Rant: Posts that are Little More than a Restatement of a Problem

Here is the wonderful sounding Eight things Book Promotion Companies Wish Authors Understood. There should be a word for this kind of post. The meaning of the word should be “a post where the author makes it sound like they have a lot of expertise in a specific domain yet manages to provide little actual evidence of that expertise, leading the skeptical reader to think they might be full of it”.

Let’s go through the eight things, shall we?

1. A Bad Book Cover is a Problem

Well yes, this sounds like a real problem. Being marketing experts, they must have seen a bunch of bad book covers. They certainly managed to get their clients to replace those covers with ones that worked, and have many examples to demonstrate. Except there isn’t a single example. Fact is, I already knew that. If I was going to hire a marketing expert, I’d want one who could show me how they have improved their client’s covers. Instead I’m wondering if they know more than I do or not.

2. Your Book Won’t Sell Immediately

Okay, sure. There have to be authors out there who think the world will beat a path to their door and they’re wrong. That’s fair. Naturally being an experienced marketing agency, they will have a feel for how long a good book might take to gain momentum, with a couple of examples to show that it’s a wide range. They say “don’t blow your budget right away”, so clearly they have an idea of what a respectable time frame might be. But is is in the post? Hell no. Call us to find out or some such bull-crap. Implied CTAs were boring as hell in the 1960’s. Now they induce queasiness.

3. Fame Isn’t the Standard for Debut Authors

Here’s the money quote: “Every once in a while a unicorn is born, and there’s a first book that does exceptionally well. But in almost every case the author has been busy, doing a lot of the right things behind the scenes…” Great, so now a short list of what some of those “right things” are, right? Some actual information that might be useful! Here it comes… nada. There’s squat. Thanks for telling me something any reasonable author might already know.

4. You Will Have to Participate

The body here mentions “managing your social media or blogging”. Yes! Actionable advice! I can see how authors with a “fire and forget” attitude can be frustrating and now I’m starting to get it. This post isn’t here to help authors address these problems or learn anything from them; it’s just a rant without the “Rant:” prefix.

5. You Have to Know Your Genre

Here we have the story of an author who wasn’t doing well marketing a book as a paranormal romance but upon changing genres started to get some traction. Oh come on you teased it this far… WTF was the new genre? This ongoing lack of specifics gives me a “I just made this up” vibe. I’m absolutely certain they didn’t, but three unsupported claims and a rant in, that’s what I’m getting. I can hear the “we want to maintain author confidentiality” counter-argument, but seriously, tracking down one novel that used to be in paranormal romance and is now in psycho romance (or whatever, can you tell romance isn’t my genre?) wouldn’t be easy. Besides, one would think that there would be a happy author out there willing to offer a testimonial, assuming there’s been more than one.

6. Being a Fan is Critical

Actually, no complaint about this one, although it is hardly a unique insight has little to do with marketing. I’m starting to think we’re padding this out to eight items.

7. Don’t Wait to Release Your Next Book

Another not unique insight, but at least it’s actionable and relevant to marketing.

8. Be Sure You Understand What You’re Paying For

Good advice, although equally relevant for hiring a renovation contractor as a marketing agency.

Overall score: C+ Except this is a marketing piece by someone claiming to be an expert marketer. If the best my agency could do is a C+, I’d be looking for another agency.