Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

PR challenges

I caught so caught up in posting over at Daily Kos that I neglected this blog for two weeks. I am cross posting the contents of my newest Daily Kos blog here.

Two years after my first professional sale back in ’78, I got my first in-house job with a small publishing house, Donning/Starblaze in Virginia. They split my time between the Editor-in-Chief and the head of their Marketing Department, so that it was like having two part time jobs in the same building.

One of the first things I learned to do was how to write a good press release. Richard F. X. O’Connor was the head of marketing there. He had been the head of the Marketing department for Doubleday, prior to fleeing the Big Apple for a slower paced life in Virginia. He was a fine teacher.

I no longer remember what the book was called that we used, but it listed every TV, radio, magazine, and newspaper in the country with all relevant contact information. It made it easy to set up PR for our authors.


Book promotions have changed a lot, especially when you’re a small ebook company like Daverana Enterprises. For one thing, the internet has a lot of opportunity for shoestring promotions. But it also has such a huge inundation of competition that it is easy to get lost. You compete now with the Majors, the Minors, the itty bittyes, and the self-published for meager notice you can gain.

It is a big learning curve. No, it is a HUGE learning curve.

Steven Beeho is our token normie on staff and recently became one of our authors as well. He has been with Daverana since our start up in 08. He also became our lab rat for our first foray into blog tours.

Elaine Daniels, our editor-in-chief (who recently became my business partner) and I read everything we could about them, googling like crazy, and settled upon Orangeberry. We bought tour packages for both Steven (Sojourners in Shadow) and Theresa Curnow (Dark Corners).

They were a huge disappointment in the way they were conducted. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have put Theresa with a different blog tour company so that we could compare them. Hindsight is always 20/20.

I knew to start with that at least part of it would be canned, so I was not surprised when we got the start up kits for each author. Elaine worked with Theresa and I took Steven.

The kits had a huge list of questions, of which 20 needed to be answered by Steven. Then he had to write four essays, again picking from a large list. We provided Orangeberry with the book covers, the books themselves, and author bios.

When the big launch day arrived, we were told to click on the book cover on their site for a list of the tour stops. Elaine and I were both very excited, more excited than our lab rat actually. Then I started going to through the list of stops to have a better look at them.

Out of 20 stops, only two of them were not Orangeberry blogs. The owner of Orangeberry is also an author, and some of them had her stuff so conspicuously placed that it was a challenge to find Steven’s material on it.

It felt tainted to me.

The old days are gone. The challenge is two fold and maybe even Mission Impossible: 1) to find a blog tour company that gets as close to the feel of my old fashioned expectations as I possibly can; 2) to learn how to maximize the results from a blog tour.

We are going to try again in August with a different company.


One comment on “PR challenges

  1. maiphay
    July 5, 2013

    Thus far, Orangeberry haven’t met my expectations and I really don’t expect them to. They are pretty average and, if given the choice, I wouldn’t use them again.
    However it’s not all bad as they have given us ideas as to what to avoid next time and how we can do things better.

    But you’re right this is a HUGE learning curve.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Janrae Frank

%d bloggers like this: