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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Lauri B

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Hi all,
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):

Good Afternoon,
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.
 

Maryn

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"...and achieve sault after media coverage..." [Smirk]

Thanks for doing the legwork, Nomad. Not that I'd have been tempted, but maybe somebody might have wasted a little time checking them out. Now they know better!

Maryn
 

smallthunder

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Maryn said:
"...and achieve sault after media coverage..." [Smirk]
Maryn
It actually took me a moment to figure out what "sault after media coverage" actually meant -- I mean, what? They'll assualt the media (on your behalf)?
:D
 

HapiSofi

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It would be a disgrace for an agent to place a client's book with PublishAmerica. It's less questionable for a publicist to have a PA author as a client. Publicists do what they can for the people who hire them.
 

Aconite

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HapiSofi said:
It would be a disgrace for an agent to place a client's book with PublishAmerica. It's less questionable for a publicist to have a PA author as a client. Publicists do what they can for the people who hire them.
But if they had anything worth listing, Hapi, would they include something so pitiful?
 

HapiSofi

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If you were a publicist with a paying client, would you tell them they were a pitiful no-hoper? Publicists aren't gatekeepers the way agents and editors and publishers are.
 

Aconite

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HapiSofi said:
If you were a publicist with a paying client, would you tell them they were a pitiful no-hoper?
No, but I don't know that I'd list 'em on my site, either. Though not listing them would pretty much declare they were pitiful no-hopers, I suppose. *sigh*
 

CaoPaux

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Heh. There've been a few cases of firms that specialize in getting self-pubbed books into stores telling PA folks they can't help them. Before or after they took their money, I don't recall.

Looks like Spotlight doesn't promise anything but an education in promotion. :Shrug:

Spotlight Publicity guarantees that every author that we meet, consult, or work with will walk away with more knowledge and know how when it comes to the book publicity process. Our main reason for founding Spotlight Publicity was to take the guess work out of marketing and publicizing books for authors of all levels. If you don’t know your target audience or aren't sure what your book marketing goals should be, that’s OK. We’re happy to get you on track. If this is your ninth book and you're looking for a book promotion on a budget, then we can help you too.

We're happy to answer your book promotion questions, just pick up the phone or send us an e-mail. We would like to leave you with this, "Not every book is a guaranteed best seller, but every author deserves answers when it comes to marketing and publicizing their work."
 

James D. Macdonald

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All the publicity in the world won't do you a lick of good if your book isn't available. "Log onto Amazon and you can get one in four-to-six weeks" (the typical POD situation) is only "available" under the most generous definitions. There are books that have been out of print for a decade that have better availablity than that.
 

CaoPaux

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Site hung on until '11, but is gone now.
 

Maryn

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Rereading the thread was a little like seeing an old friend who hasn't aged well, though.

Maryn, still laughing at "sault after media coverage"
 

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