You never know what you’ll find in the New York Times.
I was drinking my coffee this morning and perusing the Times Book Review. Flipping to page seven, I found a full page ad titled Brilliant books for your bookshelf! Normally I skip over the ads, but as I did some logos caught my eye – AuthorHouse, Trafford, and iUniverse. Going back a page I saw Xlibris with a full page under Fresh Ideas. Unforgettable Stories.
Wow! Penguin’s new subsidiary Author Solutions out there at work for “self-publishing” authors.
Having followed the tactics of Author Solutions (which includes imprints for AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris, Trafford and several others), I was interested in what I saw.
A quick look at the Author House site indicated that the authors whose books had appeared paid $5,899 for the New York Times Media Marketing Package. What does that buy? The following description appears on the AuthorHouse site:
New York Times Media Marketing includes:
- A single slot advertisement – features your book, with book details and a brief description of your book, alongside a select group of AuthorHouse authors.
- Press Release - Essential Edition – A media expert will craft a press release promoting your book that will be distributed to at least 500 media outlets, with one month of news tracking provided.
So for almost $6,000 authors got a one-time appearance with 11 other books on the page including a 1¼” X 7/8” black and white image of their cover, a listing of their name, ISBN and the price of the book, and a description of their book which averaged 37 words for the books shown. Opps! I almost forgot the press release, which was, no doubt, an email blast.
On top of that, the copywriting in the descriptions is truly memorable. Look at these two examples (reproduced exactly as they appeared on page 7 of the Book Review):
Private Considerations By Martha Robinson
Martha Robinson’s memoir, in revealing the people and events that shaped her life, chronicles the impact of love; emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; alcoholism; troubled marriages; and intimate tragedies and triumphs on three generations of strong women.
A Heart Too Far By Expedito A. Ibarbia
Water boarding torture worse than in Gitmo is depicted in American betrayal of Philippine struggle for independence from Spain over a century ago. American Christine Kelcher in tragic romance with colonel and insurgent general.
Makes you want to run right out to buy those books. Or maybe not!
Sound like a vanity press preying on unsophisticated authors who want to see their books in print and are easily convinced that for a few dollars more they will move from the page 7 ad to the Times Best Seller List?