By Market or Die Author Services, LLC Jennifer Fusco and Melanie R. Meadors
Melanie’s contributions to this article are in bold.
Let’s face it. In today’s book world, the market is flooded. Everyone who thinks they want to publish a book has the ability to do it. So, it’s not uncommon for an author to feel the pressure of the crowd when they are about to release their book into the wild. Many times our clients will feel alone, like they are the ones jumping up and down in the back of the room begging readers to “buy my book,” and that’s not their job.
An author’s job is to deliver the best story possible and to sweep the reader away emotionally, so they are not only compelled to finish reading the story, but crave to know more about the character and their future journeys. Yes. And I know I sound like a broken record at times, but I always say, an author’s best marketing tool is their next book. It’s really hard to market nothing, after all, and even harder to market something that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves during its production.
Our goal as independent publicists is to ensure our client’s work gets the attention it deserves. Through whatever means necessary. With the author’s approval, of course.
Our relationship with our clients is based on trust, focus and good planning. And I personally think this is the key to why an author should hire an independent publicist. Trust: you need someone who has your back. When I go into a bookstore, as I do…once…twice…OK, probably five times a week, and I don’t see my clients’ books on the shelves, I see to it that they get there. How are they supposed to sell books if they aren’t in the store, after all? Focus: This is my strong suit. I have ADHD. Hyperfocus is my middle name. When I do a job, I do it thoroughly. Writers WRITE. They can’t have that singular focus on the marketing aspect when they are on deadline at the same time their book is released. By hiring an independent publicist, they have someone who can be there to answer the emails and snap up sudden opportunities that they may not have had time for. My eyes are always open for opportunities for “my authors.” It’s not realistic to expect an author to do all of this herself. And good planning: this is where a publicists knowledge comes in handy. We have connections to blogs and media outlets. We have experience. We know when things should happen, such as blog tours or when press releases should go out.
Often, we are hired to create buzz among readers, and we do that by arranging blog tours, soliciting the press, throwing live events, creating marketing plans and giving our clients opportunities to talk about their work with venues like Authors on the Air. Publishers may arrange some of these things for their authors as well, with their in-house publicists. However, remember that these publicists have other authors they are working for, authors who may, to be frank, be more “important” to that publisher because they draw in more money. These in-house publicists are often stretched thin, and their assistants can often be very inexperienced. An independent publicist works directly for the AUTHOR. Every one of our clients is just as important as the next. The only priority we have when selecting who we should work for next is maybe the release date of their book. We also personalize everything we arrange for an author. No two blog tours are alike–this is because we know that different readers go to different blogs, and we make sure we pay attention to that. We also keep in mind what the author wants, and what his strengths and weaknesses are. It’s much more personal than with a big publisher’s marketing staff.
Bottom line is we love books. We LOVE our authors and there really is no better job in the world.