Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Truth in advertising part 3


It’s that time of year again. As always everything stated on this blog is solely my opinion, based on personal experiences with each company/individual. Since it is never my intention to bash anyone or damage the reputation of anyone involved, I welcome non-confrontational discussion. Please share your opinions and experiences in the comment section. Sharing is caring after all. Plus, with my books, I employ an editor. She should follow me around everywhere I go, but she doesn’t, so please excuse any bad grammar, punctuation, etc. Here we go…

Tour companies:
I did several tours over the past year. Since there’re so many, I’m sticking with what worked. As you know, authors are poor and low on time so once I found someone I loved, I stuck with them.

As I said, I did several. Those are the companies that worked.

Advertising:
I did SO much advertising this past year I couldn’t possibly remember everyone. However, I do remember what worked, some of what didn’t, and who pissed me off. Sometimes, when it comes to buying ad space, the person I deal with matters to me almost as much as the results. If someone is rude, snippy, or generally treats me like I should feel honored they’re taking an ass-ton of my money, I remember that. I’m actually a little late doing this post for the year because I couldn’t decide if I would. After last year’s post, I received an ugly email or two from some companies who didn’t like what I had to say, but here’s the thing, I can’t be kept down. Here it goes…

ENT—In the past, I’ve always praised Ereader News Today. Since they’ve changed the way they charge, not so much. Before the price change, I think $30 was the most I ever paid for an ad. Now, I have to pay $40 and it didn’t come ANYwhere near paying for itself. Lost my ass.

Booktastik—For $10, it’s worth it.

My Romance Reads—A little on the pricey side, but they’re always nice and I always make my money back. They won’t advertise my LGBT titles, which hurts my heart, but they might change their policy one of these days.

LiteraryAddicts—this is a group, but they have a quarterly party where the site will pimp the heck out of your book. It works better if your book is on sale. Also, you have to request membership, but once you’re approved, you can pay to join the party. It’s worth it.

The Midlist—If I had it to do all over again, I would never pay for their banner creation/ad. In the end, I broke even, but I think I would’ve done just as good without that extra. Plus, since they’ve never approve me for another ad since, I would rather have my money than another submission process that’s just a waste of my time. I really don’t like having my time wasted.

Freebooksy—LOVE Freebooksy. It’s expensive, but if you know how to use free books to your advantage, get this one.

Bargainbooksy—Not as effective as their counterpart, but I did see a small boost.

Read Freely-- Free advertising is always awesome, especially when it works. 


Booksends/EreaderIQ—Okay, here’s one of the companies that did not make me happy. Booksends was fine and I’d advertise with them again, but never, EVER will I add the bonus Ereader IQ feature again, because they did something I found to be a bit shady. As promised they sent my links out in their newsletter, but my cover didn’t show up in their list posted to their FB page or on their website (that I could find). When I contacted them about it, I was informed my book was hidden behind safe search (which I couldn’t find at all, so I’m going to assume readers couldn’t either) for adult content. Okay, I can’t believe I’m the first steamy romance book they’ve ever advertised, but that shit isn’t posted anywhere on their page. At least, it wasn’t before I wrote this post, and I hardly think it’s fair that I should have to pay the same as everyone else if they’re going to hide my book. As a matter of point, they won’t see my money again because of it. Not only am I angry over being censored, it was a paranormal romance so there was no sense in hiding it at all. **rant over**

Story Cartel—This one, this one right here, I have to stop myself from telling everyone within screaming distance that they flat-out took my money and ran. I went through the application process, paid my fee, and then was denied because of sexual content. They offered to refund my money and then never did!! I’ve emailed them at least 3 times about it. Nothing. Nada. Totally ignoring me and keeping my money. Seriously? If you steal my money I’ll tell everyone. Use caution when dealing with these folks. **AMENDMENT** A week later, they finally refunded my money.

BKnights—This is a Fiverr deal, and I always make my money back.

