I recently received an email from an author I’m acquainted with announcing that he’d “Made the Big Time”; stating that his new book was announced at U.S & World News no less. Having read his work and not been impressed in the least, I was dumbfounded as to how his book had garnered a spot in U.S. & World News!
I clicked the link that he’d provided for my convenience and sure enough it took me to a website with the heading: U.S. & World News: Entertainment News; Ten New Books ‘Worth a Look’ in 2007, and there was his book info, halfway down the list.
I started reading the article and the first thing that grabbed my attention were the publishers listed beside the titles, most of which were small-press and/or vanity presses. Hmm…how did these titles make it to U.S. & World News?
I scanned the site and soon realized that this was an advertising (press release) site, whose services you purchase. There are different levels of distribution that range from $49 for “local distribution, to a whopping $429.99 for the “national plus” distribution. They will not only distribute your press release, but write and edit as well (for an additional fee of course), and for only $199 more per month you can monitor which sites are writing about your release.
I did a further search and the closest site I came to when I searched for U.S. & World News was, US News & World Report, and just as I suspected, when I typed in the headline I came up with zilch! I went a step further and searched the entire web for such a headline and the only site that came up was the press release site where the services had been purchased.
This wasn’t surprising, but what did surprise me was the fact that he’d sent the email announcing that he’d made the Big Time, (I’m still shaking my head in disbelief)! I’m all about self-promotion and getting the word out the world about your work, but don’t insult my intelligence like this, and don’t be so ignorant to believe that this is in any way impressive to others, or that you have in fact hit the big time.
Perhaps he can con a few friend and relatives into believing his claim, but I’d be willing to bet that it’ll be a long time coming before his book sales recoup the cost of the services he’s just purchased!
Writers Beware…when taking on the task of self-promotion, think before you act. Be aware of the services you’re purchasing and exactly what it is you’re getting for your money. And whatever you do, don’t pretend to be something your not. It just isn’t worth the humiliation!