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Book Publicist Scott Lorenz offers Authors Book Marketing Tips and Techniques on his Blog “The Book Publicist”

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How Authors Can Get Speaking Gigs in a COVID-19 World

Want to become a sought-after speaker? Then get cracking on this list and tell the world what you talk about and line up some speaking gigs. DO IT TODAY.

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Learn how Authors can get Speaking Gigs

Get Speaking Gigs to Promote your book and your business.

In this COVID-19 world, speaking gigs have been canceled by the thousands. But, some speakers are pivoting and getting booked in Virtual Conferences online. Being a book publicist, I am often asked to help authors get speaking gigs. But, it’s a specialty in itself and outside our wheelhouse. Authors can make a lot of money speaking, more so sometimes than selling books, but generally, it’s the book that creates the demand so there is a symbiotic relationship. Some of my clients earn anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 per speech routinely. It’s getting on the circuit that’s difficult.

I’ve compiled a list of people and companies in this business that authors can engage with, who represent potential speakers. For many of these entities, their client is the company or organization looking for a speaker and not you.  They want a good fit and someone who’ll deliver a terrific speech. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You can’t score unless you shoot!”

Here’s the list:

All American Speakers https://www.allamericanspeakers.com/category/Authors
All American Speakers assists meeting professionals, event producers, corporate groups, universities, nonprofits and

associations in booking speakers and entertainment. The database “houses booking information on everyone on the speaker circuit, regardless of their agency/bureau affiliation.”

Endless Speaker Leads http://www.EndlessSpeakerLeads.com
Jess Todtfeld author of Media Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course, has curated some of the biggest resources for speakers in one place.  Using online videos, Todtfeld explains how to find conferences and the contacts who are the decision-makers. Todtfeld suggests authors and experts add speaking as a profit center to help drive more book sales and drive more business.  Says Todtfeld, “If you can get more leads, you can make more connections and get more offers to have you as a speaker.” Watch an interview Jess conducted with Christa Haberstock of the SeeAgency about getting a speaker’s agent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO_V5vUpI4Y&feature=youtu.be 

American Program Bureau http://www.apbspeakers.com/literature-speakers
American Program Bureau books renowned literature speakers, including best-selling authors, historians and poets. The website has easy-to-browse categories and sub-topics to easily find speakers for any conference. I used this firm back when I was in college at UNLV to book speakers for the University. A great company with an incredible roster and reach.

Charli Jane Speaker Club   https://charlijanespeakers.lpages.co/cj-members/
Charli Jane actively seeks speaking opportunities and lists them on their members-only website. Charli Jane’s service is different from a speaker bureaus in that YOU reach out to the people looking for a speaker. They charge a nominal monthly fee but they also do the heavy lifting by compiling a list of 200+ speaking opportunities a month. Then you reach out to the best prospects. If it’s a good fit you get booked.

Christian Speakers Services http://www.christianspeakersservices.com/about.html
The organization serves event planners and ministry leaders. Everyone on the speaker’s roster has been vetted. You must complete an application to be represented by the organization.

ExpertClick  http://www.ExpertClick.com  Many speakers and authors turn to Expert Click to send news releases and to expand their online platform. Their proprietary news release distribution service pushes out ten ways including via Google News. Authors can get found based on 30+ key words that meeting planners are searching for. They pull the author’s blog on an RSS feed and syndicate them into the press rooms, thereby getting more exposure, distribution of content and ‘Google Juice. According to CEO Mitch Davis, “We have 150+ speakers and authors who use us including Patricia Fripp, Alan Weiss and Jeffrey Gitomer.  We were featured in Tim Ferris’s book Four Hour Work Week, and PRWeek called us ‘a dating service of PR,’ The New York Times called us ‘dial-an-expert.’ I use it and recommend it. When you join at this discount link you can save $100: www.ExpertClick.com/Discount/Scott_Lorenz

Espeakers   https://www.eSpeakers.com/
The eSpeakers Marketplace brings the world’s greatest speakers together in one place and makes it easy for buyers to filter by topic, price range, and availability. Their platform takes the hassle out of booking and scheduling for both meeting planners and speakers.  They offer a cloud-based, multiuser calendar suite; (they’re sort of like the Airbnb for speakers). They also connect speakers to over 50+ speaker directories saving hours of tedious administrative duties. It’s no wonder they are the preferred choice for many top speakers.

