Trust takes a long time to gain and a second to lose.
I know-I've been burned. Thankfully, I turned to the Internet and Googled myself silly. While on the world wide web (www), I discovered there are so many of us that are supportive and in the same boat.
What a wonderful feeling to belong in a community of caring people.
Unfortunately, there are those who have not been so lucky. They've become a victim of a scammer. Some have lost thousands of dollars and had their dreams to publish and sell their ‘baby' crushed.
In my prior profession, I was often accused as being too compassionate. Yes, I took my work home with me, and I let the sorrow of others absorb through my skin and sink deep into my veins. I felt compelled to defend my friends. As a teacher, I wanted to take so many of those students home with me...those that I knew were going back to a home that wasn't a good place for them. Gosh, it's sad...
Today, I feel the same. I want to help defend my fellow writers. An invisible force is pulling me forward to warn you about the sharks swarming just above your head and ready to dive in for the kill.
So you've decided that you'd rather write and leave the business to someone who has the time, knowledge, and ability to promote you and your books. I cannot say I blame you. Promoting is a full time job. And if you're anything like me, having trouble shifting from the art or craft of writing (which is produced from the one hemisphere of the brain) to the business of selling (on the other hemisphere of the brain), you may not have any other choice. Either you'll have to hire someone or you'll have stop writing and begin this new avenue.
Before you decide on hiring anyone to provide promotional services of any kind, do your homework. Ask for referrals from past clients of the business. Watch for any false phrases.
Do not be fresh bait for these phrases:
"We can guarantee book sales" - No one can guarantee to sell your book. There are too many other variables that determine success. Too many circumstances that can erupt and are out of the marketer's control.
Example: Today's dictating market to favorite genres. Romance is a huge selling genre; where as, western is in a slight slump.
Example: A completed product or manuscript is subjective in the eyes of others. Are you writing in favor to the majority of an audience? Remember, what you like doesn't dictate what everyone else does. Even a title can sometimes make or break a few sales.
Example: The economic crash or boom can cause market fluctuations.
Fact: Creating an author platform, targeting the right audience, building relationships with readers, generating traffic to the site where your book is sold, will increase the chances of the successful sale of your book-but there are still no guarantees in regards to book sales, and no promotional manager or marketer should ever state as such.
"We can get you into the top search engines" - Again, this is a false statement. There are too many active crawlers that constantly hoist new material up and down within seconds.
Fact: Establishing internal and external links will activate webcrawlers to raise your ranks in the search engines, but to state that you and your books will be placed at the top is highly unlikely. Even if you are at the top, you will only be there for a second and then the shift continues.
"We can get you media exposure now" - Wrong...Promotion takes time. Building a platform takes time. There's too much competition out there. A promotional manager has to create an author profile that stands out from the rest, draws attention from the viewers, establish a trusting relationship with the followers, then navigate the fans to the purchase button. Believe me...this does not happen over night. Marketing takes dedication and total commitment from an honest person. Selling the book takes a lot of hard work and even a little luck.
No matter how good something sounds, take a step back and a deep breath. Take time to research and inquire.
Conquer all obstacles and scare away the predators by not supplying them with the bait. Sharks will not stick around if there's no food to eat.
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