How to Hire a Publicist to Promote Your Book

Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist

Few skills may be more important for an author than knowing how to hire a publicist to promote your book. With over 300,000 books releasing each year, the competition for readers has never been keener. After your craft is honed and the book is edited, how does an author stand out in the marketplace? The savviest authors and indie publishers are investigating how a book publicist can improve their book marketing.

What a Book Publicist Does

The book publicist is in line as the caboose of the publishing process and is the team member who pushes the finished book into the marketplace. Although a publicist may be the last publishing professional an author engages, book publicity begins six to 12 months prior to release date. For this reason, it’s a good idea to know how to hire a publicist and then do so about seven months prior to launch date.

Book Marketing Services

Book marketing services specialize by genre. These genre specialties include nonfiction & fiction subgenres like how-to, history, career, self-help, spiritual, historical fiction, memoir/autobiography, and biography. A book publicist can be employed directly by publishing houses or freelance for publishers and authors. Although it is rarely spelled out, some publishers include a small amount of pre-pub book marketing in their contracts. However, most book promotions fall to the author and her supplemental book publicist to execute.

Book promotion services can include writing your author platform, assembling a media kit, submitting galleys for book review, and scheduling radio and author interviews. Promoting a book may involve hosting a virtual tour with stops at book blogs and book promotion sites that promote your book. Blog tours are especially effective for fiction and incorporate a variety of online book promotions. Types of content include author interviews, excerpts, author videos, book trailers, podcasts, reviews, endorsements, cover art, headshots, candids, author essays, articles, book giveaways and guest blog posts.

A media kit today is usually digital, i.e. a page on the author’s website. This webpage may contain your downloadable headshot, front cover, text interview, and anything else you want the media to be able to easily grab when they are writing a feature on you.

Book Promotion Ideas

Book promotion ideas might derive from an element in your media kit or a stop on your blog tour. Book publicity could arise just as easily from events that others are hosting. Presenting at others’ events is super because someone else’s following is placed in front of you for free.

Working with a book publicist prior to the launch of your first book is a smart move, because if you know how to hire a publicist, and then learn from her on your debut release, you’ll be well positioned to self-market your subsequent releases.

Remember that even if a similar title is as good as yours, the book with the extra marketing push is the one that will sell better in the marketplace. Book publicity is just as essential as the four types of editing to your book’s success, so make sure you know how to hire a publicist to market your book.