Book publicists can help boost you and your book’s visibility in the mainstream media more quickly than you can yourself. In fact, I talked about the important role publicists play in a post from 2015 titled Book Publicists (Advertising Versus Publicity). Since writing that post, I’ve hired two different publicity firms to help me promote two of my books. I’ve learned a lot from each experience.
One of the best things about book publicists is that they’re connected. They have well-developed relationships with all the “movers and shakers” in the media. As such, they can help you score guest blogging and web syndication opportunities with high-ranking publications. That’s gold to any author!
Unfortunately, the most effective publicity campaigns often have a pretty hefty price tag attached to them. Before signing with any publicity firm, I recommend asking these 6 important questions to help you decide which one is best for you.
6 Important Questions to Ask a Book Publicist
- Will you read my book? That sounds like an odd question to ask an organization you’re hiring to help you promote your book, doesn’t it? But it’s an important question to ask. In my experience, many publicity firms won’t actually read your book unless you insist on it.
- What are your prices? Ask for a price list of all their program options, and also ask what services are included in each program.
- What additional costs are involved in this process: do you want additional postage fees sent to you upfront and/or throughout the campaign for sending out review copies; how many physical review copies do you want mailed to you ahead of time; do you send these review copies out to low-ranking individual bloggers or to high-ranking relevant media outlets?
- How many of the interviewers you book for me will actually go through with the interview? Do any of them cancel at the last minute, after receiving the free review copy, and then post that book on Amazon for sale? (Believe it or not, this happens. And, yes, you’re right—it’s unacceptable.)
- Do you expect to include my personal phone number and email address on the press release you send out to the media? Will you share that press release publicly online via your website and/or any other websites? How do you protect each author’s privacy in this regard?
- Will your firm find relevant and recognized media outlets who are willing to accept the guest posts I’ve written that link back to my own blog and website?
Start with those 6 questions and see where they take you. You’ll learn a lot about the firm you’re dealing with through them.
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