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Endorsement Sites?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by BWFoster78, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    First of all, I haven't thought a whole bunch about marketing. I figured I'd focus on actually creating a quality product and then figure out the marketing crap. Ankari, however, informs me that I should have started marketing myself years ago on the chance that I may one day actually produce something to sell.

    To that end, I've been trying to do at least a little research here and there to keep him off my back.

    Today, I looked at blogs that do reviews just to get an idea of how many are out there and what they're like. I ran across a site that does the following:

    1. Asks for authors to submit books for "endorsement," charging a nominal fee ($45 for a book the size of my opus)
    2. If the book meets their criteria (which they provide) and is good enough overall, they will feature it on their site and let you list it as endorsed by their site

    Is this a legit kind of deal or not? If it is legit, is it worth it?
     
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I guess it might be legit, but I'd be leery. You need to find out that they have enough readers to be worth it, and that their reputation is strong enough to bring your work up, and not down.
     
  3. In general, I've come to understand that sites like that aren't worth the money they charge. It's not always a scam (in that they'll do more or less what they say they will), but it's something that doesn't have much real value.
     
  4. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    I've read someone's experience with this somewhere. I think it was an MS member. Anyway, what he reported was that this site charged about the same rate. A short time later they published a review and gave it 5 stars. When the author read the review he found that it jarred with his actual book. Sure, there was references to his story, but it was as if the reviewer read 1 in every 10 pages.

    I wouldn't go this route. From what I'm seeing, there are a lot of bloggers who read books and give reviews. In my Steven Erikson post I link to a blog that does just that. The bloggers receive the book for free and then are allowed to review it without restrictions.

    That is the route I would suggest you go.
     
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    This. Just make sure you have an honest, accurate impression of how good your work is before you solicit for reviews.
     
  6. danr62

    danr62 Sage

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    Kirkus reviews does offer a paid review service for indies, and they are probably the only one I would recommend for this.
     
  7. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Thanks for all the input.

    I will yield to the general consensus.
     
  8. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Upon further reflection, my best course of action would probably be to talk to some of the authors that have used the service. After all, at $45, a sale of 15 books gains you a profit.
     
  9. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

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    it stinks of scam to me.
     
  10. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I like the concept, and, in theory, it has the ability to provide a needed service.

    Problem: there is a ton of dreckitude being self published so that it's hard for Joe Reader to find good stuff.
    Solution: a service that evaluates books on "objective" criteria and gives the ones that pass an endorsement.

    Again, though, I think that, before I made any attempt to have my book evaluated, I'd contact a few writers to see if their sales increased enough to warrant spending the $$$. It seems like an easy choice. If a few writers say they can reasonably attribute 15 or more sales to the service, do it. If you don't get that recommendation, don't.
     
  11. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Kirkus charges $350 to $500 but the review is supposedly 100% real. This means you could pay that much $$$ for a lousy review. The reviews is very detailed, about 500 words.

    The good part there is that it's up to you if you decide to actually use or publish that review. If you like it, you can publish it through their sites & you are free to use anything in the review as you see fit (like for a back jacket blurb).
     
  12. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I recommend exhausting the free reviewers first before considering forking over that kind of cash (unless you have the money to do that!)
     
  13. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    It certainly depends on your financial position but most free reviewers lack their reputation.

    Also, saying that you should exhaust free review sites first before you pay this much is just silly. As long as you're paying a review fee to a reputable site, then $350-500 isn't really a huge amount of money for a writer aspiring to be a pro. Writers conferences charge roughly the same amounts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  14. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

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    that sounds like a smart idea. if you actually contact any of these authors, i'd be interested in hearing what they have to say.
     
  15. It's sort of an extension of the usual function of critics.

    In ye olden days, mainstream media publishers (big book publishers, Hollywood studios, etc.) would produce things, and the mainstream review outlets (major newspapers/magazines) would review everything those outlets produced.

    Now, suddenly, there's tens of thousands of publishers, and there have also cropped up a large number of smaller review outlets, very few of which have become well-known or trusted yet. Part of the problem is that the overwhelming majority of what's published now (counting all self-published works, basically) aren't even worth reviewing, let alone buying. And so sorting through the dross has become literally thousands of times worse than it used to be.

    But there are gems in the rough; the trick is finding them. A self-published author with no track record and no awareness among any mainstream media outlet (or even lesser outlets) has a huge uphill battle, because no outlet with any kind of cachet is going to even bother reading their work. So how do these self-published authors get traction?

    I think what will end up happening is a (fluid, but solid) system wherein a self-published author is going to have to work vis ass off trying to get people to read his work. If it's good enough, then eventually via word of mouth, the work will get on the radar of a small review outlet, which will then review the work. From there it's a slow bootstrap process, where review outlets higher up the food chain (that is, with a bigger audience or more prestige) will look at what the guys down the food chain are looking at. If they see enough attention, then they'll check out the work.

    I'm gonna go turn this into a blog post. :)
     
  16. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

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    just read the blog post. good one.
     
  17. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I will at some point. Best case scenario, though, is me publishing early next year, and I don't plan on doing this legwork until the book is almost ready.
     
  18. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I wasn't saying it was a huge amount of money or even that it wasn't a fair price to pay, but it's more than free. If you have the money to risk it, go for it, but if you're like me, then go through the free reviewers first.

    Maybe you will generate enough funds to afford a paid review service or maybe you won't need to.
     
  19. markyz

    markyz Guest

    Offer it free with limited access which will be considered like free trial. In business/service promotion, free trial is necessary to offer to clients to try your services.
     
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