PR Firms

Before posting in this marketing forum, please try to read 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget. This forum is mainly for followup questions and discussion after reading that book. This forum does indeed allow for much broader discussion of marketing and promotion than just that book, but it's good for everyone to be on the same page about the basics.

Please note, this forum is not for self-promotional plugs. It's for discussing how to promote your book or other writing.
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Leigh M Lane
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PR Firms

Post by Leigh M Lane » 11 Jul 2016, 14:27

Has anyone here ever used a PR firm for book promotion? I've been researching them for months now, even almost signed a deal with one ... then my cat got sick and disposable funds went out the window.

It seems to me there are many, many scammers out there; I'd say the ratio to bona fide PR agents is probably extremely high. Almost every site I've checked out has pages of testimonials, but if you research the authors they work for, hardly any of them have Amazon rankings much better than your average indie/self-pub.

I've also spent a good deal of time researching all that PR companies are supposed to do--and no author can do all that and also have time to write. I know there are tips and tricks to selling double digits every month, but I don't want to sell a hundred copies this year; I want to sell in the thousands. Consistently. Maybe that's foolish, but that is my goal.

Is that possible to achieve, beyond the exceptions, without a professional PR firm?

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Rachel McClellan
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Post by Rachel McClellan » 15 Jul 2016, 18:36

There are some good ones out there, but like you said, there are scammers. I would only use one one someone or many someones recommendation. I know of the perfect group on FB where you could ask this question and get some good recommendations, but I don't think I can post the link here. Maybe you could message me? Not sure if that's even possible here. :) I'm new to this site.

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Post by Scott » 16 Jul 2016, 10:01

Leigh M Lane wrote: Almost every site I've checked out has pages of testimonials, but if you research the authors they work for, hardly any of them have Amazon rankings much better than your average indie/self-pub.
Very wise of your to do the due diligence. I'd love to outsource a lot of the off-site book promotion work OnlineBookClub does, but generally all those companies are money holes. It should be noted that the Book of the Day each day constantly ranks well.
Leigh M Lane wrote:I've also spent a good deal of time researching all that PR companies are supposed to do--and no author can do all that and also have time to write.
What is that list if you don't mind me asking?

The problem is this: If you don't have time to do it, that means you are--one way or another--looking to hire a full-time employee to do it for you. You won't be able to pay a full time employee on the royalties from a few thousand books sold per year.

Through Book of the Day, we are NOT generating thousands per year in book sales; we're generating hundreds of thousands per year, especially if you count downloads of free books. The trick of course is that we are selling different books each day so it's easier to get four hundred or a thousand books sold or downloaded in a single day each day than to sell a thousand copies of the same book each day. More importantly, we have strict quality guidelines and always start authors by having them submit a book for an honest review from our professional review team. Any PR firm that basically accepts any book is not going to be able to give results consistently. Even if you are looking for a legit agent before getting published, they refuse most writers.

I think getting a full-fledged PR Firm before one is already successful is putting the cart before the horse. But that's just my opinion.

Have you read my 10 Step Plan?
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

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Leigh M Lane
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Post by Leigh M Lane » 16 Jul 2016, 15:45

Scott wrote:
Leigh M Lane wrote: Almost every site I've checked out has pages of testimonials, but if you research the authors they work for, hardly any of them have Amazon rankings much better than your average indie/self-pub.
Very wise of your to do the due diligence. I'd love to outsource a lot of the off-site book promotion work OnlineBookClub does, but generally all those companies are money holes. It should be noted that the Book of the Day each day constantly ranks well.
Leigh M Lane wrote:I've also spent a good deal of time researching all that PR companies are supposed to do--and no author can do all that and also have time to write.
What is that list if you don't mind me asking?

The problem is this: If you don't have time to do it, that means you are--one way or another--looking to hire a full-time employee to do it for you. You won't be able to pay a full time employee on the royalties from a few thousand books sold per year.

Through Book of the Day, we are NOT generating thousands per year in book sales; we're generating hundreds of thousands per year, especially if you count downloads of free books. The trick of course is that we are selling different books each day so it's easier to get four hundred or a thousand books sold or downloaded in a single day each day than to sell a thousand copies of the same book each day. More importantly, we have strict quality guidelines and always start authors by having them submit a book for an honest review from our professional review team. Any PR firm that basically accepts any book is not going to be able to give results consistently. Even if you are looking for a legit agent before getting published, they refuse most writers.

I think getting a full-fledged PR Firm before one is already successful is putting the cart before the horse. But that's just my opinion.

Have you read my 10 Step Plan?
Thank you, Scott. I have read your 10 Step Plan. Yes, I'm all about the research, and I absolutely have found that the Book of the Day here generally does very well. For that reason, I do have one book in your queue, and I hope to have others on there soon. I'm very grateful for the resources you have here, and I do agree that a PF firm should not be the indie's first step at marketing. There is no one-stop approach to promotion, however. We all need multiple resources if we want to see any sustainable sales. I've seen some decent sales. One of my novels sold in the hundreds in one month, but that was years ago, using a marketing strategy that is no longer very effective, and those numbers did not last.

This is some of what you can expect from a PR firm: press releases; author branding; blog tours; newspaper/other media interviews; booking at signings, library talks, and similar events; social media cultivation; and large volumes of reviews, including reviews at high-profile sites. To put the time issue in perspective, I've found I can spend an entire week researching and contacting reviewers, only to get a handful of hits. That's a week of lost productivity for fewer reviews than I can count on one hand. Where visibility is concerned, the right PR people will have media contacts that your average person isn't going to have, which could mean the difference between getting or not getting that limited spot in a local event.

Unfortunately, there are as many "professional" PR agencies out there as there are "professional" freelance editors. :roll:

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Post by pass4suretest » 20 Jul 2016, 00:45

usefull tips

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Post by rosec » 14 Oct 2016, 06:54

My publisher hired a reputable PR firm for a six week campaign to promote my Christmas picture book.
They were a team of media professionals who did a good job attracting newspaper coverage and great reviews.
However the PR bill was over $1000 a week plus tax.

The high volume sales my publisher expected never materialized; my book sold less than 40 print copies and 24 ebooks.
Too many printed review copies were sent out, far more than were sold.
If I hadn't been signed up to a three book deal I know my publisher would have dropped me.

As a first time author, I know the presence of an established PR firm brought me valuable credibility that would have taken me years to built up on my own.
Feedback from child readers and their parents was brilliant, sales were low but I received plenty of messages from children writing to say that they enjoyed reading my book. That makes me so happy.

But the best book promotion seems to be word of mouth recommendations and building relationships with book sellers, reviewers and family bloggers.
Social media is a great way of connecting with readers and bloggers on an international level, with none of the high cost of hiring PR.

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Post by Lincoln » 21 Mar 2017, 10:23

Rachel McClellan wrote:There are some good ones out there, but like you said, there are scammers. I would only use one one someone or many someones recommendation. I know of the perfect group on FB where you could ask this question and get some good recommendations, but I don't think I can post the link here. Maybe you could message me? Not sure if that's even possible here. :) I'm new to this site.
Yeah, I have seen a lot of scams, and I know of very few that work or are worth the money. It's just a fact of life when becoming a writer that everyone wants your money. If you spend nothing, you won't sell books...If you spend wrong, you're just wasting money.
Lincoln's book, Raven's Peak is the OnlineBookClub.org April 2017 Book of the Month.

View Raven's Peak on Lincoln's website.

View Raven's Peak on Bookshelves

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