Writers, Audiences, and Publicists

Today, I got a letter from a publicist who would like me to host his client for a blog tour at the end of January.

This is not one of my regulars. In fact, until I got the letter, I’d never heard of either one of them. And while I don’t mind being asked, I have to wonder if my blog is really the best fit for this particular blog tour.

In the first place, I’ve never had a blog-tour type post on Reprobate Typewriter. Blog hops, sure. But a promotional, buy this other guy’s book thing? Never. In fact, I’ve never even had a guest post on Reprobate Typewriter. Not that I wouldn’t, under the right circumstances, but as of right now… The count stands at zero.

And in the second place… the book in question is a Christian futuristic…uhm, something or other. Oh, yeah. Fiction. (that’s the way it’s described, and no, I really couldn’t remember that last word.) I have thoughts on the subject of Christian (or any other demographic) as a separate genre. And, uhm…. well, let’s be honest. Religion is somewhat outside the scope of this blog.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a polytheistic alien with an intergalactic empire at hand.

And I don’t know how many of my readers fit the “Christian Fiction” demographic. Three? Well, however many there are, my swearing hasn’t scared them off, and neither have the twenty-seven gods in my novel. They read widely.

The publicist wouldn’t have to dig too far before he ran into something that says “Not my Target Audience.”

So, it’s fairly clear this particular publicist is running a scatter gun campaign. Ask everybody you can find an email for, and make a list. Ask people you don’t know. Ask people whose blogs you don’t read.

Take the author’s money for that.

That’s the part that makes me angry. Someone sets themselves up as a publicist, and then doesn’t do the work to make sure they’re at least plausibly talking to the right people. They haven’t built relationships, but they’re not willing to turn down a job, and every blog tour? A bunch of cold calls.

Just from being in the writing community, I can think of half a dozen people–off the top of my head–who would be a better fit. And I’m not a publicist.

If you’re looking for blogs for one thing, and you happen to run into something else, make a note of it, and move on! Don’t try to hammer that square peg in!

4 thoughts on “Writers, Audiences, and Publicists

  1. A.S. Akkalon says:

    Unbelievable, yet sadly, as I understand it, not that uncommon.

  2. Tirzah says:

    I don’t know whether you know I’m in your count, but I’m one of the un-scared-off Christian readers. But from what I’ve read of the genre, almost nothing claiming to be at once “Christian” and “fiction” is very good at being either. The best Christian or Christian-themed fictions I’ve read did not bother to advertise themselves as such–take The Chronicles of Narnia–so if you’re going to branch out into guest blogging, that would be a doubly bad place for you to start. >_>’

    Sucks that someone’s spending good money for that service. There are a lot of services out there waiting to take advantage of writers, and they usually range from “straight-up scam” to “slimy practices” like the one you mentioned. A pity, because it’s a wide-open field for some honest, diligent publicists to step up to the plate with some reasonable rates…

    • Karen says:

      I tend to think that way, myself. I’m disappointed when the religion that brought us Bach settles for the latest monotonous “worship band.” If I ever hear from someone who seems legit and is looking for intellectual Christian blogs, I’ll get their email address for you. It could happen. (Probably not here, but I’m on some other forums.)

  3. Tirzah says:

    I don’t know whether you know I’m in your count, but I’m one of the un-scared-off Christian readers. But from what I’ve read of the genre, almost nothing claiming to be at once “Christian” and “fiction” is very good at being either. The best Christian or Christian-themed fictions I’ve read did not bother to advertise themselves as such–take The Chronicles of Narnia–so if you’re going to branch out into guest blogging, that would be a doubly bad place for you to start. >_>’

    Sucks that someone’s spending good money for that service. There are a lot of services out there waiting to take advantage of writers, and they usually range from “straight-up scam” to “slimy practices” like the one you mentioned. A pity, because it’s a wide-open field for some honest, diligent publicists to step up to the plate with some reasonable rates…

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