Saturday, June 07, 2008

Sheesh, You Could Go Broke Promoting a Book

In my quest to find book reviewers, I've stumbled across lots of interesting sites this week. Some of them will not only review your book, for a fee, but they'll post the review on bookselling websites. Other promotion sites offer to write press releases, design banners, arrange for you to guest host on others' blogs and all sorts of good stuff.

Don't get me wrong, these are great services and I plan to use some of them, much like our own Linda Merlino is doing now, but in the span of about five days, I've been quoted $400 at one place, $699 (for one year) at another, plus $55.95 at the third, and $240 at the fourth. By my calculations, that's $1,394.95 I could have spent on promotion without actually leaving my keyboard. Yikes! Needless to say, I'll have to pick and choose options carefully, and even then it won't guarantee sales.

At a writing conference five years ago, the instructor told us about a midlist author who decided he didn't have to promote his latest book. I guess he thought his earlier books were succesful enough. Well, the new book tanked and, months later, he wound up spending $70,000 of his own money on marketing and promotion to save it. The book still tanked. Apparently, he'd missed his big chance and, no, I don't know who the author is.

The newspaper article that I thought would arrive this week, hasn't appeared yet. So I'm still on pins and needles, wondering if I said something really stupid during our rapid-fire, ten minute phone chat.

FATAL ENCRYPTION is available at

Excerpts can be read at


Karen Harrington said...


Oh, how I feel a sister-hood to what you've written here. It is a big gamble, any way you go about it. I've thought about the money spent to make a splash in the book world only to later consider what those funds would have done if I'd used them just to purchase my own book. :) Who knows the formula? But, we love to write. What can we do? After months of promotion, I find a return to working on my next piece is the balm for the bruises of promotional worry.

Much success to you and thanks for sharing your story,


Linda Merlino said...

Debra... all I can say!!! The cash is flowing out faster than it comes in, but yes, we love to write and we'll write for peanuts and cotton candy too.

Thanks for the nod, and sharing...

Linda Merlino