GET STARTED!

Smith client tells ‘why publicists are worth the expense’

Anne Montgomery is a former TV journalist and the author of The Scent of Rain. She is also a Smith Publicity client! She recently penned a blog for her Web site that we wanted to share. A lot of authors considering book marketing wonder if professional book publicity services are worth the expense. Anne says yes!

Why Publicists Are Worth The Expense

by Anne Montgomery

Recently, I did something I had never done before. I engaged the services of a publicist to help with the launch of my new novel, The Scent of Rain.

I have been writing books for over two decades, and, like many authors today, have had to shift quickly and often with the changing tide of publishing. Where once publishing houses shelled out expenses for travel and lodging, and food and books, supporting authors on the interview and signing rounds, today, all but a few big-name authors are required to do publicity themselves and to cover the expenses involved.

Authors are also obligated to have a broad on-line footprint, and, I know from personal experience, that involvement in social media, possessing a website, and blogging regularly are requirements spelled out in our contracts.

As a former reporter, I have researched what motivates readers to buy books, what to include in a perfect query letter, how to hook a reviewer, and myriad other topics “guaranteed” to sell books. And yet, in all honesty, I have given away more books than I have ever sold.

Until now. And the only thing that has changed is the fact that I hired a publicist.  Why didn’t I do it earlier? I suppose the cost. But, as in many budding businesses, one needs to spend money to make money. And what I learned is that, overall, the fee was not that exorbitant. Many companies allow authors to choose from a menu of options, priced accordingly that run over various lengths of time. I picked the three-week option: two weeks prior to my book’s launch and one week after. The cost: $1,800.

For that swipe of my American Express card, I received, more than anything else, a course in how to promote myself and my book.

First, I was interviewed at length by my publicist, Sarah, who wanted to find out all about me, my book, and why I wrote the story. She then created a press release – which we worked on together – and which identified the various angles media people might take in approaching a story about my book. Remember, publicity is not only about a review. Your topic was important enough to make you spend a chunk of your life writing about it, so you must convince media people that it’s vital your story is told.

Next, Sarah placed The Scent of Rain on NetGalley: According to the company definition, NetGalley is a service to promote and publicize forthcoming titles to readers of influence. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to request and read titles before they are published.”

Over three weeks, almost sixty NetGalley reviewers, librarians, and booksellers requested my novel. One month after that, my publisher ordered a second run of The Scent of Rain. So, clearly, people were buying my book.

Sarah and I spoke at the end of each week, talking about who had responded to our queries and why. She would also send me a detailed list of all contacts, and then we would plan for the following week, where we’d try a different angle. By the end of our three-week period, the list had grown exponentially. (Right now, it’s about 15 pages long.) And even when our time was technically up, Sarah stayed with me. In fact, whenever I need some help, I just e-mail her and she gets right back to me with suggestions.

The best thing of all is that Sarah didn’t just give me the proverbial fish, she taught me how to fish. For example, I used to contact bloggers, reviewers, book clubs, and media people just once. Sarah gently explained that you should make contact every three to four weeks. Rework that query. Try a different angle. Share some reviews that have come in. Touch base. Just because you had a “no response” – which is what happens most of the time in this business – doesn’t mean they might not be interested the second or third time around. And, you know, she was right.

It’s important to remember that there’s no hard beginning or end-time for promotions. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So, I check that long list of contacts most everyday, reviewing the last time I touched base, re-reading the most recent e-mail, figuring the best way to try again.

I have my publicist to thank for my newfound promotional skills and the fact that I’m selling books. And if you think the financial cost for hiring a publicist is too high, consider what you’d pay for a college course in marketing. Because that’s what I feel I got in this deal. Here’s hoping Sarah would give me an A.

Anne Montgomery’s new novel, The Scent of Rain, tells the story of two Arizona teenagers whose fates become intertwined. Rose flees into the mountains to escape from her abusive polygamous community where her only future is marriage to a man older than her father. Adan, whose only wish is to be reunited with his mother, is on the run from the cruelties of the foster care system. Are there any adults they can trust? Can they even trust each other?  The Scent of Rain is available at https://www.including.org/book/9780996390149 and wherever books are sold.

31 Responses

  1. You are one of the most talented writers on the entire Internet!
  2. I want to show my appreciation to the writer for bailing me out of this particular trouble. As a result of researching throughout the world wide web and obtaining concepts that were not productive, I was thinking my life was well over. Living minus the strategies to the difficulties you have resolved by means of your good article content is a serious case, as well as the kind that could have badly affected my career if I had not noticed your web site. Your primary expertise and kindness in playing with the whole lot was priceless. I am not sure what I would've done if I had not discovered such a thing like this. I'm able to at this point relish my future. Thanks for your time so much for the specialized and amazing help. I won't think twice to recommend the website to anybody who should have guidelines about this issue.
  3. "I am so grateful for your article.Thanks Again. Cool."
  4. "Thanks for your tips on this blog. Just one thing I wish to say is that often purchasing gadgets items through the Internet is not new. In fact, in the past few years alone, the market for online electronic devices has grown a great deal. Today, you'll find practically any type of electronic system and other gadgets on the Internet, including cameras along with camcorders to computer spare parts and gaming consoles."
  5. "I value the article post.Really thank you! Cool."
  6. Thanks so much for the article post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.
  7. Thanks-a-mundo for the article.Much thanks again. Great.
  8. "Needed to send you this tiny remark to be able to thank you so much the moment again relating to the unique suggestions you have provided on this website."
  9. I think this is a real great article post.Much thanks again. Want more.
  10. Really informative blog post.Really thank you! Fantastic.
  11. I loved your blog.
  12. "Hi there mates, how is all, and what you would like to say about this post, in my view its actually awesome designed for me."
  13. "Wow! Thank you! I permanently wanted to write on my site something like that. Can I implement a part of your post to my website?"
  14. Thanks again for the article.Thanks Again. Will read on...
  15. I appreciate you sharing this post.Really thank you! Really Great.
  16. "I just like the valuable information you supply in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again right here regularly. I am relatively certain I’ll be informed lots of new stuff proper here! Good luck for the following!"
  17. I value the blog.Really thank you! Really Cool.
  18. Thanks-a-mundo for the article.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on...
  19. "Thanks a lot for the article post.Really thank you! Want more."
  20. Say, you got a nice article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.
  21. wow, awesome blog post. Awesome.
  22. "A big thank you for your blog post.Much thanks again. Cool."
  23. I hope you all are having a great weekend. I have a new list for you. Read the latest update on how I compiled the list. I'm still surprised by the results.
  24. wow, awesome article. Much obliged.
  25. Thanks again for the post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.
  26. Very neat blog.Much thanks again. Keep writing.
  27. You’ve been working hard lately. All that stress has got to be eating at you. Why not take a break and enjoy some cam girls? There’s plenty of them to enjoy at http://www.camgirl.pw It’s wall to wall babes at this site. You’ll know that right away after your first visit.
  28. "One thing I would like to discuss is that weight loss program fast may be accomplished by the right diet and exercise. Ones size not only affects appearance, but also the actual quality of life. Self-esteem, depressive disorder, health risks, plus physical capabilities are disturbed in putting on weight. It is possible to do everything right and still gain. Should this happen, a problem may be the perpetrator. While too much food but not enough body exercise are usually accountable, common health concerns and widely used prescriptions can easily greatly add to size. I am grateful for your post in this article."
  29. Thanks for the article.Much thanks again.
  30. Im thankful for the blog.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

Leave a comment