View Full Version : Publicists?

03-31-2016, 10:19 PM
Has anyone here had any experience working with a publicist? As a hybrid author with much of my work self-published, I'm beginning to think the only route to getting anywhere is to hire someone who has marketing contacts, inside info, and the like. I'm really at a loss as to how to find someone reputable who isn't going to charge me thousands upon thousands of dollars with little return.

Any recommendations? Words of warning? I'd appreciate anything you could share to point me in the right direction.


Old Hack
04-02-2016, 10:39 AM
Effective, reputable publicists are going to be expensive, I'm afraid. And unless your book is widely available, through a strong selection of online and physical bookshops, much of their efforts are going to be wasted.

There are publicists who work with writers whose work is only available online, but while some are very professional their efforts are not going to be as successful.

Have you read this thread, and followed the excellent advice given in the first post?

How to promote your book like an intelligent human being and not an SEO Dweeb (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?241431-How-to-promote-your-book-like-an-intelligent-human-being-and-not-an-SEO-Dweeb)

04-02-2016, 01:58 PM
OH is right. Anyone who can do anything for you is going to be upwards of thousands of $$$. Anyone underneath that is a scam.

Barbara R.
04-02-2016, 04:30 PM
Reputable publicists will admit there's very little they can do to help self-published authors. One friend of mine, a publicist who works for one of the big 5, says that when he worked as a freelancer he took several s-p writers as clients and that he was ashamed of himself for doing it. It's hard to promote even published work, let alone books that aren't in bookstores and generally are not reviewed by mass media. But freelance publicists will take your money anyway, and they will never, ever guarantee results in terms of sales. They'll tell you to look at what they do as "building your brand." Personally, unless a writer's incredibly prolific in a particular genre, I don't believe there's a brand to build.

And those are the legitimate publicists. There are a slew of others who will try to sell you utterly useless services, like getting your book into international rights fairs. I think Publish America used to do that, and I've seen others offer it as well. It means that in some obscure corner of a huge, stadium-like fair arena, your little book will sit on a shelf gathering dust, surrounded by other s-p books whose authors were inveigled into spending thousands of dollars for the privilege.

I wish I had better alternatives to suggest--but there are smart s-p writers on this forum who no doubt will have some.

Fuchsia Groan
04-03-2016, 08:44 AM
I get hundreds of press releases per month from publicists hired to promote self-published books. I generally delete them without a glance. Our newspaper only reviews local books, and these publicists are sending blanket mailings all over the U.S. (perhaps the world).

I don't recommend hiring someone to do this for you. Instead, pick a few target publications or blogs that you think might consider reviewing your work because of subject, genre, your local connections, or some other specific factor. Send them a polite email telling them about the book and offering a review copy on request. Mention blurbs from well-known authors, your trade publications, or any other impressive credentials. Be professional and realize they get lots of inquiries and may refuse to review self-published books. Or they may do so on a selective basis -- I do. If something seems interesting and well-written and is local, I don't care too much who published it.

And if a book looks good to me, I certainly don't care whether the inquiry came from a publicist or the author. Authors who are published by the Big Five send me their books directly, too. All the time.

It may take a well-connected publicist to get you on Oprah or into national publications, but that seems to be feasible for very few books period, and far fewer self-published books. I would focus on targeting media that are potentially more accessible to you, but still selective.