GigSalad https://www.gigsalad.com/
A service that books entertainment and speakers for parties, productions and events of all kinds. This platform books10,000+ performers and presenters across the U.S. and Canada. The website’s search tool allows potential clients to view authors, categorized by genre and location.

HarperCollins Speakers Bureau http://www.harpercollinsspeakersbureau.com/
The HarperCollins Speakers Bureau is only accessible to authors published by HarperCollins, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. It works with corporations, universities, schools, associations, libraries, clubs, hospitals, foundations, and other professional groups and societies in the U.S. and around the world.

Harry Walker Agency http://www.harrywalker.com/
The Harry Walker Agency works with thousands of meeting planners in need of speakers. The agency belongs to the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) and has largest breadth and highest caliber of speakers in the world.

International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) http://www.iasbweb.org/
IASB is the only trade association that exclusively represents speakers bureaus and agencies. Meeting professionals that request assistance in locating a speaker are referred to the Bureau Directory on the IASB website. IASB encourages meeting professionals to seek out member bureaus when searching for speakers.

Lyceum Agency http://www.lyceumagency.com/  
The Lyceum Agency represents authors and academics for speeches, lectures and readings on a variety on subjects. Access to an impressive list of speakers is available on the website.

Nancy Vogl Speakers Bureau http://www.nancyvoglspeakers.com/
A “boutique bureau” that books professional speakers in leadership, diversity and sales, futurists, health and wellness professionals and those sending a message of hope and inspiration. It’s located in Traverse City, Michigan.

National Speakers Association (NSA) http://www.nsaspeaker.org/
NSA has a network of 3,400+ speakers and has the tools, techniques and professional connections to help you share your message effectively. Whether you speak at their annual conference, chapter meetings or other events, NSA is eager to help you grow your business.

National Speakers Bureau http://www.NationalSpeakers.com National Speakers Bureau has achieved over 40 years of success! Clients are primarily corporations and business associations. Speakers are searchable on their website according to topic and fee. **Only a small fraction of received speaker inquiries result in a correct fit.

Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) http://www.pcma.org/
Professional Convention Management Association calls itself “the definitive authority in education, business networking and community engagement for leaders in the global meetings, convention and business events industry.” PCMA has more than 6,500 members and 50,000 customers.

redBrick Agency http://redbrickagency.com/applause/
The redBrick Agency works with corporations, conventions, arts and lecture venues, libraries, performing arts centers, schools, colleges and universities. The agency represents authors and all kinds of speakers.

Speakers’ Spotlight http://www.speakers.ca/
Speakers’ Spotlight has arranged more than 20,000 speaking engagements in over 30 countries. The agency finds speakers for leading corporations, associations, government agencies, colleges and universities, school boards, health care organizations and charities.

Steven Barclay Agency http://www.barclayagency.com/
The Steven Barclay Agency serves colleges, universities, schools, performing arts centers, corporations, associations, and for private events.

TED https://www.ted.com/
Collectively, TED speakers have won every major prize awarded for excellence, including the Nobel, Pritzker, Pulitzer, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony and MacArthur “genius” grant. TED also seeks out emerging artists, scientists and thinkers, introducing them to the TED community.

To speak at TED: https://www.ted.com/about/conferences/speaking-at-ted

TEDx https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/tedx-program
A TEDx event is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and videos previously recorded at TED conferences are shared with the community. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

The GUILD Agency http://www.theguildagency.com/
A full-service international Speakers Bureau, Literary Agency, Social Impact Consultancy, and Smart-Content Media Firm. The organization has assisted with thousands of events and works with many speakers not listed on their website.

The Tuesday Agency http://tuesdayagency.com/about
The Tuesday Agency is a full-service lecture agency representing elite authors, journalists, historians, artists and scholars. Based in Iowa City, “The Tuesday Agency is dedicated to the literary arts and to thoughtful dialogue.”

Thumbtack https://www.thumbtack.com/
This platform’s motto is “From house painting to personal training, we bring you the right pros for every project on your list.” Although presentations are more obscure than other professional services offered, this platform does book motivational speakers. Special attention: Lifestyle coaches and authors sending a positive message.

“If authors want to get speaking gigs they need to figure out where the leads are and have an easy system for following up on them,” says Jess Todtfeld, creator of  EndlessSpeakerLeads.com, a guide to finding and connecting with events and those who book them.

