Book promotions!

We’ve all heard the story about a pretty young girl who gets spotted by an agency as she walks down the street and is then catapulted to international stardom via the catwalks. Within a year or so she’s a multi-zillionaire; she has a yacht, diamonds the size of golf balls and a social life to rival any WAG.

It happens, not often, but it happens.

But it happened once, so others hope that it is going to happen to them too. Cue hundreds of girls walking down that same street in the hope that the very same person who did the spotting is still there.

A little clothes shop owner sees what’s happening and starts to talk to the girls.

‘You’ve got to dress better; I have all the latest fashions here that are guaranteed to get you noticed. Make up too, tons of the stuff, all new and the latest products; wrinkle free skin and a suntan too. What more do you need? Oh, a new hairstyle? I can sort that too, I know someone cheap, does a wonderful job with hair.’

He starts to make lots of money from all these girls and each and every one of them appreciates that he sees something in them, he convinces them that they have talent and that he is really only helping them out.

All the while his till is going ‘ker-ching ker-ching,’ hundreds of times a day. He’s getting rich beyond imaging and all because he saw the girls and realised what they were hoping for. He was savvy enough to realise that they had virtually no chance of ever meeting the agency spotter but he was making money, so why should he care. He’s spotted a gap in his market and he was going to grab all the money he could from it while he had the chance.

Seem familiar?

Paid book promotion.

Now I have no doubt that there are some book promoters out there who are genuinely interested in, and good, at helping an author sell their books. I would guess that they also charge a lot of money for their services, but they have the contacts, they have access to that elusive group of people who are actually willing to part company with their cash for books; i.e. readers.

There are also those book promoters who bring together all the authors they can and charge them a small fee, miniscule in the great realm of things, and offer to promote their books for them. They offer to put the book on a website that has on the banner-heading the word “Readers” so all the authors flock to them. Books are now listed all over the site. But who actually sees them? Not readers, that’s for sure! Sometimes (or once) they tweet to their followers, thousands of them to let them know your book is available on their site; er….their thousands of followers who also happen to be authors.

The author then tweets and facebooks and google+’s etc that their books are on this site which then encourages other authors to sign up in the hope that they too can find the holy grail. ‘Ker-ching!’

Thus the book promoter has a steady stream of hopefuls (mugs) signing up to give them MONEY freely.

This book promoter is now making so much money from hundreds, if not thousands of authors who hope to get noticed by that elusive group of people called “readers”, that they rub their hands in glee as their till continually goes ‘ker-ching ker-ching’, they don’t have to do much now as more and more trusting authors sign up to their services and promote THEIR website. (See what’s happened there? The author is now promoting the book promoter!)  The book promoter can now sit back and watch the dosh come rolling in; and he doesn’t have to do a thing!

That’s the trouble with most hopeful authors; they’re a trusting bunch of people and only see the good in others.

These book promoters know that.

They will promise you the earth, but give you only a speck of dust; and even that grudgingly.

Look very carefully at any book promotion service. If it looks and sounds too good to be true, then it generally is…..or am I just being a cynical old git?

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