Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What Your Book Publicist Doesn’t Know

Little kids think their parents know everything. Then they get older and realize their parents know a lot, but not everything. Eventually, children grow up and think they know more than their parents, and if they were raised right, they hopefully do know more. The same is true with book publicists and book marketers.

A lot of them know a lot or at least something, but they do not know everything, or even nearly everything. Whether a seasoned professional or an up and coming publicist, many lack so much that it is sometimes hard to compare one with another.

Think about it – the fields of book marketing and book publicity have changed greatly over the years. Each publicist and marketer has only so much time to learn certain skills, be aware of certain trends, and have a diversified level of experiences. Some can do something really well, such as getting bloggers to interview authors but can fall short on scheduling national TV shows. Others may be great at cold-calling but their ability to write a press release is lacking. Some can generate media coverage but have no idea how to generate sales.

There are many reasons for this, including the following:
·         Publicists vary in their length of experience, knowledge, and interests
·         They vary in training – some majored in PR, or English, or marketing, but not all
·         Each publicist is only as good as those who mentored them
·         Some only know a particular genre (romance), or format (e-books), or a certain aspect of the process (creating mailing lists vs. scheduling tours)
·         Many don’t read up on their craft or continually try to learn
·         Some fail to experiment or vary how they do what they do
·         Some have knowledge of an industry (non-profit, consumer, or faith), but don’t really know much about books or the media
·         Research skills, people skills, writing skills, speaking skills and natural intelligence vary greatly
·         Publicists don’t familiarize themselves enough with the outlets they pitch

The truth is no one knows everything and no one is good at everything. Some are better at doing and knowing things, but you can’t rely on any one person to do everything you need when marketing and promoting your book. just as one's wealth portfolio that is diversified and doesn’t put all of its eggs in one basket, a marketing portfolio doesn’t rely on any one person or strategy or idea.

No doubt, if you’re working with a book publicist, he or she knows something and hopefully knows it well. But don’t be fooled into thinking this person can do one-stop shopping for you when there are too many places to shop.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013 

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