Do You Need A Book Publicist?

Do You Need A Book Publicist?
February 15, 2016 No Comments » For Authors, Writing Advice Nancy E Miller
book publicist

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What is a book publicist and why do you need one? There are pros and cons to hiring a book publicist.  I must admit before I start that I am prejudiced. If I had the money, I would turn over the complete marketing to a professional. 





What Does A Book Publicist Do?

Book publicists work for the author creating press releases and announcements. Now they aren’t going to do the interviews {podcasts/blogs) for you but they will set them up along with other options you might not think of.  They will help you refine your websites, pages, and tweets and create a schedule of them so you don’t forget. They excel at taking complicated ideas, such as creating a one-line pitch for your book, and making them easier to write.

Today you find more freelance publicist looking for work. When hiring a freelancer, an author must treat it like hiring any professional for a job. References are an absolute must. A good publicist has contacts with the best blogs, publishers, booksellers, and mass media. They are your cheerleader to the world.  So if you hire a brand new publicist with no contacts, you aren’t going to get much punch for your money. While the job doesn’t require a college degree, your publicist must excel in their writing skills.  A good attitude with you, the customer, and the people they contact on your behalf is an absolute must. Their job is to make you and your book look good.

But Can I Afford  A Publicist?

Now for the question everyone wants to know: How much does it cost?  I can’t tell you. Why? Because it will depend on your publicist, their reputation and level of experience, and what exactly you wish them to do. Will they take over your entire marketing plan or simply make suggestions and reminders? Tailor what will fit into your budget and make sure you discuss the details with your publicist before signing a contract.

Let’s face it, if you are self-publishing and don’t heavily self-promote, your book is less likely to make it to the top 100 on Amazon.  Self-promotion is a full-time job, which cuts into the time you have to write the next book.  I’ve been there with my first book, Crystal Unicorns, and I know my attempts were inadequate. 

Can I Do It Myself?

When you read these suggestions, think about whether you have the time and energy to complete even some of these ideas and maintain them.  First, create an author’s bioCreate an author website, use the latest search engine techniques to optimize your SEO. Add a ‘Store’ page to your website that includes your books and branded merchandise. Host giveaways on your website and your Facebook page to help build excitement over you book(s). Host contests. Book online book tours. Write and distribute press releases. Create a monthly newsletter. Research your competitors. Create a blog and keep it up to date. Make a Facebook author page.  And don’t forget Twitter. Register with Amazon and create an Author’s page. And then there is LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads. And that is just the beginning. 

So there are the basics.  The Good and the Bad. I was fortunate to find Amanda Mabry to work with as my book publicist. She is still working on getting me to do what I need to do in preparation for my next book. I thank her for her patience. 

Nancy E Miller Nancy E. Miller, romantic suspense author of Shark Bait and Crystal Unicorns, lives near St. Louis with her husband and three dogs, pygmy goats, chickens and a cranky rooster named Ketchup. Her degree is in Psychology and Sociology. She has worked in education and mental health as a case manager and crisis counselor.

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