Author Advice

How To Detect Promotion Scams

I almost got scammed!

As I approach pre-order status, it’s becoming more important for me to find ways to let readers know my book is available. I’m what you call an unknown author. No book. No platform. You might be in the same position. Most of us start this way, and it in no way reflects your worth as an author or a person.

Please, whatever you do, don’t fall for promotion scams. As a newbie author, you are the most susceptible. These places will pray on your ignorance. Ignorance is not a crime, but I’d rather not learn from personal experience. I’d rather someone warn me. That’s what this post is: your warning. Don’t feel like you’re stupid if you’ve fallen for one of these. It is so easy to do. These people are like car salespeople.

I almost fell for it today when a Twitter account was selling ads space for a 1.3 million reach. They only have 300k on that account but claimed two other unnamed accounts. Even if that were true, if it’s not in the same place, it could be the same followers on all three. I took a moment to do my own research. That’s when I noticed what they were boasting wasn’t true.

How do you avoid being scammed?

Do your research. If an ad agency follows you, take the follow. You don’t have to buy their services. Most aren’t worth it.

If the promotion site has hundreds of thousands of followers but their posts don’t get likes or retweets, they’re not worth your $10 to have them post for you. Hiring promoters with large numbers but minuscule results is not going to magically increase your sales.

You might be thinking “I have a great book cover. It’ll work for me.”. Sorry to burst your bubble, but no. Maybe you’ll get a few likes that won’t result in sales. It’s not worth it.

How do they have so many followers?

Their followers are freebie seekers who want something simply because it’s free (Isn’t that being human?) and mute them when they’re tired of notifications. They only visit the site when they’re ready for their next free splurge. They’re also authors like you who want a quick and cheap way to get their books in front of people. Before buying ad space, ask yourself if you’d be interested in their service as a reader. If the answer is no, go somewhere else.

Think of where you’ve seen ads that made you interested enough to purchase the book. Think of yourself as your potential reader. What works for you will work better for them than something that doesn’t work for you.

Why do authors keep buying their services?

When you’re excited to launch your book, you tend to read about their services from them and disregard firsthand research. This is how you get scammed.

Okay, so technically, if they post the tweet, which is the service you’re paying for, you’re not being scammed. However, if they don’t have a proven track record of results (like Book Bub), they’re ripping you off.

Where should I run ads?

So for today’s pipping hot tea, don’t let laziness take your money. Put your money toward real ads that you can target to readers who are most likely to buy your book.

I’ll be running a few ads and learning the different systems in the following months. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see posts on my progress and which platforms led to the highest ROI.

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