Has anyone used a publicist? What's your experience been, and how do they charge, by the hour or per placement/booking they get for you? A few people have said I should get a publicist, but I'm not sure how to go about it. My novel was published last year by a very small press, so the marketing support is, well, there isn't any. :-) Any thoughts?
I had 2 publicists - and they weren't worth the price! The first one was suggested by my publisher and cost $1700 for 3 months of work. Her resume read like a who's who of household name authors, so I took a chance. It was the most pressure filled time with little sales to show for my investment. In fact, being a 'new author' I was low man on her radar and fought to get a moment of her time.
The 2nd publicist offers a la carte services, and for much less than the first, but the same results - few sales. I've gotten further on my own than with either publicist and gain the most sales from events I attend. The combined booth fees for 6 shows doesn't add up to what I spent between the 2 publicists. I now put my hard earned money where it will do the best good - and that's not with publicists.
Oh wow! Thank you for that. I've been doing book fairs and getting some sales and just been trying to keep up with opportunities like that. I guess I'm on the right road then.
It takes awhile to build a following. Just make certain the book fairs you attend are ones that fit your books. Also, returning is important once you become established. I do about 6 to 7 events year, across several states.
Again, thank you. I'm heading to the Harlem Book Fair, which should fit my market pretty well. It's the first book fair in a major city, so I'm excited about it.
Here are links to a couple of posts I did last summer with tips about events.
Engaging at Events: http://allonbooks-thekingdomofallon.blogspot.com/2011/08/engaging-a...
The one publicist (a local person) I talked to recently told me that since my books were published as ebooks only, publicizing a ebook after it's been out a while is a waste of money and time. She suggested I publish it as a POD and get a few copies to hand out at bookstores and fairs. Perhaps the actual paperback in hand would spark sales. I am reluctant to get involved in self-publishing of any sort again. (I formatted my books myself, a frustrating, ultimately satisfying learning experience). Any advice on my next step for this novel?
Joanne, check out "Createspace" they are a POD arm of Amazon that doesn't cost anything if you do the formatting and cover yourself. It only cost $25 for the Expanded Distribution for worldwide Amazon, B&N and other bookstores to have access. I do ally POD through Createspace and only order the number of copies I need for events.
Also, get a copy of Aaron Shepherd's book Perfect Pages - it tells how to format a POD using Word. My husband does all my books this way and we haven't had any trouble with upload. He then takes the PDF for the POD and coverts it to e-book form less than a day.
Thanks for the information and the encouragement, Shawn. I'll get the book and begin a new program of getting my novels out. I wish I had your husband, also. Do you rent him out? Again, thanks. JO
I wouldn't spend money on a publicist to get discovered. I would do some of what's been already suggested; attending conferences and book fairs, signing on to do trade shows, joining book clubs, and of course participating in the social online networks. Just really immerse yourself in the book world. I would only pay for a publicist to handle scheduling and inquiries.
You might check out the packages that Author Buzz offers.
No experience here with book publicists, but I have spoken with one who actually suggests a lot of what's being shared here. Get out there and hustle your butt off for the exposure, first. Do as much as you can for yourself, first. While many publicists have connections that new/unknown authors don't readily have, there is no guarantee that their services will translate into sales (as stated by others here). Also, many of the services offered by a publicist will include some things you can implement on your own. Book fairs, conferences, social events, social networking, and just reaching out to people and making genuine personal connections that will encourage them to support you. Good luck with whatever you decide. :)