By Fauzia Burke
3 Reasons Why Book Publicity is More Important Than Ever
PR does not sell books. There I said it. If you are doing PR because you think you’ll sell enough copies to get a return on that investment, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Most PR firms will require a financial commitment of thousands of dollars a month, plus require a 3-6 month minimum engagement. You’d have to sell a lot of books to get that investment back. Yet, here I am telling you it’s a worthy investment. Here’s why:
It Builds Your Brand Recognition
Yes, as an author, you must think of yourself as a brand. Good media not only will build relationships with your readers and help engage influencers, it will also help shape the public’s perception of you. When a neutral party writes positively about you or your book, it carries much more influence than the recognition that comes along with paid placements, such as display advertising. Bylined content, blogger reviews, legitimate reader reviews on sites like Goodreads and Amazon, interviews and features will earn the credibility that comes from the endorsement of recognized media outlets. And without a doubt, that beats self-promotion or paid placements every time.
It Separates You From the Pack
According to Bowker, more than a million books were published in 2017. That’s a lot of books—and a lot of competition, especially for a first-time author. So how do you separate yourself from the thousands of other new releases in your category? Good PR will help do this for you. You want a potential buyer to have heard of your book in multiple outlets so that there is name recognition for you and your book. If a reader is choosing between your book (which he’s seen some reviews of and recognizes your photo from a feature on the web) and another book that just has a cool cover, wouldn’t you go with the book that’s being talked about seemingly everywhere? I know I would.
While it can be hard to put a specific monetary value on the positive press, in today’s unpredictable media environment, I think publicity is worth its weight in gold.
It Helps Drive SEO
We all know the importance of Google search rankings, and the necessity to have good hits show up on the first page of results. Established publications that link to a book’s website will boost search listings due to their domain authority. High quality, evergreen content can live on the web for years—this is something that can be especially relevant when you think about guest blogging opportunities. While these writing opportunities may mean more work in the short term, the long-term results of these efforts can be noticeable. This content can push up the page rank and continue attracting traffic for you and your book well after your publication date has come and gone.
Over the last ten years or so, the book publicity landscape has changed dramatically. Print coverage continues to shrink, and in some cases, disappear completely. And while digital publicity used to be a “nice to have,” it’s now a necessity. Our current news cycle—with it’s constant political and cultural controversy—can make breaking through the noise extremely difficult. Next year’s presidential election won’t make things any easier. And yet, with all these challenges, good PR is more important than ever.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, please join the discussion on my Facebook page.
© 2020 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.
Fauzia Burke is the founder and President of FSB Associates. She is a Book Publicist, Publishing Consultant, Entrepreneur, Speaker and Author as well as the mother of two daughters who have joined her in the business.