We've had some spirited discussions in the "Forum" regarding publishers, royalties, marketing efforts, etc. Author M.J. Rose offers her experience and perspective on marketing and publicity efforts at the link below. You might find it interesting.

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

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I still think that's an effort to market AuthorBuzz. The word is apparently still out if you get your money's worth there.
I.J.
I've only looked at the site. It seems expensive. Have you communicated directly with anyone who has used Author Buzz? I'd be interested in hearing what they have to say.
I think we just did this one, no?
You can always search the forums for AuthorBuzz. :)
Sorry Jon and Daniel. I missed the previous discussion. However, I didn't see an answer to my question in the previous discussion. I.J. also asked the question. Has anyone used Author Buzz and if so, was it worth the cost?
I haven't, Christopher. I'm way too leery.
Thanks for replying I.J.
Joshua Henkin used Auhor Buzz and was given my email (not because I authorized anyone at Buzz to do so) to contact me re; holding a contest to promote his God-awful book MATRIMONY. He made so many demands on my time: when and for how long long I needed to post the contest that I ultimately told him to go to hell. I never posted the contest.

So my impression is Buzz gives you a list of popular bloggers to contact based on the assumption that every and any blogger is willing and able to stop what they're doing and help sell their book.

For non-celebrities, good writing sells books through word of mouth. You can promote the hell out of a bad book but IMO the sales generated will never justify the time, money and energy spent.
So true!

Eventually.

If you can hang in there.
I used MJ's AuthorBuzz basic last year when my first novel published from Berkley. The cost was $1,000, and I believe it was well worth it. For that, I got exposure to 370,000 readers, 12,000 librarians, 5,000 booksellers and more than 150 top bloggers via DearReader.com and ShelfAwareness.

I wasn't given a list of bloggers to contact, by the way - all I had to do was supply a note to readers and a note to librarians, agree to give 5 copies away in a contest hosted at authorbuzz.com, and AuthorBuzz did the rest.

This was my note to readers: http://www.authorbuzz.com/dearreader/dionne.shtml

The note to librarians and booksellers was similar, but was mailed to them in July (my book published in October), to give them time to order the book. This note also ran for a week in the ShelfAwareness newsletter.

As for results, when both notes went live, my website got a LOT of hits. It's too long ago for me to remember the numbers, but I was definitely pleased to see so many hits directly attributable to Author Buzz. I've done a great deal of other marketing - tons of guest blogs and blog interviews and opinion pieces in the Huffington Post, but none of it generated anything close to the attention that AuthorBuzz did.

The best part was that 120 people wrote in response to the contest hoping to win a free book. Of course I wrote back to thank them all - MJ sets that out as a requirement, but it really only makes sense - and because of that early connection, this group has turned out to be a strong core group of my best fans - they often write back when I send out my quarterly newsletter, and show up at signings, tell me how they recommended the book to their friends, and bought multiple copies as gifts and stuff.

I've spent money on other promotions that I didn't think were worth it, but when my next novel publishes in 2010, I'm definitely going to use AuthorBuzz again.
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My book sold very well, but it's impossible to say how many copies were attributable to AuthorBuzz, and how many sold due to my own or my publisher's efforts. (And I don't think my publisher would appreciate me posting sales numbers on a public website!) ;)

The problem with publicity is that you can never quantify the results. You can get a sense of when something works, if for instance, your Amazon numbers jump after an NPR interview, or as in the case of Authorbuzz, when the web tracker on my website showed a lot of hits from those specific referring pages. But how many of those hits translated to actual sales? Who knows? Same with if someone hears about your book on the radio or reads about it on a blog and later buys it in the bookstore, you're never going to know that particular interview got results.

Makes the whole 'how much to spend on publicity and where' question very difficult to answer, for sure.

However, I will say this: I think without good publisher support with regard to distribution, and author should think very carefully about spending money on a publicist. It's not much good if someone hears about a book, but can't walk into a bookstore and readily purchase it.
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Karen,
Thanks so much for replying to my original question and for the details you provided. I agree that it's hard to determine how much to spend on publicity. Unfortunately, most small and independent publisher's budgets are non-existence. An author really has to look for creative ways to promote his/her book. It would be helpful if Author Buzz had testimonials and links to authors who had used the service. But as you stated, it's impossible to say how many copies were sold because of Author Buzz. Still, you have built a fan base as a result of using the service. I would add that having a good publicist can increase sales. I can testify to that.

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