Book publicity can be an incredibly valuable service to authors, and it has a price tag to match. So, it is important you understand that value ahead of time. Here are 6 important questions to ask a book publicist before hiring him or her.
- Will you read my book? That sounds like an odd question to ask an organization you’re hiring to help you promote yourself and your book, doesn’t it? But it’s an important question to ask. In my experience, many publicity firms won’t read your book unless you insist on it. Perhaps, they don’t need to. Ask them for clarification about this.
- What are your prices? Ask for a price list of all their program options, and ask what services are included in each program.
- What additional costs are involved in this process: do you want additional postage fees sent to you upfront and/or throughout the campaign for sending out review copies; how many physical review copies do you want mailed to you ahead of time; do you send these review copies out to low-ranking individual bloggers or to high-ranking relevant media outlets?
- How many of the interviewers you book for me will actually go through with the interview? Do any of them cancel at the last minute, after receiving the free review copy, and then post that book on Amazon for sale? (Believe it or not, this happens. And, yes, you’re right—it’s unacceptable.)
- Do you expect to include my personal phone number and email address on the press release you send out to the media? Will you share that press release publicly online via your website and/or any other websites? How do you protect each author’s privacy in this regard?
- Will your firm find relevant and recognized media outlets who are willing to accept any guest posts I’ve written that link back to my own blog?
Start with those six questions and see where they take you. You’ll learn a lot about the firm you’re dealing with through them. Make your decision from there.