PR for Writers

I’m a Writer, not a Marketer! (You Still Need PR)

"I’m a writer, not a marketer or promoter!"

That can be a nice sentiment, but it’s also generally the kiss of death. If you write and don’t want to promote your works, you best team up with someone who will.

The fact that successful authors need PR and to market their books is not a new phenomenon:

  • William Shakespeare's share in the original Globe Theatre, which could accommodate 3,000 people and burned down in 1613, made him a tidy fortune—the Globe also featured and promoted his plays.
  • Charles Dickens toured to promote his books, reading and performing his works to a paying public. These performances were meticulously managed and well publicized across Britain and America. Bottom line—they sold books!
  • Mark Twain gave hundreds of public performances. His "Twins of Genius" tour with George Washington Cable launched his upcoming book, "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

These three were giants of literature who were also brilliant promoters.

There are more stories than we'll ever know from talented writers who are unknown because they failed to promote, and many accounts of mediocre writers who have successfully marketed their works. A mediocre writer who promotes will generally be more successful than the talented writer who doesn’t.

Talented writers who also market and promote—those are truly ahead of the game.

The trick is not only to become comfortable promoting yourself as a writer, but to do so effectively. Sadly, it’s not enough to decide you’re going to promote, jump on Facebook, Twitter, and maybe Goodreads and then sit back and wait. Nor is cobbling together a media list and sending out a press release going to suffice.

The secret? Effective PR is effective storytelling.

Perfect you say, you’re a writer, storytelling is your stock-in-trade. True, but when it comes to PR you need to know what stories to tell, how to tell them, when to deliver them, and to whom you should tell them.

If all of those pieces aren’t in place, chances are not much is going to come of your efforts.

So, if PR and marketing aren't your strong suit—delegate.

Find a PR team that understands how to promote books and authors, have worked in the field and who you feel comfortable with. Bring them on board and, together, move forward.

Effective PR and marketing can spell the difference between success and failure of a book and a career.

Give yourself the best shot to succeed.



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