Research is Work. Publicists are Expensive

On the rare occasion I get downtime at work, I tend to get on my little not-so-smart-slow-to-upload phone and do some researching.  If I could graph how much time goes into researching ways to market a book the graph would be one giant solid block filling in a twenty-four hour time period.  It is work! And I wonder why I am subjecting myself to this self-inflicted masochism.  I come home and empty my pockets of tiny note papers where I jotted down websites and links only to come home and research some more.  And I swear each time I type, “book marketing” into the Google search space and hit enter it gives me 429,987 NEW links.

How much is a publicist again?

That has been my latest research as I am quickly coming to find that working as a full time nurse in a 24 hour facility does not mesh well with dreams of becoming a full time, stay-at-home writer.  One has to go, and right now it is my writing projects that suffer.  The answer: a publicist…and working more hours to pay said publicist.  Just a gnawing, vicious cycle if you ask me.  The answer: sell more books! How do I do that while sitting at work? Oh yeah, hire a publicist.  Do you see the circle? It makes me dizzy.

Publicist rates in the state of confusion…er, um…California: Cheapest I’ve seen is $50 an hour with a ten hour minimum.  The highest I’ve seen is $5,000 flat to guarantee two book signing at a regional outlet and a press release.  But, I have also seen $150 an hour, so if you want someone to work a full month at a 40 hr work week then you will pay $24,000 a month.  I guess what really jades me on some of these thousand dollar payout sites is how plain the site looks.  First impression is everything, and you are trying to sell me on $150/hr using a standard white background where I have to scroll down ten times to see everything instead of using tabs, and I should pay for outstanding publicity based on this? Is it just me?

The other part that really irks me are the sites that do have tabs to see some of their successes and they showcase big name people.  Like Jeff Foxworthy wouldn’t sell a few thousand based on his name alone.  You have actors turned writers being showcased as a success story and this relates to me how? Please, show me a no-name author who came out of Podunk town, Anywhere not born into a wealthy family with a well known last name like Spielberg or Hilton, and show me how you marketed that special nobody and show me some darn statistics that would lead me to believe you took little Annie Noname from selling  1 book a month to 50 books a month.  It may not be much, but its a 500% gain.  Why aren’t those kinds of statistics on there? If I’m paying my yearly salary for one month you better be showing me something more than a blank white background and pictures of books of people who were already famous.

Woo…okay, off my high horse.  I am still compiling a list of websites that I have used for the rest of the self-published authors out there.  The list will show sites with a rating scale of how much I liked them or didn’t.  If you know a link or offer a service that you would like to share, please email me at author@tanialramos.com and I will look at it and add it to my review.

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5 responses to “Research is Work. Publicists are Expensive

  1. I don’t have a link, but I did just come up with an idea while reading your post. I live in a university town, and it occurs to me – there are students studying publicity and marketing, right? Surely there must be one or two students out there who would be interested in marketing your book – and they’re students, so you could pay them minimum wage, since they would really be in it for the experience and being able to add it to their resume. I don’t know if this is feasible, or if you live anywhere near a college/university, but just some food for thought 🙂

    • That is a wonderful idea. It benefits both parties and they can add it to their resume. I live in a small rural area, our biggest college is a small community college, but definitely something worth mentioning if you are near a University. A co-op deal would be very appealing deal to me if I was studying marketing and publicity. Something I will mention to a woman I have been working with in Canada for her book trailer, she teaches at a Uinversity and may have some connections that way. I will let you know what she says

  2. I coach authors how to get on TV by doing their own pitching. If you use the right system getting on TV does not have to take a lot of time or money. Yes 99% of the pitches fail to get a booking, but lets face it 99% of the efforts are just plain wrong. You know more about your material than anyone and the time spent trying to teach someone else what to say is mostly wasted. Focus your efforts and don’t try to be all things to all people. If you want free tips on how to do it, go to my blog quickfamesystem.com. OK, good luck, Edward Smith.

    • Thank you. I agree that I know my material best, which is precisely why I have avoided going through a publicity firm. I heard one person report that his publicist never read the book, so how could she effectively publicize. I will definitely look at your blog. Thanks

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