When you think of hiring a publicist, you list out what you need for your book to be exposed to the media: acquiring the right target market, increasing book sales, and overall planning a better marketing strategy.
Table of contents
- A book publicist's job
- The Pros and Cons of Having A Book Publicist
- Pro: Promotion of self-published books
- Con: Cost of hiring a book publicist
- Pro: Guaranteed increase in book sales
- Con: Time-consuming
- Pro: Relevant book reviews
- Con: Limited results
- Pro: Scoring media interviews
- Con: Limited feedback from the media
- Pro: Your book will gain the publicity it needs
- Con: You'll have to share control of your book to a book publicist
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
If you've decided to become a traditionally published author—as opposed to writing self-published books—you'll probably have the opportunity to work with a book publicist.
So, you're an author in need of book publicity… now what?
But the question is: do you really need one?
If you're on the fence about hiring a book publicist, hopefully, this article will help you make up your mind. In this piece, we'll break down exactly what publicists do—and don't do—as well as what authors stand to gain from hiring one.
A book publicist's job
When you're an author, you're used to doing everything yourself: writing, researching, editing, and even marketing. But there's one thing every author has struggled with at some point: publicity.
A book publicist is someone who works on behalf of authors and publishers to get their books in front of the right audiences, generating publicity, attention, and sales. They are far more than just a marketing agent; they have the contacts and the experience to make sure that the people who need to know about your book hear about it in a timely and effective manner.
However, publicists do not act as an assistant and don't arrange everything on your plate for you.
When you hear the word publicist, you think of publicity. A book publicist offers guarantees for your book to gain media coverage and better opportunities to showcase your creative writing to more readers, such as a press release.
In fact, book publicists only help you get your book out there. Whether they focus on social media coverage or blogging, you need to know that they are only helping you with your book marketing strategy by reaching specific audiences that you can cater to.
If you are in traditional publishing, you will be working with an acquisitions editor, a marketing and sales director, and finally, a publicist. The publicist's job is to specifically do publicity and marketing.
The Pros and Cons of Having A Book Publicist
Authors seem to believe that everything they need for publicity lies within the media. And with that, they will put hiring a publicist at the top of the list.
Here are some pros and cons of having a book publicist:
Pro: Promotion of self-published books
Book promotion can seem challenging especially if you self-publish, so a publicist might be able to help you out.
When you're in the self-publishing industry, it can be slightly difficult to have your books gain the promotion it needs. Whether you write literary fiction or nonfiction, you know this can be a learning curve especially since you are connecting with your audience and fellow writers.
Book publicists are responsible for promoting your book and getting it out in front of as many people as possible. They're the ones who work on generating buzz, getting your book reviews, connecting you with media outlets, and generally making sure that everyone is aware of your book's existence.
Self-published authors know firsthand that if they want their book to succeed, they will need to gain publicity and make media connections while doing so.
Book publicists will promote your book through media relations, which means getting press coverage for your book by pitching news outlets and journalists on doing stories about it. This can include writing press releases and getting them distributed to relevant journalists and editors, as well as writing pitches that highlight what makes your book newsworthy.
Media coverage can also be organized around significant events, such as a book launch or an upcoming interview with major media figures.
Con: Cost of hiring a book publicist
The first thing you should understand about working with book publicists is that it's not cheap. If you don't have the funds for it in your budget, then you should think twice about hiring a publicist. In fact, there are a lot of authors who don't have the budget for it and decide to go without it
If it meets your budgeting needs, work with a publishing company with an in-house publicist that can determine the best strategies for your book marketing. But if you're a self-published author, you can hire an independent book publicist. It can be a bit pricey, so manage your finances well when thinking about hiring a publicist.
But there are also times when you hire a book publicist, it is totally worth it.
That said, if you can swing it and set a proper budget, there are some reasons why working with a publicist might be worth your while.
They know the landscape of media outlets very well, and they know how to navigate the red tape that comes with pitching story ideas or getting an interview, or booking an appearance. They also know what type of content or event is most appealing to various outlets, so they can help you craft your message in a shorter amount of time.
Pro: Guaranteed increase in book sales
If you want publicity but aren't sure how to get it, consider working with a professional book publicist who can work to get your book noticed by the readers who will love it most.
Book publicity can improve your book's ranking on Amazon and other platforms, resulting in more sales. It can also help you generate more interest in your overall writing career and create opportunities for speaking engagements and other events through a press release publicists create.
