Since the new year, I've journeyed to the perfect marketing elixir. I've already started this blog, participated in various social media platforms, submitted works in contests, and attended live events. However, book sales remain stagnant, so I decided to take a risk and try a handful of book promotion services, most of which I found on Twitter.
For most authors on Twitter, I'm sure you've seen a plethora of services boasting their social media prowess, promising exposure of your novel. As a new author, I had questions: How effective is it? What is the quality? Will this actually result in sales?
After participating in a handful of promotion sites/services, some free and some paid, I wanted to share my experiences because I firmly believe writers should support one another. Most of us don't know what we're walking into when a marketing opportunity arises.
Below is a chart of book promotion sites/services I utilized. All but the last one were exclusively online promotion. Pay attention to the scoring below.  means little or none  somewhat/okay  and  service was executed OR excellent service.
Disclaimer: I address the specific of service I selected, as some of these sites offer more than one service. Also, I'm sharing factual information regarding my experience only. I scored them on responsiveness (if I needed to reach out), execution (did they do what I paid/opted in for), and quality. I will *not* include subjective comments as each person may have a different experience with the vendors. My scorecard is *not* intended to promote or discourage any service, but rather provide facts of what happened.
I chose these services to diversify my marketing reach. Did they increase my sales? I have yet to see those results; however, if not, I didn't feel they were a waste. Sometimes you have to shout your name, loudly, multiple times for people to remember you. However, there are some lessons.
 Quality: Look at the promotion site and the books they're promoting. I checked out dozens and was shocked. There was one that displayed a book with suggestive misogynistic themes. When I looked at the author more closely, there were more publications explaining what women needed to be "taught". I personally didn't want my title associated with sites that allow such publications. Another promo site displayed what seemed like anything they were given, and didn't vet out quality.
 Look for similarities among sites. Pay close attention to the submission forms. If they look exactly the same, consider the fact they *may* be owned by the same people. You want to spend your time (and maybe money) on as much diverse options as possible. Which leads to my next one...
 Diversify, diversify, diversify! Try an ad. Try shout outs on social media. Try interviews. Just don't put all your eggs in one basket.
 Know that it may not increase sales.
...But it could. It's all in the risk. Weigh the risks and benefits. Look at the free versus paid services.
Take these scores in stride. Remember, the parameters were chosen to be as objective as possible. The end result could vary from person to person.
Choose wisely. Feel free to pick my brain by sending me a message.