What Does a Book Publicist Do for an Author?

What does a book publicist do?

In general, this is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales. So it’s an interesting and important role.

But just how does a book publicist affect this positive influence? And what does a book publicist do for an author? And what does it take to be a book publicist?

what does a book publicist do

What does a publicist do, anyway?

Think of a publicist as both your biggest cheerleader and a teammate on your book marketing team.

He or she will champion your book to the media and sing about how wonderful it is. And my, how wonderful that feels.

They have one main goal: get positive press coverage for his or her client.

A book publicist gets involved in the process after your book goes to print but (in general) before it’s published.

You've decided to write a book tip sheet free download

By the way, are you thinking about writing a book? You are, aren’t you.

Read the post, How to Write a Book before you dive in. And when you’re ready, grab the complimentary worksheets that go along with the training. They’re in my resource library—just pop your email address in the form below for the password.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “You’ve Decided to Write a Book Worksheet.”

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Here are a few things a book publicist does for an author

  • Gets book reviews
  • Gets articles written about the book or author
  • Nominates book for awards
  • Gets interviews for the author
  • Sets up and promotes virtual book tours
  • Schedules book talks and tours

These are all essential ingredients in the book marketing recipe for success.

Now if only you could look at marketing as a creative outlet instead of a thorn in your side we would all be singing to the bank.

But I digress

Of course an author can do his or her own marketing and if this is something you’re considering, here are some of the required skills.

Here are a few skills a book publicist should have in order to be successful

  • Ability to work with all kinds of different clients (every author is different and requires a different approach)
  • Strong writing and oral skills
  • Strong public relations skills
  • Knowledge of the journalism industry
  • Understanding of what journalists and book bloggers are looking for
  • Outgoing personality
  • Good at networking
  • Organized

Considering becoming a publicist? For extra credit, read So, You Want to Work in Publishing: The Role of a Publicist from Writer’s Digest

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If you can get clear on why you’re writing, it will become a beacon of light showing you the way forward.

Download the Your Writer’s Statement worksheet from my resource library.

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There’s no question publicity (aka marketing) helps book sales. If people hear about a book they’re more likely to purchase it rather than one they’ve never heard of.

“If you write it they will come,” isn’t really a thing.

Before you get too worked up, I understand this isn’t your favourite thing but I still think you can rock your marketing. And when you need a boost, hire a book publicist.

Related posts

What does a book publicist do? It's a common question. In general, it is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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What does a book publicist do? It's a common question. In general, it is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales.
What does a book publicist do? It's a common question. In general, "book publicist" is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales. So a book publicist is an interesting and important role. But just how does a book publicist affect this positive influence? And what does a book publicist do for a writer? And how long does it take?

You Should Be Writing [Book Review]

No matter if you’re a professional or a hobbyist, you know you should be writing. It’s like an internal drumbeat. Always there, always beating, never relenting.

So, what do you do about it?

You Should Be Writing by Brenda Knight and Nita Sweeney. Book with lavendar on the cover

A Journal of Inspiration and Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving Forward

I love craft books. At any time of the year. But this one is especially intriguing because it’s a bit off the beaten path. For me.

Slotted in the “quotation reference” genre.

It’s a thing!

Also, the pitch is great! It says it’s a book to help me “write to document, reflect and heal.”

This isn’t my usual approach to the craft, since I do this as my profession. I write to eat, live and work.

So you understand why I want to explore a different, more emotional side.

There isn’t much to the book, subtitled as “a journal of inspiration and instruction to keep your pen moving.” There’s a bit of intro and then pages and pages of lines, waiting for you to fill them.

Each page begins with an inspirational quote. And the quotes are organized into topical sections.

You’ll be encouraged to find the topic or quote that inspires that creative spark. And then…it’s time to write.

If you’re a bit blocked or are looking for a book of prompts to aid your creative exploration, this is an excellent option.

