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How do you get your book out there?

The ink is hardly dry. The book is on the shelves at local bookstores, and available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble. But how do we make the sales ranks climb? How do we spread the word and create a groundswell buzz that’ll kick-start high-speed sales?


The quick (albeit obvious) answer is to hire a publicist. But once we’ve scoped our options and partnered with the best publicist out there, there’s one more important thing we need to learn to do. We need to let go.


From brainstorming on a napkin at the local coffee shop years ago, to securing the contract with a publisher, to finishing that final manuscript, we’ve been at the wheel. Our books have been, well, our books. And that’s because we are writers. It’s what we do. So far, the book has been in our hands. But when it comes to publicity—and this is the hard part!—we have to let go.


When we hire a publicist, one of the first things we notice is a growing sense of detachment. We’ve just handed over the enormous responsibility of book publicity to the pros. The most immediate temptation is to get involved, to try to make the campaign happen the way we want it to happen. But would we try to tell a car mechanic how to fix our cars? Or give helpful hints to our children’s High School math teachers? Of course not.


Some authors are indeed great promoters, and a good publicist always welcomes their talent and acumen. It helps to make an even more powerful team. And so it’s important to let your publicist know your experience and skill from the outset. A unified front with a clear and articulate vision can go a long way.

Generally speaking, at the end of the day, we writers need to learn how to let go and trust our publicists. Campaign work, networking, and publicity is what they do. They’re the pros. We might be good at outlining plots and crafting artful paragraphs, but they’re good at creating a platform, turning up the volume for our campaigns.

Let’s be honest: marketing and networking are not our forte. As humbling as it can sometimes feel, we must learn to trust the pros. The writing life does not prepare us for publicity. It falls short. And so before you launch your publicity campaign, one of the most valuable tips to have in your toolbox is this: trust your publicist; give them room to work their magic


Sherri Rosen & Tyler Blanski, Sherri Rosen Publicity, NYC

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 15th, 2011 at 11:11 am and is filed under Clients, Friends and Colleagues, Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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