First, I’d like to wish you (both) a happy holiday.

Second, I’d like to share with you my recent experiences promoting my latest book. My agent advised spending a chunk of advance on hiring a PR company for the US market. Which I did. To the tune of $$$$$ a month. For 5 months.

My PR person worked tirelessly – and I mean tirelessly – opening doors for me to write op-ed pieces in print; fixing it so that high-profile print and online media could publish excerpts; getting me on radio shows with large audiences (such as Coast-to-Coast AM, which goes out on 640 US radio stations and reaches 2 million people); organising ‘virtual’ speaking events in the US; and also guesting on podcasts (eight broadcast so far, including Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People, with another recorded and two more scheduled).

PR costs a LOT of money, and is a lot of work, too. My PR person had me doing my homework — writing op-ed articles; recording audio segments; organising web resources and generally being more organised than I usually am.

Although some PR is organised by one’s publisher (and some media comes to one directly) a publisher’s in-house PR people have to spread their resources over the authors they think will sell. When you pay extra for your own PR, they tailor a campaign specifically for you, do much more and go deeper.

And the PR trail requires some stamina. Last night, for example, I was recording a program for radio New Zealand, where it was this morning; and this morning I guested live on a US radio talk show, where it was last night, so right now I don’t know if I am coming or going.

Is it worth it? Time will tell. But, these days, there are so many books, and so many authors, that like the Red Queen you have to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place. Consider – just about every person you see or hear interviewed on radio and TV talk shows is there because they have a book to sell. And unless you’re already a celeb, you have to work much harder to get airtime. These guests are there because they have PR people forever pitching on their behalf to broadcast producers and bookers.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

About Henry Gee

Henry Gee is an author, editor and recovering palaeontologist, who lives in Cromer, Norfolk, England, with his family and numerous pets, inasmuch as which the contents of this blog and any comments therein do not reflect the opinions of anyone but myself, as they don't know where they've been.
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