SPEAKERHUB  https://speakerhub.com/
Believes in the power of live presentations and personal connections, which is why they created SpeakerHub. They are not a speaker agency but the fastest-growing community of professional, independent, or amateur public speakers and trainers who’d like to be found by companies, event organizers and schools. They welcome anyone with expertise in any field who is open to speaking at conferences, events or schools as a paid or pro bono presenter.

The Bottom Line:  Want to become a sought-after speaker? Then get cracking on this list and tell the world what you talk about and line up some speaking gigs. DO IT TODAY.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

 

Resources For Authors

Struggling to come up with a good title for your book? Try these online tools

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

Resources For Authors

Resources For Authors

Coming up with a title for your book is easier said than done. The good news is there are online tools you can use to jump start the creative process. Use them to help create a compelling, attention-grabbing title that speaks to your audience. A good book title is the key to increasing sales, interest, and impact. Here are several worth considering

1. Portent’s Content Idea Generator: Simply enter the subject of your book and this generator will give you some ideas. You can continue to click the arrow until you find a title that piques your interest.

2. Kopy Writing Kourse Book Name Generator: Once you type in your subject, it will give you a long list of hundreds of book titles. Chances are you’ll find one (or a few) that suit your book.

3. Awesome Titles Title Generator: Believe it or not, this generator can open your eyes to 700 catchy titles. Enter a main keyword and you’ll get 3 pages worth of ideas.

4. com Nonfiction Book Title Generator: If you’re in need of a title for your nonfiction book, this generator is invaluable. Enter a word that describes its topic. After you click “Generate,” it’ll deliver some good options.

5. Ruggenberg Title Generator: Get six titles at one time with this generator. All you have to do is click “Give me some titles,” sit back, relax, and allow the tool to work its magic.

6. Adazing Book Title Generator: This book title generator will give you “perfect titles in less than 30 seconds.” It’s a bit more involved than other generators because it asks you to select your genre and type in details like the occupation of the protagonist and main character’s goal.

7. Serendipity Fantasy Novel Title Generator: For a simple generator for your fantasy book, the Serendipity Fantasy Novel Title Generator a solid pick. Continue to click “Another” until you see what you’re looking for.

8. Sumo Kickass Headline Generator: The Sumo Kickass Headline Generator allows you to choose the type of title you want: a numbered list, how-to, controversial, playful, etc. Once you do, it’ll ask you to enter a topic and desired outcome before it spits out an option.

9. Writing Exercises Story Title Generator: With the Writing Exercises Story Title Generator, you can click back and forth between the “Adjective” and “Noun” buttons to create a unique story title.

10. Book Title Generator: Using online book title generators are just one ‘tactic’ you need to consider while titling your book. If you want a thoughtful, insightful and scientific approach check out my award-winning book for authors called: BOOK TITLE GENERATOR at https://www.BookTitleGenerator.org. Using the latest methods of getting a book ranked on search engines and in Amazon, I show you a plan to help you get the right title for your book. Before you title your book I ask you to consider all options in the quest for the perfect book title. From using numbers, alliteration, idioms, and keyword research, Book Title Generator (The Book) covers them all.

The Bottom Line:  Your book title is one of THE most important tasks for authors. Don’t make it an afterthought.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Is there a strategy in naming your book? YES! Check out Scott’s new award-winning book for authors called: BOOK TITLE GENERATOR at https://www.BookTitleGenerator.org

 

Here’s How to Get Your Book on BookTV on C-Span

By Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

Westwind Communications

Want to Get on BookTV on C-SPAN? Check out this article by book publicist Scott Lorenz

Want to Get on BookTV on C-SPAN? Check out this article by book publicist Scott Lorenz

Want to get your book in front of millions of book lovers? BookTV can help. BookTV is a program that airs on C-Span every weekend from 8:00 a.m. EST Sat to 8:00 a.m.  Monday. It’s been around since 1998 and dedicates 48-hours to non-fiction books and authors. In addition, it offers live coverage of book events across the nation. Here are a few examples of authors who have been featured on BookTV:

  • Tara Westover: Author of Educated: A Memoir, a memoir about family, loss, and struggle that was honored by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Globe Bestseller.
  • Jodi Picoult: Author of 24 novels, eight of which have earned a #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Her books include My Sister’s Keeper, Small Great Things, and A Spark of Light.
  • James Comey: Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Author of A Higher Loyalty: Truth Lies and Leadership, a book about his career in the previous two decades of American government.

