Monday, June 26, 2017

Understand the Role of a Book Publicist

Whether a traditional and recognized publisher launches your book or a self-publisher, the author has to be engaged in the promotion and marketing of their book. One of the key players in this process is the book publicist. Many of these publicists have valuable connections and relationships with media and others to help you promote your book.

This past weekend, I finished reading a new book from publicist Claire McKinney, who has worked in publicity for major publishers for over 20 years and is a recognized expert in self-publishing appearing on The Today Show for example. DO YOU KNOW WHAT A BOOK PUBLICIST DOES? is the name of McKinney's book with the subtitle, “A Guide for Creating Your Own Campaigns.” As the number of new books entering the market increases every day, authors need to understand the role of a book publicist and how to work with them in the process of book promotion. Managing expectations about what a publicist can do for a writer is great information and woven into the fiber of this book.

The promotion or sale of any book is tied to key connections and relationships—for example to the media. Book publicists like Claire McKinney have been building these relationships for years. Every author needs to understand their role in publishing. DO YOU KNOW WHAT A BOOK PUBLICIST DOES? fills a critical role in this process with pointed insights throughout.

McKinney answers common author questions like what is a press release and what is a book launch and the best time to launch a book? The answers are packed with her years of experience in such tasks. 

In the section on Reaching the Media, McKinney writes, “I’ve found that “fear” is the one thing that holds most people back from reaching out and from developing good pitches. Of course, you don’t want to be insulting, use the words “extraordinary” or “dynamic” just to create hype doesn’t help either. If you are honest about your intentions and what you are looking for, you are more likely to get a response. It takes extra effort, but that is also how you will build a relationship with the contact that could benefit another book, or could enrich your experience in another way. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. I’m sure you know that expression. If you get a snappy response, chalk it up to a bad day. What is the worst that can happen?” (Page 100-101)

Every book author can profit from the details in DO YOU KNOW WHAT A BOOK PUBLICIST DOES?—whether it is your first book or many books. I highly recommend this book. Also I recommend you follow this link to McKinney's website and download her Guide to Social Media 101. Each of us can learn something and get some new ideas from this free resource. 

With increased understanding from reading DO YOU KNOW WHAT A BOOK PUBLICIST DOES?, you can apply this information to your own writing life. One of my reasons for occasionally including reviews of books for authors in these articles about the writing life is to showcase the importance of reading and applying books to your life. While I've been in publishing many years, I learn new insights and tools from these resources. I hope you are taking action for your own writing life.

Have you used a book publicist like Claire McKinney in the promotion of your books? Tell me about in the comments section.


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3 Comment:

At 4:36 AM, Blogger MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA Left a note...

Thanks for your post, Terry. I have used book publicists in the past--one a well-established publicist in the Christian market and the other a well-established publicist in the secular market. Both have helped me to boost sales.

The services of a good publicist can be expensive, but well worth it.


MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


Thank you for letting me know your experiences using a book publicist. Yes a good publicist can be expensive but I agree they are well-worth it.


At 2:50 PM, Blogger MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA Left a note...

You are most welcome, Terry. :)



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