AW Amazon Store

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.


 

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: [Promotion] AuthorBuzz / "Buzz Your Book" Course (M.J. Rose)

  1. #1
    slanted and enchanted erinbee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    483

    Question [Promotion] AuthorBuzz / "Buzz Your Book" Course (M.J. Rose)

    Howdy all,

    Just wondering if any of you have taken MJ Rose's Buzz Your Book course or have heard anything about it: http://mjroseblog.typepad.com/buzz_b...gn-up-now.html

    I'm gearing up to promote my (commercially published with a big house) book, and am not sure I'll be able to afford a traditional publicist to enhance my house's efforts. I'm wondering if this will be a good investment. If it works, it seems like $745 will seem like nothin'. If it doesn't....that's nearly $1000 I could easily use elsewhere. Also, maybe I'm jaded by too many people preying on sensitive author egos, but I find that I'm a bit turned off by the format MJ has used to promote her own course (i.e. I'd rather see what people's results were than their glowing comments).

    Also, I'm aware that MJ is a self-publishing-to-commercial-pub superstar, but does that really translate to weight in commercial book promo?

    Thoughts, warnings, insights, naysayers, or encouragement, anyone?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by erinbee; 09-10-2009 at 06:50 AM. Reason: edited cost typo


    THE H3ROINE'S B00KSH3LF! Hardcover from Harper, paperback from Harper Perennial.

    More about the book | More about me | Facebook | Twitter

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW para's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    442
    Honestly I think it's a waste of money. If your publishing house is doing publicity how will you be able to tell if your attempts are having any effect? MJ Rose has a pdf book called Buzz your Book: http://www.amazon.com/Buzz-Your-Book.../dp/B00005U4U9
    I would think that it would be better value for money to read books on marketing from the library or even buy a few. You'd still have some change from $800 to spend on doing actual publicity (bookmarks, ads, booktrailers, comps, facebook, twitter etc) rather than learning how to do publicity. ymmv.


  3. #3
    Doesn't an actual commercial publisher market the books for you? Especially if they're a big house? <feeling confused>

  4. #4
    slanted and enchanted erinbee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    483
    EgyptianGoddess, they absolutely do, but budgets are tight and my book will be competing with over 500 others in my publisher's catalog alone. Nowadays it's almost expected that you'll help with the promo on your own book, if not bring in an outside indie publicist to supplement your house's efforts.


    THE H3ROINE'S B00KSH3LF! Hardcover from Harper, paperback from Harper Perennial.

    More about the book | More about me | Facebook | Twitter

  5. #5
    What happened? ChristineR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan. Downtown. Near the University, and the first Borders
    Posts
    1,307
    It's hard for me to believe that a week long course can give you the skills to promote a book better than a publisher's publicity department, who presumably has contacts and resources you never will. But if you really think it would help, ask your editor what s/he thinks.

    Before you sign up, ask for the names of books that were promoted as a result of the course--they had better be books you've heard of, too.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2
    Hi All...
    A member suggested I come here and explain about my class.

    First it's not one week!!! - its six weeks!!! And its all one on one - that means brainstorms and working with each author uniquely since each book is unique. The class cuts off at 25 students. And we only do it once a year since its so intensive. It includes a week long access to head of St. Martins Publicity and Marketing dept, Matt Baldacci. And its not $795 - is $745.

    As to is it worth it? You should read what authors who have taken the class think. And not just authors - publicists/marketing people from Simon & Schuster and McCadam Cage and HCI publishing have taken the class.

    Here's what people have said - scroll down here:

    http://www.bksp.org/content/view/141/2/

    It's not for everyone but it's a really intense workshop and those who take it say it takes about four to five hours a week each week at least and at the end of it you can set up marketing for yourself that people would charge you more than $4000 to set up for you.

    As to if you need do market your book yourself if you are with a NY publishing house - if you want to have a real career as an author you need to learn about this subject.

    Huge bestselling authors are supplement the houses marketing efforts to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is no good agent in the business now who will not recommend you spend part of your advance on extra marketing. There are debut authors who spend their whole five figure advance on marketing to establish themselves. I work with over 200 authors a year all from top houses who spend from $1000 to $30,0000 and up a year since the publishers aren't spending enough.

