Promotion is such an important part of selling your art and without it your book sits alone on a virtual shelf waiting for readers.
You know this, yet you do the bare minimum to get your book up and running, or you do too much of the wrong thing, trust the wrong people and spend copious amounts of money with little result. You don’t need to work hard…well you do, but more importantly you need to work smart while enlisting help from people who understand how to navigate the tough, time-consuming work for you.
This is going to piss off a lot of bloggers but the truth is, writing a blog and hosting blog tours for authors does not a publicist make. There is a reason promotions and book marketing is a skill; it takes a tremendous amount of research, knowledge and knowhow to get the work in front of the right people. And NEWSFLASH! book marketing and book publicity are two completely different functions. Yes, blog tours work, as do cover reveals and giveaways, both of which fall under marketing, but remember it is all a numbers game and the winner is always the one with the growing bank account – usually the blogger who sold you on their services. However, that doesn’t mean it is all for not. I sometimes do virtual book tours, but I also focus on PR work which means finding a message and getting the world to listen via media outlets.
So who and what should you trust? And what should you do?
First, know the difference between marketing and PR. (See our marketing page for more info) Then do some research on a professional, someone who understands
the industry and reach out to them. Rather than just looking to save a buck by hiring a blogger who offers really cheap book blasts, hire an actual publicity company to get you what you need (like us – quick and dirty shameless promotion), or find a qualified person who is getting started in the industry and see if they can help with your budget. Yeah, it might cost you a bit more, but the results will be worth it. Have them work to get you interviews, schedule guest posts, handle your social media blasts and set up a fan page. They will talk to your local bookstores and work to get you signings, or perhaps get set you up on a tour of conventions. There are numerous ways to sell a book outside of the same old blog tours and cover reveals and although I recommend them as well, you should have someone out there pushing your story, your author brand and your book, because the more coverage you get, the more attention your work receives.
I have an article about branding coming soon but here’s a little bit on the subject because it’s key. Everything, down to your headshot and Twitter cover should be devised with care and consistency and a publicist or trained marketing/communication professional can assist. They know what works, what certain demographics are attracted to and how to communicate your messages effectively. For instance, most people don’t know how to draft a media kit; what true market analytics entail; benchmarking; proper website design (not from a web designers prospective but a marketing perspective); how to analyze the current platform and help you build one that will entice readers and eventually publishers. You need someone to help you engage your audience so you are a significant presence, not just some indie author that no one wants to review, because your cover is homemade and you have two suspect reviews on Amazon.
Lastly, there is a lot to be said for having solid representation. And beyond all of those previous points, you get time to write because you won’t have to spend all that time hustling your own book. I call that a win-win.
If you want to learn more about what an honest to goodness publicist or communications specialist can do for you, click on that little box that says “chat” or email us. We are happy to help, guide and assist in any way we can.