Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Hi there Author Dudes! I'll help you promote your book!**

I just got this pitch on my author website. Should I do this?

I came upon your work and am interested to interview you for our popular author series. We will share your story as a writer, promote your books and feature you on the (name redacted) to air for a full 52 weeks. We currently feature over 150 authors of all genres on the air right now. The last quarter of the year also historically attracts more listeners so the timing is right. You can take a listen at the links below.

You'll be interviewed via the telephone by me (name redacted) hostess of nationally syndicated radio programs and founder of (name redacted).  The interview is pre-recorded to allow for edits if necessary to help make you and your message shine. Your interview airs for a full year 24/7 on the
(name redacted) and you enjoy 52 weeks of exposure with your very own page on the website that features your audio interview, logo, contact information, description and links back to your site.

The small hosting donation helps to fund (charitable project) We will add your name as the donor with our next delivery following your interview.

Generally speaking any media outlet that asks for money to promote your work is a place to avoid. If you're paying for placement it's called advertising, not promotion. If you're buying advertising, the first question to ask is "how many eyeballs, and show me the stats on how many books they buy."

Places that are pay to play are usually populated by authors and books that can't get any other kind of attention. With a modicum of work, that's not you.

Consider this: even stations that rely on contributions to keep going ask their listeners for money, not their radio show guests. (Think public broadcasting radio here.)

The first red flag was the money.
The second was when I checked out the website.  It's so poorly written and so un-compelling that I almost wept.

And unfortunately the people listed as guests were all unknown to me.  It's not that you have to know every single guest, but if you don't recognize any names, the show isn't drawing middle tier, let alone top tier, authors.

Well, what can it hurt you say? Well, if you've got more money than god, it won't strap your wallet, but why spend money on something that's got a lot less chance of being effective than ways you know ARE effective.

And it really never helps you to be listed on a site that looks like hell.


Irene Troy said...

PLEASE listen to Janet on this! There are millions of scams out there targeting the new(ish) and less than informed writer and this sure sounds like one. Everything about this "offer" sounds bogus and, yes, the website is very badly done. If you ever have questions about the legitimacy of an offer, you may want to check out Writer Beware. http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I remember when there were Dudes and Chicks. Dudes were guys, Chicks were girls. Did I resent being called a Chick? Not if it referred to how hot I looked and not my chackling-clucker voice.
It’s just weird that all of us are Dudes now. Or maybe I’m wrong and we female-types are actually Dudettes. Now that, I find offensive.

Kathy Joyce said...

Ugh, I wasted a ridiculous amount of money on something like this when starting my consulting practice. Live and learn. If you have good stuff to say in an interview, I suggest: find an interviewer, record it, polish it up, put it on *your* website, and link the heck out of it.

Lennon Faris said...

I'm curious if the sender used OP's name, or if it was "Dear Writer." The name thing bugs me when they don't know you. It makes it more eye-catching and confusing. And they know it!

OT - The other night at dinner, my 3yo daughter yells out of the blue, "AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!" She pauses (we're all looking at her), and she says, "That was the story of a man falling down a long, long hole."

Talk about a lesson in brevity!

Colin Smith said...

I hate writing on my phone, but I had a thought and I wanted to share now lest I forget later.

Typically, web sites, blogs, etc. don't charge or expect "donations" from their interviewees because it is a mutually beneficial arrangement. You benefit from the exposure, and the site benefits from all your fans who will visit to read the interview.

TV talk shows make a big deal of the guests they have coming on because they hope these guests will draw an audience. The guests are usually happy to go on popular talk shows because it helps promote their latest work to a wide audience. I don't expect an invitation to be on Conan O'Brien's show after my first novel publishes unless that novel makes a big splash or becomes somehow culturally significant.

My point: when you give interviews, you are already paying the interviewer with your time, and the fact you will promote the interview in your circles. Don't feel like you have to cross their palms with silver too.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Definitely go with the shark on this on. There are a lot more effective ways to promote your books.

Kathy Joyce said...

Lennon, so funny! And smart girl you have. I love the concept: one word story with one sentence explanation.

"Screenless." The story of a grounded teen.

This could be fun!

The Noise In Space said...

@Lennon, Does she have a Twitter account? I could use some more absurdist storytelling in my life.

James Leisenring said...

"Your interview airs for a full year 24/7" I don't even understand, they are going to play it over and over again every single hour? And how do they feature over 150 authors then? Maybe it's because of the redacted stuff but if I can't even understand what they want me to buy, I definitely wouldn't pay for this.

And I like this impromptu writing contest. My entry:

"WHAT?!" The story of 2017.

Nathan Holland said...

May I get the number? My new book is about the shady side of small-donation promoting for books. Its titled Give Me Your Money And We'll Take It.

Amy Johnson said...

The words "our popular author series" jumped out at me. How popular? I like Janet's advice (of course) about how may eyeballs and what are the sales stats.

Lennon, Great story--yours and your daughter's.

Joseph Snoe said...

Semi-on topic and semi-off topic, I won an advance reader copy of 'Divine Encounter with the Holy Spirit' as a Goodreads Giveaway. The interesting thing about ARC's is they usually include the book's marketing plan. In addition to the religious based contacts you might expect (or not) for this book and the normal marketing tools, the book lists

"TV crawler and advertisements on a wide range of television programming."

I know James Patterson airs TV commercials for his books. I wonder if it's effective for lesser know authors. Is TV advertising for books a coming trend?

Joseph Snoe said...

Speaking of book promotions,Our own Donna Everhart's latest, Road to Bittersweet will be published December 26, just in time for all those folks getting e-readers for Christmas to put them into use.

Adele said...

An ad for a crime novel has appeared for weeks now on one of the TV stations I get. I have only the basic cable service, so this isn't an obscure channel up in the 200-numbers. It's a mainstream TV station that has been on the air for 50 years. I've been wondering how the ad could possibly be cost-effective; I just don't think it's possible.

Karen McCoy said...

Lennon! You and your daughter win the internet today.

As a blogger who is happy to spread word about authors, this kind of thing drives me batty. Everything doesn't have to be quid pro quo. Oy.

Craig F said...

The horns of a dilemma:

Start an author's website and be inundated by scammers and bots trying to part you from your money.

Don't run an author's website and don't get inundated.

The second option sounds like the better option but it also means you have to write damn good books. If it is a toss-up between two authors, one with a social media presence and one without, the one who does social media will win.

Joseph Snoe said...

I don't go to authors' websites as a general rule. Somehow I learn about books other ways. I've been introduced to some on Janet Reid's blog, for example.

Lennon Faris said...

Ha, I like these impromptu one-word entries!