While this serves as a starting point in overturn of sales for authors, they should also handle how long they may need the publicist until they can manage their sales on their own.
It's important to note that publicity isn't a one-time thing—it's an ongoing process that takes time and effort. And if you're working with a publicist, they'll likely want to connect with you on a regular basis so they can update you on their progress and get your feedback.
This means that you'll need to make time in your schedule for regular (if not daily) communication with your publicist, and you should also be prepared for a lot of back-and-forths as they work to get your book the attention it deserves.
If you're not available or can't commit to this level of communication, it might be best to look for someone else who can help you with your publicity needs.
Pro: Relevant book reviews
If you want to gain more buzz as an author, it's not always about you just trying to sell books. You need to be focused on your target audience when you start a publicity campaign so that you have a greater chance of reaching even national publicity.
Once your target audience gets to know about your book, they will give a more genuine book review.
These reviews can vary from positive to negative, so you need to have an open mind when reading through any comment from anyone who has read your works.
But why do you need to listen to target readers' reviews?
Simply because you need to know what you can improve based on their impression of your work. You can't simply keep selling to the same people over and over again without knowing what they want from you.
Con: Limited results
Publicity is a powerful tool, but it's not always a guarantee that you'll see the results you're hoping for. Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to publicity, and what works for one author might not work for another.
This means that you could put a lot of effort into your publicity campaign, only to see limited or no results. And if this happens, it can be frustrating and demoralizing—especially if you're not sure what went wrong.
Publicity is a tricky business, and there's no guarantee that you'll see the results you're hoping for. But with the help of a professional book publicist, you can give yourself the best chance of reaching your target audience and selling more books.
Pro: Scoring media interviews
One of the ultimate goals of any publicity campaign is to score media interviews with top-tier publications. And while this can be a difficult task, it's not impossible with the help of a skilled publicist.
Publicists have connections with reporters and editors at major publications, and they know how to pitch your book in a way that will make them want to write about it. They also know how to follow up and keep the conversation going until you score that coveted media interview.
Con: Limited feedback from the media
When you do score a media interview, it's important to remember that the reporter is not there to help promote your book. Their job is to ask tough questions and get the most interesting story possible.
This means that you may not always get the feedback you're hoping for after an interview. The reporter might not like your book, or they might not think it's relevant to their audience. And while you can certainly reach out to them for additional feedback, they're not obligated to respond.
On the plus side, a media interview can help you reach a wider audience than you would have otherwise. It also gives you a chance to share your story and connect with potential readers.
Pro: Your book will gain the publicity it needs
If you're serious about selling books, then you need to be serious about publicity. And that's where a good publicist comes in.
Publicists have the experience and expertise to help your book reach the right people.
They know how to create a publicity campaign that will generate interest in your work, and they'll do everything they can to get your book in front of the right audience. They also know how to follow up and keep the conversation going until you score that coveted media interview.
Con: You'll have to share control of your book to a book publicist
When you work with a publicist, you're giving up some control over your book. This is because publicists typically work with a team of professionals, including editors, designers, and marketing experts.
While you're still the one making the final decisions about your book, you're no longer in charge of every aspect of its promotion. This can be a difficult adjustment, but it's important to remember that a publicist is there to help, not to control.
A good publicist can help your book reach a wider audience and sell more copies. They have the experience and expertise to create a publicity campaign that will generate interest in your work, and they'll do everything they can to get your book in front of the right audience.
Whether you decide to work with a publicist or not, remember that book promotion is a lot of hard work. But with the help of a professional, you can give yourself the best chance of reaching your target audience and selling more books.
But do authors need publicists?
That depends on what you're looking for from your publicity campaign. If you're looking for media interviews with top-tier publications, then a publicist is essential. But if you're mainly interested in reaching a wider audience, then a publicist can still be helpful, albeit to a lesser degree.
And remember: it's your book that needs promotion with a publicist, whether you like it or not.
You may have to share some control over your book, but a good publicist will always respect your wishes and work with you to achieve your goals.
In the end, it's up to you whether or not you want to work with a publicist. But if you're serious about selling books, then it's a decision you should seriously consider.
If you're thinking about having a book publicist for your book or not, then you need to choose your decision wisely. So, if you’re an author who wants to become a bestseller, don’t hesitate to reach out at bestsellingbook.com. We have a team of experts who would be more than happy to assist you on your journey towards bestselling status.