Publicity Tip #51 ~
The next best thing to free publicity is low-cost marketing, right? Not always. It’s important to check out and learn why a service that traditionally goes for $50+ is sitting at a heart stopping $24.
You need to be mindful of these things:
– Are there user testimonials to read? How many and over what length of time do they span?
– What kind of reach does the service have?
– What quality is there in the service? Is their list of potential bloggers reasonable and well-targeted for your genre?
– Are they new?
The Dragon Knight Chronicles is a small fantasy publishing company who publish the short works from monthly prompts provided on their site into yearly anthologies. They also offer modest services at reduced rates to self-published authors – to help them get ahead in a difficult industry.
Recently, I checked into what their author services offer authors. They have a great free “basic” author interview to help get you exposure, but I was dismayed to learn that they charge for reviews.
But then I changed my mind.
In addition to a review, they offer 2 additional interviews (about the book & a character interview, which are not just simple fill-in-the-blank questions – they do their homework on you and your book to know what the best questions to ask are) and they are now just getting their feet wet with 1 week blog tours…
You get all this for $24 for a full-length manuscript (it costs less for novellas and short story compilations).
In my opinion, I’m not paying for the review – I’m paying for the blog tour and the work they put in to the two extra interviews.
But they’re new at this virtual blog tour thing, so how do I know I’ll get my money’s worth? Well, I looked into getting the answers to the above questions once I learned the reason for their pricing.
What did I find out?
While their list of bloggers is small compared to other tour services, they target a specific market and there are only so many fantasy bloggers and websites available to choose from. When authors do their part and interact with bloggers on their specific assigned days, there are good results. If you ignore your author duty and don’t comment back to people trying to interact with you, there are poor results.
That makes perfect sense.
While the testimonials they sent me to review were all from the last 6 months (since this is a brand new service they’re trying out) the comments appeared genuine and quite positive.
So, what do you get with one of their blog tours? (and they do offer 3 types: pre-launch, launch, and blitz)
The Blitz gets you one day of frenzied participation with 10+ blogs and focuses more on your standard media package.
The Pre-Launch and Launch packages get you 1 week of 14+ blogs with a wide variety of interactions from interview templates to guest posting to giveaways and more.
For me, a site like Dragon Knight Chronicles makes sense. While my book is mainly science fiction there are elements of fantasy included and it follows the traditional quest or journey which appeals to many readers of fantasy. The tech in my book is not overdone or way out of the ordinary (for the most part) so it’s fairly relatable by the average reader. If $24 gets me all this lovin’ and exposure to a sub-market to expand my reach – I’m in.
Even if DKC isn’t your genre, when you begin looking for inexpensive blog tour services keep the above questions and logic in mind as you search. You don’t want to sink even $5 into a service that will do nothing but waste your time and starve you of results.