…AND YOU SEE THIS PROMOTION WHERE YOU CAN PRINT YOUR BOOK ONE-BY-ONE FOR “NO SET-UP FEE” I have news for you. BIG, SURPRISING NEWS FOR YOU. Just because you can print 5, 10 or 50 books overnight does not mean you will make it into THE NEW YORK TIMES, ABC WORLD NEWS, or TIME MAGAZINE. Just because your book will be available on AMAZON, or on any of those other dozen book related websites doesn’t mean SQUAT! Put your book together, call it FREE MONEY, NOW! And we can move more of those books on a street corner than you can on all of those sites combined. WHY RELENTLESS? I THOUGHT THAT AMAZON WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BOOK MARKETING COMPANY ON THE WEB? Well, Mr & Ms Aspiring Author, AMAZON and any of the other sites DO NOT know the niche’ markets or the “new markets” or the “isolated events” that are ESSENTIAL to you surviving as an author. New blood is SO essential in book marketing; it’s right up there with air and water. Why? Because most of the doors that have been opened are flooded with authors and their books. Most of these P.O.D. companies push the same old sludge, through the same old channels. The same old LAME book covers are created by the same graphic designers. That is not to say that there are no talented graphic designers on the earth; just that few of them have marketing savvy to correspond with the direction you’re going. Not to mention, with too much work consuming any one designer, and the work starts to blend together and look the same. They don’t have time to read your book (neither do these P.O.D. projects and their advocates.) Look at it as a 2nd grade class with 30 students, and a class of 12. In either instance there’s only ONE TEACHER! If you’re a parent, you’ll feel me on THAT truth. So, who do you want your child to be watched/taught by? Which class do you want your child in? (Obvious answer).
I can’t hate on the companies that come up with these ideas because there is a SEA of wannabees out there who realize that publishing what’s in your head and making money from it is one of the last hopes to pay down that mortgage.
There are those among you, right now, reading this preaching of mine, who are saying, “IF I ONLY HAD A BOOK. I COULD SELL ONE TO SALLY, KATHY, JOHN ACROSS THE STREET, MY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER, MY MISTRESS AND HER FAMILY, MY ENTIRE CHURCH CONGREGATION…ETC. You’re shouting all of this in your mind, and here comes Mister P.O.D. Company in the name of good old fashioned capitalism. He has the info, the resources and the connects that you DON’T have. Mister P.O.D. came out of pocket enough to maintain some small office space, their credit was spectacular, and so they called XEROX and got the goliath book printing machine. They figured they’d get a man (or woman) to operate the monster, buy some ink and paper, and they’d hook up and partner with Jeff Bezos or Steve Case or Bill Gates for the purpose of getting money from all you saps out there who will fall for the okie-doke. They figure there are more and more and more people out there who are READY, WILLING AND ABLE to pay some money to get their book in print by any means necessary. Many first movers TOOK ADVANTAGE of the saps and said WE WANT A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR ROYALTIES BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOWHERE ELSE TO GO BUT HERE. But now, everyone has the almighty XEROX. Hell, I was speculating on goliath a few years back; and with my 3 dozen books, I had EVERY REASON to go ahead and opt for it. Thing is, with P.O.D. you can print one copy of a book today, and you can run around town and show the world that you are an accomplished author. Now, with the credentials you already have on your wall (the law degree or doctorate or marriage license), you can add “AUTHOR” to your list of life’s titles. Whooptie-doo! But, check it: if you live in a small town where that MATTERS, you might just be a big fish in your small pond, and that is resource enough in some cases to manufacture a purpose in life. Even if your purpose is so real, with a cancer issue, a heart attack issue, or a mental health issue, a book in hand can get you and your gift-for-gab to speak at a local event—and Lord knows we have a lot of THEM! Well, here’s the skinny on the whole charade of P.O.D. (scam or not). The book market is getting more and more flooded by the moment. It’s no longer a novelty or a special thing to be “an author” because your neighbor next door has a book too! So does the woman who’s husband you’re cheating with! Amazon is up to it’s neck in titles. They will take all comers because they are here to make money. They could care less about the integrity of the book business, or if your book is well edited, crisp in it’s delivery or credible with information. And the more books that come out with these poor traits, the more the buyer/consumer will be leery about the next book that comes along. They will indeed spend more time (time they already DON’T HAVE) inside of Barnes & Noble, picking up books, leafing through them to find buzz words to make them feel good about themselves or their goals. And they will buy. But don’t you DARE get it twisted; your book WILL NOT be among the books that are positioned in B&N. Here’s why… (Damn I need to be paid good money for this) The brick & mortar stores have VERY LITTLE SPACE for new books. Look at the 75/25 rule and be discouraged before you dream big. 75% of the books in Brick & Mortar (we’ll call it that, instead of the free promotion for the big boys) are backlist titles. Think about Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Catch 22, the freaky Handmaids Tale and every other Mark Twain book with the word