You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration and Instruction to Keep Your Pen MOving Synopsis

From famous all-time-great poets like T.S. Eliot to modern creatives like Roxane Gay, the selected writing quotes in this journal aim to instruct and inspire you to become a better writer.

Writing Inspiration from Incredible Authors

Gathered by Brenda Knight and writing coach Nita Sweeney, author of Depression Hates a Moving TargetYou Should Be Writing provides you with writing wisdom from a variety of accomplished authors.

Writing Practice on Every Page

This journal is a must-have for writers everywhere. With quotes from a diverse group of historical and modern authors to use as creative prompts on every page, you’ll be able to bring your writing inspiration with you wherever you go. You’ll find plenty of great advice, such as Toni Morrison’s encouragement, “As a writer, a failure is just information. It’s something that I’ve done wrong in writing, or is inaccurate or unclear. I recognize failure―which is important; some people don’t―and fix it.”

Creative Writing Practice for Every Genre

This writing journal with prompts helps you practice a wide variety of writing skills. The excerpts and prompts include:

  • General advice: “Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.” —Zadie Smith
  • Helpful instructions: “If you scribble your thoughts any which way, your reader will surely feel that you care nothing about them.” —Kurt Vonnegut
  • Genre-specific writing ideas and tips for particular areas of writing, such as poetry or storytelling: “For those whose bucket-list entails seeing their name on the spine of a book, it boils down to the power of persistence.” —Marlene Wagman-Geller

If you were inspired by the creative writing prompts and advice in 642 Things to Write AboutComplete the Story Journal, or Piccadilly 300 Writing Prompts, you’ll love Brenda’s and Nita’s You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving.

You Should Be Writing was published on June 16, 2020 by Mango Publishing.

Other Literary posts you may like

No matter if you're a professional or a hobbyist, you know you should be writing. It's like an internal drumbeat. Always there, always beating, never relenting. So, what do you do about it? This quotation reference book will help.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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How Long Should My Book Be?

Have you ever asked how long should my book be?

Did you know what a great question it is? GREAT question!

Many debut authors dive into their manuscript with wild abandon and with little thought to structure, plot or word count.

How Long Should My Book Be Guide to Word Count

How long should my book be?

When you’re planning a book (even if you’re a pantser) it’s important to know a few things about your genre ahead of time—things like, well, what genre it is.

And what the theme is. And how many words it will be. Yeah. Even word count should be pre-planned.

And I know how weird that sounds if this is the first time you’re hearing it.

How to write an outline worksheet

Wondering how to structure an outline? It will help you plan your book!

I’ve created a PDF worksheet walking you through the broad strokes of creating an outline. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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What!? There’s a word count for novels!? Yup.

And it’s kind of one of those things you should abide by unless you’re crazy-famous and/or already a successful author (because obvs these guidelines don’t apply to you) or you don’t care about selling books.

Because word count matters. And the rules change for every genre.

So, your first task is to figure out what genre your book is in. After that, check the list below to find the answer to your question how long should my book be?

General guidelines: How long should my book be?

Fiction

  • Middle Grade—20,000 to 50,000 words
  • Young Adult—45,000 to 80,000 words
  • Novels—50,000 to 120,000 words
    • Paranormal Romance—85,000 to 100,000 words
    • Romance—85,000 to 100,000 words
    • Category Romance—55,000 to 75,000 words
    • Cozy Mysteries—65,000 to 90,000 words
    • Horror—80,000 to 100,000 words
    • Western—80,000 to 100,000 words
    • Light Paranormal Mysteries/Hobby Mysteries—75,000 to 90,000 words
    • Historical Mysteries/Noir—80,000 to 100,000 words
    • Thrillers/Crime—90,000 to 100,000 words
    • Chick Lit—80,000 to 100,000 words
    • Literary—65,000 to 100,000 words
    • Science Fiction—90,000 to 110,000 words
    • Romantic Science Fiction—85,000 to 100,000 words
    • Space Opera—90,000 to 120,000 words
    • Contemporary Fantasy—90,000 to 100,000 words
    • Other Fantasy—90,000 to 120,000 words
You've decided to write a book worksheet

Do you want to write a book? Start here

I’ve created a PDF fillable worksheet walking you through four important steps to take BEFORE you start writing. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “You’ve Decided to Write a Book Worksheet.”

