4 December 2014
Self publishing services, marketing and media packages

I got asked recently about a business that claims to publish and market books for a reasonable fee. A customer of mine mentioned that they can send a media release to people in the media in the US, Australia, UK and more.

I nearly ran down the road screaming, “Don’t Do It!”. For two reasons. Firstly, I would not recommend this business or any of its affiliated companies even if I weren’t in the industry myself (wanting the business for myself). Secondly, media releases for new unknown authors are usually a waste of time.

1. Why I don’t recommend certain author services businesses?

Different services suit different authors. There are many ways to self–publish, some involve more DIY (your time) and expertise than others. With Australian eBook Publisher you will have a dedicated professional working with you through all the services you require, and available in Australia by phone and email.

We are a good honest small Australian business, not a predatory, US—based massive conglomeration of businesses. Unlike some businesses, we do not use deceptive tactics such as using email spam to promote directories that “match you to the right publisher for you”, which are simply lead-generation websites that match new customers with one of their own brands. We have a sales system—any successful IT services business needs this—but we are honest. We are not pushy and we do not harass people by phone and email daily like some other companies.

It really comes down to who you want to work with.

Some self publishing services are nothing more than big, money–making machines. They do as much as possible using automated processes, and outsource much of the work offshore, not to mention their seriously pushy selling systems designed to suck in unknowing writers.

Those kind of businesses are not competitors of Australian eBook Publisher. We do offer solutions to the same problems, but we are not like them. For one thing we have integrity—we are very fair and upfront with all of our customers. Please look online for further details. E.g. Search “Writer Beware” to find a range of helpful websites and blogs for writers who are “doing their research”:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/victoria-strauss-author-solutions.html
http://accrispin.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/beware-of-book-publishing-spam.html
http://www.absolutewrite.com/freelance_writing/writer_beware.html
http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware
http://www.agentresearch.com/agent_ver.html
http://www.thewindjammer.com/smfs/newsletter/index.html

2. Why I don’t usually include media releases in an author’s marketing strategy

We have the facility and the know-how to set up a media release and arrange it through a professional Australian media release service to go to a bunch of media for a few hundred bucks, but that won't do anything.

It is extraordinarily unlikely anyone in the media would even blink at an announcement of a new ebook by an unknown author, especially an en masse released media release. Consider the reviewers at big papers, they get sent hundreds of hard copies of books a week, and review a couple at most. The rest go in the bin. Ebooks? Forget it.

As for smaller publications, you would have to get to know them (one to one, build a relationship) before they will trust what you send them is good. To approach online book reviewers is also possible through social media, email and web forms. These can be a good way to get really close to the people who read your genre and communicate with the target market for your book. The best way in is to do this yourself, or to go through a publicity firm that already knows the right people to send stuff about your book.

Sending out media releases en masse is pointless. You need to find your readers and the media whose readers are interested in that genre. You need your marketing strategy right.

You're better off sending it directly to some more targeted niche media and local media, yourself, than using bulk en masse media release services. If social media isn't your strong suit, you could get someone to do it for you. But really the author has to be involved. Even if it's only contributing to a website and/or blog.

No matter what you do to promote your author platform, you must have a strategy. If you don't know what you're doing in marketing you need to learn, or you can choose to use us (or another book marketing firm) and a publicity/PR firm.

For advice about your book, please engage us on our Pre–publication Consultation and/or Marketing Services.

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