Candice: Phil and I have been trying to get our whole book thing off the ground for nearly ten years now. Some lovely readers may have been following us for the whole of that time (thanks – no plaques or gold watches I’m afraid). Along the way we’ve been to a lot of conferences about writing and promoting books, talked to a lot of people about writing and promoting books and written a lot about writing and promoting books.
We would be the first to say we aren’t experts in either, but we’ve given it a darn good go. My background in Marketing has helped with some of the ideas but there are two things we have been lacking in, money and time.
Along the way, we’ve worked with and paid for services from people, and some of this has been good and some of it not so good. We’ve been promised the world and had delivered the Isle of Man.
So this is a cautionary tale for those interested in writing and then marketing their product. NOT EVERYONE IS ON YOUR SIDE.
We are not going to name names but here are some hints and tips on what to look out for:
- Rights – do you own the rights to what you have produced and can you get hold of it easily if you want to get out?
- Do they want payment upfront?
- Can they prove what they will deliver, and you don’t pay for everything if they don’t.
- What do their reviews say – and not just the ones on their website?
- What are other people similar to you doing? Are they happy with the service and would they recommend anyone?
- Are they TOO cheap?
Phil and I have reached the point where we really need some help with our marketing and have identified that social media would be a good route to tap into our audience. But when you search the web for someone to do Book Marketing the options are infinite. Costs vary from £100 a month to £2500 for one press release. Everyone promises to deliver a great return, but I know from experience marketing is very hard to quantify unless to have a good marketing plan.
Now, luckily for us, I have already done the groundwork and we have social media sites created, we just need followers which then lead to sales. Everyone I talk to I ask the same question – what’s your conversion rate? I want to see some numbers here for my dosh, that certainly what I would expect from a business to deliver at work. It’s called ROI – Return on Investment.
We are still looking but if anyone out there has some advice or good agencies they have used please let us know. We want to keep away from the Sharks and sell some more stories.