Los Angeles may be known as the center of Hollywood, but it also has a long and storied tradition as a haven for writers – often drawn here by lucrative paychecks from movie studios. Notable residents include Joan Didion, Charles Bukowski, Dorothy Parker, William Faulkner, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal who all lived here at one time or another.
Do I really need a book publicist in Los Angeles?
Are you a writer in Los Angeles and not sure how to promote your book? Check out some tips here on promoting a book!
Every day in the U.S., thousands of books are published. As authors increasingly turn towards self-publishing – as of 2020, 1.7 million new titles had been released – and this number has grown at an annual rate of 264 percent over five years.
In such a crowded marketplace, your book needs an edge. An experienced publicist will know how to successfully pitch your book to the right people and gain attention for it.
In addition to being highly competitive, the media environment for book coverage is becoming increasingly constrained. Though more books are published, traditional outlets such as radio and print are declining. In such a crowded landscape, publicity can be an effective tool in garnering recognition for an author.
Some publicists are employed by publishing houses, while others freelance. If your book is being published by a major publisher, they will handle publicity for you. On the other hand, independent authors being published through small presses may want to hire a publicist directly. Hiring a book publicist allows for more time for creative endeavors rather than trying to do all the legwork needed for an effective publicist by pitching media outlets yourself.
Experts advise indie authors not to focus on book sales, but rather building a community through social media. Think of marketing as an ongoing endeavor – it won’t end when your book releases but rather throughout your career.
How to Promote Books in Los Angeles
Are you uncertain how to promote your book in Los Angeles or looking for national coverage? No matter the case, these tips can help.
If you are just starting out and don’t have much of a platform, you could consider regional marketing – events or smaller tours in your region. Conversely, if seeking national coverage is your goal, hire a publicist with experience and access to national media outlets who will also provide media training for you.
Be mindful that a publicist who only generates local publicity should charge less than one who can secure national exposure for you. No matter what kind of coverage you require, ensure there is effective communication between yourself and the publicist about what you require and their willingness to deliver on it.
Be mindful that many book publicists do not work with self-published authors. However, if your book is of exceptional quality, there may be freelance publicists willing to collaborate.
What Is a Book Publicist?
A book publicist’s mission is to promote your book. To do this, they must first identify or be aware of who the target audience for your book is. Ideally, this conversation should begin with an author discussion about their goals, what the book is about, and who their ideal readership is. From there, they can craft strategies that reach this desired group.
Some duties of a book publicist can include:
- Submitting galleys and books for book reviews.
- Campaigning to be on book lists or nominated for book awards.
- Pitching stories to journalists about the book or author.
- Scheduling book signings and tours.
Self-promotion on the internet is possible, but the most widely consumed content comes from traditional media like radio, magazines, newspapers and TV. Coverage in these outlets provides credibility; therefore the job of a publicist is to get you interviews, book reviews or op-ed pieces published in publications.
How to Get a Book Publicist in Los Angeles
Are you debating if hiring a book publicist is the right move for your book and project? Ideally, those hiring book publicists already possess some form of social media platform and website so they can effectively connect with their target audience.
When hiring a book publicist, there are steps you can take to build up your social media profile so they know who your target audience is and how best to market to them. There is much you can do on your own to increase visibility online and boost sales directly with them.
Furthermore, building your platform can help you cultivate an audience and having your own following will make you more attractive to major publishers!
Top 5 Qualities of an Effective Publicist
- A network of contacts – A major aspect of a publicist’s job is cultivating and nurturing relationships with media industry professionals. The larger their network, the greater your opportunities for access.
- A flair for marketing – A successful publicist will use an author’s social media platforms to draw attention and boost book sales.
- Professionalism – Your publicist must keep on top of scheduling meetings and interviews with various outlets, creating press kits, campaigning for book awards, etc. In other words, you want a publicist with professionalism who can do things that you wouldn’t be able to do yourself.
- Expertise – An effective publicist possesses the skill set needed to craft and execute media strategies. Some even assist with advertising, cover design and book formatting. A great publicist will help you steer clear of marketing tactics that won’t yield results; moreover, they must have enough insight to recognize when something needs retooling or improvement.
- Experience – A successful publicist must possess a demonstrated track record. When searching for one, don’t be afraid to ask for references and research other campaigns they have worked on.
How to Find the Right Publicist for Your Book
Similar to literary agents, book publicists specialize in different genres. While some specialize in fiction or non-fiction, it is essential that you find a publicist who is suitable for your book. Do some research on different PR firms to compare their services, background and expertise.
After that, create a list of expected outcomes you expect your publicist to achieve. Share this with them when asking for their proposal and fees.
When selecting a publicist, one important factor to consider is their expertise with respect to the target audience you are trying to reach.
Finding a book publicist you can trust is of the utmost importance. Steer clear of those who prioritize promoting their own business over yours.
Finally, make sure your personality complements theirs. A book publicist and author work together as a team, so it’s essential that both of you are compatible.
The Best Book Publicist in Los Angeles
How you define “best” depends on your goals. In the same vein, the ROI for a book publicity campaign also depends on what those objectives are. Indie authors tend to focus less on book sales and more on gaining recognition as an author that will lead to long-term success; their idea of an ROI may differ from that of someone solely focused on book sales.
At Loaded Media, we guarantee placements in major magazines – something which is increasingly rare in today’s print media landscape. Furthermore, we can work with you to develop a brand strategy for your website, blog and social media platforms as well as an extensive press kit so that we can pitch the media about you and your book. As tech-savvy PR agencies, Loaded Media helps you stay ahead of the competition by helping navigate an often confusing digital marketplace.
Loaded Media is a literary agency headquartered in Los Angeles, one of the country’s biggest markets. Additionally, their clients have consistently been featured in national publications.
How to Hire a Book Publicist
Authors often opt to hire a publicist after their book has already been released and failed. It’s best to create an action plan ahead of time, and an effective publicist should possess the capacity to play 5D chess and think 50 steps ahead.
Another thing to consider is if you can afford a book publicist. An experienced book publicist typically charges between $3,000- $5,000 per month and must work with you for at least three months.
If you’re thinking about hiring a publicist directly, the first step would be to visit their website and locate contact information. When meeting with potential publicists, inquire about their plans for promoting your book, what they require from you and if they offer media training.