I received the following unsolicited email from a publicity firm last week. I posted this in "Ask the Editor" and have pasted it here, too, for a few reasons (see below):
Contrary to popular opinion we have found that with the right angle and publicist the media is interested in new, self-published, and niche authors. Our team has proof and would like to help your authors more effectively reach their target audience, and achieve sault after media coverage at our affordable price. We would like to team up with your publishing company by offering your authors a generous publishers discount on our services.
The Spotlight Publicity team had been working exclusively with one major self-publishing company in the U.S., now that our exclusivity contract has expired; we have established our own business and services that are now available to all authors. We’ve created and implemented highly successful publicity services through our experience as publicists, as can be seen in our company press kit. Please contact us if you're interested in discussing this opportunity and receiving our press kit for further consideration. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
We look forward to speaking with you!
1. Publicity agents need to have an impeccable presentation, which includes (at the very least) good grammar and spelling skills. See for yourself what this company offers.
2. This company's web site won't release the names of any of its clients, citing their clients' privacy. Since the whole reason for a publicity agent's existence is to get clients' names and books out there, this is a huge red flag.
3. Their fees are very high for what they offer. A good publicist may well charge up to $5,000 per book launch, but this company offers a 15-week publicity "package" for what will amount to sending out review copies and press kits. You can do this yourself, if you're a self-published author, and you can subscribe to Bacon's Media Service for a few thousand dollars a year and save the middleman.
4. If you are a traditionally published author, your publisher should work with you on a publicity plan that takes into account both their marketing/publicity budget and your promotional skills and ideas: it should never be all up to you, and it will never be all up to your publisher. But hiring a publicist such as the company that solicited me just doesn't make sense, and it really irritated me to receive such a rotten pitch.