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?
These are the questions
What does a book 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.
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
(Considering becoming a publicist? For extra credit, read So, You Want to Work in Publishing: The Role of a Publicist)
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.
And 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.