    85% of all books published by the top big commercial publishers get less than $2000 in marketing. To put that in perspective for you Dean Koontz gets over $2 million in marketing and it costs at least $250,000 to make a book a best seller.

    There are more article on this subject than I can link to but here are a few ones down below that are critical to read to understand the state of the market.

    As for my credentials. I was the creative director of a 150 million dollar NYC ad agency and did ads for everything from Mcdonald's to Opium perfume and have been teaching this class since 2000. I've been on the Today show, Fox news, CNN, NPR, profiled in the NYTimes, Time magazine and more. And over 200 people have taken this class. As I said it's not for everyone - which is fine since we only have room for two dozen authors -and I'm sure you can find students who didn't like it - but lots more who found it invaluable.

    Here are some recent links to read to understand the state of the industry:

    http://publishingperspectives.com/?p=5497
    http://publishingperspectives.com/?p=5259
    http://publishingperspectives.com/?p=5008
    http://publishingperspectives.com/?p=4599

  7. #7
    slanted and enchanted erinbee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    483
    Thanks for your swift response, MJ. I went ahead and corrected the dollar figure on my original post...sorry for the typo.

    Hope you don't mind if I pose a few questions for clarity's sake:

    Most of the authors on the page you pointed me to had books appear in 2007 or earlier. When was the last time you taught this class?

    Many of the quotes concern the confidence level and sense of excitement writers have after taking your class. What I don't see is information about the actual results of the course for your students. Do you have any more information to share?
    Last edited by erinbee; 09-10-2009 at 06:58 AM.


    THE H3ROINE'S B00KSH3LF! Hardcover from Harper, paperback from Harper Perennial.

    More about the book | More about me | Facebook | Twitter

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    106
    I've taken MJ's Buzz Your Book class, and for me, it was definitely worth it.

    My first novel published last fall in mass market paperback from Berkley. I had more than the usual inhouse support for a first-time author: my novel was one of three lead titles the month it published, and my publisher paid for a great deal of co-op, or front of store placement. This is HUGE, and probably the best thing a publisher can do for an author because it places the book prominently in stores where people can find it. My book was literally everywhere: front tables in bookstores, in airports, grocery stores, Wal-Marts, and drug stores all across the U.S. and Canada.

    Some authors might think that would have been enough. MJ's class taught me otherwise. Sure, people might buy my book if they happened across it in a bookstore. But they're much more likely to buy it if they've already heard of it, and that's where the Buzz Your Book class comes in. MJ taught me how to supplement my publisher's efforts by coming up with publicity ideas for my book that even they hadn't thought of.

    My novel sold well enough that this spring, my publisher bought a second novel from me on spec. It's impossible to know if my own publicity efforts made a difference, but my agent and I believe they did.

    I'm incredibly grateful to my publisher for all that they did, but the truth is, it's entirely possible that without the Buzz Your Book class, my first novel might not have sold so well, and there might not even be another book.

    The problem with ALL publicity, whether it's done by you, your publisher, or someone you hire, is that you can never quantify the results. I don't mean to disparage them, but independent publicists are a bit like doctors - they get paid whether they get results or not. And the sad truth is that inhouse publicists have so many authors assigned to them, they have very little time to devote to each book.

    My advice: take the class, but only if you're prepared to WORK. MJ will give you the tools, but tools aren't much good unless you use them. The real value of the class comes in what you do with what you've learned after you take it.

    I feel I got more mileage for my money by taking a class that taught me how to publicize my book creatively myself, than I did from the money I spent on publicists - in large part because I can take what I learned and apply it to subsequent books.

    And hey - a book coming out from HarperCollins is no small accomplishment. Congrats, Erinbee, and good luck!
    Last edited by Karen Dionne; 09-10-2009 at 06:20 PM.
    THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER - coming June 2017 from G.P. Putnam's Sons

    “Sensationally good” -- Lee Child
    “Gorgeously written ” -- Karin Slaughter
    “Powerfully told” -- Megan Abbott
    Author website

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2
    Sorry about the author page of comments not including last year's - I see above Karen has kindly weighed in. I'll write a few and ask them to comment and refresh the page. Hope I've answered everyone's questions - I'm at mjroseauthor@aol.com if anyone has any others.