BookTV grants readers the opportunity to listen to non-fiction authors speak from the comfort of their own homes. If you’re a non-fiction author, you may be asking yourself, “How do I get my book on BookTV?” After all, this is a great opportunity to promote your book(s) and put yourself in front of the ideal audience.

To start, you can email BookTV at booktv@c-span.org or leave a phone message at 202-737-3220. When you email or call, make sure you state the following:

  • Your name.
  • The non-fiction book(s) you’ve written.
  • Why you believe you’re a good fit for BookTV.
  • Anything that makes you and/or your book(s) unique.

C-SPAN has an editorial board that meets on a daily basis to determine which authors and books to cover. If they have an interest in covering you, they’ll get back to you.

Before you pitch BookTV, it’s a good idea to check out its archive of programs and schedule for upcoming programming. This way, you can get a feel for what piques their interest and what they typically cover.

“My advice for authors and publicists who want to be carried by BookTV:  Know our mission of promoting nonfiction, public policy, history, biography, and science books and authors. And keep pitching us!  Also, join the over 100,000 book lovers who follow us on twitter, @booktv,” says Peter Slen, BookTV’s Executive Producer.

Remember that since BookTV delivers 48 hours of programming every weekend, there’s plenty of room for authors like you. If you don’t get a response right off the bat, keep trying as there is a good chance you’ll hear back eventually.

The Bottom Line: BookTV is an excellent way for non-fiction authors to gain exposure. While getting on BookTV may take some time and persistence, it will certainly pay off.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers, and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

 

Authors – Want to Create a Pen Name? Here’s How to Do It

Having a difficult time selecting a pen name? Try these random name generators. You may get some inspiration from some of these and it’s fun to see what they come up with.

By: Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Authors - Want to Create a Pen Name? Here's How to Do It

Authors – Want to Create a Pen Name? Here’s How to Do It

A rich tradition has existed for hundreds of years for fiction writers to use pen names. You may be surprised to learn that some authors have more than 10 pen names. Here’s why pen names have been and continue to be widely used: Many authors believe that their name can affect how their audience sees them and even affect their book sales.

One of the most famous pen names, of course, was Samuel Clemens who wrote under the name Mark Twain. Another well-known one is Lewis Carroll, which was used by Alice in Wonderland’s author, Charles Dodgdon. He gained a considerable reputation as a mathematician and didn’t want to create confusion by writing fiction under his real name.

Nora Roberts, is a pen name used by Eleanor Marie Roberts. Nora Roberts’ name has regularly appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List since 1999. Since her first best seller in 1991, Nora’s books have spent 1,045 weeks on the Best Seller List. Believe it or not, that’s equivalent to 20 consecutive years of weekly bestsellers.

In 1992, Putnam Publishers asked Nora Roberts to come up with a second pen name because they could not keep up with the prolific writer’s romance novels let alone the new genre of romance suspense novels she wanted to write. So she took the initials J.D. from sons Jason and Dan and shortened Roberts to Robb. She also has written under the pen names Jill March and Sara Hardesty.

Whether you call it a pen name, pseudonym, non de plume, alias or AKA, you are creating a new persona that’ll need care and feeding!  Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

One of my book marketing clients served as a Navy Seal in the Iraq War and then returned to write a book about his war experiences.  To protect his personal safety and maintain security for his family, my client wrote under the pen name Chuck Bravedy.  The author was concerned that extremists living in America would be offended and angered by his controversial book and come after him or his family.

The fact that Bravedy’s name was “not in the phone book” raised some attention from the Pentagon who called me to inquire about Chuck Bravedy because they did not have his name in their files. The Pentagon was concerned because they want to keep phonies from impersonating military officials.

Since the publishers of JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, were unsure if the preteen boys that she was targeting would accept wizard stories that were written by a woman, they encouraged her to use her initials instead of her real name, which is Joanne Rowling. The “K’ in JK came from her grandmother’s name Kathleen and she’s been known as JK Rowling ever since.

