Author Topic: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider  (Read 1907 times)  

Offline Andrei

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Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« on: January 07, 2018, 06:30:16 AM »
So many services, so little time... and most importantly, so little capital/patience to test them all :)

I have to say that when it comes to book marketing services, it's a jungle out there and unfortunately, it seems that for every service which at least "kinda, sorta" works, there are a gazillion which, well... don't.

I think it would be a good idea to have an official(ish) thread dedicated exclusively to book marketing service recommendations. In other words, a thread in which people recommend:

1) service providers which have a great reputation (for example, people who have a decent verifiable track record here on KB)

2) service providers you have personally tested and can vouch for

Unfortunately, I don't have much to offer in the way of #2 but when it comes to #1, I have at least one person in mind.

If possible, let's try to stick to a format when making recommendations. Something simple should be more than enough:

1) Name/username

2) Service type

3) Link

4) Comments

I'll go ahead and break the ice:

Quote
1) Name/username: raminar_dixon

2) Service type: promo site stacking

3) Link: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,248239

4) Comments: impeccable reputation on KBoards, haven't found even *one* negative review about him. Submitting your book to tons of promo sites tends to be a royal pain in the you-know-what, so it's good to know there's someone who can do it for you in exchange for a fee I consider very reasonable


Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 06:31:40 AM »
One important remark: let's please limit ourselves to recommending *marketing* service providers. It's pretty easy to find a good cover designer, proofreader and so on. Unfortunately, the waters of the book marketing world tend to be quite murky (compared to most of the other book-related service types), so I think there's tons of value in a thread which focuses exclusively on this dimension.

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Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 10:42:29 PM »
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,248239.0.html

Heh... two people, two "votes" for Ram thus far it seems :)

Any other suggestions?

Facebook/AdWords/Amazon campaign managers, blog tour organizers, book launch services, author PR services and so on, looking forward to some decent brainstorming!

Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 02:30:05 AM »
Crickets :(

Ridiculously hard to find book marketing service providers with a proven track record.

Designers? Sure.

Editors? No problem.

But marketing service providers? Good luck with that I guess.

Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2018, 11:00:14 PM »
Here we are, almost two months later and I still haven't managed to come across a proven marketing service provider, other than Ram :(

C'est la vie...

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2018, 12:05:40 PM »
This is such a common subject. I know it's scattered, but a search should find threads. I don't use anything like this at the moment, so I can't tell you what I think works for me (which is basically all anyone can do). Some promo sites are better than others, or better for some genres. What works for one author is guaranteed to work for another.
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Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2018, 12:33:45 PM »
This is such a common subject. I know it's scattered, but a search should find threads. I don't use anything like this at the moment, so I can't tell you what I think works for me (which is basically all anyone can do). Some promo sites are better than others, or better for some genres. What works for one author is guaranteed to work for another.

This thread isn't about promo sites, there are indeed a gazillion of those :)

It's about people/companies that provide book marketing services such as managing PPC campaigns, PR services, blog tour organization and so on.


Online Marti talbott

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2018, 12:38:29 PM »
Why would you pay someone to do what you can do yourself?  I suspect most of us don't use marketing services, which is why you're not getting a lot of recommendations.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 05:11:37 PM by Martitalbott »
       
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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2018, 01:09:05 PM »
Why would you pay someone to do what you can do yourself?  I suspect most of us don't using marketing services, which is why you're not getting a lot of recommendations.
Well, that, and they're aren't many. Honestly, I fantasize about having someone to handle the advertising end for me, but no one is going to provide a comprehensive service, such as the OP is looking for, at a price the typical indie author could possibly afford. Ram's service is about the closest thing I've seen.


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Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2018, 01:42:53 PM »
Why would you pay someone to do what you can do yourself?

The ephemerality of life?

As a wise philosopher once said, ain't nobody got time for that :)

Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2018, 01:46:08 PM »
On a serious note, the likelihood of finding a "jack of all trades" service is low but it's a shame there aren't more decent specific marketing services. Like KB's go-to FB ads campaign manager, our go-to blog tour or interview organizer, you get the point.

