Friday, August 18, 2006

Book Promotion Firms Don't Work for Free

And neither do book publicists. Forgive me for venting, but I'm frustrated.

A few years ago, I promoted a novel for a small publishing company (the author and the publisher were two different individuals, but I worked with both of them during the course of the book promotion campaign).

About a year after the campaign was finished, I began to get media calls asking about books published by this small company. At first, I thought nothing of it except that someone was confused, and it would work itself out. But today I received another phone call from a reporter who told me that I was designatd on the publisher's Web site as the media contact for the publishing company and for all of their books.

Here's a snippet from the email I sent to the publisher:

I don't want your authors or you to miss media opportunities when those media inquiries come my way (obviously, the books/authors about whom the media is asking will not "ring a bell" with me), nor do I want to have my valuable time taken with media inquiries that are not meant for my clients. It's also not fair to those who are paying me for my time, and paying -- in part -- for the privilege of having their projects associated with professional media representation.

Please update your site at your earliest convenience, and let me know when you've taken care of the matter. Thank you in advance.]

Yes, I was annoyed, and I am hoping that the publisher hasn't known about his error for all this time that he was using my contact information as the go-to place for the media. As I said in my email to him, one of the things authors/publishers buy from me and other book publicists is the association of their work with a book promotion firm -- it's proof that they're taking their book seriously, and promoting it seriously.

I would no sooner lend my name and reputation to book promotion projects without fair compensation than I would expect my real estate agent to sell me a house without taking her commission.

It strikes me as a bad day when I feel cheated. And today, I felt cheated.