Known as one of the most famous comic book writers in the world, Stan Lee’s real name is Stanley Martin Lieber. He initially decided to publish under Stan Lee because he thought he would eventually transition to more serious work and wanted to use his real name when and if that time came. Once he realized that he was destined to stay a comic book writer, he legally changed his name to Stan Lee.

If you’ve ever read the popular children’s series, A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions, you probably know that the author is Lemony Snicket. Believe it or not, his real name is Daniel Handler. He decided to go with Lemony Snicket because he wanted to anonymously contact right-wing organizations. Handler first came up with the Lemony Snicket pen name while doing research for his first novel, The Basic Eight. He needed to contact right-wing organizations for the book, but he didn’t want to give them his real name. So he called himself “Lemony Snicket,” and the moniker stuck.

One client I represented, who asked my advice about using a pen name, was a former CIA operative. He was concerned about the impact a pen name would have on promoting his book. He wondered whether radio and TV interviewers would be willing to use the pen name during an interview or would insist on using his birth name.

Some CIA friends of my client also had published books and used their real names without problems. To cover his bases while he decided, the former CIA officer went ahead and registered web domains under his real name and under his pen name. After talking with him about the options, my client decided to use his real name.

I also have represented authors who used a pen name because they had a past they were not proud of and wanted to protect their family members and loved ones from public embarrassment.

From a marketing standpoint if your real-life identify is associated with a business and you want the book to promote your business or vice versa, then a pen name should not be used. But if you have success, and don’t want that success threatened by pursuing an avocation of writing, then a pen name would be in order. Pen names may create marketing challenges, most of which can be overcome, and so the marketing implications need to be examined before publishing.

Reasons for using a pen name include

  • To avoid embarrassment
  • For personal safety or security
  • If you write under more than one genre
  • If your name is hard to pronounce or spell
  • If your name is not marketable
  • If your name conflicts with the name of another author
  • To hide gender (a male writing in the predominantly female genre)
  • To avoid confusing readers if you are well known in another field

If you want to hide from the public and from people you work with or worked with, etc., then a pen name is fine. But, if it’s not important, why bother? So, my vote is to use your own name. Here are just a few points to ponder.

  • Use real name if you are not trying to hide from anyone.
  • Use a real name to brand your name for speaking gigs or consulting assignments
  • Use real name if you are planning to write a series of books
  • Use real name so acquaintances can better locate your published works
  • A real name builds trust and confidence amongst readers
  • It’s far easier to brand a real name than a pen name
  • Expertise is validated by an individual’s real-life experience
  • Long-term loyalty with readers is easier to build with a real name

Here’s some interesting information I’ve obtained from librarians and employees at book stores. Is there a popular author whose work is similar to yours?  Why not select a pen name beginning with the same letter as that author’s name? Since most books are filed by genre and then the author’s last name, selecting a pen name with the same letter puts you in close proximity to their books.

Someone searching for that author could ‘stumble’ upon your book and decide to take a look. Radio stations have done it for years by selecting their location on the ‘dial’ nearby other highly rated stations so they could benefit from the proximity of that popular station. Crafty? Perhaps but do you want to sell books or not?

Having a difficult time selecting a pen name? Try these random name generators. You may get some inspiration from some of these and it’s fun to see what they come up with.

1. http://generator.chucklehound.com

2. https://anadea.info/tools/online-business-name-generator

3. https://www.dotomator.com/

4. http://www.naming.net/

5. https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator

6. https://namestation.com/

7. https://namesmith.io/

8. https://www.namemesh.com

9. https://businessnamegenerator.com/

10. https://www.netsubstance.com/

The Bottom Line: If you want to brand your name for speaking gigs or for consulting engagements then use your own name. If you plan to write in multiple genres or are concerned about safety and privacy then get a pen name.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

 

Should Authors Pay For PR Placement or Pay a Monthly Retainer?

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Book Marketing

Should Authors Pay For PR Placement or Pay a Monthly Retainer?

Should Authors Pay For PR Placement or Pay a Monthly Retainer?

Authors will on occasion request an alternative payment arrangement other than the typical retainer fee arrangement most PR firms including Westwind Communications require.

I could discuss all day the various payment options offered for PR services such as ‘pay for placement,’ ‘hourly fee’ or ‘retainer fee’. In a nutshell, the retainer fee allows the client to have a fixed budget amount for PR each month and it allows my firm to rely on a steady cash flow. The work goes up and down depending upon opportunities and implementation of the marketing plan. Clients will also appreciate the logic of this concept as the billing process is simplified for both parties.

