If you're self-publishing a book, you're probably already working your way through many details, such as how to get an ISBN number and what book editing services to choose. At the same you're working through those needs, don't forget book marketing. The marketplace today is legendarily crowded and competitive. With thousands of books published every week, you need a marketing campaign to get the attention of target readers. If you have large social media followings, they may help. But rarely are they enough today to catapult a book to the bestseller list. Media coverage enables you to breakthrough.
When you're interviewing book PR firms, consider rapport and communication. Publicity is a people business, and you'll be working closely with your publicist throughout the planning and implementation of your PR campaign. Be upfront about your preferred communication method (i.e., phone or email) and see how they prefer to work with clients. Ask also about their experience in your genre and with authors and books similar to you and yours. Success relies on having media contacts, and you want to reach people who will have the most interest in your work. It's all about reaching the target audience for your book.
No two years are alike for the media, and you need a book PR firm that is aware of changes and trends. Part of developing successful pitches to media involved connecting your book to the news today. When a PR firm is abreast of trends, they have a much better chance of earning coverage for your book. As media budgets have shrunk, fewer people are producing the same shows and filling the same pages. They are stretched thinly and prone to give coverage to exciting topics that are easy. Excellent publicists know how to package you and your book to make it an attractive candidate for coverage.
Make sure also that you retain a publicist known for professionalism – you don't want the hard sell employed on behalf of your book. You want the media and bloggers to be interested and impressed with your knowledge (or story) and unique perspective. Much relies on how they are presented initially, and when pitches are interesting and intelligent, they stand a might better chance of succeeding. Work as a team with your publicist and communicate openly, especially about your goals. You don't want to end the campaign disappointed because something was left out. Be clear upfront to get what you want.