5 Surefire Tips to Selecting the Right Book Publicist or Book Marketing Firm

Not surprisingly, I think Smith Publicity is one of the best book marketing agencies in the industry. However, this doesn't mean I think we are the perfect fit for every author. Part of the meaning of our very simple mission statement, “Make Good Things Happen for Authors,” is that we always want to make sure that we are the right match for an author, because this is crucial to a successful relationship.

So, here are five tips to help authors make good decisions when hiring a book publicist or book publicity agency.

  1. Consider whether you work better with just one person or prefer a team approach. Although Smith Publicity is indeed a small company of about twenty people, we’re sometimes considered, ironically, “too big” by authors. Essentially, there are two choices: Sole-operator, one-person operations, or an actual agency with multiple book publicists and support staff.

    The advantage of a one-person operation: You deal with a single person throughout the process.

    The advantage of working with an agency: You have multiple minds devoted to your project and a team working together. Also, if your point-person book publicist is sick, on vacation, etc., your campaign goes on seamlessly.

  1. Experience! It’s great having a terrific track record, but does the firm or publicist have experience – successful experience – working with your genre? A one-person operation may specialize in a particular genre or two, but an agency with multiple publicists who have experience promoting various genres has the ability to handle diverse titles and genres.
  1. Digital Reliance or Human Communication? Do you eschew phone calls in favor of the simplicity of email communication and digital automation? Or do you like being able to easily talk one-on-one with someone in real time? Companies can be very different in this regard, so check out communication style while doing your research. It all depends on your comfort level and personal preference.
  1. Control. Do you want a publicity firm to handle absolutely everything with minimal input from you, or are you a self-admitted micro-manager? When you talk to a firm or publicist, ask them how they like to operate. This is one of the most important things to be clear on before signing on with a firm. Finding a firm whose control level you’re comfortable with will prevent future power struggles and having what should be a positive, productive relationship turn into an adversarial one.
  1. Virtual Reality or Brick-and-Mortar. Some people are wary of a firm that is completely virtual, with no “real” central office, and other people don't care at all. Is this important to you? Either way, do your research into the firm’s reputation and secure a relationship with one that has a good track record, high customer satisfaction and consistent client retention.

Curious about how Smith Publicity operates? We like to balance our preferred methods with a flexibility tailored to our clients’ needs. Learn more by calling us at 856-229-0807.

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