Episode 31 – Audio, Contracts and Product Placement

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In this week’s episode, Jim and Bryan discussed a trio of tips on where you should focus your marketing, the Awesome Indies Project and using an ACX alternative. The news stories included an audiobook subscription service, product placement in novels, temporary library cards at the airport, self-publishing services contracts and the health of the publishing industry. We also chatted about the launch of Author Marketing Institute and this week’s March to a Bestseller event. Check out the event on Friday, November 7th at http://bit.ly/marchtab2  Music: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes from Daddy_G’s Memory Music, Creative Commons License. Question of the Week: Have you ever paid a company to self-publish for you? If so, were you happy with your experience and why?
What You’ll Learn: 
  • What works and what doesn’t for a non-fiction book launch
  • How John L. Monk connected with and promoted indie authors
  • The path one author took to avoid ACX exclusivity
  • Why audiobook subscription services could be the next big thing
  • How one publisher got over a million dollars for product placement
  • What one library system is doing to find new readers
  • How some publishers lock in self-publishers for life
  • Why the publishing industry is doing better than you think
Links: 
Question of the Week: Have you ever paid a company to self-publish for you? If so, were you happy with your experience and why?
Music: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes from Daddy_G’s Memory Music, Creative Commons License

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  • I haven’t paid for anything like author solutions, but I wanted to make sure my voice was heard on another topic. I love the jazz at the end of the show! Keep it going. More jazz voices. A full episode of jazz voices!

    • Bryan

      Haha, we’ll do some jazz hands to go along with our jazz voices.

  • Lavie Margolin

    Good show, guys. The music is annoying at the end. Sorry, Jim!

    • Bryan

      Yay, Lavie! 🙂

  • I’ve never gone with anything like Author Solutions, but when I was writing my first novel their ads kept showing up everywhere I went online so I gave them my email address and phone number for more information.

    It didn’t take me long to realize that I wanted nothing to do with them, but despite my lack of interest that didn’t stop them from emailing me constantly and leaving messages on the phone. I thought I would have to change my number to get away from them, but thankfully they eventually stopped contacting me.

    • Bryan

      Weird. Glad they left you alone!

  • John L. Monk

    I absolutely loved the ending of the show 🙂 Hilarious!

    • Bryan

      My discomfort is your gain :).

  • Honoree Corder

    I haven’t used any publishing services because their prices have always been so prohibitive, compared to outsourcing their services individually and utilizing my personal assistant to coordinate. I have a close friend who paid close to $7 per book, however and I thought that was awful {and highway robbery}!

    You guys are hilarious! Have a great week!

    • Bryan

      Yeah, who needs $7 a book. Much better to outsource.

      Thanks, Honoree :).

      • Honoree Corder

        Greetings!

        I am in receipt of your email (thank you!), and will respond within 48 hours. If you require more a more immediate response, kindly text me at 512-578-9807. To your success! Honorée Corder
        Best-Selling Author * CEO,  Honorée Enterprises & Honorée Enterprises Publishing :: This email is off the record {blogs and tweets too} unless we agree otherwise. ::

      • Honoree Corder

        Greetings!

        I am in receipt of your email (thank you!), and will respond within 48 hours. If you require more a more immediate response, kindly text me at 512-578-9807. To your success! Honorée Corder
        Best-Selling Author * CEO,  Honorée Enterprises & Honorée Enterprises Publishing :: This email is off the record {blogs and tweets too} unless we agree otherwise. ::

  • Gillian

    OMG You guys are hilarious with the Jazz voice. I am laughing so hard over here.

    • See Bryan! This new close is a hit! 🙂

      • Bryan

        Thanks, Gillian. Ugh, Jim :).

  • LOL, Jim! Bryan seemed mortified by the music (in his very nice Brian-way). I laughed so hard a tear came down my cheek. I am not sure if that is a vote for or against the music though… 🙂

  • Jim, I dig the jazz voice. I say go for it!

    As far as paying someone to publish my books, heck no! I’ve paid for different author services (editing, cover design, etc.), but if I wanted someone to publish my books, I’d expect THEM to be paying ME via a traditional publishing contract. I guess I can’t blame them for trying to sell people a package deal, but I just don’t think the prices are worth it, nor is there any evidence that using the package results in a better product, since you don’t know who exactly is providing the individual services.

    On that note, I did try BookBaby’s no-frills free publishing service to see if it was a worthwhile alternative to my current method of publishing directly to Amazon and then everywhere else using Smashwords, and I didn’t find it particularly helpful. Since that was free, I can’t complain about it being a ripoff, though I’m also not sure what anyone would stand to gain by “upgrading” to their paid services. Has anyone here tried BookBaby (free or paid) with any success?

  • Crissy Moss

    When I was looking into getting published back in the late 1990’s I found an ad in the back of Writers Digest that promised to publish your book for a fee. It sounded great. I’d get 100 copies of my book, and I’d be able to give them away or sell them. No one told you that selling them was almost impossible and you’d be stuck with a bunch of useless copies of a self published book that no one will take seriously. I’m not sure what the name of that company was, but it seems to me that Author Solutions is just a modern version of that vanity press. They don’t do much for you, they charge you for everything they do, and they still keep a royalty for all your ebooks.

    I was lucky that I didn’t fall for the print copy scam. I knew enough to go research it and figure out what it was all about before spending money on it. Not everyone was that lucky.

  • Julie Farrell

    Hey guys, great show! I had a friend who used Author House and he was very disappointed – I think it’s a ripoff. It seems to have put him off self-publishing, which is a shame.
    I love the jazz voice! 😉
    Scottish and ‘British’ accents? You know there’s a country called England, right! 😉
    Thanks again for the great info and for the laughter too! Oh, and for the free ebook! 😀

    • I can’t do English. For some reason I can only do Scottish.

      • Julie Farrell

        How about Scottish jazz voice? 😉

  • I have to say, I really did not like the music. Sorry, Jim.

    I’ve never paid Author Solutions or any similar company. Unfortunately, the people that are likely to pay them are unlikely to be listening, so I suspect your advice to do the research won’t help 🙁

  • ❤️Marie Long❤️

    Unfortunately, vanity places like Author Solutions, Tate Publishing, Outskirts Press, Abbott Press, etc. are targeting the unknowing, uneducated authors, and elderly people who are blinded by the glamour of seeing their books published, and the false belief that their books will appear on the shelves. It’s sad that these places will continue to prey on these new authors. This sort of thing needs to appear on shows like 60 Minutes, 20/20, and those other specialized news shows where the majority of these targeted authors would most likely be watching.

    • Bryan

      See, now THAT’s a great idea.