Monday, May 27, 2013

Book publicity is wasted if you're not prepared for it

You probably know the scout motto, "Be Prepared." In various versions, it's used by both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts worldwide.

The motto goes back more than 100 years. In Scouting for Boys, Boy Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell explains the motto:

"Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.

Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it."

Satirical singer/songwriter Tom Lehrer has a different interpretation of the phrase.

OK, back to books . . .

In 2008, eighty-year-old New Jerseyan Alfred Pristash paid Author House to publish a memoir called My Changing World.

Pristash spent 18 months writing the manuscript in longhand, and then dictated it to a son who typed it. The book received extensive and complimentary coverage in and in a major New Jersey newspaper. The article mentioned that the book sells for $73.99 and is available at

I was curious to see how a book from Author House (which often publishes crap and alienates its authors)  could possibly justify that high price.

Unfortunately the Amazon page had just basic facts like page count and size. After more than five years there is not even one review on Amazon -- and no information on Amazon  that might convince me to spend $73.99. The sales ranking is abysmal -- nearly nine million.

[above] The AuthorHouse website is equally barren and useless. Links for “Overview," “About the Author” and “Free Preview” contained nothing. Since April, 2008, the site has indicated that more information would be "coming soon." 

When is "soon?"

How long should potential readers wait?

How long should the author wait?

I did not place an order.

If you are lucky enough to get media coverage of your book, be sure your online presence is ready to back it up and sell some books! If you've paid to be published, don't waste your time and money. BE PREPARED.

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