Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Authors Show - Part 1

It's just that easy?
Indie and small press authors carry the marketing burden.  If that’s not clear, take a quick look around at any given writing group and you’re bound to see people asking about advertising or inadvertently violating group rules as they try to sell their own books.  Obviously, marketing scams are everywhere.  Even the savviest of authors, with years of experience marketing, can easily fall prey to a deal carefully constructed to lure them in.

As I’ve been gearing up for my own big marketing push on the re-release of Tears of Heaven (July 21st) and Hell Becomes Her (soonish) no end of marketing “opportunities” have crossed my inbox.  Usually, sorting through them is fairly easy.  Developing a radar and a red flag system over the past decade has certainly helped.

Enter The Authors Show.  I don’t recall how they came across my desk, but they did.  After
Mo' money, mo' problems? Where do I sign up!?
reading through their site and not seeing any obvious red flags, I filled out their form and waited patiently.  Or rather, I totally forgot that I’d submitted to them about two weeks ago.  I received an email yesterday, and really its exactly as described on their site:
“a professionally edited audio and/or video tool showcasing the participating authors and their book(s).”

They are also upfront that the author will not receive a free copy of the final version of the show.  However, here’s where things get a bit murky.  You can purchase a copy, for your marketing push, “for a nominal investment”.  When you do, they offer a couple of other benefits, which are a bit on the fuzzy side: “periodic rebroadcasts, social media outreach, and much more…”

But what more?

The email I received accepting my submission contained contact information and reiterated that “we do not provide free interview copies.”  Followed by a bit of their setup for the eventual sales pitch:

For authors interested in making their interview a part of their marketing strategy beyond the interview’s original broadcast, we do offer an optional Book Marketing Program (BMP) with various very affordable options to select from, utilizing your newly created interview file. A copy of the BMP will be emailed after the interview has been conducted and edited.

The old rule of “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” generally applies to most of these kinds of “marketing opportunities”.  After requesting a services and price list, I’ve received lengthy emails laying out all the reasons I should market—but no list of services or price list—and a statement saying that if I’m interested, to respond again.  Well, duh, that’s why I’m here.  A bit of research indicates mixed reviews for such email solicitors, and most follow ups end with prices that are so outrageous (for indie/small press authors) and little to no guarantee, that it wasn’t worth my time to send the first email.

But they promised you'd be full!
For The Authors Show, as always, I did my research.  But . . . nothing.  No one claiming good or bad about the group, their products, or how much the marketing helped or didn’t help.  That’s unusual.  Writers are everywhere, and finding “new” and “exciting” marketing options is as easy as falling off a bike.  Writers (like most people), also, don’t like to be taken advantage of, and readily report even the vaguest slights.  I reached out to a friend and fellow writer who has more experience in the industry than I like to think about.  She turned up the same nothing.

But we both agreed that since everything is laid out, and really the only loss here is a bit of time for the interview, I could easily be the canary in the coal mind for this particular opportunity.  There is some time and effort that goes into professional recorded and edited podcast (as I well know), but as with most things, if you know what you’re doing, its easy to make it look easy.

So here I go, unto the breach dear friends.  I’ll report back when I know more.

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