So often we hear from authors who are interested in publicity but are also cash-strapped from having already spent vast resources on preparing their books for publishing. Self-publishing is especially expensive and authors have to make huge upfront investments before their books even see the light of day.
Indie authors have the extra expenses of publishing their book that a traditionally published author does not incur. It’s important to budget for publicity for a book just as you would budget for a book cover, editing, formatting, distribution and all other aspects of publishing – no matter if you hire a publicist or choose to do your own promotion.
Unfortunately self-publishing has such an expense tied to it that a lot of people budget for everything to create the book and nothing to get the word out that it even exists. Kind of like the old saying, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
It’s scary to commit to the unknown. I get it. As a former journalist, I was very skeptical of publicity and if it actually made any sort of difference. After more than seven years as a book publicist, I can without a doubt say it does. Just at JKS Communications alone we have seen indie authors hit bestseller lists, become the go-to expert interviews for major mainstream media, receive daily book club requests, start movements, and even land six-figure publishing deals.
Every publicity campaign will differ in scope depending on the book, genre, author, messaging, budget and other factors. But one thing is for sure – without any publicity, your book will get lost among the millions published each year.
I wish for authors that writing the book would be the end of their hard work. That on its own is an incredible feat. But book publicity has become increasingly important over the last decade especially with the ever-changing publishing industry.
So regardless of whether you hire a publicist or not, treat publicity just as you would any part of publishing your book. Publicity is just as important as your cover, your content, your distribution, your editing and everything else that goes into not only making the book, but making it known.
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.