Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom (Business): To Hire or Not to Hire a PR Firm

publicityTime was, the publisher took responsibility for promoting your book.  All you had to do was write.  But those days are gone. Today, the onus of promoting your book falls on you, the author.  So what can you do to make the job easier and less time-consuming for yourself? 

One suggestion is to hire a PR firm. But first, you have to ask yourself a few questions:

1) Can I afford to hire a PR firm?

2) Can I afford NOT to hire a PR firm?

3) What will a PR firm do for me that I cannot do for myself?

4) How will I recognize a good PR firm when I see one?

5) Will my PR firm take care of all my book publicity?

Let’s take a brief look at each of the questions above. First of all, can you afford to hire a PR firm? PR firms can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the services provided.  Most PR firms offer a variety of packages to fit a variety of budgets. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

Can you afford NOT to hire a PR Firm? For many authors, hiring a PR firm is a necessity. PR firms provide focused advertising. They know how to target the right markets for your book. If you did the PR yourself, you might waste advertising dollars on markets that are less likely to buy your book.

As for what a PR firm can do for you that you cannot do for yourself, the answer is: A Lot!  PR firms have connections that you don’t have.  When I hired The LitFuse Group, my PR firm, to launch my book, A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING, LitFuse sent review copies to key blogs that had large audiences. I had not even heard of most of these blogs, but as I researched them, I realized that they were major players in the book review blogosphere.

When looking for a PR firm, ask around. I contacted several well-established and well-known novelist friends who had used the PR firm I eventually hired. They had nothing but praise for the professional service they received.  Most, if not all, of them continue to use this PR firm.

Even though your PR firm will handle most of your book publicity, you will still need to keep on top of things.  Sometimes a matter will fall through the cracks. It happens to the most efficient among us. If you’re not paying attention, overlooking the matter could cost you in time, money, or book sales.

Once you’ve answered the above questions for yourself, you will be in a better position to make a wise decision about whether or not to hire a PR firm.  

Have any of you used the services of a PR firm? If so, what are your thoughts about the pros and cons of using one to promote your books?


Photo Source: Microsoft Clipart




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