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Each author and book are unique, and it's the same with book marketing professionals. Therefore, you weigh various factors carefully as you select a publicist. Self-published authors take on the responsibility directly, unlike traditionally published writers supported by an in-house PR team. Almost all books need skillful and active promotion to become successful, most notably around the time they are launched. A good author-publicist working relationship is essential and makes the experience more enjoyable. It's advisable to make sure you find the right chemistry and personality.

There are some well-known one-person operations, meaning lone publicists representing books and their authors. Some authors like the idea of a single person to deal with and no one else involved. Assuming the publicist is always available, it can work out. But if the person has other responsibilities or becomes ill before or during your campaign, there will be an impact. When you work with an agency, a team of people is available to cover for each other. It means your campaign continues uninterrupted even if the lead person becomes unavailable. It's definitely something to keep in mind.

Experience level also matters for obvious reasons. You don't want your book launch to affect someone's learning curve. It's also wise to ask about experience in your genre. If a publicist specializes in historical fiction and you've written a book on gardening, they may not have the most helpful media contacts for you. You may find PR people early in their careers having a stronger personal command of the internet, and that's an advantage in every way. Successful publicity campaigns today are generally a mix of traditional and online media. You want to be included in both, ideally.

Control of your campaign is another factor to discuss in advance. Are you comfortable stepping back and letting someone take the reins, or do you prefer to micromanage? More experienced practitioners may like you to have a hands-off approach, and you need to be comfortable with how they work. Communication is also important, and if you like emails and your publicist wants a lot of phone calls, you may find it a challenge. Each of these things is a detail but will impact the relationship over time. It's why acting deliberately and doping your research before you make a decision is always wise.



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