Yes, really. Because, ack, I realized that my book is coming out in just one short month. How did this happen? Where did my time go? Not that I had a lot of time to contemplate this because I was so busy dealing with pre-publicity stuff. Which is actually the point of this post, not me pressing the E button down as often as I can. :)
A lot of writers wrestle with the question of whether or not they should hire an outside publicist, and when I woke up that recent morning, I was asking myself this very thing. If, in fact, I’d made the right decision to NOT hire someone, now that I was running around like a nut trying to ensure that I maximized the publicity that I could do myself. Fortunately, as of now, I still feel confident that I made the right decision. Here’s how I came to that decision:
Many months back, shortly after we sold the book, we met with my team at Crown. They were pistol-sharp, and both my agent and I were totally wowed.
My in-house publicist took on only one book a season from this imprint, and she’d chosen mine, so I knew that I was going to get great attention and a very creative strategy, and my marketing manager was so fabulous that I couldn’t stop talking about her to just about everyone I knew.
I did, however, ask them if they’re comfortable working with outside publicists, and they said, “Sure, we’re happy to, but there are ways you can better spend that money.” I was intrigued. They went on to say that rather than put that money toward something that may or may not pan out, that they’d recommend instead buying targeted ad space on a variety of websites that they could suggest to me. They’d pinpoint these website for their demographics, for click-thrus, for eyeballs, etc, and while these ads obviously can’t assure more sales, they certainly won’t hurt. The crap shoot in hiring a publicist is that there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually land you placements in magazines or newspapers or wherever, and even if they do land you these placements, there’s no guarantee that these reviews will be positive or that they’ll be read by the very readers you’re hoping to attract. (Let me be clear that I am NOT knocking publicists at all. They bring a very valuable tool to the table, and certainly, are a necessity. Only that when it came to spending thousands of my own dollars, I wanted to ensure that I got the biggest bang for my buck.)
So, I thought about this for about a millisecond and decided to go with the advertising. So much of book sales is about making readers familiar with the book or the cover – and if you can somehow imprint your title or your jacket or something about your book into their brains, you’re likelier to sell a book in the store. I’m hoping that’s what this advertising will do. We’ll see. But I’m comfortable with my decision. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes…
So readers out there – anyone else faced with the decision to hire or not hire a publicist? What did you decide and how did it work out for you?