Five thousand. That’s a good estimate of the number of books hitting the market every single day! The advent of the e-book and the ease of self-publishing have resulted in explosive growth in the number of new books available to readers. So how do you ensure your book breaks the noise level? One way is to hire a book publicist.
Every column I’ve ever read about book marketing waxes on about making your book “stand out.” That’s tough to do without competent advice, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that a publicist is going to wave a magic wand and turn your book into a best-seller. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that she or he is going to do all the work for you either. A savvy publicist is going to work with you to develop your “brand” as an author, to gain traditional media exposure for you and your work, and to help you harness the potential of social media.
It’s important to pick a publicist with whom you can work cooperatively, someone you can get along with. The first question I posed to Natalie Obando of Do Good PR was “Will you actually read my book?” When she replied, “Absolutely!” I knew I was on the right track. This was a critical point for me. It was important to me that my publicist had read and believed in my book. How else could she be a forceful advocate?
Natalie provided an overview of the strategy and tactics we would employ and her fee schedule. Keep in mind that you want to hire a professional with knowledge of the industry, resources, contacts and credibility. While there is a wide range of fees and services available, you should invest as much as you can. You’re only going to get one shot at making that first impression for your new book. The kid down the street who’s good with social media isn’t likely to get you much return on your investment.
With Natalie’s support and guidance, we immediately set up social media platforms and began communicating with readers. She also gave me valuable feedback on my book, both positive and critical. Natalie set up media interviews and sent advance copies of the book to reviewers. I rarely read a book without first checking to see what reviewers and other readers have to say. Getting reviews from professional reviewers gave my book immediate credibility with potential readers.
Natalie is a real professional. She knows her business and understands how to guide writers through the world of book promotion. She set up a publicity game-plan that defined her role and mine. We’ve worked well together because we each understand the other’s area of expertise and we respect each other’s skills and knowledge.
Want your brand as an author to stand out? Consider hiring a publicist.