Information for Hiring a Book Publicist

Few skills may be more important for an author than knowing how to hire a publicist to promote your book. With over 300,000 books releasing each year, the competition for readers has never been keener. After your craft is honed and the book is edited, how does an author stand out in the marketplace? The savviest authors and indie publishers are investigating how a book publicist can improve their book marketing.

The book publicist is in line as the caboose of the publishing process and is the team member who pushes the finished book into the marketplace. Although a publicist may be the last publishing professional an author engages, the optimum book publicity campaign begins six to 12 months prior to release date. Very successful publicity campaigns can be accomplished in a shorter timespan depending on the goals and financial resources of the author. Obviously, the longer the campaign the greater the exposure.

What A Book Publicist Does

A book publicist’s job is to get media attention for the book and/or its author.

To do this, we start with in-depth conversations, or questionnaire,with the author about their book, their goals, and their ideal audiences. From here, we are able to create strategies to reach targeted media—magazine, newspaper, television, radio, podcast, digital, and/or blog outlets.

With publicity — that priceless news media exposure that you cannot buy — you are at the mercy of the media gatekeepers.

While we wish we were the ones making decisions on which books to feature, that is the job of producers, editors, and reviewers at media outlets.

A good publicist, though, knows how and what to pitch, and how to get results.
The end result is typically book reviews, recommendations and excerpts, feature stories, Q&As, print, and broadcast interviews, expert commentary, bylined articles, op-ed pieces, and so on.

What A Publicist Does Not Do

It is not a book publicist’s job to:
A. Manage advertising, on Amazon, Facebook, or anywhere else.
B. Identify, schedule, and coordinate speaking appearances.
C. Contribute to the publication process, whether that is by finding an agent or publisher, editing the manuscript, or getting the book into distribution.

Other types of consultants might provide these types of services, but a book publicist is focused on getting your book out to the media.

Publicists do not work on commission.Nobody who is any good will work for a percentage of sales.

Many publicists work on the traditional fee-based approach. The firm tells you what it will do and charges a fee based on the time involved to execute the plan.The other approach is a “per placement” fee. An interview with a national media outlet would command a much higher fee than one on a local level. The amount the author wants to spend would need to be agreed upon and once that is reached the publicist will stop working. Media opportunities could be lost.

I hope this information helps you understand what a book publicist is, and what one doesand does not do, in order to determine if hiring a publicist is right for you.


PrimeStar Publicity and Public Relations is owned by Helen Cook, with principle offices just outside of Houston, TX. PrimeStar Publicity provides publicity, marketing and public relations services for publishers, authors, and artists.


Cook, who was a Vice President at The B & B Media Group, for many years, started PrimeStar Publicity and Public Relations in 2011 after relocating to an area just south of Houston, TX.


Helen is a familiar, trusted, face within the industry and has an enviable professional relationship with the faith-based and mainstream media. Cook has more than 32 years of publicity, public relations, advertising, and marketing experience to her credit.  


For more about PrimeStar please click on:

Information sources:
PrimeStar Publicity and Public Relations
Stephanie Barko Literary Publicist
Smith Publicity, Inc.

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