Online C. Rysalis

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2018, 03:58:11 PM »
Crickets :(

Ridiculously hard to find book marketing service providers with a proven track record.

Ram's thread has quite a bit of feedback from legitimate authors in it, so there's your track record.

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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2018, 06:39:22 PM »
If you want full-service marketing, try Penny Sansevieri. She's been around for years and is a total professional.


Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2018, 12:45:00 AM »
Ram's thread has quite a bit of feedback from legitimate authors in it, so there's your track record.

Yep, I believe we've at least established that much in this thread :)

Now if only there was a Ram for interviews/podcasts. And a Ram for social media stuff like booking Reddit AMA opportunities for your launch week. And a Ram that organizes NL swaps on your behalf, etc.

If you want full-service marketing, try Penny Sansevieri. She's been around for years and is a total professional.

Thanks!

She seems like a great option for those who want a "marketing mastermind" who coordinates everything.

In my case, I'll be the mastermind but would LOVE to have a handful of go-to service providers to whom I can delegate specific tasks so I can focus more on writing.

For example, let's assume I'm close to finishing book #3. I would:

1) delegate the task of booking interview/podcast/collab opportunities to Person 1. He/she would reach out to third parties, coordinate schedules in each case and bam! I'd simply handle the actual content part (answering questions and what not) and once a launch date has been set, Person 1 would once again reach out to everyone and remind them to publish the interview/podcast/video we've done

2) delegate the task of organizing a contest and promoting it to Person 2. He/she would reach out to potential sponsors, figure out the logistics of it all and have a contest promotion plan ready, a plan he/she will execute during the big launch week

... these are two examples of things I really want to outsource right now.

Alright, it will then be time to actually launch the book and therefore:

3) I'd hire Person 3 to handle everything book promo-related. Fortunately, I have Ram for that, so yay!

4) I'd hire Person 4 to handle my PPC campaigns. Ram offers this for FB ads and more recently BB ads, would be great if I had a go-to person for AMS and, why not, even a few other PPC platforms

5) perhaps I'd also hire Person 5 to handle the PR dimension. Like for example if the results are very good and I make it to the top 100 on Amazon or a bestseller list, PR services could make the difference between 15 minutes of fame and... 30 :)

... you get the point.

This all sounds expensive, I realize this, but I really don't think we're in sf territory.

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2018, 04:55:15 AM »
The thing is, it doesn't pay someone of the caliber you desire to do this kind of work at the prices most indie authors can afford. You want expertise at the consultant/professional level, but do you want to pay a consultant's fee or the publicity agency's comprehensive fee?   

And what if you do go all in and hire existing PR pros, and the specific details don't pay off? It's an ever-changing market. This is why a lot of us choose to listen (free) at the feet of those who have succeeded, experiment with their tactics, and adopt the ones that work for our books, our budgets, and our personalities--this month. Next month, some of those very bright ideas won't work. Or maybe will be proven not to work for our specific books. Or whatever.

I suspect most indies don't have the cash available to hire a virtual assistant to do those tasks, even on a very limited basis. However, VAs are out there, many quite reasonably priced, and they are an alternative to DIY. But if you use a VA, you're not likely to get the selective areas of expertise you hope for--not at the piecework prices you hope to pay. 


 

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2018, 07:45:09 AM »
What LilyBLily said.

It takes $$$ just to test AMS, BB CPMs, and FB ads to find the stuff that works. And what works now may not work in June. So you're talking paying a marketing manager (or two or three) on top of the $$$ for testing.

I've helped a few folk outside of those who were members of our micropress. And I've turned down many more. The folk I've worked with all already had solid catalogs and good sales. Most of them were looking to launch their catalogs into Select, something I felt I could actually help with. I could also help them optimize the sales base they already had. But that's not something I could do *price effectively* for someone with few books and sales. The ROI for the author just wouldn't be there.

