Service||Tweets||Pass||£15||“actively promotes books”|
|Nurture Your Books||Tour, Promo, Nat. Press Release||Fail||$995||Paid for services and “nothing happened” Multiple calls and emails got no reponse. Emails to everyone in the company finally got a response and offer of the book tour but couldn’t make the other person contact me. Customer resorted to refund through the credit card company.|
|Orange-berry Summer Splash Tour||Tours||TBA||$25||TBA|
|Partners in Crime||Tours||TBA||TBA|
|Pump Up Your Book||Tours||Fail||Ripoff Report|
|Promo. Book Tours||Tours, Release parties||Pass x2||Facebook Page Increased by 700 fans, Twitter increased by 450 Follows, newsletter increased by 150, “booked blogs that get awesome traffic and have a lot of avid readers”|
|Shades of Rose YA||Tours||Fail||$7.50, $15||Newer company with small following, had trouble filling tours, do refund when cannot fill tour.|
|Sizzling PR||Tours||Pass -1
|$15 -$75||“Nice people and very affordable.”
“90% of the blogs were adult blogs/romance/erotica for a YA book”
|Smith Publicity||Var.||Neut.||“Stellar results, high prices.”|
Book Marketing Services
After a little bit of digging for people’s experiences with book marketing services, I realized this is going to have to be an ongoing investigation and report process. Overall it seemed that everybody was interested but hadn’t had any experiences. I only managed to get a few and I only included ones with people’s direct experience with the service. Here’s what I found:
KindlePromo – “actively promotes” books with tweets £15 for Indie Book Listing service
Kindle Daily Nation – $160 “with no result” (used to be great but saturated with too many books)
BookWhirl – SCAM! http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=8338
Goddess Fish Promotions – (5-blog tour and reviews, $30) “didn’t break even” but supplied publicity.
Orangeberry Summer Splash Tour – participant’s tour hasn’t begun yet (August)- $25
Sizzling PR – “Nice people and very affordable.” $15 up to $75 blog tour options
99 cent Network – No obvious return for money ($45 intro rate for 3 months) and no visibility of book on site. No answers to emails inquiring about where to find the book.
A few more were mentioned but they didn’t provide more than names. I’m bargain hunting enough at this stage that if the one who mentions it doesn’t talk about price and their website doesn’t talk about price, then I figure they’re too expensive or don’t cater to self-published authors.
The conversational approach seems to work better than a poll, and people in the forums had the most to say.
Anyone else had any experiences, good or bad, with a book marketing company?
Here is the next book!
Available as an e-book from the following retailers –
A girl releases one demon and all of a sudden her Ph.D. is useless. As the only black listed archaeologist on the planet, Dr. Arienne Cerasola needs a job. When a family friend hires her to find a magical tree, it seems like a good idea. The problem is Arienne isn’t that talented as a witch. If she were, she would have been recruited by the United Coven and Alliance, not discouraged from ever practicing the craft. Looking for a new life, Arienne sets out on a quest to find the tree. With a Shaman and the trickster spirit, Coyote, to (maybe) help her – she hopes to prove to herself that she can do something useful with her meager talents. After all, with magic comes fantastic possibilities….and…
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Have you ever been included in a Blog Award? There are tons of them and you can’t blog for long without seeing them everywhere. But are they anything but a shout-out to your friends?
I think the most valuable thing I’ve received from a Blog Award is the networking! I got new follows and views from people I might never have found online through my blog awards. Each link is a connection to innumerable others who may find your blog. Whether you’re just looking for blog publicity, or whether you’re trying to promote something else through your blog, this is really the reward you get with a Blog Award. Plus, you get to pass it on to others too.
Besides that, blog awards provide you with content you might not otherwise get. If you’ve committed to regular blogging, you know how hard it is to create content sometimes. A lot of a Blog Award is already planned for you.
So I’d like to give an extra “Thank You” to everyone who has included me in their Blog Awards, shared their networks with me, and given me content for my blog! If you’ve been reluctant to join in on the Blog Awards, I’d encourage you to reconsider.