  10. #10
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    25,566
    Here's what I say about promotion:

    If it worked any less well or less often no one would bother with it at all.

    Spend the $745 on groceries.

  11. #11
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    2,912
    I work in a chain bookstore in a fairly small town. Here are my personally observed data points:

    I've only ever seen two things have a large effect on any one book's sales figures in our store:
    1. it's featured on Oprah, and/or
    2. readers love it and spread the word

    I have seen mild effects (three or four people asking for a book) from media interviews and articles. The most effective one was an interview with a pro football player from the area's NFL team. That interview looped 24/7 on the local access channel for about a week. I could attribute about 20 sales directly to it, by what buyers said to me.

    Author signings of books published by non-major publishers, vanity publishers, or self-publishers usually generate between four and six books' worth of sales at our store. I can't provide information for book signings by authors with major commercial publishers, as we're too small a market to attract those.

    I have never seen any effect on sales attributable to posters, bookmarks, buttons, contests, or other promotional items/activities, even when these items are provided by major commercial publishers.

    I think the major film studios have pretty much proven with their extensive attempts to jump-start buzz, that so far no-one has figured out how to do it. If a marketing firm did figure out how to reliably jump-start buzz, I think they would be busy making millions working for the major film/book giants, not to mention the money to be made from political candidates and action groups.

    In other words, I agree with Uncle Jim. I don't think the odds are good that you're likely to see a profitable return on your tuition investment.
    Last edited by DreamWeaver; 09-11-2009 at 08:39 AM.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  12. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Somewhere between sanity and barking mad
    Posts
    1,622
    Quote Originally Posted by erinbee View Post
    am not sure I'll be able to afford a traditional publicist to enhance my house's efforts.
    Hi Erinbee. First off, congrats on your upcoming book. May you sell thousands. Before you go worrying about a publicist, it's important to define your promotion. Are you doing author events? If so, what kind? Bookstore signings? Seminars? Private talks?

    I don't know what your book is about, but I'll assume it's fiction. Publicists have a hard time with fiction, so you don't want to spend your money unwisely. It's important to have clear expectations of a publicist. Do you want them to get interviews in the media? Do you want to get reviews in the trade magazines? Are you looking for major speaking engagements? See, publicists have specialties; some are fabulous at getting trade magazine reviews, others have major media contacts. You need to be very specific and find a publicist who meets those needs.

    You need to be very clear in your mind why you want a publicist because they aren't miracle workers. There are no guarantees your sales will increase because of them. But if you're smart and organized and have a specific focus, you can work smart.

  13. #13
    slanted and enchanted erinbee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    483
    Thanks for your thoughtful responses, everyone.

    priceless1, my book is non-fiction.


    THE H3ROINE'S B00KSH3LF! Hardcover from Harper, paperback from Harper Perennial.

    More about the book | More about me | Facebook | Twitter

  14. #14
    Accordion Dreams Susan B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,210
    Erin--Your book looks wonderful, something I'd definitely read! Congratulations on being picked up by Harper Collins.

    I don't have experience with MJ Rose (know her by reputation only) but I do think it's important--and expected--to do whatever you can in the way of publicizing your book, even with a major publisher.

    I wish I'd been able to do more with my own first book, a Cajun music memoir, published in January by a reputable southern university press. They did well by me, but it's a totally different ballgame, with smaller presses, especially nonprofit ones. Smaller print runs, limited marketing money. They were a pleasure to work with and did play a significant role in getting me good exposure in my/their "niche market." I've had print reviews, one paid appearance in Louisiana that basically underwrote a small "tour," invitations to appear at book festivals, bookstore signings.

    I did spend some money on my own--not a lot, because my husband and I just weren't in a position to do that. I consulted several times by phone with an excellent book promotion expert, Bella Stander, and found the name of my web designer on her site.

    One person whose experience is relevant to yours (and who provided me with a real wake-up call) is someone I met on these forums, Doreen Orion. Her travel memoir Queen of the Road, published last year by Random House, has been a bestseller. Something like 5 printings in the first couple months. She put lots of time and lots of money into her own promo efforts, despite being with a "big house." You could look up some of her posts or check out her website. (She's the one who referred me to Bella Stander.)

    So if you have the money, it is worth it, I think. MJ Rose's class wasn't an option for me, but I wish it had been.

