When are you going to expand the marketing programs offered at SelfPublishing.com? – The one area that runs a very close second place to the whole Vanity Press scam when it comes to “smoke and mirrors,” is book marketing for the self publisher. Offering printing is easy… it’s something tangible where you end up with a set number of books in your closet or garage, printed to a specific set of specifications. For lack of a better word, it is a commodity. It gets a little fuzzier with editorial and design. I have written numerous articles on the wide price range of cover design and layout. I usually end up with a bunch of hate mail from overpriced designers trying to convince me that their $2000 design is infinitely superior to one of my $250 ones, or my $149 hybrid for that matter. I’ve been around self publishing 40 years and have seen many great books go nowhere and mediocre books sell thousands of copies. These successes or failures had nothing to do with spending thousands of dollars on design. (Homemade do-it- yourself covers… no, but spending over $500 for a cover… also no.)
Editorial is similar in that it is very difficult to quantify the quality of an edit. A Mechanical Edit vs. a Comprehensive Edit…. An editor with a college degree and a few years experience vs. an editor with 30 years experience. After all these years and debates with dozens of editors, I still don’t have a real clear picture. Most people judge the quality of the edit by how many typos that were found in the final product. While that is an important component, it’s just a small part of the editing process. With my own company, I feel that we offer an affordable product that I can offer people with no apprehension as long as they understand what they are buying going into the process. Over the course of many years and thousands of titles, I have received very few complaints involving the quality of my editorial, design, or printing services, which tends to confirm my assumptions and allows me to sleep well at night.
Marketing was always the next logical area for me to expand. My background was in sales. In fact I have worked most of my life on a straight commission basis. The concept is pretty easy… sell a lot… make a lot… sell nothing… make nothing. In my mind, in a perfect world, everyone would be paid on straight commission. It builds character. Those in my office know that I am a little grumpy on check writing day. I guess the capitalist part of me likes making deposits more than making withdraws. The one exception to this is commission check day. I could write commission checks all day long. I love it. Just like “…. the smell of napalm in the morning”… it represents “victory”. In writing a commission check, I am quite certain that no matter how large the check is that I write, I made more. The more commission I pay to others, the more I make.
On the surface, offering sales and marketing programs for self publishers seemed easy. XYX program costs X… How many books can I expect to sell as a result of spending X? Well…. I guess I didn’t spend enough time in school or something but I have asked that simple question to literally hundreds of book marketing “experts” and always end of with the same answer….. a few long pauses followed by a bit of a hat dance, followed by a non answer.
I would never sell something that I wouldn’t buy myself. That is a pretty good code that has served me well over the years. With this in mind, I would always use my own book,Publishing Basics – Navigating the Self Publishing Minefield, as the guinea pig to test any new “marketing” idea prior to offering it to someone else. Well, I could write a book on the number of marketing services that I prescreened and tested, only to find that they were equivalent of using my money to start the fire at night. And I’m not talking about people I found sharing a small booth in the back of some obscure trade show in the “hinterlands”. I don’t need to name names because in 15 years, while I have met plenty of nice people, I have yet to meet anyone I would give more than $500 to and with 99 out of 100 of them, I’d be wasting the $500. Whew…. Sorry to get so negative but, I’ve been holding that one back for a while. First off, there is not one in a hundred self publishers who think there is any difference between sales and marketing. They are thought of as one in the same… sales. How many books am I going to sell? Problem is that 99 out of 100 programs out there have nothing to do with selling books. Or at least not selling books with the confidence to say, “if you don’t sell books, I don’t get paid”. The only company that I have seen do this is my own company, with its Thor POD program. There is a set up fee involved but that entire fee is collected from actual sales of the book. No sales, no fee. Is that crazy from a business standpoint? I don’t think so. I have enough confidence in my program and in you, the self publisher, to front the money for the program with no guarantee of ever getting paid back. I know the program works and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.
The other successful program that I can guarantee you will get your money’s worth is buying a copy of John Kremer’s – 1001 Ways to Market Your Book. I don’t know about 1001 ways but I guarantee that there are enough good ideas to earn back the $25 that the book costs.
In theory, that is all you need. The reality is that most people need a little more which is what led to the development of our latest program, the Book Marketing Coach. The idea behind this program came from 15 years of watching my son play sports. The coach is there to help the player develop and to help them achieve their potential. The coach doesn’t actually do the push-ups or run the laps or catch the pass. The coach coaches.
The Book Marketing Coach service is simple. For under $500, you will be assigned a coach. This coach is a mentor to help you achieve your book marketing goals.
WHAT’S INCLUDED in the program:
- An intensive three-month, start-to-finish process with a Book Marketing Coach;
- Individualized consultation about the book product, goals, successes and challenges;
- Feedback and suggestions to focus the author’s attention on best practices for success; and,
- A personalized set of marketing practices and directions to act as the author’s marketing play book.
- PLUS: Opportunities to build confidence and share ideas with other authors and small publishers.
- AND: Check-ins with your Book Marketing Coach to discuss results and next steps.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED in the program:
Like any good coach, our Book Marketing Coach directs from the sidelines. Your Coach will identify the best ways to promote your book to your specific audiences, and suggest specific tasks to help you confidently increase your marketing efforts to grow your sales.
The primary purpose of the Book Marketing Coach is to infuse a steady stream of energy and creativity into your marketing efforts, whether your book’s approaching the starting gate or has been available for some time.
For those who want to jumpstart their program, for an additional $400, they can receive An in-depth report prepared by a professional book marketing analyst to serve as a marketing roadmap.
As with all other services offered by SelfPublishing.com the Marketing Coach Service is only being offered to self publishers who printed their titles with selfpublishing.com. The Self Publishing GuaranteeAs with other “marketing” services offered here and there on the Internet there is no guarantee of the sale of a specific number of books but I am confident enough in the value of the service to make you this promise. If you are not happy with the service, you can cancel anytime within the first 30 days and get your full $495 refunded.You think you could use our help? Give Phil Whitmarsh a call today at 212-584-5464 or email email@example.com