Hiring a Book Publicity Firm? 4 Important Things to Consider

Yes, we think Smith Publicity is a great book promotion firm, but we also know there are other good firms out there. There are many, many things to consider when hiring a book publicity firm or solo publicist to promote your book. In this post will give three of the most important ones.

  • Personality: This is the intangible consideration. Beyond results, track record, etc. how do you feel about the firm? Did you connect with the people you spoke with there? Were they friendly, too salesy or just kind of bland? You want the person and company you work with to be excited about your project, genuinely excited and happy to be working with you.

    This is a “gut” feeling. Pay attention to it and let it play a major role in your decision.

  • Track Record: This is a straightforward one. How successful has the firm been promoting books, more specifically, your type of book? Do they have many testimonials from happy clients? Ask for some brief case studies of work they did for other authors like you.
  • Size Matters: At Smith Publicity, we’re sometimes called “too big” by our competitors, and that authors will be small fish in a large pond. Well, not true. We’re a large company for the niche field of book publicity, but we’re still small – about 25 people. This is actually a very big plus for authors. Our clients get the personal attention of a designated, veteran publicist, as well as an entire team who all brainstorm and come up with pitches and angles for a book. The team approach provides back up and seamless transitions should a publicist go on vacation or otherwise become unavailable to work.

There are many small book marketing firms as well, with just two or three people, and there are “one person shops.” These can be attractive for authors, but there are drawbacks. If it’s a one-person operation, keep in mind that this person is your publicist, but also handles billing, new business development, and every other small business function. This can detract from the attention you get. Agencies with a few publicists can face the same kind of problem.

  • Be wary of promises and guarantees: This is simple: No publicist can absolutely guarantee you will receive specific levels of media coverage, i.e. guaranteeing national TV interviews or coverage in a national publication.

There is an exception to this guarantee rule: There are firms that sell set “interview packages” where they will guarantee, for example, a 20 interview radio tour. These are legitimate services and could be right for you, but just make sure you know what type of shows you will be interviewed on. Other agencies have the same “print coverage” packages.

The bottom line: Do your due diligence when selecting a firm, and ultimately, go with your instinct when deciding. You can rarely go wrong.