You may have noticed the many, many author services that have cropped up in the last few years—and continue to launch. Some of them are pay-to-publish companies trying to disguise themselves as something else. But most of them have some new book promotion gimmick.
We get frequent questions about some of these outfits from authors through SPAWN. Random authors contact me for advice, personally, as well. I also receive emails and calls from some of these companies who want to somehow get to our members so they can sell their services to them… “We’ll offer your members a discount”—“create a special package for them,” etc.
What is my response to authors? I think you’ve heard/read me say it before—before signing with any company, become proactive.
• Arm yourself with knowledge by studying the publishing industry. By this, I mean, read books, blogs and articles by industry professionals; subscribe to and read newsletters for authors; join appropriate organizations and participate; attend authors’ conferences, etc.
• Check out the publishing warning sites. I provide them fairly often in this blog. If you have missed them and would like a list, contact me: PLFry620@yahoo.com
• Do a Google search to see if there have been any complaints lodged against them. Use keywords, “name of the company” and “complaint,” “scam” or “warning.”
• If you get to the point of viewing the contract, hire a publishing attorney to look it over before signing.
You may think that your timely, amazing, well-written book is what’s going to launch you into stardom and wealth. I’m here to tell you that this is only part of the story. What you really need is knowledge of the publishing industry and an understanding of your responsibilities as a published author.
Once you understand what it takes to promote a book, for example, you’ll be more able to discern which book promotion services are valid and which ones aren’t. In some cases, it depends on your book. For example, a press release service to public school districts probably isn’t going to bode well for you if your book is a guide to parenting triplets. A service that gets you on talk radio, probably won’t do you any good if you happen to be deaf or you simply refuse to speak in public. Likewise, hiring a publicity company that books speeches all over the US won’t be a good match for you if you don’t have time or inclination to travel.
I sit here and write new blog posts practically every day of the year, continually write and update my books, write numerous articles for appropriate publications, travel around and speak, continue as executive director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers), work with clients, teach online courses and field questions almost daily in order to help you make the best decisions toward your publishing success. I’m not just blowing in the wind, folks. I’m trying to help you here.
If you haven’t done so already, go to my Patricia Fry website and download my FREE ebooklet, 50 Reasons Why You Should Write That Book. You’ll learn volumes that will help you to make the right decisions for you and your project.
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