Saturday, April 8, 2023

Why Book Publicists Are Disliked


Every year there are polls done about the most hated professions. The list is long and highly competitive. It contains contractors who overcharge, politicians who can’t be trusted, stock traders and bankers who are slippery, realtors who are manipulative, dentists who charge us to give pain, teachers who are lazy and fail to teach with any gusto, lawyers who talk out of two sides of their mouth, and on and on.   

Add to that list the book publicist.  

For those looking to work with a book promoter, many walk away feeling fear, frustration, and failure.  Why is that?  

Authors believe they are being bamboozled.   

The book publicist comes off as having connections and knowing the book industry, the news media, and how to be persuasive. The author just knows about her book and feels she has to put her faith in someone. So how does one choose a publicist?  

Authors usually choose the person that is likeable. What makes them likeable?   

One who speaks with confidence, passion, and empathy. One who sounds knowledgeable and references past success.  One who makes the author feel good about her book.  

Unfortunately, many people hire wrong, have a bad experience, and never trust any book promoter again. For those entertaining hiring a book publicist for the first time, they hear horror stories and go through the process with trepidation.  

Book publicists can give the industry a bad name every time they: 

·         Tell lies

·         Mislead others

·         Sound slick

·         Speak another language with their mediaspeak, marketing jargon, and social media jibberish

·         Either look like they are 12 and are inexperienced — or are too old and seemingly out of touch

·         Don’t perform well but still get paid

·         Are hard to reach

·         Don’t read the book

·         Make authors feel rushed or ignored

·         Give authors a vibe that they don’t get your book or are unable to share its message passionately

·         Disagree on goals or metrics to measure productivity

·         They are unclear on what was to actually be done 

On the other hand, book publicists are too-often asked to clean up a mess, handle a delayed book launch, or to promote a no-name author with a self-published book past its newness with little help from the author in terms of he or she having a decent site, active social media, or any understanding of how things work. 

So, what is the answer?  

Authors must realize that they play a role in their marketing and understand that utilizing a book marketer can be helpful. But there are authors who sabotage themselves, and there are bad book promoters. Go in this thing with optimism but take steps to help your publicist succeed and choose whom you want to help you wisely. Don’t let past failures haunt you — and do your best to collaborate.  


Need Book Marketing 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!


Read This!

How To Get Others To Sell Your Book


Newspapers That Authors Should Contact


Messages That Sell Books


An Author’s Attitude Is Their Biggest Asset


Sell Your Books Here & Now


Which Radio Opportunities Should Authors Pursue?


What Authors Need to Do


Which Writer Retreat Serves You Best?


Is The Self-Publishing Book Boom Slowing Down?


How Can Writers Be Smooth Talkers?


Can Authors Rebound From A Bad Start?


About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. 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 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, 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, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, 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, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.