Reading Alley—This is a new site set up a bit like NetGalley. You pay a fee to have your book listed and you approve review requests. It’s WAY cheaper than Netgalley, and your books stay up for review for much longer. So far, I’ve been very pleased with it. Oh, and they have precautions in place to do everything possible to keep your book from getting pirated.

The Books Machine—Total waste. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I paid for a month of service, I’ve been there for half that, and not one single bite.

Steamy RomanceReads—This is a site where you pay to have your book listed for a year at a time. The week my book went live, it paid for itself so I’m happy.

WTRAFSOG Facebookpage—Always a good way to get free advertising.

EBooks Rock Facebook page—Same here. It’s free. Just post and follow the rules.

BTS Magazine—this is a gorgeous and fun way to get exposure. As far as seeing sales, I don’t know. It’s more of a long-term, professional ad type thing. I’ve done it a few times and I’m always pleased with the results. In my opinion, it’s pretty affordable for such an awesome ad.

Services:
This is a new thing I’m adding this year, because I want people to have options. If you want your book to sell, there are some professional things you need to do. Number one, always have an editor. Number two, formats! Number three, a great cover. So here are some people who can help your book be its best—

Editors:

Formatter:

Book Cover design:

Personal Assistants

Street Team management

**as a side note** If you’re a romance author, I highly recommend joining the RWA. Once there, it’s a good idea to find a chapter to call your own. Since I’m all about the steamy bits, I belong to Passionate Ink. It’s an awesome group of writers.


 I'm sure I missed a ton of things. Please chime in with your thoughts and experiences. If you don't see someone listed here, but would like my opinion, just ask. Chances are good I've tried them and forgotten them. 



20 comments:

  1. Thanks CP. I'm up for Book Sends next week for my new and first novel. Just for clarity, it worked but dont get the extra right? and how often do you use personal assistants?

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    1. BookSends worked great. I just wouldn't recommend adding the Ereader IQ option. If I could afford one, I'd pay my PA to stay with me all the time, but for now, she works from month to month as my sales figures allow.

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    2. Okay i didn't get that. What is the typical rate for PAs? and you endorse free book promos?

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    3. Some PAs are hourly and some work from month to month. It can be anywhere from $55 for two hours to $500 a month. It really depends on what you need and where you are in your career. I do believe free books can work, especially for older titles and first in a series.

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    4. Charity, what sort of things does your PA handle for you? I need to be someone's paid PA.

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    5. She contacts bloggers and requests reviews and interviews for me. She also visits different blog pages on FB and pimps my books, street team or whatever they allow. She's pretty amazing.

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  2. Thanks Charity! This is a really useful piece.

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    1. You're very welcome. I hope it helps in some small way. :-D

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  3. Charity,

    This is very useful! I appreciate honest reviews of services since I can't waste my money!

    Diane

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I'm always happy to help. Thanks for checking it out.

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  4. Good stuff Charity! I know this took a long time to put together, but such a great post. Thanks for sharing :) <3

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    1. I hope it helps. Thank you for stopping by <3

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  5. This is really great information for a relatively new erotica/romance author. THANK you so much!

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    1. You're very welcome. I hope you find some great advertising and save some money. I appreciate you checking it out. <3

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  6. Great info. Thank you. I tried Reading Alley, but only got two reviews out of it. I wouldn't do it again.

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    1. Thanks! I've gotten around 6 reviews from Reading Alley, but they've posted them on Amazon, and that means a lot to me. Plus, one of them ended up featured in The Romance Reviews newsletter. That made me very happy. Since it's so new, I think it will take it a few more months to grow. Hopefully, it'll end up being an awesome place for authors. I should note, I've never tried NetGalley, but I'm considering it.

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  7. Brilliant information and you've given me a lot to think about - thanks for sharing! Digital Book Today is a good one for advertising. I think I paid $30 for the add, but they got me just shy of the kindle top 100 - with the help of https://bookmarketingtools.com/submission-tool-features :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the tip. I think I tried Digital Book Today a long time ago. Sounds like I need to give them a second look.

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