A Hybrid Publisher’s Perspective on Why Authors Need Book Publicists
by Trena White
Co-founder and principal of Page Two
As a busy hybrid publisher of brilliant non-fiction, we work with a wide range of clients—some are well-known authorities in their field, others are just beginning to make a name for themselves. Many come into our first meetings declaring they want a bestseller.
Of course, we believe all our authors’ books are brilliant! But the truth is, creating a bestseller isn’t only about getting the right words on the page—it’s about attracting the eyes and ears of the public. And while we’ve certainly seen some of our more plugged-in authors achieve incredible book sales without hiring a publicist, we’ve also seen the difference a book publicist can make in raising the profile of authors who might otherwise get overlooked.
Take the 5-Minute Recharge, for example. It is a fantastic book written by co-authors Lynne Everatt and Addie Greco-Sanchez — a delightful and immensely readable book of science-backed tips and strategies for wellness. The authors are both incredibly accomplished women with busy careers. Lynne had experience as a humor writer and columnist, and we knew this book had the potential to generate plenty of interest. But we also knew Lynne and Addie didn’t have the time to do all the heavy lifting required to generate media buzz—not to mention master Book Publicity 101 in a matter of weeks.
Another author we’ve seen benefit from working with a publicist is Andrew Tarvin—author of Humor That Works, about using humor in the workplace. A comedian, busy speaker, and bestselling author, he was already seasoned in media interviews. Having an experienced publicist handle the heavy lifting of media outreach delivered strong results. He appeared on numerous influential podcasts and various work-related blogs, websites, radio, and TV.
If an author is committed to doing all they can to make their book a success, especially if their book has broad appeal—then hiring a publicist is a no-brainer. Time and again, I’ve seen the expertise and service provided by a publicist elevate a book and author to new levels of attention and influence.
After all, when my hair needs a trim, I don’t take the scissors into my own hands. I go to an expert. And when an author is seeking to get noticed, taking matters into their own hands is simply inefficient—and sometimes, like a bad haircut, it’s a humbling experience. There isn’t any substitute for expertise.
By connecting with an excellent publicist at Smith Publicity, Addie and Lynne could benefit from an expert with years of media connections and expertise in creating compelling pitches and targeting the right outlets. Not having done many media appearances in the past, they received training and tips for confidently dealing with on-camera, radio, and print interviews. We’ve all seen or heard those interviews where an expert appears nervous, lost for words, or rambles on for too long about some esoteric factoid or another. A great benefit of working with a publicist is that they ensure authors don’t go out into the wilds of the media spotlight without a roadmap and a compass.
The result? Among other things, a fantastic appearance on Toronto’s Breakfast Television, where they appeared in a focussed interview and segment about their book.
Jesse Finkelstein and Trena White launched Page Two in 2013 to help non-fiction authors and organizations make smart, innovative publishing decisions. Their core team of talented professionals, and carefully vetted freelance associates, have worked for some of the world’s largest and most prestigious publishers. Combined, they’ve produced thousands of books in our careers, publishing international bestsellers and winning numerous awards.