So some things are working for me as an author, and some aren’t. Here they are:
- My short story – I have 334 downloads of The Silver Collar on Smashwords. A surprising number of people have bought it for kindle too, even though it is free on Smashwords and I put a link as a comment. I wonder when Amazon will get around to fixing that….
- https://www.facebook.com/weloveebooks – This one worked for me and got me 10 sales in one day. The problem is, that is all I got and I’m not sure if I can put more books on there or what.
- Lots of Connections – I made a serious push to put The Lustre out where as many people could see it as possible. Also, I put my free short story everywhere I could find to put it. That seems to have upped my visibility a little and I get a few sales here and there where The Disenchanted Pet has gotten none.
- Having more books out there – It seems that the more books I have available, the more people are reading.
- Time – Yes, the time I have been online and the time my books have been available has worked in my favor. This is another plug for starting your platform early. If I had 140 blog followers and 432 twitter followers before I first published, I think things would have been easier for me.
Things that didn’t work/aren’t working:
- Kickstarter – My campaign didn’t earn even a fraction of its amount. Maybe I tried too soon or asked too much. I noticed the ones with lots of support had some kind of perk outside of the book itself – a contribution to a charity or something.
- The 99 cent Network – My book was up initially, but now I can’t find my book on the site at all, even though I paid for four months. I emailed them about this and have heard zip-o in return. Boo! I also have no way of knowing if I got any sales through them.
- Selling my books at places other than the biggies – I found a lot of little side ebook sellers and posted there. I didn’t see any extra sales, though. No one has sent me big checks because my book is a bigger fish in a smaller pond. I don’t think I am hurt by it, but I don’t know if I will spend the time and effort to put future books out there if I get no return.
- Kindle Select – I had hoped that putting the zero-sales Disenchanted Pet up as a Kindle Select title would give me a little boost, but I’ve seen no new sales.
A little about book reviews and getting them: I sent out requests for review of The Lustre to 11 different bloggers in March and recieved 2 replies, one a yes and one a no. It isn’t easy to even get a reply, let alone a review. (Don’t feel bad if you email 3 and don’t get any response.)
As a book reviewer, I am getting lots and lots of requests, even though my list is so long. I’ve amended my review policy and have said “no” to some books I didn’t think I could enjoy enough to give a good review. I still have enough time to reply to everyone, but I can see where an established reviewer would have a hard time.
Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords and owner of Dovetail Public Relations has a free ebook on marketing for self-published authors. Surprisingly, it is called Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. Go figure!
Definitely, this is an excellent read full of meaty, juice information for po’ little authors like me. http://www.smashwords.com/books/download/305/1/latest/0/0/smashwords-book-marketing-guide.pdf
He pointed out an important fact: Your webpage shows up in searches based on its links to other sites and other sites’ links to it, as well as how many people travel there. One big goal is to increase traffic and therefore increase visibility in an exponential way.
Here is my new list of things to do after reading his guide:
- Update my email signature to include my web addresses (His reasoning is that we all send lots of emails and replies and should use that to our advantage. He suggests your blog site, any sites where your book is sold, and a webpage if you have one.)
- Add the community pages I use to include my web addresses
- Updste myTtwitter profile to include my web addresses
- Update my Smashwords profile to include my Twitter address (There is a special list on Smashwords of Twitter users with increased visibility)
- Write a press release (Scary!)
- Participate in HARO (Help a Reporter Online) with my particular expertise (Aliens in the future…yeah…)
- Hold a limited coupon promotion on one or more sites: on Smashwords (garnered 200 buys in his example), on the blog, on http://kindleboards.com, or other promotion sites.
- Include the promotion on these sites (good links!) www.freeonlinenovels.com , http://online-novels.blogspot.com , www.getfreebooks.com , http://blog.booksontheknob.org , http://ereader.freebies.blogspot.com , www.bookbarista.com
Thank you, Mark for your fabulous advice, since I can’t use your promotion services! I’m passing it on because marketing tips to authors (poor) should be free!
Oh. Now I have to DO all these. Gah!
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