nigger, nigger, nigger printed throughout. Those books are re-ordered time and time again, just like a radio station plays the same song over and over again, therefore CREATING what SHOULD BE considered STANDARD LITERATURE and ACCEPTED TITLES in AMERICAN CULTURE. The educational system has even adopted and secured these titles on the backlists. And the lists are SO DEEP and so WIDELY ACCEPTED and have been out so long, that they are not tampered with. Read a Handmaids Tale and if you’re a man your flagpole will rise. And if you’re a woman, you will get moist, guaranteed. Mind you, this is “okay” for schools to have on their reading lists. Now, 25% of a store’s stock is the new material. That would be all the titles that are newly published. Oops! Did I say ALL the titles? I’m sorry. Misprint. All the titles EXCEPT YOURS. All the titles that have major backing and strong publicity agendas. All the titles that make it through the door because they have enough printed books. And guess what? All of the titles that are printed WILL NOT get into the brick & mortars because (why children?) THERE’S NO ROOM FOR ALL OF THEM. Hundreds of thousands of new titles are printed every year. And, bottom line, they will not all make it into brick and mortar storefronts. Think about the New York City Marathon and all of the hundreds of thousands of competitors. The first 50 or so people will be relevant enough to make it on TV. The next 50 might be relevant enough to make it into a newspaper or magazine. The next 100 will go back home and stake the claim in their local paper. And let’s be clear: the local paper is less relevant (in the bigger picture) than the small town paper. But, OH! Let’s not forget the optional issues, like those who run the marathon as handicapped. A number of them will also make national press. And fellow authors, brick & mortar does this too! If you are a local author living near one of these brick and mortars, and you develop a relationship with the “community relations” person at the nearest brick & mortar stores, they WILL post your book in some less-than high profile places. In those spots, you will have to make noise to advance to a better spot. But, let’s be clear: Many of those spaces inside of brick & mortar are purchased. (I can see the “OH SHIT” on a few faces right now) Go into brick & mortar and near the front registers, in the windows, in prime locations on shelves that are in prime positions, you will see books that have suddenly become the most popular books. How is that? Well, going back to my radio station scenario, these books are PUSHED at you. You are ENCOURAGED to read them. They are part of a national campaign that is well funded by the big publishers of the world. The corner shelves, the kiosks, the shelves where books are faced cover-forward are all PAID FOR SPACES. If the publisher doesn’t have the money; and then, even if they DO have the money, if they DON’T have the power and connections with the shot callers, the books don’t make it to the front row. And, let’s face it folks, being in the front row always won you favor with the teachers, didn’t it? So, bringing this all back to P.O.D., you may fool yourself (and others) by getting your self-published book in the brick & mortar spots nearest you, but that would be YOUR hard work, not Mister P.O.D. They will pug you into the Internet filing system so that people YOU reach directly will be able to find it—and THAT’S ALL. They will not know the latest and the most relevant lawyer’s convention in Vegas where your book might sell like hotcakes, and they are NOT, NOT, NOT connected with the man (or woman) who runs that convention. Mister P.O.D. does NOT know the mico-locations in your neighborhood where folks gather and share ideas and pray, and connect. That’s up to you. They don’t know the laws in Ohio, Chicago, New York and Georgia. And if they DO know them, and if they are or are not favorable or conducive to selling books, then they DO NOT know how to get around these rules and maybe set something up with a fellow club-owner or event planner or manager inside of a hotel. They will not know the police in these towns and whether they do or do not enforce the peddlers law, even if the so-called peddlers law does not have anything to do with your 1st amendment rights to share literature with others. And damned if these P.O.D. companies will bail you and your books out of jail if your information is backwards and based on assumption. Okay, as you see, I can write a book about radical book marketing. But the whole point here is for you to have NO EXCUSES from now on, because you now KNOW I am your GO-TO man for issues like these. You know RELENTLESS AARON has been there and done that from Boston to New Orleans to Texas and in LA. I take pictures most everywhere I go, so I have footprints to prove it. My books have brought me into multi-million dollar mansions and into strip shows in dangerous neighborhoods. So goes the life of Relentless Aaron. And Mister P.O.D. Won’t you PLEASE be clear to your prospective customers before they take the dive? Won’t you please tell them that formatting their text file and editing are two entirely different things? Won’t you PLEASE outsource your cover design to marketing companies that are relevant to your potential client’s theme and content? And finally, could you STOP pushing AMAZON and B&N in people’s faces just to make your own start-up feel more credible? Let’s see you get a few books into national exposure before you sell national exposure. And here’s my shameless plug; hire me as a consultant so that I don’t have to hang you out to dry like this again. Word Relentless Aaron.
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