One of the things I am most grateful for in my post-writing-life adventure of running a small but busy literary PR agency is the wonderfully talented team that makes it all possible. Their creativity, insights, storytelling acumen and dedication are a gift to all those who work with them. Today I’m filled with pride and gratitude as I introduce Emily Adams, of my firm, who crafted this post based on her spot-on observations of certain industry trends and is a strong emerging voice in the business-of-writing conversation. Take it away, Emily!
There’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to shelling out for a publicist. Don’t get us wrong, we’re firm believers in the power of publicity! But if you hire a good publicist, they will be the first to tell you that there are no guarantees where media attention is concerned. News cycles can change in the blink of an eye, which means that even if you want everyone to be looking at your book, no matter how good it is or how well it is being pitched, the media may have their eyes glued to the president’s latest gaffe, a major celebrity divorce, or what Stephen King just tweeted. Throw a new Ann Patchett novel into the mix and it’s absolute madness.
Because of the relatively high uncertainty factor, we get a bevy of questions from authors who retain our services. Most are new to hiring PR professionals and so, understandably, they look for ways to understand what we’re doing and to gauge and track our progress.
A vast majority of the questions we receive revolve around who we are pitching. This is a sensible question — you can’t get your book into the hands of a reviewer unless that reviewer is pitched. We even hold a call with our authors to determine what their “wish list” is — combing through outlets and contacts they’d like to make sure we include in their press lists.
But there’s one question we rarely hear, and as PR insiders, we think of it as the magic question — the litmus test [Read more…]