Monday, April 19, 2010
Publicity for Authors
There has been a shift in the way publicity is handled now that the internet is a way of life. Blogging, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all important facets of the marketing process. In this way you can interact with friends and their friends and the viral word about your book will begin to spread all in time for the big-book launch.
For some authors the process may seem overwhelming. In fact, they may not be able to deal with the day-to-day hastle of blogging, tweeting, facebook interaction with friends, etc. That is when a publicist becomes invaluable. These behind-the-scene advocates for the author work tirelessly to get the author in the news, set up speaking venues and handle their social media concerns. A publicist can do as much or as little as an author desires. Many offer custom packages.
My first interaction with a publicist, Kathy Carlton Willis, came when her firm found my Blog Talk Radio Show http://www.WritingandPublishingRadio.com. Kathy's very capable assistant contacted me about a group of their authors, offering several for my show. They asked me to chose the best fit for my show's purpose. In order to appear as a guest on my show, I ask that authors teach my audience something about the process of becoming an author, or something about the process of publishing. It can either be a difficult journey as an author, some area where they excel, for example writing plot, character or perhaps for a non-fiction author interview skills.
I was able to interview four authors during the same month, all with the same publicist. I had extremely high listens for the weeks when these authors appeared on my show. I was pleased with the results. There was an increase in the number of listens over my normal count by 400+ in two weeks. It was a group effort, but knowing how to publicize helps.
Not all publicists do their jobs well. If you are considering retaining a publicist I would highly recommend that you conduct your own interview, ask for referrals, and contact some previous clients. Make sure your goals mesh. For example if you are interested in obtaining a speaking platform, doing book signings and conducting interviews make sure your publicist can arrange this for you. When in doubt ask. Being on the same page is always a good thing!