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Hundreds of Helpful Articles

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Does a Writer Need a Publicist? (Part 1 of 2)

Writing a great book takes time and commitment, even for the most prolific authors. Writing is the first step toward the fulfillment of seeing your masterpiece in print. Writing, for the most part, may be a solitary exercise, but the process of conceiving a story in the physical form of a book requires the services of a good editor and cover designer as well. Once it has found a place in online bookstores, do you sit and wait for what happens or bring out your marketing know-how? We are proud and confident of our work and we want the world to read it.

For most authors, self-promotion can be exhausting. With all the website maintenance, social media updating, networking, podcasting, and other marketing strategies, it could take a huge chunk of your writing time, and it may not yield results that you expect. But the fact remains that if you just sit back and wait, your book, or even the number of books you’ve published, will get buried under the pile of other books actively promoted by their respective authors. Then success stories of other authors who claim self-marketing as part of their strategy will make you resentful and envious.

The most frustrating part is that it is your first novel and you labored a year or two in writing it. Then your second book will probably take the same amount of time. You know what they say about self-publishing: Try to write more books to occupy more space and help you become better known. If this is not viable for you, the traditional bookshop route would require you to find a distributor. If you solicit the services of an independent press, check out their service packages. Most of them cover both publishing and distribution, while others throw in marketing services as well. You then decide whether their marketing is good enough for you, or you still need a publicist.

Just what is the difference between marketing and publicity? Marketing is a paid service to bring your product into the market. Part of this is social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and book-related sites and groups. Publicity, on the other hand, is the creation of awareness for a product, brand, or personality. Publicity also takes advantage of social media and it includes interviews, book signings, readings, and writeups. If this sounds good to you, note that you need to dish out a considerable investment. A good publicity service doesn’t come cheap, and they would most likely cost you more than your publishing package as well as your editing and cover design. 

Moreover, you do not pay a publicist to write a press release or article and then it’s done. If you research good publicity services available out there, they offer tier packages that cater to clients with different needs and budget. They will work with you for months with specific “phases” in their strategies to introduce you as an author to the reading public. This is called a “publicity campaign.” It could run from three to six months to even a year or two, depending on your budget and how long you are willing to commit. 

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Vincent Dublado