November 4, 2014
By: Austin Ambrose @tex_ambrose7
The next, greatest novel is completed. The publishing company knows it, the author is proud of the work, but no one else knows about it. The publishing house is moving on to the next title, and the author is entering an area vastly different from his or her domain. The logical step to take: hire a PR professional.
As PR For Books, a United Kingdom PR firm said, “authors are not supposed to know how to promote their books, they are the brilliant minds that created it.” The job of promoting the book should come from a professional firm.
The increase of PR professionals is prevalent across many different disciplines. Actors, athletes, non-profits and corporations all need the skills of PR professionals, and authors are no different.
Why authors need publicists
Authors need someone who knows how to receive media exposure for their new book, whether it’s advertisements in magazines, a feature story, interviews, etc. It is also the job of the PR professional to arrange a book tour for the author including signings and readings in various locations to promote the book and the author.
This type of PR is no different than any other. The job of the PR professional is to promote a service/product and make the creator look good. In this scenario, the product is a new book and the creator is the author.
According to Career and Employability Services of University of Kent in the United Kingdoms, a person looking to enter the PR realm of publicizing needs to have four characteristics: be a strong communicator, be organized, handles pressure well, and has time management skills.
The publicity world is faced paced, so the PR professional needs to be on top of their game. They have to have connections, and fight for that publicity. Some publishing companies have their own promotional staff, but they are not always used to their fullest extent. Finding a PR professional that will be with you through the entire process of book promotion is crucial.
According to a blog written by Rachelle Gardner, an advocate for writers, there is a lack of commitment these promotional staffs have in promoting a new novel. Authors have to take an active role in the promotion if they want their book to be seen. One person commented on the post, stating that he was a published author and found through his story and some of his writing friends, and that publishing houses stay through the launch of a book, and then they are out.
Overall, this creates a large burden for the authors because they now have to self promote their book from here on out. Publishing houses either need to increase the value of their PR staff, or authors need to look to external sources for more assistance.
The publishing world can be brutal, as numerous authors fight for that interview slot, feature story or book signing. This is why PR professionals are vital to the success of a novel. They posses the skills that authors are looking for to get their words heard in the concert of literature.