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What an Independent Publicist can do for you

To hire or not to hire an independent publicist. That is the question.

Scenario 1

You’ve just had a marketing meeting with your publisher and you’re on cloud nine. The book that you’ve worked so hard on has now become a reality. And your publisher has promised you a national publicity campaign. Three months later, your book received one review in your local newspaper – a review that you were responsible for. And nothing else. No morning show appearances. No Oprah. No New York Times review.

Scenario 2

Your first novel with your publisher hit the New York Times bestseller list! It will be smooth sailing from now on. For your next book, your publisher has promised you a 5-city media tour, a radio campaign, a national print and TV campaign. You travel from city to city, but less than five people show up at your booksignings. At one signing, the only attendee is a friend of yours. You are sitting in your hotel all day because your publicist has not set up any media. And the radio campaign you were promised? Your publicist reports to you that because your book is a novel, she was unable to book you a single interview. And this year, instead of the rave, stand-alone review in The New York Times that propelled your book to the bestseller list, your book was included in that paper’s summer book round-up.

The above scenarios are all too common and illustrate why you should hire an independent publicist, even if you are a New York Times bestselling author.

Even if your publisher is pulling out all the stops, a good independent publicist can and will get you more media coverage than your in-house publicist. Here are some examples of what a good independent publicist can do for you:

Here is a specific example of what I did for one client, which resulted in a book review in Cosmopolitan which in turn led to an excerpt for this author’s next book. Only two other books were reviewed in that issue, one by a bestselling author. How did I do it?

I sent e-mail after e-mail. I placed phone calls. I left voice-mail messages. When I finally got the book reviewer’s assistant, she told me that if they were interested I would hear from them.

But I didn’t stop there. The book was a chick-lit mystery, and I put together a one paragraph “teaser excerpt.” In less than a New York minute after I e-mailed the “teaser excerpt,” Cosmo called and asked me to overnight the book. Three months later, the review appeared.

Please catch my post next month when I will tell you what you should look for when hiring an outside publicist, and when you should do so.

In the months to come, I will be discussing in more depth what types of media coverage are most effective for small budgets and why; what types of media coverage are the most cost effective; the pros and cons of each type of media; and why comprehensive campaigns are the most effective for maximizing media coverage. Stay tuned…

About Susan Schwartzman [1]