Your Publisher isn’t your Publicist

Good morning!

It’s been a crazy one here. It’s been super busy around the publishing house, which is a good thing!

One of the things I’ve been trying to get a lot of new authors to understand is that a traditional publisher isn’t your personal publicist.

A publisher has to be concerned with the entire House, not just one book. They have to treat each author fairly and equally. They can’t be promoting one all day long and ignore the other 300 authors or 900 titles.

Authors are the ideal person to promote their own books. Why? Because we know them, inside and out. Backwards and forwards. We know better who our target audience is, who is more likely to take a chance on a new author. Your publisher? Probably not so much. When you read dozens of books a week in the slush pile, and even more as they move through editing and proofreading, they tend to become a big blur. It’s easy to confuse which book had a main character of Chris that was a woman vs. one where it was a man.

Especially with an indie house, you shouldn’t expect your book to be given a 5 star promotion treatment. No ads in the NYT, no contest entries. Why? Because they’re building their reputation as a whole. You’re going to have to do the research, be your own publicist. It’s not easy, no. I’m not saying it will be. But you can’t rely on your publisher to do all the work while you wait for sales to start. It’s rather arrogant, if you ask me. You’re expecting them to ignore hundreds of other titles, ones that may well be selling much better than yours, simply to promote your title.

That is your job. If you don’t want to do it, hire yourself a publicist. But don’t expect your publisher to do it for you.


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