Your assigned publicist is listed on the "Publishing Team" page of your book ("Publishing Team" can be found on the Book Details page, left-hand menu). Every new title is allocated to a publicist once the copyedit has been completed. They will cast an eye over your cover suggestions for suitability for market. See Chapter 8 Covers for more information. The publicist will also write the back cover copy at this point. The publicist may be in touch with you to discuss these items if necessary.
In this first round the publicist may not contact you directly. Your assigned publicist is listed on the "Publishing Team" page of your book. Please direct any queries to the most relevant section of the Marketing & Publicity forum.
The publicists we work with use different approaches, often depending on the nature of the book and the market – how much to use "traditional" approaches like print reviews and interviews, or working more closely with you on social media approaches. From the “Reader Reports,” “Profile,” and anything you have added to the “Marketing Plan” on the Book Details page, he/she works out which markets they will target.
- The more information you can put up here, the more effective they will be. If, for instance, you are not comfortable being interviewed, say so in the "Marketing Plan", and they will not try those avenues.
- They will use an article if you have added one under + upload an article on the Marketing page, but they can not prepare one for you, though they can supply short extracts to contacts who we communicate with regularly and know what they are looking for. More in Articles/Extracts.
- Please supply us with an A4 page of quotes from your book in Word. 1-2 sentences that are thought provoking or enticing. Please upload this item to the Marketing page under Publicity – Articles.
- They will add a summary of what they intend to do to “Promotional Plan,” on the Marketing page, two to three months before publication. More in Promotional Plan.
- Their initial work is based around a Title Newsletter/Press Release, sent in the body of an email which sums up your title, provides links to your book online and hooks the recipient. This is a targeted approach matching the contact to the book, and sending a personalised email. We do not blanket email contacts as this is seen as spam. More in Email/Press Release.
- The publicist then handles the responses, and the office supplies review copies (electronic PDF or hard-copy format) as requested. More in Review Copies.
- With signing events, if there are shops interested in hosting it, the follow-up, fixing dates/times etc, needs to be arranged by yourself with the shop. For help/advice, put a query up on the Author Forum under Marketing and Publicity; Events/Signings. There is more in Author Guide, in Chapter 11, Events/Signings.
- Organising interviews can take a while, arranging dates and times and supplying author information. Your publicist will organise most of this, but will hand over the contact when the interview is set up. Interviews take commitment from the author to be ready and prepared for their interview. More in Interviews.
The publicist spends around a day on this. The aim is to get half a dozen or so activities "completed" in the first round, whether that consists of one or two signing events, published articles, print reviews, blog coverage – whatever the mix. Though articles and interviews have long lead time, often months, and printed reviews can take months/years from the time of submitting the review copy, particularly in academic areas. So "completed" might take a lot longer than you will see in initial results.
It is not, in itself, likely to generate substantial sales. A proper campaign takes months. The purpose is more to get an indication of travel, of directions to follow. Depending on the book, the author, the genre, initial success usually comes through one medium, rarely across all of them together. Though it might well come gradually. The ideal scenario, over months:
- Getting people in our collective social media feeds to talk about and review your book.
- Advance copies/PDFs to fans and bloggers.
- Getting to publications in your niche.
- Reaching the niche leaders.
- Hopefully, the ball starts rolling, PR starts to do your work for you, and then…
- Major newspapers or websites hear about it and are open to reviewing it.
What we hope, of course, is that this initial push will help get this moving. But please take it further forwards yourself. You can see on the Marketing page, in Activities, who the publicist has contacted, and can search for more yourself, see USING AND ADDING CONTACTS in Chapter 10.
We review progress after the first clear three months, and you will get a notification on this. The publisher and publicist will put up comments about how they think the title has done so far on the Marketing Page. Please feel free to add any yourself, prior to this. Depending on progress with reviews we will book promotion on sites like BookBub, Ereader News Today or Booksends – there are many – (BookBub for instance generally need to see around 80 positive reviews to consider it). More on this in Reader Offer/Giveaway.
Each time it sells 500 copies, the publicist will put in more, which could either be more selective, based on the initial feedback, focusing on more labor-intensive activities like events or interviews, or more extensive, widening the list of contacts approached.
Social media postings are also included, with memes, or quotes highlighting your book; we always tag the author involved so that it shows up on your own social media feed and can be shared to widen the possible audience.
We may also consider an ebook promotions, based on the reviews that are received.
If you have any ideas or specific area of PR that you would like us to concentrate on, please note this down in the Promotional Plans box on the Marketing Page.
The work may not be done in the month of the notification, it is dependent on the individual workload of the publicist, but should happen within a couple of months. Any issues or queries should be raised on the Admin Forum.
This targeted approach can be done sooner, if you wish, and/or more extensively, through Extra Publicity.
I am very impressed with the PR and Marketing offered by John Hunt Publishing. I've been working closely with the publicist in the run up to the release of my book, Dying to be Free, and have been inspired and delighted by the opportunities she has offered which have enabled me to forge successful relationships with mainstream journalists. Now on the brink of the book's publication, I'm looking forward to seeing several interviews, extracts and articles appearing in a variety of national newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites over the next few weeks and months. She helped me target the most relevant audiences, so I'm hugely hopeful that the subject matter – a sensitive topic that has affected me personally – will reach significant numbers of people who might very possibly be interested in reading my book. I highly recommend John Hunt Publishing to any writers, largely because of the excellent PR and Marketing services they offer. It is one thing to write a book, but if no one know's about it – it won't sell. I'm confident and happy that my book is being given the best possible start regarding marketing and for that I'm very grateful. Hannah Robinson, Dying to be Free
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to thank you for all the help you've given Hospital High with marketing. You've been responsive and proactive (which was good, because I was two weeks into a new job at publication date) and have very much helped. You've been great at following up my contacts as well as researching your own...and mine is quite a specialist market. Mimi Thebo, Hospital High.
It’s been fantastic working with Tracy, she's incredibly supportive and knows how to exert her opinion and expertise when it matters. Crucially, she also listens and has a two-way dialogue to get results. I feel very lucky to have her on board. Nigel Jay Cooper, Beat the Rain and The Pursuit of Ordinary
The publicists we work with most regularly are Maria Barry, Nimue Brown, Ben Craib, Doug Lain, Sarah-Beth Watkins, Tracy Stewart, Trevor Greenfield and Emma Gray, among others.