There was a time I wanted to be a publicist. I enjoyed brainstorming promo ideas with my writer friends and discussing niche markets. After researching the profession, it didn’t take me long to change my mind. A lot of busy, busy, busy work. 🙁 For very organized people!
We often wonder why writers hire a publicist or even a virtual assistant, but prolific writers face a lot of deadlines; constant writing and promotion take its toll.
What exactly does a publicist do and how much do they charge? They usually have different packages you can choose from and they can charge in the thousands.
A friend of mine hired a publicist to set up book signings and interviews across the state and library visits. He also mailed/emailed ARCs for reviews, created and emailed press releases to newspapers, TV and radio stations.
Publicist have resources we don’t have. But here’s my question: Do we really need to do everything all at once? Why don’t we just grow into our so-called marketing plan? Learn as we go.
Long before your book comes out, you should research and make your own list of resources. List those things you want to do—like library talks and blog tours. Talk to friends who have participated in online social media events; ask them to give you tips. There’s nothing like learning from the mistakes of others.
If you develop your marketing plan long before your book comes out, it can easily fall into place. But remember this: No matter how ready you think you are, you aren’t. At least not emotionally. Something weird happens when you know your book is available for all the world to purchase. Your focus disintegrates. Suddenly it seems you have a hundred things to do and you don’t know where to start.
Some writers do nothing more than Facebook and Twitter. That’s fine. But really, there’s one more very important thing you really should do:
Strive to be known in the town you live in. It might sound simple–but not for us introverts.
Send press releases to all the magazines and newspapers in your area and make sure they know you’re available for interviews. Offer to speak to service clubs and writers’ groups, libraries and book clubs. If you’re not a speaker, then start small or join Toastmasters.
Develop a good story to tell about how you started writing or where you got the idea for the book you’re promoting. Believe me, you’ll repeat that story over and over again. Don’t be boring!
And very important: stay cool and roll with the punches because there will definitely be some.
Want to share your thoughts on being a celebrity in your neck of the woods?
Mason Canyon says
Promotion is a must. I especially like what you said about being known in your hometown. Friends, family and neighbors can spread the word about your book to areas you hadn’t thought about.
Alex’s Ninja Minion
Ryan Carty says
That advice on being well known in your own town feels so spot on. It is something I should have known, but somehow didn’t put the proper emphasis on it. I will keep that in mind going forward.