Friday, September 25, 2009

to hire or not to hire

professional promotional groups. I've been wondering how well they do. I find that much of my limited writing time is eaten by promotion and group chats. I like reaching out to the readers and chatting with fellow authors, but what's the point if I never have time to put work out. I want my writing to be the best work possible, not just good enough because I ran out of polishing time.

I've seen formal groups mass post to yahoo groups in which I participate. Do you know what I do? Mass delete. Yes, I see the name of the sender and don't even read the subject line. Like most writers, I get about 500 emails a day. The alternative is the individual promotional assistant. They use their real name. They cost about the same too.

Does blogging help? Do chats help? Do group emails help? I can't tell you they do. But having never hired a promotional publicist, I don't know the numbers on that either. Anyone out there able to fill in the blanks?


Julia Barrett said...

I wish I knew! So far the free promo and the paid promo hasn't been effective. I'm not quite sure what to do about it. The book I promoted the least sold the best.

I just like writing. I don't have much time for promotion.

Molly Daniels said...

The only time I read one of those promo emails was when I happened to catch my name at the top. I saved it, printed out the page with my book cover/blurb, and deleted the rest.

The main source of my TBB list comes from chats I've attended, interviews on blogs I frequent, or newsletters. And of course, my blogmate's books...most of them automatically go on the list the minute they have a release date:)

Chris said...

Trying to think where I've read posts about author promo. Probably it was Dear Author and Lynn Viehl's blog, Paperback Writer.

As a reader, I've turned to relying on reviews/blurbs on blogs I trust. For example, I see from my Evernote "to acquire" tag that I discovered Bad Boys, Bad Boys via Love Romances & More AND Jenre's Well Read blog.

Tangentially, I don't actually like to read reviews, since they tend to be too spoilerish for me. I'm interested in a brief plot overview and whether this trusted reviewer likes and recommends the book. (Because of this, the reviews I write are rarely more than 2-4 sentences.)

Hmm. Very rambling. Must get more caffeine.

Jen said...

I agree. I delete the standard promotional emails, unless it's an author I already know -- which I suppose, totally isn't the point of the emails since those authors are trying to reach a new audience.

As for reviews, I do the same thing the other poster said - I'll scan particular sites for reviews. I find a lot of review sites are heavy on the spoilers too, that's why I like writing for Dark Divas (I swear it's not a plug, just an observation) b/c they don't allow the reviewers to place spoilers within the review. Any spoilers are removed during editing.

So, I guess the ways I usually learn about books are: 1)reviews (and yes, I've even purchased some that were bad reviews b/c I could see where the reviewer was coming from and their issues were ok with me); 2)contests - especially through blogs I frequent. I have learned about quite a few new authors this way, that I wouldn't have otherwise been exposed to. 3) promo blogs - take for instance, Resplendence - they have the blog where they list the books that are coming soon and the reviews on older books - you wouldn't believe the number of new authors I've found from that blog alone.

Sorry this was so long LOL. And all that being said -- out of all the emails from promo companies I did actually find a new author and purchase her book and enjoyed it -- so it can work for you I suppose.

Mia Watts said...

Jen, thanx, I posted a pph of your comment to the person responsible for that blog. She was thrilled and I think she passed it along to the publisher. Your comments are always right on. Never apologize for length.

Chris, I'll have to go check Jenre's. I thought I'd seen all the reviews but that one doesn't sound familiar. I even appreciate the bad comments because usually you can pick out the mean stuff and find something at the core to use for improvement on the next work.

Julia, when I find out something hard, I'll let you know. I have two people I'm watching closely who are updating me with sales numbers. If they (who span the two extremes) show increase, I might do that too.

Molly, I'm going to be online less and less this year as I work on writing in my free time. There isn't much and I refuse to believe I've over scheduled myself. LOL.

Julia Barrett said...

Thanks Mia, and I'm with you. I have a lot of writing to do, lots going on with family and the day job. I have less and less time to hang out on line and do any promo. It's always been about the writing for me - writing good books is my number one goal and I have lots on my plate. Keep in touch, though!