In this section, we will discuss the importance of finding a great book publicist for your next book. The first step to finding a great book publicist is to find out what type of publicist you are looking for. There are many different types of publicists, but it is important to find one who suits your needs and goals. Some common types of book publicists include:
- A) Corporate or business-focused –These types of book publicists can help you with marketing and publicity in the corporate world.
- B) Literary agent-focused –These types of book publicists can help you with literary agents and publishers.
- C) Author-focused –These types of book publicists can help you with marketing and publicity in the author community.
- D) Publicity firm-focused –These book publicists work in teams to provide various services, including social media management, content creation, and event planning.
- E) Traditional book promotion-focused –These types of book publicists focus on traditional media and publicity for books, as well as author signings.
What does a book publicist do?
Put simply, and a publicist must make a book or an author noteworthy. Traditionally, that meant having your book mentioned in the appropriate media. Newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and events can all be included depending on your budget and target audience. However, in today’s digital age, their role extends far beyond traditional media platforms (though they are also included in the scope).
The contemporary book publicist also works with many websites, blogs, podcasts, and social media platforms. They may assist you to avoid risky marketing strategies by directing you in the appropriate route. In a time of constantly evolving digital marketing, they also provide tools and advice. Good publicists are familiar with the media and can tell which stories certain journalists are interested in covering.
What, then, does the marketing procedure entail?
Typically, a book publicist starts with an in-depth conversation with the author. They’ll inquire about your objectives, writing, and desired target audience. They can construct a campaign and devise tactics to contact appropriate media outlets. They mainly work under two business models, traditional fee-based or pay-for-performance. The first indicates that the publicist pays you a cost based on what they’ll perform and the job’s timeline. Pay-for-performance means that they charge a set-up cost, and then you pay on a per-placement basis. For example, a high-profile in a high-end magazine will cost more than an interview on your local radio station.
To summarize, what can you anticipate from a campaign? A successful campaign may result in one or more of the following:
- Book reviews
- Recommendations and excerpts
- Feature stories
- Print and broadcast interviews
- Bylined articles
- Press releases
What you don’t get from a book publicist
Although publicists should be included in your marketing plan, they’re not marketers. They don’t supply any advertising, such as billboards, social media advertisements, or Google ads.
They’re PR professionals, a word that comes under the marketing umbrella but with a somewhat distinct focus. PR professionals aim to create awareness of you and your book in media that matter in your field. While marketers attempt to promote or sell a certain product, a publicist uses strategic communication to create and preserve her author’s reputation.
Publicity As A Self-Publishing Author Vs. Traditional Publishers
For conventional publishers, the PR campaign generally looks slightly different than one of a self-publishing author. Their focus for publicity is on a book’s launch date, usually within three to six months.
This is due to the retail models used by bookstores. Publishers want to sell as many books as possible right away in order to avoid bookstore returns. On the other hand, Savvy Book Marketing isn’t typically distributed in high-volume bookstores. Print-on-demand services (like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing) ensure that there isn’t any incentive to avoid returns. Therefore, the timescale for success can stretch over a long extended period.
How do you know if you should hire a book publicist?
First and foremost, book publicists are generally expensive. Particularly the good ones. So, it poses the issue – can you afford one? A skilled publicist can charge up to $5,000 per month. A good campaign that runs for at least two to three months will cost you around $15,000. In saying that – if your money permits it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t engage a book publicist.
And if you’re in two minds about it, you may ask yourself a few questions to make the decision easier:
- Is your goal to reach a large audience with your book? Nation-wide or even globally?
- Do you want to have a long-term career as an author?
- Are you willing to put in the work yourself regarding promotion and marketing?
- Can you afford the initial investment?
- Are you willing to pay the money without any guarantees?
If you’ve answered yes to most of those questions – you should start looking for a publicist. If you’re on a tight budget, an option is to work with a local publicist. They typically charge less since there are fewer media outlets. Of course, this also means that you won’t get national coverage.
Note that some publicists don’t work with self-publishing authors, so check this when doing your research.
When To Get A Book Publicist Involved
You should begin researching and get in touch with a publicist as soon as you start planning your marketing strategy, i.e., a few months before your launch date. There are a few reasons for this:
- Availability. Good publicists are usually booked out, so if you’re late, you may need to settle for one that’s less in demand.
- Research Time. You’ll need plenty of time to find the best publicist for your book.
- Strategy Planning. Your publicist needs time to create a strategy and start initiating it, i.e., contacting media outlets, distributing advance review copies, etc.
A good campaign comes into play two or three months before your book launch, which should be the peak of your campaign. However, you don’t want to bring a publicist too early. Make sure you have a draft of your book and a timeline for when you want to publish it. That gives them more to work with in terms of pricing and planning.
Bear in mind that even if you’re hiring a publicist, you still need to learn how to market your book. Publicity and marketing is a team effort, and the more work you put in – the better results you’ll see.
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