Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Why Authors Must Pay To Play

You can pay a celebrity to tweet about your book.  Or pay a book reviewer at Kirkus Review to review your book.  Or pay certain local television stations for an interview.  Or pay a blogger to blog about you. Yes, the world is filled with pay-to-play opportunities.  Are they worth it? How do you know what to pay, for what, and for how much?

If you are not known, write in a crowded genre, and have few advocates on your side, you need outside help.  To jumpstart things you can hire a book promoter.  In addition to that, you can pay for endorsements for your website or book jacket.  You can pay for a high-profile person to write a foreword.  You can advance your profile on social media by buying followers.  The list of possibilities is endless.

Know what’s important to you. Getting third-party affirmation is invaluable. It may seem ethically bankrupt and financially draining, but you need to engage in the pay-to-play world in order to give your book a chance to grow organically and win word-of-mouth.

The pay-to-play model begins with how you get published. If you self-publish, you pay to do so. If you hybrid publish, you pay to do so. Even with a traditional publisher, some will make a final decision to publish you once you assure them you’ll hire a publicist and or order a certain number of books that you’ll re-sell.  You pay to play from the first point of entry and it continues from there.

·         Do you pay to create a good-looking, highly functional site or do you rely on a FB page for free?
·         Do you hope publications review your book or do you pay some for reviews?
·         Do you pay to sponsor events in order to get your book in front of attendees or do you stay on the sidelines?
·         Do you invest in yourself and your book so that you give yourself a greater chance of success?

I know this sounds discouraging first to see that money plays a huge role in book publishing, and second because you realize you can’t do this without setting a budget.  The days of random discovery, publication by merit and media attention based on news value are dead.

That said, many things are free, should you have the time, ability, and desire to do so.  You can write press releases, design a web site, schedule appearances, contact the media, blog, tweet and do any of a dozen things. If you know you won’t do them or do them well, get the checkbook out and start finding venues to pay to play.  You won’t have to look too far.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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