To make it in this competitive market, you simply can’t publish a book and hope for the best. Hiring a professional book marketing expert or firm is an option, albeit an expensive one. The more important concern is their effectiveness—is the hefty price really going to open the floodgates to book sales?
The truth is that book marketing experts will help you gain exposure through book reviews, book tours, radio interviews and social media engagement among others. They have media contacts and partnerships with third party vendors that can accelerate marketing activities. They can help you accomplish more marketing than if you were to do it alone.
So, should you go for it?
You can find success by having a whole marketing team behind you, but you can also get sales by going solo. For the latter, you will need time, dedication and truckloads of effort. Ask yourself these questions:
• How much do you already know about book marketing?
• How much time do you have for learning the ropes of publicity?
• How much time are you willing to dedicate?
• What are your goals in book marketing? Is it selling at least 10 books a month or making writing your primary source of income?
Realize that to see results from your marketing campaign, you need consistency, and by consistency I mean actively joining online discussions, engaging fans, promoting your work on social media, scheduling posts, seeking out reviewers, reaching out to the media and looking for interviewers.
If you decide on this path, be clear about your expectations and goals. Only then will you be able to determine the best marketing expert to hire.
Research and ask around
Networking with other authors will get you far. Most author groups would be more than happy to support other members. Join an author group on Facebook and ask for recommendations. Another source is LinkedIn – a premier professional network with experts from almost all industries. Browse the site for marketing experts and consultants and look at their work history to see what kinds of books they’ve supported.
Consider hiring experts with a history of supporting books similar to your own since they have the experience in this area.
Prepare a list of questions and ask about all your concerns, including what marketing activities they offer, the services’ price tags, how accommodating their customer support is and their credibility.
Most firms offer different price plans, so explore their service tiers because there may be a package that fits your needs and wallet. Still, you could spend at least $2,500 for a full marketing campaign. Way the pros and cons very carefully and do your research. Gather a list of marketing services you find online and compare their prices. Most of all, prepare a budget.
Finally, throughout your partnership with the provider, make sure to coordinate with every activity, because collaboration is a key aspect. The marketer will crank out content, promotional items, blog posts and designs and you want your voice to shine.
Jill Bennett a marketing specialist for LitFire Publishing, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has several years of publishing and book marketing experience under her belt. Also under her belt is the mastery in taking care of three cats named Ginger, Pepper, and Marty.