I turned down several requests by one author over many months while they were wide, and only agreed to help them when they decided to launch into Select. But there are many managers out there who take on clients indiscriminately, without regard to what they can actually do for the author or how effective their efforts might be.

I can tell you that some of the bigger, non-scammy authors are using managers who don't advertise their services. And those managers I know are handling anything from the launch of one book to the whole shebang. And they have very, very few clients at one time so they can effectively handle the books/catalogs they're responsible for.

Funny thing, too, the managers I know who are truly effective at what they do -- and without relying on scam tactics -- actually charge LESS than some of the 'name' managers out there who run marketing 'shops' and/or incentivize their own audiences to market to.

If you want someone to just implement your own plan, then hire a good VA. That will generally be cheaper than hiring someone who also strategizes. Most strategists will just outsource any work that's nothing more than subbing books to ad sites, so you'll be paying for their pass-through time plus their VA's time.

Also, there's a BIG difference between hiring a marketing manager for a non-fiction book or catalog and a fiction one. With references to PR, I'm betting Andrei is talking non-fiction. I think any conversations in this thread must also include whether a commentor is talking about a manager who handles fiction or one who handles non-fiction.

(Please note: I'm not soliciting business. I'm not going to rec any managers. Please don't ask.)

Online Anarchist

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2018, 08:16:12 AM »
The thing is, it doesn't pay someone of the caliber you desire to do this kind of work at the prices most indie authors can afford.

Nailed it.

Eventually, I think we'll see micro agencies handle ad-related chores for successful authors. But I'm talking Bella and Riddle success, where the spend would rise to $30,000+ per month.

Everyone else will do it themselves or hire virtual assistants. Same goes for other tasks, such as organizing contests, outreach for interviews, etc.

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Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2018, 12:34:40 AM »
Also, there's a BIG difference between hiring a marketing manager for a non-fiction book or catalog and a fiction one. With references to PR, I'm betting Andrei is talking non-fiction. I think any conversations in this thread must also include whether a commentor is talking about a manager who handles fiction or one who handles non-fiction.

Yep, non-fiction in my case.

The VA argument makes perfect sense if you only want to outsource simple stuff but for things that require experience (!!!) like managing PPC campaigns, it would be risky or even reckless to work with someone who isn't a professional. For example, I've been among the first to test Facebook's self-serve ad platform back in the day. It was great at the very beginning, with traffic being ridiculously cheap compared to the present. Nowadays however, FB is a totally different beast and needless to say, I'm rusty... to put it mildly :(

Someone who *only* does FB ads is light years ahead of me and I don't know, such a person might be able to offer FB ad management services at a rate that won't break the bank.

Why? Because when you have enough experience under your belt, you can achieve more in one hour than what yours truly can do after an entire day of planning/brainstorming. I don't necessarily agree that professional FB ad management is something only rock star authors should have access to.

A few years ago, I used to run a small Web hosting business. I outsourced simple (called Level1 and Level2) support requests to a company from India and used to handle complicated stuff (Level3) myself. However, on two occasions, it was clear to me that I just wasn't good/experienced enough to tackle a certain issue, so I hired some very good consultants, who charged $100 per hour.

It literally only took them an hour to figure out the issue was RAM incompatibility and contact my datacenter. The datacenter took it from there and even gave me a free upgrade for my trouble.

The result?

I paid a hundred bucks, got my problem fixed in an hour and a free upgrade on top of that (the upgrade alone was worth more btw).

This was after banging my head against the wall all night, with practically nothing to show for it.

What I'm trying to say is that even if a professional charges an amount you consider high per hour, it's still more than worth it and downright affordable after drawing the line in a lot of cases.

It would be nice if a few months or even years from now, KB had its go-to FB ads manager, its go-to AMS ads manager, its go-to AdWords manager and so on.

Right now, Ram offers FB ad management and I'm going to use his services later this year.

I've noticed that recently, the people behind buckbooks (not 100% sure though) launched a service for AMS. BookAds.co if I'm not mistaken, there has been a thread about them recently. We'll see how that goes.

I genuinely believe there's a ton of untapped potential when it comes to book marketing services.

