I’ve been to a number of C-level events over the past couple of years and it amazes me the number of marketers who have or are publishing books. It has become quite commonplace. Yet, when I ask them how they have marketed their book to drive awareness and interest, most indicate that it has been extremely difficult.
I recently came in contact with Dan Smith, the Founder and CEO of Smith Publicity, a book publicity agency who can help authors of any size. As an expert on generating awareness and interest for authors across different book categories, his insight on what authors can do to more effectively market their book is valuable.
Kimberly Whitler: Can you provide a little background on what you do?
Dan Smith: My company works with individual authors to help market their books, and we do this by securing media interest. We use the media as a conduit to spread awareness of an author and book to general or niche audiences. About 60 percent of our authors publish the traditional way (using a publishing house) and about 40 percent are self-published. We are able to coordinate and collaborate with publishing houses to augment marketing activity. In today’s publishing landscape, many publishing houses aren’t investing a lot in marketing, which is why authors need to work even harder to market the book themselves. While self-publishing has made it easier than ever for authors to publish, it has also become more challenging than ever to generate sales.
Whitler: What is the process that you use to market a book/author?
Smith: Ideally, the author connects with us at the beginning of their project. We look at the book’s potential from a publicity perspective and examine the author’s credentials. If we think the book and author can be marketed effectively, we then prepare a proposal for the author. The author would then agree to work with us (or not) and we implement a structured marketing campaign to drive awareness and interest.