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Non-Fiction

  • Devotional—30,000 to 50,000 words
  • Self-Help—40,000 to 90,000 words
  • Memoir—50,000 to 90,000 words
  • Narrative Non-Fiction—50,000 to 110,000 words
  • Biography—50,000 to 110,000 words
  • Prescriptive/How-To—50,000 to 150,000

Of course these guidelines are only just that—guidelines. And there are WAY more genres and sub-genres (e.g. new weird and slipstream…what now!?) so it’s best to do your own research.

But do pay attention and at least be aware of publisher AND reader expectations. Because you still have to list your word count in your query letter or book proposal!

Sources: The Swivet, Jerry Jenkins, Books & Such Literary Management

Create a Writing Schedule Worksheet

When you’re ready to write a book and you know the genre and how many words it will be, your next step is to create a writing schedule.

I’ve created a PDF worksheet to help you realistic schedule. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library navigate to the writing section and look for “Create a Writing Schedule Worksheet.”

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Other posts relating to publishing (although not answering the question how long should my book be but they’re still relevant!)

Have you ever asked how long should my book be? Many debut authors dive into their manuscript with little thought to structure, plot or word count.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Have you ever asked <em>how long should my book be?</em> Did you know what a great question it is? GREAT question! Many debut authors dive into their manuscript with wild abandon and with little thought to structure, plot or word count.

Jessica Jones Playing with Fire Audiobook

On May 28 Marvel’s Jessica Jones Playing with Fire launched on Serial Box in immersive e-book and audiobook formats.

jessica jones playing with fire
Cover art by Annie Wu

I’m a big fan of books, audio and JJ so it makes sense I’m looking forward to this serialized adventure.

Here’s a quick synopsis but I’ll leave the Big Description below the audio sample for your edification.

We join with our favourite private investigator just as she’s giving self-care a try. Jessica is trying to live a healthier lifestyle (as in, no drinking during business hours, trying not to punch things, etc.) and she’s even trying to take less intense cases to take care of herself.

But when her latest missing person’s case seems too neat and tidy, she can’t accept it or let it go. This sends her diving headlong into a search for answers.

This is a 16-episode series available to read or listen to, delivered in bite-sized chunks on Serial Box.

Sample audio OF JESSICA JONES PLAYING WITH FIRE

https://soundcloud.com/serial-box-pub/first-listen-marvels-jessica-jones-playing-with-fire

Join Jessica Jones on an obsessive search for truth that leads her to an ancient and deadly magic

Her story isn’t over, thanks to this upcoming release on the premium reading and audio entertainment platform Serial Box. The next title in the original serialized fiction and audiobook series based on Marvel Comics brings a case to the superhuman detective leading to a supernaturally evil discovery.

On May 28 Marvel's Jessica Jones Playing with Fire launched on Serial Box in immersive e-book and audiobook formats.

In Playing with Fire, private investigator Jessica Jones is giving self-care a try. She's trying to live a healthier lifestyle (as in, no drinking during business hours, trying not to punch things, etc.) and she's even trying to take less exciting cases to take care of herself.

But when her latest missing person's case seems too neat and tidy, Jessica can't accept it or let it go. This sends her diving headlong into a search for answers.

WHO: The series is narrated by voice actress Fryda Wolff. The writing team is led by best-selling novelist Lauren Beukes, four-time Hugo Award-finalist Elsa Sjunneson, Zoe Quinn (Vertigo’s Goddess Mode), Vita Ayala (Marvel’s Nebula; Age of X), and television writer Sam Beckbessinger. 

