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Mile 44: Publicist — Yes or No?

First-time writers will often ask, “Do I need a publicist?”

Maybe.

I have a publicist, and I think he does an amazing job for me. In all candor, this blog post will read like an ad for Nick Wale, the man handles my publicity. But before it does, let me take a step back.

Outside of my writing, I own and run a marketing firm — Mustang Marketing in Thousand Oaks, California. I have for more than 30 years. On my staff, I have copywriters, public relations experts and social media gurus.

And I don’t market my own books.

Marketing books is a different breed of cat and requires specific knowledge and experience. Is it possible to do it on your own? Of course. For those who love digging into all of the different areas that are required, more power to you. For me, I’d rather take those hours and invest them in my writing and leave the sales and publicity to the experts.

Perhaps this is the best example I can give. In one month, I went from selling 6,000 pages on Kindle to selling 1.7 million pages. You read that right. From 6,000 to 1.7 MILLION. What changed? Three things. I signed with a publisher (thank you, Dusty Saddle Publishing), put new covers on the two books I had self-published (thank you, Kevin Diamond) and hired a publicist — Nick Wale.

I’m not exactly sure what all Nick does for my books. I know he posts on social media, works the Amazon algorithms, and manages my covers and forewords. He also does a great job of creating project books and including me in them. In this past year, my name has been on the cover of 16 different anthologies. Take a look at my Amazon Author page, and you’ll see what I mean. Each one introduced me to new readers, gave me access to the fans of the other writers included in the anthologies, and put and kept my name in front of thousands of Western book fans.

I have the added benefit that Nick has become a counselor and a friend. When presented with opportunities, ones that come directly to me or through Nick, he offers his advice on which ones to take and which ones to pass on. I don’t always agree, but I do most of the time — and I believe he has saved me from making a few bad decisions and created many opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have.

A good publicist has their finger on the pulse of the market and works with a variety of writers, so they are constantly hearing about what’s new, what’s fading, what’s working and what isn’t. It’s a talent that requires skill and time, and it’s valuable.

There are certainly other publicists out there, and maybe you don’t want a Brit living in Warwickshire, England, to publicize your Western. But if your goal is to sell books and you think your time is better spent on writing than learning the complex and ever-changing business of book publicity, then I recommend you find one and take advantage of their services.

I wish you good writing, and if you have a question or something you’d like to share, send me an email at [email protected].

Thank you, enjoy and keep writing!

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