Whether you’re a debut author about to launch a book (congrats!) or a writer trying to get published (good luck! I hope you do!) or a sophomore or seasoned author who’s thinking of biting the publicity bullet (yes, you should!), there are things to know about publicity in advance.
I love the phone calls and emails I get from authors and writers who are thinking about publicity. I love that they are taking initiative and getting answers, they are preparing to give their book the best chance and they are eager and full of questions about publicity – what is a publicist? what do you do? will it sell books? can you make me a bestseller?
Inevitably, there are similar questions that pop up – and I’ve addressed those here – in case these help you understand what publicity is, what it isn’t and what it can and can’t do for you as an author.
5 Things You Should Know About Publicity Before You’re Published or Before You Hire a Publicist
#1 Publicity is Awareness but not Sales & Marketing
Many authors admit they know nothing, or almost nothing, about publicity – except that they know they need to do it. More often than not, publicity is confused with sales and marketing. Publicity is not sales. Publicity is not marketing. Yes, they go hand in hand. Yes, they can (and should) be synergetic. But publicity (also known as PR) does not guarantee sales. Is there a correlation between when a media hit (book reveiw/feature/blog mention) happens and sales? Yes. Usually. Almost always. But, publicity is about creating awareness and chatter about your book. Sales and marketing is about moving that sales needle. Everything from the book cover design, language on the book, colors on the cover, genre, endorsements – and much more – are well researched by sales and marketing teams to motivate people to buy that book. Publicity is about getting the media and audiences talking about a book, creating visibility for a book – and thus will generate awareness of the book and the author, and also traffic to find more out about the book either to bookstores, the author’s website, or booksellers online. And, hopefully, once there, the sales and marketing of the book (the cover, the colors, the language, the endoresements!) and what the consumer sees when they arrive at that site, will make them purchase it. So…. publicity is not sales and marketing. They are completely different animals – but both very necessary.
#2 Publicity doesn’t happen overnight [Read more…]