WHEN: The first three episodes will launch on Thursday May 28, with new episodes releasing in weekly installments thereafter. The full season (16 episodes) will be available for $9.99.

WHERE: Exclusively on the Serial Box apps available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, and through the Serial Box website.

MORE: This is the third Marvel title to launch on Serial Box. Marvel’s Thor: Metal Gods and Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood are currently available to listen to or read.

Podcast recommendations

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

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The Author’s Checklist by Elizabeth Kracht

The Author’s Checklist is a literal A-Z checklist. An amazing, wonderful, helpful list.

The Author’s Checklist An Agent’s Guide to Developing and Editing Your Manuscript

The Author’s Checklist: An Agent’s Guide to Developing and Editing Your Manuscript

Agent, editor and author Elizabeth Kracht based her book on common issues she noticed in the thousands of manuscripts she has read over the years.

There is a significant gap between manuscripts that writers believe to be ready for publication and those that agents or other publishing professionals do.

Elizabeth K. Kracht

Kracht came to the publishing industry from the author side. Now on the agent side, she wants to bridge the gap between authors and agents. The Author’s Checklist helps authors identify weak points in their manuscript. The goal? Empowering writers to fix these common errors so they can get published.

Offering tips for authors at every stage of their writing journey, the A-Z headings contain short snippets of helpful advice and recommendations. While some sections are definitions explaining concepts and jargon, others act more like warnings. (For example, under “Word Count” the first sentence reads, “Word count matters.”) Other headings include “Proofreading,” “Collections,” and “Voice.”

Here’s an excerpt from one of the tips about how unsolicited queries go. This is found under “Agency Guidelines.” I found it especially enlightening.

At most agencies, unsolicited submissions are first read by an intern or reader rather than by an agent. Often these readers are highly educated English majors seeking to enter the publishing industry. Such readers can be less tolerant of mistakes such as typographical errors and failure to follow submission guidelines.

Elizabeth K. Kracht

Hmm.

I’m relating to this piece in particular because I’m reflecting on how much I’ve eased up with my stringent editing/gatekeeping as I’ve matured in my career. I was SO picky when I was a new writer/editor taking submissions. I wanted everything perfect. Just so. No, exactly so. Now? Decidedly more tolerant. Interesting. And a good nugget to keep in mind.

Anyway, the tips included in this book aren’t overbearing or too bossy. They’re handy for catching slippery errors and making them right. The tips are also excellent explanations for what to expect when you’re querying. And there’s some good advice for how to make your book better in general.

The simple solution? Don’t take shortcuts. No matter how much urgency you feel to get your book out there. Do it right. Think through every aspect of your writing and prepare to dive deep. You’ll get there, you just have to do the work.

The Author’s Checklist: An Agent’s Guide to Developing and Editing Your Manuscript was published on February 4, 2020 by New World Library.

The Author’s Checklist: An Agent’s Guide to Developing and Editing Your Manuscript is a literal A-Z checklist. An amazing, wonderful, totally helpful checklist.

The Author’s Checklist Synopsis

An Indispensable Guide for All Writers in All Genres

The bad news: even really good manuscripts have weak spots that are enough to garner rejections from agents and publishers. The good news: most of these problems are easy to fix—once the writer sees and understands them. After several years of evaluating manuscripts, literary agent Elizabeth Kracht noticed that many submissions had similar problems, so she began to make a list of the pitfalls. The Author’s Checklist offers her short, easy-to-implement bites of advice, illustrated by inspiring—and cautionary—real-world examples. Most aspiring authors yearn for a friend in book publishing. The Author’s Checklist is just that.

Other writing-related book reviews

The Author’s Checklist: An Agent’s Guide to Developing and Editing Your Manuscript is a literal A-Z checklist. An amazing, wonderful, totally helpful checklist.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn with you. As I learn new tips and tricks about writing and marketing I make sure to add new resources to the library.

While this is a free resource, I do require a password to access the library to keep it exclusive for my email subscribers. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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