Hiring a Publicist Part II: After the Contract

In Hiring a Publicist…or Not, I described considerations to make before embarking on a publicity campaign. Things like finances, weather, health, timing, your tolerance for risk, and your personal preferences. JoAnna Senger is a warm, outgoing author who lives in a warm, dry climate. Her book, Reservation Ravaged, went live July 1st. Having contemplated her circumstances, Joanna Senger hired JKS Communications, a literary publicity firm.

JoAnna and JKS were a great match in that JKS places a heavy emphasis on face-to-face contact. The cost wasn’t as steep as what most publicists charge, but still in the four figures range. JKS formulated a beaut of a press kit, including a press release. This kit provided material that I used for a Facebook ad that revolved around JoAnna’s interview tour. JKS set up a concentrated interview tour by phone with about ten top AM/FM stations such as Dave Malarkey’s WISR-AM. They sent out 50 to 75 Advance Reader Copies to garner book reviews and publicity for media events. No one’s reported any book reviews yet, but they’re coming.

JoAnna took a 5-city tour that spanned across several states. Basically this included signings and meet-and-greets at libraries, bookstores, book clubs and meet up groups. I posted three of these events on Facebook.

So…if you bring a publicist like JKS to the party, let your publisher know straight away. Your publisher may have ideas for promotion which ties in with the campaign. Your publicist will need the ordering links for your book when they become available, and your publisher can make that happen. After each interview, the radio hosts and other interviewers deserve a big “thank you.” One caveat: the retainer fees only cover the setting up of interviews, press release, and other things your publicist agrees to do in the contract. This means that JoAnna had to pay her own traveling expenses, the purchase of books for her events, and the cost for mailing the ARCs ($8.00 per package). Any service that fell out of the scope of the contract would cost her, too.

As soon as the contract was finalized, JKS contacted me and JoAnna for a release date (July 1st). Like many publicists, JKS wanted to begin the campaign four months before the release, so they started April 1st, 2014. To their credit, JKS Communications were willing to work around JoAnna’s schedule (day job and a bout with pneumonia). Each month they sent a publicity update to me and JoAnna. Reservation Ravaged came with a great cover, so I’m hoping for the best. This should give you some idea on what to expect from a publicist.

So…have you given any thought to hiring a publicist for a publicity campaign? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

About Barbara Custer

Author of: Twilight Healer Steel Rose Life Raft: Earth City of Brotherly Death Close Liaisons Infinite Sight When Blood Reigns Infinite Sight Publisher / Editor of Night to Dawn Books & Magazine
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  1. Very informative article! It looks like you have to weigh the cost of hiring a publicist with your potential profits from a book.

  2. The complete tour sounds good, and JoAnna is a perfect candidate for all the programs. I would not be, unfortunately, thus the reason I’ve never hired a publicist. I can no longer travel, and really I’m not all that comfortable on a face to face setting. Although I’ve had numerous Internet radio interviews, I don’t have the voice for radio either. So I rely on the written word – Blogs and Groups to get my messages out, and the occasional book signing. Because of this I miss a wider range of publicity for my books. I also rely on my publishers for book releases, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as websites. I’m hoping that JoAnna’s results are much great than her costs. She deserves to succeed.

    • Tom, I’m the same boat – very difficult to travel, though I can chat on the radio. I love my blogs, too, and the branding process. I, too, am hoping for great results for JoAnna. Barbara of the Balloons

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