4 Things Book Publicists Need From Authors

As publicists, our job is to secure as much media interest and coverage for a book and author as possible. With thousands of books published every week, the competition is fierce. At Smith Publicity, we consider a book marketing campaign to be a partnership. Yes, authors pay us as professionals and experts, but book publicity requires an author to be responsive, engaged, available and to actively suggest ideas when they have them.

Smith client Lisa Kohn (L) with Megyn Kelly and Smith Publicity’s Janet Shapiro.

Here are four things authors can do to help maximize their publicity campaign:

1. Answer your publicist’s questions ASAP. When a book publicist needs an answer to a media inquiry that only the author can answer, we need that information ASAP. A delayed answer to a media question – a day or sometimes hours, and a media contact may go to the next person another publicist pitched them.

2. Don’t ignore the small stuff. Put simply, an author should accept every media opportunity. It is absolutely true that you never know who is listening to an interview or reading an article. We’ve seen it happen many times: An article about a book or author in a small paper, or an interview in a small radio station leads to a contact at larger media outlet contacting us to speak to same author. A local opportunity can indeed convert to a national one.

3. Give feedback. You are the expert on the topic of your book. We are very good at what we do, but you may be the one to see a story related to your expertise. When you do – tell your publicist! Publicists need you to offer ideas whenever possible and won’t take offense and will welcome your input!

4. Say thank you. As publicists, we always thank the media after they have featured one of our authors. Authors who send their own thank you email or handwritten note to those who have interviewed them make a great impression, and that media contact will remember them, and that simple thank you can lead to a return invitation.

When authors are proactive, responsive, and prepared, a mediocre publicity campaign can turn into an outstanding one.