We found this posting by Author, Brett T. Mazzoni on the SFWA Facebook page:
“Strategic Publishing which is also known as AEG Publishing is a classic vanity publisher; meaning that they take your money, print a few copies, send you one and that’s it. It’s nothing but a money making con. I don’t know how this company is still operational and its employees aren’t in jail. I fell victim to them under the AEG name. Now I am seeking an agent and will not publish anything but short stories in small publications until I have that agent to keep me away from these thieves.”
This appears to be another one of those “my book hasn’t sold, the publisher took my money, they are cons, they should go to jail and I am a victim” stories. If this demonstrates anything, it validates Angelia Hoy’s statement: “[w]hether you land a traditional contract or whether you self-publish, you are the one who will need to promote your book.” (See below). Mr. Mazzoni, you are the classic example of the “vanity author” that was spawned from the misconception that your book’s failure rests solely on the shoulders of your publisher. What have you done to market this book? Considering that you were not able to secure a “traditional contact” and you voluntarily opted to pay-to-play and the fact that your book has likely sold only 5 – 7 copies in two years . . . where’s the theft?
Here’s what we have learned about the marketing of this book:
Calsisko Volume 1 – The Beginning of the War
February 23, 2009
2.2 (11 copies every 5 days)
0.2 (1 copy every 5 days)
0.006 (3 copies every 500 days)
0.0001 (1 copy every 1000 days)
Mr. Mazzoni, has a Facebook Fan Page with no sales links to his book (Amazon, B&N etc.). His information page states: “Brett T. Mazzoni is at this point an unpublished Science Fiction author looking to make a career out of writing the genre that he loves.” Huh? There is a YouTube Trailer Video that was created by the publisher which was uploaded on August 7, 2009. As of April 17, there have only been 39 views. The publisher posted a Press Release announcing Mr. Mazzoni’s book on March 7, 2009. A Google search failed to reveal any evidence of news articles, book reviews, signing events or interviews which Author, Brett T. Mazzoni may have either been a party to or participated in.
“The sad but very true fact is, unless your name is Stephen King, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, or some other household name, nobody is going to spend any significant time or money marketing your book. Even if you land a traditional contract, you will still be expected to do most of the grunt work. Don’t believe me? Just ask any midlist or other relatively unknown author. The publisher might send out a few review copies, and might even arrange a couple of interviews and/or appearances. But, if the book doesn’t succeed almost instantly, they are going to quickly turn their attention back to one of their best sellers, or to someone who they hope will be their next best seller. Whether you land a traditional contract or whether you self-publish, you are the one who will need to promote your book. Sure, if you have money socked away you can hire a PR firm but doing so can be incredibly expensive and, to be quite honest, they’re just not the author. Nothing beats an author connecting one-on-one with potential book buyers, online or off. It’s like comparing a press release to a personal email from the author herself. There is no comparison and sales results will certainly show for it.”
- Angela Hoy
Mazzoni, Brett T. “Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America | Facebook.” Welcome to Facebook – Log In, Sign Up or Learn More. 16 Apr. 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http://www.facebook.com/SFWA.org>.
“When Authors Aren’t Willing to Market Their Books.” WritersWeekly.com. Web. 05 Mar. 2011. <http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/005129_01072009.html>