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2018, 03:01:10 AM »
Now if only there was a Ram for interviews/podcasts. And a Ram for social media stuff like booking Reddit AMA opportunities for your launch week. And a Ram that organizes NL swaps on your behalf, etc.

A good virtual assistant can handle all of this. They don't post here all that often, but I worked with Rachel Silberman for a while (before taking a long break from publishing anything) and she's super good for all the social media stuff. She can even get a book reviewed by Booktubers. http://www.rachelsilberman.com/

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Offline raminar_dixon

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2018, 08:54:00 AM »
You guys Beetlejuiced me into this thread, lol

The thing is, it doesn't pay someone of the caliber you desire to do this kind of work at the prices most indie authors can afford.

This, pretty much. If I did "nearly everything", most people would not be able to afford me because I'd have to spend and huge amount of time doing various things as a consultant, publicity person, marketer, etc.

So, that's why I offer the service I do. It removes a huge chunk of work for my clients and doesn't cost much more than doing it themselves.


Offline Andrei

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2018, 01:31:17 AM »
A good virtual assistant can handle all of this. They don't post here all that often, but I worked with Rachel Silberman for a while (before taking a long break from publishing anything) and she's super good for all the social media stuff. She can even get a book reviewed by Booktubers. http://www.rachelsilberman.com/

Might shoot her an email to see if she can help with my contest or interviews/collabs, thanks!

So, that's why I offer the service I do. It removes a huge chunk of work for my clients and doesn't cost much more than doing it themselves.

Exactly!

If you offer one thing but do it right and in a scalable/sustainable manner, I genuinely believe it's possible to offer win-win services at prices which don't break the bank.

The name of the game here isn't finding a "guru" that you just give money to and then sit back and relax as he turns you into a famous gazillionaire author overnight. What authors should (IMO) try to do is delegate as many tasks as they can to proven service providers so that they can focus on what they do best, on writing awesome books! We sometimes spend so much time working on our websites, marketing campaigns, partnerships and what not that this "writing thingy" that we're supposed to be actually channeling our energy toward seems like a distant memory :)

Online wearywanderer64

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2018, 02:34:46 AM »
I hope you don't mind me asking, but why do you only promote those in Select? What are its advantages as opposed to going wide?
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Online PhoenixS

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2018, 07:14:34 AM »
I hope you don't mind me asking, but why do you only promote those in Select? What are its advantages as opposed to going wide?

I think this is directed to me?

KU is a specific market with its own marketing profile. The overall marketing strategy is different from a wide strategy, even though most of the tactics are the same -- it's how you use the tactics and the timing of them. The goal is different as well, since borrows figure heavily in the goal. And the author mindset is very different. The focus of the strategy and the goal of KU marketing are fairly antithetical to wide marketing. For some authors making 5-figures a month wide, it takes a huge leap of faith to dive into KU marketing. At least the way I do it. ;)

The advantage -- for previously wide authors who are already doing fairly well and who have solid catalogs -- is the KU bonus on top of the borrows/reads. In its most basic form, KU is simply a new and separate author market for the tapping.

Online wearywanderer64

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Re: Recommend a Book Marketing Service Provider
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2018, 02:42:51 AM »
I think this is directed to me?

KU is a specific market with its own marketing profile. The overall marketing strategy is different from a wide strategy, even though most of the tactics are the same -- it's how you use the tactics and the timing of them. The goal is different as well, since borrows figure heavily in the goal. And the author mindset is very different. The focus of the strategy and the goal of KU marketing are fairly antithetical to wide marketing. For some authors making 5-figures a month wide, it takes a huge leap of faith to dive into KU marketing. At least the way I do it. ;)

The advantage -- for previously wide authors who are already doing fairly well and who have solid catalogs -- is the KU bonus on top of the borrows/reads. In its most basic form, KU is simply a new and separate author market for the tapping.

Thanks for that info. I'll need to think about it in future.
amazon.com/images/I/51F2mQ5fyyL._SL125_.jpg[/img][/url]

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