Beware! Are You Getting Everything You Paid For?
Guest Post by Irene Watson
I keep harping on credibility because I believe being upfront is of utmost importance. Embellishing information on a website eventually catches up, especially when it looks like the information is being “stretched.” Unfortunately may authors take the word as truth and don’t question the content.
Recently an author communicated with me about a video she had made by an online site. She was happy with the video but was questioning the distribution and wanted to know my opinion. Knowing how much time and effort it takes to make a presentable and professional video I checked the site for more information. As I continued to browse the site I found this information:
* trailer will be submitted to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Well, in reality Amazon doesn’t allow book trailers in their review section. Their guidelines say that they are advertisements. (You can put the video on your author page, however, it’s doubtful that authors give the company access to their personal account.) As well, B & N website doesn’t have provisions for videos on the book page so I’m not sure what happens there…probably nothing.
* trailer will be distributed up to 100 high-traffic video channels. I asked a colleague to ask for a list of these channels and the response was: (I didn’t think I would get a response.)
The full list of sites to which we post our videos is proprietary, so we don’t release it in its entirety, but we’ll gladly provide you with some of the links at which you can view your trailer.
This is exactly the same line that the author got when I asked her to inquire. So, that’s fine. Trying another angle, we asked for examples where we could see some of the trailers posted and were given one: YouTube. Again, same thing as the author indicated.
There are video sharing programs but they are super-expensive and it’s doubtful that this company pays for one considering the low cost of the initial trailer. Besides, if they did subscribe, these online programs pump out a list of links where the videos are posted that are emailed to the submitter so it would be very easy to copy/paste and send to the author confirming the 100 high-traffic video channels. Checking the distribution points that were mentioned on the site we found none of the videos, that were on YouTube, posted by this company .
Note the word “some” in the response. To me “some” indicates it’s not the 25 – 50 or 100 sites as promised but as little as one or two. Why only some?
* press release announcing the trailer distributed to 250,00 media outlets. When asked for more information in this regard the response was:
Regarding your press release, we submit it to our syndicated PR service, from which it is further distributed to media outlets worldwide.
In reality there are many free online sites you can post a press release where “media” can pick it up. In order to actually distribute a press release companies charge a fee and from the looks of the price of the video there are no funds allotted to distribution. Checking online I couldn’t find a press release for the author’s video.
Many authors have used this service and I suspect it’s because of the low price. I have no qualms with that whatsoever. Marketing budgets are tight and ROI may be low so I definitely encourage getting the best price. But, what I don’t encourage is getting sucked into false numbers…or numbers/services that aren’t justified, proven, or disclosed. Maybe it doesn’t matter as long as you have a low-budget trailer made and it feels good to get one for less than others charge. However, to me, it seems like distribution is extremely important for SEO purposes because after all, isn’t that the reason for having a book trailer? Are you okay paying for something you don’t get?
I’d like to know what your comments are. How do you verify credibility or do you follow up to be sure you are getting what you paid for?
Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.