Bostick Communications WebsiteIn late June 2014, I was contacted by Bostick Communications who offered me aid in advertising my book, Anna (The Starseed Series). I’ve seen a lot of writers asking about the validity of the service, so I wanted to share my experience.

Here is the email I received:

We are offering you a special rate of $95 to reach up to 30,000 applicable reviewers and media contacts…

Bostick Communications, with over 25 years of experience, specializes in e-mailing press releases regarding books to our database of up to 30,000 book reviewers, print, radio, television and internet media contacts for only $95 (regular $175). The e-mails are sent individually addressed to each applicable contact.

After each distribution our staff makes follow up calls to key contacts to help push your book.  We forward all review/interview requests to you and offer feedback regarding those requests.  Our service also includes content and timing recommendations at no additional charge.  Your book is also placed on our tracking system for over one year. Our program monitors thousands of review and media sites, seeking reviews/mentions on your book.  When pick up is detected we immediately forward the applicable link to you.  We continue to present your book to applicable new additions to our database long after the initial e-mail blast.

The key to our success has been twofold: our marketing plan and our databases.  The Bostick Communications marketing plan is NOT based on how many releases we distribute each day, but how many reviews/interviews we secure for our clients in a given day.  We build our client base mainly by referrals and that is accomplished by giving our author clients book exposure.

The Bostick Communications databases are the most comprehensive and up to date in the industry. We have an entire staff devoted to updating our databases each day.

Database accuracy is the key to being a successful press release distribution service. Most contacts in our database are opt-in and we have hundreds of “exclusive” relationships with reviewers that review ONLY for Bostick Communications’ clients. Our standards for database inclusion are very high. If reviewers don’t meet our reviewing requirements over a period of time, they are deleted from the database.

Please review our website for more information at this link:

                                                   Press Release Distribution

 And also be sure to refer to our testimonials from our author clients:

                                                           Testimonials

 Recent client placements can be found on our Twitter page:

                                                     Client Placements

 Bostick Communications is the recipient of the Association of Independent Authors (AiA) Honoring Excellence Award ( AiA Award page).

I thank you for your time.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I am confident our service can be of great value to you. By the way, the $95 rate we have quoted is not a “teaser rate”.  That is your set rate to use our service effective today.

Best Regards,

NAME REMOVED FOR PRIVACY REASONS
VP – Marketing
Bostick Communications

For a few weeks, I had been contemplating ways to approach bloggers for reviews without having to email each one separately. Working full time and having a baby, I didn’t have time for that. My first thought was a blog tour service, but those I had found were booked for months. So, when I received this email, Googled them, and found no real argument against their services, I decided to give it a try with the sole intention of gaining access to a database of bloggers.

After I ordered, I wrote up what I wanted in the press release and they pieced it together for me. Within the week, it was mailed out to their database. The very same day, I started receiving requests. Bostick Communications forwarded the requests to me and it was my responsibility to respond. I was instructed that some writers prefer not respond at all, but just send the copy, but I sent a personalized email to almost all of them.

The requests included a name, mailing address (if they wanted a paperback), where the review would be posted, and, usually, a link to their blog. Some were labeled “Priority Reviewer”, because they had a history of following through. I made sure to respond to them right away.

I received requests for over 2 months, mainly from small independent blogs. Most of the requests were for a paperback. When I got to the end of two months, I had to turn some people down, because I couldn’t afford to send them all copies. There were 2 people, who I rejected after viewing their blogs, because they didn’t seem to be a good fit for my book. I saved and filed all requests I received in my email, so I could easily track who received a copy. There were a couple times where I discovered that a reviewer had requested a copy, but I didn’t receive their email. Either Bostick Communications overlooked their email or there was an error on the side of the sender, so having that middle person can create a small problem.

What were my results? I sent out 52 copies of Anna and got 13-15 reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and various blogs. I also got 2 blog based interview requests.

The quality of the reviews were varying. Each reader received a description of my book, so they knew what they were getting. Out of the 13-15, 2 of the blogger clearly stated in their review that it wasn’t the type of book they usually read and that they disliked the topics featured. Reading this makes me angry, because I spent money to send them copies of a book that they basically knew they weren’t going to like. I, for one, don’t like Westerns and would never take a copy of a Western to review at the expense of someone else. So, I’m not sure of their motivation. On the other hand, I had one reviewer who I had felt didn’t quite fit the typical reader of my book, but they convinced me to send them a copy and it turned out to be one of the best reviews I received.

Overall, I have to say I’m a disappointed. I spent a good chunk of money giving out free copies of my book and I’ve received less than 20 reviews over the course of 3 months. It makes me think that the majority of the people on the list that Bostick claims they cull are just looking for free books. Additionally, the Bostick Communications website claims they send to the local media circuits and that they ‘place 40 – 50 phone calls to applicable key contacts to help “push” the release.’ I didn’t see any evidence that they did that, but I can’t say with 100% certainty that they didn’t

So, would I hire Bostick Communications again? Maybe. I have to wait and see if any other reviews pop-up. If I did, I’d probably only offer an ebook, because paying for multiple paperbacks (even with my discount) and shipping can get expensive.

Have you used the service offered by Bostick Communications? Have they contacted you?