Monday, December 19, 2022

Burned Authors Still Need A Good Publicist: How To Hire One


Have you ever been screwed over by a good friend? Did you ever break up from a romantic relationship with someone you loved but who cheated on you? Ever get bit by the family dog? Have you lost a job due to a crazy boss?

If you have lived long enough, one or more — or all of these things have happened to you. Did you date again? Work again? Get new friends. Own another pet?

Most people, though gun shy after a negative incident, will eventually get back out there to live life fully and not allow some bad apples to spoil the bunch.

Well, my friend, the same is true with book marketing and publicity. I speak too often with too many authors who let a bad experience scar them for life, jading their ability to discern whom they should trust and what they should do when it comes to promoting their book.

Now, the world is full of con artists and bad actors. There are also many incompetent people who overcharge and underdeliver. So, I understand the climate in which we live. The PR industry in particular is littered with people who bullshit all day, including to their clients and maybe even to themselves. But, there are excellent, capable, sincere, and honest marketers and promoters out there — and authors can’t afford to dismiss all of them out of fear or ignorance.

Ok, so how does one know whom to bet on?

First, determine your budget: What can you afford to spend and what is the going rate for what you want or need?

Second, see if the person you are talking to sounds trustworthy and appears honest. Google them. Get references. See if their verbal statements are consistent with what they state in writing.

Third, see if he or she actually exhibits skills and knowledge that can help you. Look at their bio or resume. Ask about their strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures.

Fourth, know what you are looking for — define your standard and set a litmus test to judge potential marketers by.

Fifth, subdue your eagerness and refrain from a commitment on the first conversation with a potential publicist. Make that person work a little to show what they can do and why they are right for you.

Sixth, make sure they define in writing exactly what they will do and to give a timeline. Will there be any guarantees? Will some metrics be used to determine what has been done. Are their bonuses to incentivize the publicist?

Lastly, try to filter out the things that cloud your judgment and distract from your decision-making prowess. For instance, just because the person you talk to is attractive is not grounds for hiring.

In conclusion, hire a good publicist even if you once had a poor experience with one. But do so with your eyes open, based on the facts, not on hope; on their track record and abilities, not on your fears.


Please Contact Me For Book PR Help

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.2 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past decade, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, NewsdayThe Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:



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