Alright, this post is probably gonna be long.
I've had zero success with online marketing. All sales I've achieved have been through direct in the street contact(where you can wow someone that they are talking to a real published author-and for those snobs in the lit world, the average person on the street can't tell the difference or even knows there is such a thing as self-publishing).
So, of course, I've done loads of research on marketing. I can't afford some PR firm(sometimes I can't afford lunch these days) so here is my analysis of the whole marketing thing.
Most marketing PR firms don't really know what they are doing!
This is probably a statement that will get me in trouble down the line but here is what I read over and over again. When marketing your book, the author has to do much of the PR. The author should not rely on his marketing team(whether self-hired or through a publishing houses team) to get the word out there.
I've been quoted by PR firms prices of $2,000 to $7,000 a month with a six month minimum and they can't guarantee anything? I have to do the work? Why would I pay someone almost fifty grand if they don't know how to get word of the book out there.
Now of course I would be happy to go on all the interviews and anything else the marketing team sets up but lets be frank. There is no way any amount of money can guarantee any sales will occur. Thats why there are multi-million dollar bombs at the box office and books that flub when released.
So, if there is no guarantee of making any book sell, then how can anyone give advice?
Let me rephrase that last question.
The method for fixing an auto transmission has certain steps for optimum efficiency. Do it right, and most of the time, the transmission will be fixed.
The method for marketing a book guarantee's nothing. If a book marketing firm cannot guarantee sales, then why would I pay them? I'm happy to pay the auto mechanic. He can guarantee the transmission will be fixed or my money back. The marketer just chalks it up to the fickleness of the buying public and keeps your money.
They're like weathermen. When they're wrong, they get to keep their jobs and just blame unseen forces(how many people trust weathermen?)
And the advice they do give sounds very suspect. Most of them are talking about social platforms. I have to become friends with everyone in the world to make a sale. Yeah, right! Social networking has limited to zero success. That will be my next post cause the whole Myspace, Twitter, Facebook crap really pisses me off.
Has anyone ever sold any large amounts of books off any of those platforms by being people's friends(and they aren't already a celebrity so Tila Tequila doesn't count, Paris Hilton doesn't count, Stephen King doesn't count, you get the idea)?
Bottom line is this. A publishing company makes a huge hit like Harry Potter. Okay, so every book they publish should be a hit, right? After all, they've proven they know how to publish and market successes.
Except they cannot guarantee their next book will be a hit. They just got lucky. Even if they do every single thing the same as on Harry Potter the next book series might be a failure.
Which means no one really knows what they are doing. No one can guarantee any success, no matter how much money is spent. Which means most marketing firms really don't know what they are doing. They're just getting lucky with content and have the money to weather the failures.
So, thats my point.
Anyway, till next post.