Here’s part three (and final) of my interview with book publicity expert Sandra Beckwith. Beckwith is a former publicist who shares her award-winning expertise with others as the author of two publicity how-to books and a book publicity workbook, and as a publicity workshop presenter and e-course instructor. She is the author of Publicity for Nonprofits: Generating Media Exposure That Leads to Awareness, Growth, and Contributions and Streetwise Complete Publicity Plans: How to Create Publicity That Will Spark Media Exposure and Excitement. Her two book publicity e-courses and free book publicity e-zine help authors learn how to generate media exposure for their books. Learn more at buildbookbuzz.com, buildbuzz.blogspot.com, and nonprofitpublicity.com.
Leslie: How much money should an author expect to spend on a publicist?
Sandra: Most decent book publicity specialists will want you to commit to a three- to six-month campaign and, depending on what needs to be done, will charge you around $5,000 a month. You can probably find a decent publicist in your local market who might charge you less but probably won’t know how to get national attention for your book. A local publicist could probably do a good job with the local media, but local exposure will be the easiest sell and your publisher will typically do this for you if you supply the media list, so why pay someone to do it?
Leslie: Does an author need a champion at the publishing house in order for the book to be successful?
Sandra: Having champion at the publishing house is nice, but it’s not essential. Successful books have authors as their champions. Without the author’s commitment, a book won’t receive the kind of sustained media exposure that creates bestsellers.
Leslie: Can you recommend some good books on this topic?
Sandra: I publish a workbook of fill-in-the-blanks book publicity tools and templates that simplify the process for authors who want to make sure their books get media attention; it’s available at buildbookbuzz.com. Other resources include Publicize Your Book: An Insider’s Guide to Getting Your Book the Attention it Deserves by Jacqueline Deval available at http://tinyurl.com/a3b36v and Plug Your Book by Steve Weber, which is free online or for purchase for offline reading.