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Monday, April 19, 2010

Publicity for Authors

Many authors only want to write.  They have a book idea, they finally get the book written and then the hunt to find someone to publish the book. Perhaps they decide to publish on their own, or opt to obtain an agent. Once the publisher accepts the manuscript, the author's real work begins. 

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 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!


  1. Great tips! So glad I have the blog to return to. begin writing the book. ;)

  2. Felice--thanks for the good words. I'd like to pass along another "good word." Gina--Gina Stinson to be exact. She's the assistant extraordinaire who contacts you on behalf of our clients. She's amazing! I look forward to talking with you and your audience this afternoon.

  3. You are so right. Being a writer takes more than just writing skills. It's a business like any other.

  4. Gina is awesome, Kathy! I wish I had a "Gina" :D You were a fabulous guest! I threw you many curve balls and you were able to bat them out of the park with your answers. You have the experience authors need to get their product noticed. Thanks again for spending some time with my listeners.