We’re becoming a do-it-yourself society, whether by choice, necessity, or circumstance. You buy your airline ticket online, you check yourself in, and print your own boarding pass. You go to the supermarket, scan your own stuff and check yourself out. You go to the bank and use the ATM rather than a teller. Every day, in so many ways, we have the liberty and burden of doing everything ourselves.
But when it comes to promoting a book, many would benefit from using a public relations firm. Sure it costs money -- thousands of dollars- - and it’s an investment that one makes in the way a writer invests his time and energy into writing a book. You do so with the belief of gaining a greater payoff.
Authors who seek to promote themselves miss out on the following:
· Professional guidance from experienced publicists who know what works and what doesn't.
· Access to media contacts and key relationships.
· An outsider who can provide critical advice and feedback to you..
Authors will spend too much time promoting themselves and not enough time writing their next book, and doing things that make money, such as consulting.
Being interviewed by the media is fun and rewarding; getting rejected 90% of the time and chasing the media is not.
Don’t assume you know it all or think you can blog your way to a best-seller list. It takes a lot more than posting a YouTube video to sell books, build your brand, and project a strong positive and useful message to the masses.
PR firms think like the media. They know how to transform a writer into an expert or authority. They know how to get results. Their reputation depends on it.
Of course, there are mediocre to lousy publicists out there. Hire a trusted leader in the field with a solid track record. You need a PR firm with depth, not a one-person publicity outfit who is too busy seeking out clients than to service them.
A good publicity firm:
- Sets realistic goals and sets expectations.
- Targets its outreach and follows up.
- Communicates often with you.
- Helps present you in an innovative way.
- Understands your message and spreads the word.
- Builds your platform and takes you to the next level.
- Provides a bigger picture for the long-term.
Authors who don’t use a publicity firm may find:
- Their press releases lack punch.
- They lack time to properly contact all of the media.
- They don’t understand what appeals to the media and fail to connect what they have to what the media wants.
- They overestimated how easy it would be to get media coverage.
- They didn’t follow a preferred timeline or protocol for contacting the media, leading to fewer successful results.
- They are too close to their own work, lacking the distance needed to promote their book.
- The media hasn’t responded to calls and emails from individuals or unknown entities.
- They need to be media-trained in order to convert an interview opportunity into a book sale.
- There were many things they were not aware of or didn’t fully know how to execute until it was too late.
There are many misconceptions about what an author can/should do on their own and what needs to be done by a trained PR professional. Certainly, it’s a collaborative effort.
Some things an author can and should do; other things are best left to others. Together, a savvy publicity firm and an assertive author can make great things happen.
Interview With Author Ron Meyer
Author: The High Heeled Guide to Enlightenment (2009) & The High Heeled Guide to Spiritual Living (2011) from Soul Rocks Books.
1. Ron, what inspired you to write your upcoming novel, Extinction? Ever since I was a kid finding fossils in a local quarry I've been interested in evolution. Many years later When I saw that that evolution had become aware of itself through us I wanted to tell that story in the form of a novel. A thriller that would reach the widest possible audience.
2. What is it about? It's about a female doctor Kira Taylor who one day wakes up and senses the echo of the Big Bang, the evolutionary pulse itself. It takes her on a spiritual journey which leads to consciously taking the next step in evolution. The sci-fi backdrop to the story is that there is a Terminator gene in every species. After a finite number of generations the t-gene kicks in and eliminates the species to make way for the new. Many paleontologists would agree there is some such mechanism actually operating.
3. What do you love about being a published author? I have had two books published before and the coolest thing is when a reader tells me how much the book meant to them.
4. Any advice for struggling writers? Optimize your chances of getting published by choosing through research the right content and genre for your first book. Then the old adage “The easiest way to get published is to have been published” kicks in.
5. Where do you feel book publishing is heading? Somewhere in the virtual world.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Planned Television Arts. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.
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