    Good luck!
    Accordion Dreams: A Journey into Cajun and Creole Music, University Press of Mississippi (January '09). Now available!

    Visit my author site!

    My revised 2008 NaNoWriMo novel, The Music Camp Murders (84,000 words) is now officially a trunk novel.

    Working on a memoir about ethnic roots, family secrets, and a famous writer who died under mysterious circumstances.


  15. #15
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Somewhere between sanity and barking mad
    Posts
    1,622
    Quote Originally Posted by erinbee View Post
    Thanks for your thoughtful responses, everyone.

    priceless1, my book is non-fiction.
    Then you have a lot more media open to you, and good meat for a publicist. But it still remains paramount to decide what kinds of promotion you want to do. All forms of media? Print? I've worked with some publicists whom I felt were a waste of money. However one of our authors is working with a fabulous publicist who opened a lot of wonderful doors for him and his book. Because of this guy, the book has garnered some great publicity in all forms of media. Just gotta choose wisely.

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW narnia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    under my bed
    Posts
    1,055
    I have attended MJ's presentations at multiple Thriller Fests, and I was always very impressed by them. The audience was likewise enthusiastic and the sessions were SRO every time I went. I thought her information was very good, and while I am not yet in a position to avail myself of her services, I intend to do so when I am ready.

    At the past two Thriller Fests it was stated over and over that an author must do what they can to help promote their books, and even more so in today's economic environment. If you can afford it, and it is anything like the presentations I attended, I would say go for it.

    Hi MJ, and welcome!

    Narnia

    You will be afraid!

    Lurking in the Castle at Cair Paravel

  17. #17
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Or New Babbage, Second Life!
    Posts
    7,172
    off the top of my head, I'd ask your editor AND the publishing house what to do.

    you don't want to cross wires with them if they have something already planned, and they might be able to point you to a good publicist or another resource.

    *shrugs*

  18. #18
    slanted and enchanted erinbee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    483
    E-mails have been duly sent to my agent and a friend of mine who is an ex book publicist. Keep the great feedback coming! I am truly grateful for all of your input, and for the congratulations. Since this is my debut, I'm feeling the pressure...both to produce and to avoid blatant newbie mistakes. If only!


    THE H3ROINE'S B00KSH3LF! Hardcover from Harper, paperback from Harper Perennial.

    More about the book | More about me | Facebook | Twitter

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW narnia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    under my bed
    Posts
    1,055
    If anyone is interested, here is a recent editorial by M.J. (courtesy of our September SinC Links):

    http://publishingperspectives.com/?p=4599
    Narnia

    You will be afraid!

    Lurking in the Castle at Cair Paravel

  20. #20
    slanted and enchanted erinbee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    483
    Well, the agent and publicist friend have spoken! I will be taking the course. At this point, my curiosity is so piqued that my contrary nature nearly demands it. I'm seeing this as an investment in my knowledge about the industry and hopefully something I can apply to future books.

    Thanks everyone for weighing in. I'll let you know what my experience is like! Consider me your guinea pig.


    THE H3ROINE'S B00KSH3LF! Hardcover from Harper, paperback from Harper Perennial.

    More about the book | More about me | Facebook | Twitter

  21. #21
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Or New Babbage, Second Life!
    Posts
    7,172
    Quote Originally Posted by erinbee View Post
    Well, the agent and publicist friend have spoken! I will be taking the course. At this point, my curiosity is so piqued that my contrary nature nearly demands it. I'm seeing this as an investment in my knowledge about the industry and hopefully something I can apply to future books.

    Thanks everyone for weighing in. I'll let you know what my experience is like! Consider me your guinea pig.
    don't forget to write it off on your taxes!


  22. #22
    the original blond bombshell MaryMumsy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Posts
    3,215
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheryl Nantus View Post
    don't forget to write it off on your taxes!

    QTF!

    The tax lady has spoken

    MM
    When I'm good, I'm very good; but when I'm bad, I'm better.

    That is Mae West, not me.

  23. #23
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Coastal Desert
    Posts
    13,105
    Adding link to main promo site, AuthorBuzz: http://www.authorbuzz.com/
    ICAO
    ---------

    Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. -- Henry Steele Commager
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search