Thursday, August 15, 2013

Money & Book Publicity


Money buys you time to work on your PR campaign.

It can buy you marketing.

It can buy you marketing help.

It certainly can help spruce up your Web site.

Money can help you pay for ads on Google and Facebook and with your SEO.

It can pay for ads with Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and publishing trades, which in turn may give you access to editorial coverage.  It can even buy you reviews with certain publications – Kirkus, PW Select, Clarion Foreword. The wall that separates the two sides is paper thin.

For some, they can even buy their way onto the bestseller list.

It can give you the ability to travel and go on tour.

It can finance your holding of – or participation in – events.

Money can help you create a higher quality book product, from the cover to editing to the paper quality and other add-ons.

Money may afford you the ability to do stunts or gimmicks.

It can help you hire a prominent name to write your foreword. You can pay someone to give you a testimonial.  You can hire someone with a name to be involved as a spokesperson.

Can money make a difference? Yes, but don’t waste it if you have it.

There are things you can do for free, however:

·         Research online for bloggers and media to contact by email and phone
·         Do digital giveaways and free chapter downloads to inspire a following
·         Social media, though it can be a time-suck, could also give you a boost

And whatever you do in regards to spending money on PR, start sooner than later. You can’t do it in too many stages over too long a period of time. You can’t wait to first sell books in order to fund your PR. Make an investment, take a risk: You have a limited window of time to strike.

Settle on a PR budget and commit to it. How much money is needed depends on many factors, namely:

·         What is needed of others vs what you will do for yourself.
·         Determine what is achievable and hire out for the things you can’t do or don’t want to do.
·         Stay within your budget and don’t take out a second mortgage to fund it.

When you hire a publicist, ask many questions. Then get quotes from several people and compare their offerings. Be clear on what they will do: length of time, amount of outreach and follow-up, expectation of results, and seek to understand the process. Choose someone with a proven track record, perhaps from a referral. Find someone who specializes in books and your genre. Make sure they sound passionate, intelligent, knowledgeable, and available. Do not throw money into PR expecting automatic results or favorable coverage. Support the efforts of those you pay to help you – it is a collaborative process.

Money can certainly make a difference, but you can still compete on a shoestring budget.

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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 is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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