Direct Contact PR, Internet media faxgrowth




 
amateurfetishist.com

Paul Krupin’s Trash Proof Marketing and Publicity Blog

Paying for Book Reviews and Sponsored Blog Posts

Paying for Book Reviews and Sponsored Blog Posts

Very interesting article in the NY Times about paying for book reviews.

Paying for Book Reviews http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/business/book-reviewers-for-hire-meet-a-demand-for-online-raves.html?pagewanted=all

or

http://goo.gl/YLCqh

The 331 comments are about as entertaining and interesting to read as the article.

I have watched with interest the growing recent pay for reviews phenomenon.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of paying for reviews, but like it or not people do like to read reviews and comments. Hence book reviews have become an item that people are apparently willing to pay for.

The challenge for authors and publishers is to get noticed in the marketplace. The publicity that reviews can supply is one of the ways they seek to achieve recognition.

The media coverage can be about the book, the author, the issues, the comments, the commenters, or the controversy — it’s whatever gets people interested enough so that they buy the book.

In some cases, it’s the book and the content and the quality that produce the interest.

In other cases, the book may not be all that great of a piece of writing, yet the dialog in the marketplace that is sometimes created becomes a self-sustaining wave that by itself generates a desire in society that needs to be satisfied by curiosity. The presence in media, whether it be prime media or online media doesn’t matter if sufficient people are motivated to click and buy, in hard copy or ebook format.

The reviews – good, bad, indifferent, ethically acquired merit-based, or purchased, and hence allegedly tainted by the financial interest, well, it doesn’t matter if it generates sales.

When I send out news releases in the past year, I’ve watched a new growing trend for media, especially bloggers, to come back with a request for sponsored posts – e.g., pay in exchange for coverage. This is a growing phenomenon. I’ve seen it growing in the mommy bloggers, the fashion bloggers, and in the college online services. We see the fees for paid reviews start at $5 a post to $300 for a product review and more. We’ve seen major TV networks charge $300 for a five to ten minute satellite uplink and even seen some “creative” major network TV shows pitch their services and capabilities to create a show back to use with $5,000 fees for a 30 minute interview that gets aired on prime time TV.

Is it worth it? Maybe. For some.

Does it matter that more and more people are seeking to get paid for their time, their effort, and the coverage they provide?

Media coverage has significant perceived value. This is known. We also know that feature stories tend to be more valuable than reviews. But even reviews have value and get read, forwarded, tweeted, and contribute to the search engine placement of owner sites.

There are objective trusted media (Associated Press and the Voice of America). There are media who express certain bias one way or the other (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX). There are media you can rely on for certain types of coverage and reporting because of their appeal to their dedicated paying audiences (ESPN, Oxygen, O magazine, Cosmopolitan, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Reader’s Digest) and there’s media who simply report the entertaining or outrageous (The Enquirer, The Star) and the tantalizing and sexy (NY Post, Playboy, Penthouse and more). It may be print, electronic, or it may be online.

Coverage is what everyone is after. Some are obviously willing to pay to be there.

There are ethical (non-paying, objective, honest) reviewers and financially conflicted (paying, inherently-biased, allegedly dishonest) reviewers as well.

Some comply with the FTC disclosure requirements, and many don’t.

Obviously, it’s become a buyer beware marketplace. There is no reliable ever present policeman in the marketplace to protect innocent viewers from those who would take their money despite the FTC’s disclosure requirements.

Some of my clients actually have decided to experiment and pay for the coverage. In some cases the posts can be very useful in terms of the SEO value, since they trigger media coverage online and in social media.

The hits, the traffic, links, tweets, and conversation generated downstream can be significant enough to justify the costs.

But there is no way to predict the break even costs or value.

If you have an expensive product or multiple products or streams of income, then it may be in your favor.

If you are a single ebook author, and it is your first time, well, and need to sell a thousand $.99 books just to break even on your investment then it is a risk that YOU have to determine. It may be a role of the dice. You better think twice and enter the marketplace with your eyes open.

In any case, getting the word out there is something you have to try to do if you are going to seek the financial reimbursement of your time and energy. Being systematic, strategic and taking careful action to reduce your risks and maximize your gain, well that is something I highly recommend you do.

Reach out your target audience and turn them on. You can do this by creating a great book or delivering valuable helpful content. You can do this by doing what you do best or by creating controversy and getting other people to talk about you.

There are lots of reasonable strategies that you can use to trigger the interest that results in sales. You just have to create a good workable plan and schedule, get it going, and learn to do the things that work for you.

I’ve written a few more posts about the paying for book reviews issue. If you are interested in reading more, here’s a link:

http://blog.directcontactpr.com/2010/08/paying-for-book-reviews-is-it-worth-it/

or

http://goo.gl/xUvS0