Why Authors Should Hire a Professional Publicist
You thought self-publishing a book meant you would do everything yourself, but you keep having to outsource multiple services to make it happen, from editors and proofreaders to cover designers and typesetters. It turns out it takes a lot more than just writing skills to publish a book, and no one has all the skills needed to make it a success.
You might be considering doing your own PR to save a few bucks, but should you? Publishing a book that’s up to industry standards takes a professional team, and a key member of that team is a professional publicist. After all, it doesn’t matter how amazing your book is if no one knows it exists.
Investing in marketing is investing in the future of your book. If you’re ready to start working with a team of marketing experts, check out our book marketing packages for authors.
Why you shouldn’t do your own PR
Unless you’re trained in the art of PR, we highly recommend hiring a professional publicist to market your book for you. Book marketing takes a myriad of skills, networking, and business strategy savvy that only trained professionals possess. Nothing says “amateur” quite like a bad PR campaign!
A good marketing campaign for your book increases your chances of success. The more you build a name for yourself and the bigger you grow your fanbase, the easier it’ll be when you release your next book. Besides, don’t you want to focus on your next writing project? Doing your own PR is a full-time job that will distract you from your other creative endeavors, so do what you do best, and let an expert focus on promoting your new book. Yes, it’ll cost you, but you have to consider the return on investment and the opportunity cost.
Why you should hire a publicist
The self-publishing industry is growing every day, which means there’s more competition and it’s becoming harder than ever to stand out. We’re not saying that to deter you from publishing your book but to convince you to hire a professional publicist to make sure your work sells. A saturated market doesn’t mean you can’t succeed—it just means you have to double your efforts to make it.
Successfully marketing a new book, especially if you’re an emerging author, requires lots of networking, that is, having the right contacts in the media and publishing industries. Whether you hire a big PR firm or an independent book publicist, they will know who to pitch your book to for the best exposure to your target audience. From podcast interviews and blog posts to TV appearances and social media hype, your publicist will devise a marketing strategy to get your book noticed and in readers’ hands. A great publicist can also get your title in brick-and-mortar bookstores, even if you’re self-published. Essentially, you can just hand them the reins and trust their judgment to get your book and name out there while you type away your next story.
A professional marketing strategy can also include building your brand as an author, which will set you up for success with all the books you publish in the future. Of course, becoming a brand name isn’t easy, especially for newcomers, but a PR expert will know exactly how to get your name and your work in the press, creating a strategy that will put you on the map and build your author platform. Once you have a solid fanbase, future books will be easier to promote since you’ll have an eager audience ready to lap it up.
What kind of publicist should you hire?
Money is usually the main reason self-published authors choose to do without a professional publicist, but as with all things self-publishing, it’s a worthy investment if you want to be taken seriously as a writer. Still, that doesn’t mean hiring the cheapest (or most expensive) PR firm: It means hiring the right one for you and your book. The price is certainly a factor, but it’s far from the only one.
You should look for a publicist who’s an expert in marketing books and works in your niche or genre. Just like literary agents and publishers, publicists have areas of expertise, and you want someone who is compatible and has the kind of contacts and experience that will get your book into the right hands. If they don’t have experience with your genre, they may not have the necessary connections or know the best approaches to engage your target audience.
Ask your potential publicist for references and, when possible, follow up with other authors they have worked with to get a better idea of what you can expect from their professional services and your relationship with them. After all, you’re hiring them to make your life easier, not more complicated, which is why you want someone you will get along with and who has the track record to justify their price tag. So, do your due diligence before signing a contract, and don’t be afraid to shop around before picking your publicist. Your book’s future is on the line—this isn’t a decision to take lightly.
From press kits to book trailers, from reviews to book signings, your publicist should have a clear marketing plan for your book, and you should understand what that plan is. You also need to know what your publicist requires from you so that you’re both prepared for interviews, guest blog posts, and more. It’s a collaborative effort, but the publicist will handle the hard work for you. Head over to our book marketing services for authors and start working with a professional today.