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Do I Need a Book Publicist?

Once you’ve completed your manuscript, this is where things can get a little confusing. Especially if this is the first book you’ve written with a desire to publish.


What do I do next?


Do I need a book publicist or a book publisher?


How affordable is book publicity?


What is the difference between a publisher and a publicist anyway?!


Let’s break it down – time for a publicity 101.

Megaphone and cartoon lips
Market your book with a solid PR strategy

Book Publishers, Book Publicists & Book PR

Simply put, a publisher will turn your finished manuscript into a polished product ready for sale (like we do!). A book publicist, or literary publicist, is involved in the promotion of your book.


Public Relations (PR) is a slightly different marketing term which also has its place in a book marketing strategy. PR tends to be considered the broader term for the promotion of a product, brand or person, while publicity is a strategy used within the PR umbrella to accomplish the client’s goal by creating relationships and gaining exposure within the right industries, audiences, retailers and media avenues.


Do I Need to Hire a Book Publicist?

Short answer – No.


You don’t need to do anything! This is your book, your rules.


Before answering this question, you should ask yourself this:


WHAT ARE MY BOOK GOALS?


The answer to this question will help you to understand which services you should potentially look to employ after you’ve completed your manuscript.


Your goals may look a little like this:

  • I want my book to be a best-seller

  • I want my book to make me lots of money

  • I want my book to boost my credibility within my field

  • I want my book to create my legacy

  • I want my book to be printed so I can give it to family and friends

Once you have established what you want your book to do for you, you will be in a better position to make it happen.


If you purely want your book to be published so you can put it on your own bookshelf with pride and give it as a gift to family and friends, there is really no need to plough money into expensive promotional tactics.


However, if you want your book to become a best-seller, you’re going to need to do more than just hit “publish” on KDP.


This is when you might think about hiring someone to help promote your book.


Hiring a Book Publicist or a Book PR Consultant

When looking for a publicist or a book publicist, be absolutely sure of the deliverables they are going to provide to you. My number one rule for anyone hiring help when self-publishing their book is:

"Read the contract, read it again… and then read it again."


(And especially read the small print.)


Make sure what they have offered you verbally is written down. Your book publicist might offer deliverables by the way of:

  • How many interviews they secure for you

  • How many clients they send your press release to

  • How many magazines they get you to write an article for

  • How many hours they will spend publicising your book

It is likely that a book publicist will avoid promising anything that they can’t absolutely guarantee in the contract – which is fair. You cannot predict which type of PR will work for each different author/book, neither how successful a book will be. So instead, ensure the deliverables represent how much work they will do for you and your book.


Aim to use a Publicist who has been used and recommended by someone you know or through a reputable company. This is the most risk-free tactic to deploy to ensure you don’t waste your money on an amateur or a scam artist.


Is Book Publicity Affordable?

It really depends on your budget. But yes, it can be. Depending on the reputation of the consultant/publicist, how many years of experience in the industry they have or how big the PR company is, you can expect to pay anything from around £500 up to £10,000 and beyond. (There are some seriously scary expensive packages out there).


Again, this is why it is really important to find tried and tested companies and consultants before handing over large amounts of money.


Also bear in mind that a successful marketing strategy has only been successful if it has made you more money than it has cost you. Making £5,000 in sales from your debut book might sound amazing to you, but not if you’ve spent £10,000 on a publicist!


Author Self-Promotion

Knowing and getting to know about author self-promotion is invaluable. If you can do as much as possible yourself to boost your book sales and your public image, you might not even need to hire any extra help. Affordable book publicity that you can do yourself might look like (but is certainly not limited to):

  • Free book promotion sites (there are paid ones too)

  • Relevant social media activity

  • Social media promotion

  • Building and utilising customer mailing lists

  • Organising book giveaways and fan competitions

  • Creating an author website

  • Creating a trailer for your book

And many other book promotion services too.


If you can tie all of the above (and more) into a solid book launch strategy and deliver it well, you could be on the road to success when launch day comes around.


Over and above author self-promotion, the benefit to hiring additional book publicity assistance, (and one of the main things that you should ask a PR consultant about when hiring them) is your access to the consultant’s extensive contact list within your chosen genre or industry. Essentially, that is what you are paying them for. They are your ‘in’ to the industry and your pathway to your target audience.


So, Do I Need to Hire a Book Publicist?!

By now you should have your answer to this question. But to summarise, hiring a book publicist could be beneficial for you if:

  • You haven’t got the time for author self-promotion

  • You have the budget to hire a book publicist

  • You have found a recommended publicist that has contacts and bags of experience within your chosen genre or industry

  • You have big goals for your book

What can we offer you at Raven Crest Books?

Unlike a lot of modern publishers, we include book PR & Marketing Strategy as part of our publishing packages. For us, a book without a PR & Marketing is a bit like making a cake without the baking powder.


Usually flat and unsatisfying!


You can view our Publishing Packages here.


We have also just launched our Pick’n’Mix service where, as a self-publishing author, you can choose the stand-alone service you wish to use or require help with. This includes our book marketing launch plan and our PR services with our very own PR consultant, Caroline.


Check out our Pick’n’Mix services here on our self-publishing support page.


Other services you can purchase are:

  • Formatting

  • Cover design

  • Manuscript Evaluation and Reporting

  • “The Boring Bits” (all the technical KDP type stuff you have to set up before you can publish)

  • Author website creation


References



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