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Ten Ways To Find Your Book's
Best Publicist

It's hard to say it any better: "Publicity is the voice of visibility." That's from the book, High Visibility. And its lesson to authors is clear - nothing can spotlight your book better, or faster than good publicity.

But how do you find a publicist that best fits you and your book? Here are ten easy rules to follow:

1. Find a publicist who specializes in the medium of choice for your book as not every publicist is a master at every medium. For example, if you've written a book on fashion or photography the best exposure would be print or TV, as they're both visual mediums. In this case, you want a publicist who procures print and TV placements on an ongoing basis.

2. Publicists often specialize in different genres of books (e.g., non-fiction, fiction, children's books, religious titles, etc.). So, if your book is religious, find a firm that specializes in religious media as they'll have the strongest contacts and will know which shows and publications represent the best exposure for you. Same holds true for fiction books, children's books, etc.

3. If your book has a unique topic or audience -- e.g. charitable giving, or secrets of the cable TV industry, etc. -- it's unlikely you will find a publicist who specializes in just that topic. Instead, you'll want a publicist who will take the time to familiarize themselves with your audience and will craft a campaign to match your special needs.

4. Ask for sample campaigns. Sure, it will be the publicist's best foot forward, but it will still demonstrate their skill and proficiency at obtaining media.

5. Along with reviewing sample campaigns, if you have the slightest hesitation about engaging the firm - speak to past clients. Ask questions about the quality of their service, how quickly they responded to your calls, etc. You'll be surprised at what you learn.

6. Find a firm whose fees are in range with other firms. No need to hire the most expensive just because they have a fancy address in a major metropolitan city.

7. And speaking of fees - in the book industry you'll find many publicists who work on a performance or project basis. This is not at all common with PR firms in other industries - and it's an opportunity you definitely want to take advantage of. Bottom line - steer clear of monthly retainer firms.

8. Get past a prospective PR firm's sales pitch and make sure they can deliver what they promise. The problem an author can run into is the sales person they speak with and build confidence in, is not always the person who will be handling their campaign. So, don't be shy about asking who will be writing your press release and who will be pitching you to the media. Find out how long they've been with the firm. Ask what their level of experience is. After all the time, money and hard work you invested in writing your book, you want to make sure your campaign isn't being delegated to a rookie out of college.

9. In your search for the right publicity firm - don't just talk to local agencies. Especially if you're looking for regional or national exposure. Virtually none of the work with your publicist will require "face time," so just look for the best ... ..period!

10. One last point - find a firm that has an understanding of your topic and an enthusiasm for your message! Their enthusiasm and determination can often be the driving force behind prime media placements for you.

So think about it: Nothing can get your book more visibility than the right publicist!

Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is the president of Event Management Services Inc.(EMSI), a publicity firm that has specialized in book promotion for over 15 years. EMSI is one of the top resources for guests on talk radio nationwide, scheduling 50 to 100 interviews every week. They also specialize in obtaining TV appearances and newspaper and magazine coverage for their authors.

For more information: Contact Marsha Friedman at 727-443-7115 x 208 or

Event Management Services
1127 Grove Street
Clearwater, FL 33755
727-443-7115 x 208
727-443-0835 fax

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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