For example, let’s say we get a placement or review in the Chicago Tribune – what’s that worth? What about a photo? You would think that should demand more money right? How much more? What about a one-line quote in the Wall Street Journal? What’s that worth? What happens if a newspaper in Singapore or Australia runs that quote right out of the journal? What’s that worth?  What happens if a meeting planner sees it and calls the client for a speaking gig? Does the PR firm get a piece of that speaking fee? Why not?

What’s the value of a TV interview in the hometown of a self-published author on WBZ in Boston that includes her book cover, photo and link to her web site and the book trailer on YouTube? What happens if that leads to a movie deal? Would my firm be entitled to a piece of that? Or, does the fee for pay-for-placement relate to the ad rate for the airtime and space for the web site?  For example, an ad a little larger than a business card is $10,000 in the NY Times Sunday Book Review!

Do you want to share profits with the publicist?

I’ve promoted new medical techniques which resulted in hundreds of procedures at $5,000 apiece. In that case the worth or value of the TV story is dramatically higher. I wish I would have had a piece of that!

Several of my legal related PR placements resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements for my lawyer clients and plaintiffs when the opposing party saw the story on the local TV news. Once they knew we were prepared to continue to do battle in ‘the court of public opinion’ they settled.  Should I have gotten a piece of the lawsuit settlement? Why not? Do you see the dilemma?

What happens if we hit our stride and all the big shows want the author? Can you afford the $3-6,000 fee per show? I personally have met authors who’ve turned down major national morning shows because they could not afford the ‘pay for placement’ fee. That would never happen on a fixed fee retainer basis because you’d get all the shows for one flat fee.

Do you like reviewing complicated bills? How about fighting over ‘value’ of a PR hit?

The way I see it, ‘pay-for-placement’ is a bad deal for authors. Furthermore, there is no way authors would want to review that detail every month and frankly it would cost us hundreds or thousands of dollars per month to prepare a bill with such a breakdown. The very thought of doing it that way is rather terrifying!

There are other reasons we believe it’s in our mutual interest to use retainer fees over other billing methods. Usually people who want such a deal have had a bad experience with a PR firm that did nothing or they don’t have enough money in the first place and they’re trying to generate sales from the PR to pay for the PR. Finding out the reason for asking for a non-retainer deal is essential to formulating an equitable arrangement.

The real issue is the futile attempt to place a ‘value’ on PR placement on a monthly basis. Nobody knows the value with certainty because the benefit may come down the road in the form of new business, speaking gigs, consulting deals, TV shows, book deals or even more publicity. Trying to measure its value every month is like trying to place a future value on a baby in a bassinet… it cannot be done.

Another issue is about trust. Can the PR firm deliver the PR that is proposed? Can they be trusted to deliver media placements? I believe that past results are a predictor of future results, especially when it comes to PR. There need be no leap of faith if a PR firm has a track record of success with placements.

Will your book publicity result in book sales, a speaking gig or will it change somebody’s life?

Furthermore, with some PR projects there is just no way to assess how the media and public is going to respond. We could go through a lot of expense to create a PR strategy, press materials and pitch it to an audience that is just not interested. I once had a reporter at Bloomberg News say “Scott your guy’s book on INDIA looks great, but it’s the 7th book on India I’ve had this month so sorry we can’t run another one!”  Or, there’s a problem with the credentials of the author, founder, CEO etc. that were not disclosed to the PR firm in advance. These revelations could tank a PR effort and cost the PR firm money instead of making money.

Sometimes even with PR, people may not buy the book. In fact there have been authors on CNBC and Good Morning America who have not sold any books!

Are you available willing and able to do almost any interview almost anytime?

Finally, another reason the pay for placement deal won’t work is if the author doesn’t hold up his or her end of the bargain, such as being available for interviews, preparing for interviews, book signings, traveling, etc. Little things like these will result in little or no book sales and the publicist gets stuck with little or no compensation. Sorry, that’s a deal killer.

The Bottom Line: We’ll stick to a retainer fee basis, and my clients get to keep profits from their sales, movie deals and speaking gigs. Fair enough?

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com fill out the form below or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Check out our new book trailer at https://bit.ly/BookPublicistScottLorenz Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist