There are a million ways to spend money marketing

Just like there a million gadgets and potions to lose weight, there are a million ways to spend money to try to market your book.

I got the weirdest pitch the other day - to have an audio sample made of any 1250 words of my book. Supposedly, this sample would ramp up sales, build buzz, and create word-of-mouth marketing. And if you aren't yet published, it will “jump start your marketing campaign” to agents, editors and publishers.

But wait, there's more! You could supposedly post this 6-8 minute snippet on your website and blog, add a link to your email signature, and use it in media pitches. If you aren't published yet, you could attach it to your query letter.

Yes, you could use it all those ways. But the idea that they will get you media coverage or an agent or even more readers seems dubious. If I’m thinking of buying a book, I’d rather read the first few pages, which I can do at a much faster pace than listening to some one say them.

To me, this just seems like a waste of $450.

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I made my own audio clips and posted them on my website. Using freeware. Cost to me: $0/£0. $450? Sheesh.
Do you think it's even recorded by a human? Such a thing would be easy to automate... and it's also easy to imagine how impressive the results would be.
It was done by someone who hired herself out as vocal talent.

I would love an inexpensive program that read my text aloud to me (but not in a robotic monotone) so I could hear what I need to fix.