How to Get the Most Out of Your Book Publicist
April 26, 2021
Simply put, a book publicist is an investment in your brand.

PR professionals worth their salt work tirelessly to cultivate the media landscape, making contacts and booking media interviews, to take your book promotion to the next level. While it may be tempting to kick back after hiring a publicist, it's best to work with them to make the most of your investment.

There are two key takeaways on how to get the most out of your book publicist:

1. Hire a publicist months in advance of your book going to print.
2. Work with your publicist as a partner.

Read on to learn more great tips on how to get the most out of your book publicist.

Timing is Everything
Before you hire a book publicist, it's important to understand the timing of your book promotion efforts. Essentially, you want to plan your book marketing initiatives in advance.

Book sellers make their purchase decisions up to six months before a book is published, and they look for books and authors that already have a buzz or following. As such, an author needs to build their brand months before the book is published.

As a rule of thumb, marketing initiatives - including digital media and traditional PR - will take at least:

  • three months to get traction
  • four to six months to garner results
  • a year to establish you as a brand

With this in mind, it's best to hire a publicist at least four to six months before your book is set to print. This allows the publicist time to develop and execute a strategy that creates interest in your book.

Most critically, working with a book publicist months before publication can boost pre-order sales. The momentum created from pre-order sales is almost always a prerequisite for a book to sell well. Book retailers look to pre-order sales as a sign of interest in a book and often decide how many copies of a book to order based in part on pre-orders.

Work with Your Book Publicist as a Partner
Your publicist will maximize public awareness for your book by reaching out to media contacts to secure an author interview. You may be interviewed on traditional media outlets, including TV, radio or print. New media platforms, like podcasts and online journals, are also considered musts for book publicity.
Read more here about what a book publicist does and if they are worth the investment.
The point is that your book publicist will be focusing on media coverage. This is crucial for book promotion, but not where book marketing starts and ends. For effective book promotion, you'll need to pursue other marketing initiatives that complement your book PR.

Besides book PR, a stellar book marketing campaign will also:

  • Execute an online content marketing strategy that establishes you as a brand
  • Implement a social media strategy that disseminates your message and content marketing strategy and interacts with fans
  • Develop a fan email list to speak directly with your audience and disseminate curated content
  • Create author profiles on Amazon and book reading apps
  • Reach out to critics, book reviewers and book influencers for a review of your book 4-6 months before publication
  • Contact bookstores and libraries about book readings and signings
  • Identify speaking engagements with organizations that focus on topics that are explored in your book

You may be able to perform these tasks on your own, or hire a book marketing specialist to assist. In some cases, your publicist may be able to help you with some of the above marketing as well. In any case, this work should be performed synergistically with your book publicist.

Consider yourself the quarterback in these strategic and overlapping initiatives. Take the time to communicate to your publicist, agent, editor, and other marketing team members about what is going on with the campaign so everyone is on the same page.

To that end, be sure to take the time to read and answer all correspondence from your publicist and other team members in a timely manner. During the crunch of the campaign, in the weeks leading up to and just following publication, there will be a lot of moving parts and plenty of emails flying around that will need immediate responses. Be prepared to spend considerable time focusing on your book publicity to reap the rewards of your investments.
Choose a reputable publicist with a record of success and work with them as a partner to avoid this situation
By properly timing your book publicity and approaching your work with a book publicist as a partnership involving other marketing efforts, you are greatly improving your odds for successful book promotion. If you want to learn more about how to get the most out of your book publicist, or other aspects of book publicity consulting, reach out to me today.