Since I began working as an online publicist I've been inundated by authors asking me to publicize their book with our contact list, either by inviting them to an event, letting them know the book is now 99 cents on Kindle, or just announcing the availability of the book. As well, I've been inundated with cold-call press releases - some just announcing the book, some wanting a free review, and others wanting an interview.
Sometimes I just ignore these requests but most times, I reply to them with a link to our guidelines. It always amazes me how many authors expect free services from us to promote their books. I really don't understand this concept because these same authors expect to be paid for their books, and certainly, if they are employees or business owners, want to be paid for their time. Yet, it seems that the concept of others wanting to be paid for their work/time is foreign. Not only that, but also these authors are asking us to read their books without even taking the time to read our submission guidelines for complementary reviews.
But, it's not only authors that don't honor the two-way street. I receive at least six press releases from publicists per day asking for reviews and interviews for the authors they represent. They play the pay-for-play game with the authors and charge for their time and efforts, yet these same publicists expect others to offer their services to them for free. This just doesn't seem right to me. How can an honest human being expect others to provide everything free to them, yet charge for their product (book), time, and effort? Am I wrong in thinking that I, and my staff, should not be paid for the time/work we do? Granted, we do this because we love books and Indie authors. We keep our prices as low as we can because of our passion for Indie books, as we want to promote diversity when it comes to reading options for the audiences out there. Sometimes we even offer free features and many times give advice at no cost to our customers, but to expect freebies from the online promoters’ community is not a good way to connect and keep contacts that can open doors for the author. Below are basic etiquette points to consider when looking for online promoters:
· Remember that the people you are contacting also have bills to pay in order to keep doing what they are doing! That is why they do offer some freebies, but also offer paid services.
· Remember that the people you are contacting receive hundreds of requests a month, so read and follow their guidelines if you truly wish them to contact you back, or consider your submission.
· Remember that the people you are contacting can open many doors but also close them. So spend some time learning about them on their page before reaching out. Showing that you picked them because of what they are about will make a difference when you need them again for your new titles.
Promoting books these days is tricky. By showing interest, respect, and professionalism, contacts can be maintained for the long run, and not just as a onetime opportunity. For more information on how Reader Views helps authors visit www.readerviews.com.