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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What’s PR Worth To An Author?



Publicity for an author can be invaluable, yet many writers have trouble placing any kind of price on what they should spend on book PR.  Authors are like tippers at a restaurant overseas, unsure of what’s customary or appropriate. Is a thousand dollars enough for book publicity? What about $10,000 or $25,000?

The truth is, at any price point one can find value or ROI, but it generally requires an investment of a decent size to generate a quantity of quality publicity.  But how much is too little or too much?

On the lower end of the spectrum you can buy a variety of lists, such as of the media, and you can be given consulting advice.  Some may write a press release for you.  Beyond that, you need to compensate people for their time, skills, contacts, knowledge, and experience.  Book publicity is a real art.  Maybe you don’t pay the equivalent of legal fees but it’s more than renting out beach chairs.

A good publicist can save you time and money and as a result, score media exposure that leads to good things.  The pay-off of a book publicist can’t just be measured in immediate book sales.  No, no, the savvy publicist can help you develop your brand, build a platform, shape your media resume, and open up doors for you. You also can be given an opportunity to share your message with millions of people.  They can help you establish credibility and make a real name for yourself. 

Media coverage can be parlayed into a number of things – rights sales (foreign, audio, film, digital), paid speaking gigs, consulting engagements, a promotion at work, a new book deal, or an opportunity to impact society.  What price can you put on any of that?

Well, you can put a price on things based on:

What do others charge for the same service? Make sure it’s the same service from the same quality level of publicist.

Doing it yourself. Too much time and learning involved.

What would result if you spend your money on others things.

Book PR is a great investment when made wisely.  It’s not a question of whether you should spend money on PR, but how much and with whom? But as a rule of thumb, you need to make sure you are covering at least multiple types of media, such as traditional and digital or social media and speaking gigs.  Even among each of those four areas, you need wide coverage.  Traditional is TV, radio, and print -- local, national, and international. Social could consist of Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and Instagram.  Digital could be podcasters, bloggers, online reviewers, and leading websites.  That’s a lot to tackle!

Book PR, like anything else, is worth what you can afford, what you think it’s worth, and whether you made the right hiring selection.  Bad publicity pros can cost you more than money – they can rob you of time and the opportunity to break through.  They can hurt your brand and sully you on ever working with another publicist again.

Authors can’t fully appreciate the value of a book publicist until they have one. A book publicity campaign that goes well and helps you get to the next level is worth a lot, but you’ll need to decide how much you are willing to pay for it.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

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