The Cold Hard Truth About Book Marketing Services


If you’re worried about marketing your book and are looking into getting a book marketing service, I advise you to proceed with caution. There are some that will work fine with your book, however many will take any book and put it through a conveyor-belt like process for marketing your book.

This is something to be wary about because depending on the book, the audience you already have, and your genre, this one-size-all approach may not work. I should mention that Kindlepreneur does not offer book marketing services. I do consulting for publishing companies and work with New York Times best-selling authors and take on projects from time to time, but to explain why I don’t offer this, we first have to look at two types of services:

  • There are the book marketing services that go for the best results possible
  • There is also the book marketing services that is designed to make those running the service the most money possible

Make sure that you're selecting the right [book marketing service] and that you're not going to start paying money for something that's truly not going to deliver.

Those marketing services that are going to get the best result possible have to read through every book submission and not accept just any book. They would have to verify if the book is good, first of all, since it’s very hard to sell terrible writing. They would also need to verify that there was a type of angle to take for marketing the book to propel the author beyond others in the genre and that the author was writing for a particular market, as well.

This sounds similar to a publisher, right? On top of that, everything would have to be tailored for the author, genre, and market for the book, including hiring designers, A/B testing, advertising on different platforms, and hopefully finding that it was financially beneficial for all involved.

The other type of book marketing service is the kind that is optimized for a high return on investment. This would mean not turning down any books unless there are giant red flags, but then every book is treated the same, and those working in the book marketing service would do the same job for each book. The process is more automated and those hired to do the marketing would also be on the cheap side.

Red Flags and Things to Look For in a Book Marketing Service

If you still plan on using a book marketing service, there are some red flags to look for:

  • The book marketing service should work with you, as the author, and know the quality of the book and market it’s set for
  • Be careful if they make absolute guarantees. Look at those guarantees carefully, such as promising to make you a best-seller, since we’ve discussed how listing you books in smaller subcategories can help you achieve this status on your own
  • If you get the feeling they’ll treat your book like every other book or they seem to accept every book, run away

Some things you should be looking for in a book marketing service are:

  • They should be screening books and choose which ones they represent
  • You should be able to ask questions about their process and get specific names of all those involved in the process
  • Ask about the price you’re paying and if it’s specific to your book and/or genre. If you’ve talked to them and they’ve looked at your book and given you the same price they give every book, this may be a red flag

Marketing Services I trust…so far:

This is the one I mentioned and couldn't think of off the top of my head at 9:40 in the show:

The Author Incubator:

So far, the only book marketing service that I feel positive about is The Author Incubator.   I've talked with Dr. Angela Lauria, and I completely agree with her process, level of dedication and especially her requirements.  To work with her service, you can't already have a book.  You start with her, and she works with you to write the book, publish it and then market it.  That way, her and her team know you're going in the right direction and that the book is of the highest level and worthy of their marketing plan.  I have great admiration for that and it fits some of the hesitations I had about marketing services.  I will admit that I haven't personally used her service, but, having talked with her, I think her service sounds the best and…well, she's also a super smart book marketing gal.

Resources Referred to in this Episode:

“Gain insight from Kindlepreneur on how you can optimize marketing for your books."
- Kindle Direct Publishing

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5 thoughts on “The Cold Hard Truth About Book Marketing Services

  1. Steven Blair Wheeler

    Hi Dave,
    Your comments were helpful as I was considering an author marketing outfit, but when they said they didn’t need to even glance through my work, nor would they share any case studies of how they effectively worked with novelists, two very large red flags shot up waving madly.
    As for the one outfit you might recommend, that person’s methodology makes me cringe, and laugh (ruefully). In order to do business with that person, you have to contact them before you write the book???
    In any case, the take away seems clear: an indie publisher has to roll up their sleeves and do the marketing work, which means learn all they can about it and tackle it as best they can. It’s a business, unless you wrote your book to give to family and friends.
    Thanks for the insights.

  2. Gallacious Grant

    Dave, I was just considering this option. Thanks for the guidelines.

    1. Dave Chesson

      You bet. It is been a question I get a lot. So I loved the opportunity to kind of ‘explain’ it and why. And from that, I hope it really opens up an honest look at the industry and things we can take and learn about it.

  3. James Lilley

    Great show Dave, although a list of people carrying out “repeatable” marketing services would have been the icing on the cake. I work full time in construction so It is not always easy to try and do everything myself.

    1. Dave Chesson

      Finding quality ones though, is the hard part.

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