Pros and Cons of Becoming Your Own Book Publicist

Pros and Cons of Becoming Your Own Book Publicist

As you may know, I have been a book publicist for many years now, navigating the worlds of the publishing and media industries for both emerging and established authors.

Through this journey, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge on effectively promoting books in a market that is increasingly competitive and saturated. Because many authors want to do more of their publicity, I thought now would be a good time to share the pros and cons of becoming your own publicist. Below are some of the things to keep in mind as you are considering your decision on whether to take the plunge…or not.

First, let’s put it right out there. Becoming your own publicist can be rewarding and challenging! Here are some of the key pros and cons to consider:

The Pros

Cost Savings: Hiring a professional publicist is an investment. Managing your own publicity can save money, which is especially beneficial for self-published authors due to the up-front costs of producing your own book. It’s also attractive to those with limited resources.

Full Control: When you handle your own publicity, you have complete control over how your book is presented and promoted. You decide on the messaging, branding, and marketing strategies, ensuring everything aligns with your vision. Of course, with a publicist, all of this is discussed and planned out so you are represented in the best way possible. Still, when you are the only one pitching and doing the work, it is only your approach that is being presented. No one else’s.

Flexibility: You can be nimble and adapt your strategies on the fly without needing to discuss them with a third party. This flexibility allows you to test different approaches and find what works best for your book and audience. Although to be honest, if you hire the right person, this would be a fairly easy process. Hire the wrong one and it can be awful.

Skill Development: Taking on the role of a publicist allows you to develop a broad set of skills, including marketing, communication, and networking. These skills can be invaluable in your career as an author and beyond.

It Isn’t Brain Surgery: Being your own publicist doesn’t require a graduate degree. It most certainly can be done, but do you want to do it? That really is the question, which leads us to the following:

The Cons

It’s Time-Consuming: Publicity work is time-intensive. It can detract from the time you have available for writing or other personal and professional commitments. Managing your own publicity can feel overwhelming.

Steep Learning Curve: If you’re new to marketing and public relations, there’s a lot to learn about the industry, from understanding the difference between crafting a press release vs. a pitch letter to knowing the best practices for social media promotion. The learning curve can be steep.

Lack of Professional Networks: Professional publicists have established networks and relationships with media outlets, journalists, podcasters, and influencers. As a newbie publicist, you may lack these connections, which can limit your book’s exposure. Building relationships takes time, yet it is the most essential piece of having a successful book campaign.

Potential for Reduced Professionalism: Without experience, there might be a gap in the quality and effectiveness of your publicity efforts compared to those conducted by a professional. This could affect how your book is perceived within the industry. It can also make it difficult to land coverage with the media.

Stress and Pressure: Handling all aspects of a book’s promotion can be stressful, especially around launch time. Managing deadlines, responding to media inquiries, and coordinating events can be overwhelming without support.

Bottom Line:

Weighing these pros and cons can help you decide whether becoming your own publicist is the right choice for you. As I said, it isn’t complicated, but it is challenging.

DIY publicity may very well be for you, and if that is the case, I can help shorten your learning curve dramatically. It’s also very beneficial to understand how publicity works if you decide to hire a publicist. You will know and understand what is happening and what you are asking someone else to do. I am going to be sharing all my secrets soon in a special training with more details below if this strikes your interest.

To your success!


P.S. The Nonfiction Authors Association and I are getting together again to provide the Master Class in Book Publicity to begin later this month. (You can be a fiction writer too and do this training.) You do not have to be a member of NFAA to do this training, although you might consider it. All the details are here. Consider this my personal invitation to learn all my tips and tricks for getting media attention for you and your book.

P.P.S. No need to feel Under Pressure. There are ways to relieve that!






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