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Hiring a Publicist for Your Books
by Rose Walker

A publicist is the one person who cares about your books as much as you do. A publicist is a professional in the business of generating publicity for your book, along with creating and developing a marketing plan and will be the liaison between the author and the media. A good publicist will focus on generating media attention on your book and do a marketing campaign that will keep you and your book out in the public. You want to make sure they can do a marketing campaign and not just media buzz, because you need them both. They are there to provide insight and advice on the publishing industry, along with telling you the commercial stages and developments of your book. A publicist will promote and keep your name and your book out in the public for you to become a successful author.

It is a good idea to hire a publicist at least six months before your book is due to come out. The first thing your publicist should do is read a draft of your book even before it is in print. By reading your draft they will know the direction they will design your book campaign to match your book. Before the book is release they will also start creating a dynamite media kit. A media kit is a very important part of promoting an author, without this kit doors will not open for you and your book. Most publicists want to start pitching your book three months before the issue date, so when the book is release you are all ready set up to start appearing places with your newly released book.

How do you pay your publicist? There are several different ways a publicist receive payment. You can pay a set fee for a certain amount of time. If you want an on going marketing campaign for your book you can hire your publicist for six months to a year to keep working on PR and marketing for your book. If you only want to get the word out for that newly release book, you might hire a publicist for one to three months. This length of time is only enough time for them to do a press release for the new book and set up a few book signings. It depends on you and what type of career you want as a writer for how long you use their services. Another way you can pay your publicist is like an agent, 15% of your royalties off your book, which will keep them on payroll. Most successful writers do this because they know they will continue writing and selling books and they need a publicist to continue to promoting their books. Make sure when you hire a publicist that you get what will work with your writing career and a contract for the exact length of time you need their services.

Your publicist will generate media attention for your book from radio and television interviews, magazines, newspaper, speaking engagements and book signings. They are the ones that will make sure everyone will know you have written a book. They also are the ones who handle all the arrangements and set up all your appearances dates for all your book commitments. They care about your book as much as you do and their job is to get you and your book out there as much as possible. Your book is a product you want people to buy. A writer needs a publicist when their book premieres and that publicist needs to book that writer everywhere to talk about that new book. Sure some people will know about your new book, but why not have everyone knowing about it. That is why you should hire a publicist to do this for you. A career as a writer can be very nice when you are left alone to just write.

If you have to do all the writing, PR and marketing, it can become overwhelming and something will get cut short, usually the writing part. Do not shortchange your writing career by not hiring the right professional to help you to promote and sell your writing. One thing most writers do not realize is that to design a marketing campaign for your book and to do the public relations for the book is a full-time job. It takes a lot of legwork to get a book into bookstores, set up book signings and to advertise the book. To do it right you want to hire someone who does this for a living. That is why it is so important for writers to hire a publicist and not try to do the work themselves. Most writers do not connect a publicist to their careers, when writers need a publicist to do those things for them. If you have written several books or have just written your first book, but plan to write many more you need to hire a publicist. You need to hire a publicist if you are published through a publishing house because the PR representative that will work with you to promote your new book will only do so much and self-published authors definitely need to hire a publicist to promote and guide them on how to get their books out to the public.

Now that you know what a publicist does, when to hire one, how to pay them and all the benefits you will reap from having one, you the writer should not go without one. Your publicist will become your friend, mentor and the person who is going to help you sell a lot of books. A good publicist will take care of you so you can continue writing by making sure your printed book is being seen and heard about. Every author needs a publicist; why not make your life as a writer easier by hiring the professional to do the work for you, so you can become a success.

© Copyright 2008, Rose Walker

Rose Walker is president and CEO of Writing4Success PR and Marketing, which offers public relations and marketing for writers, an editing service and an education division. She has written articles on PR and marketing for Absolute Write and a five article miniseries for British magazine, The New Writer, along with publishing over 150 articles for other publications. Web site: www.writing4success.vpweb.com

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