Imagine that your book is coming out in several months, and you fall into the camp of those who want to put some time and resources into promoting it. Knowing that that your publisher can’t commit to much more on the publicity side than mailing out galleys to a standard media list, you’ve decided to give it your all, to go ahead and hire an outside publicist.
But as you research firms and see the 5-figure price tags for most campaigns, a lump forms in your throat. Your advance was modest. You know you can’t begin to estimate how much, if anything, your book will generate in sales. At the same time, you’re learning that the gist of what a publicist does is build press lists, write elevator pitches, send emails, make phone calls, mail galleys and coordinate interviews when opportunities arise. All of which seems pretty straightforward. You figure that if you had the time and the nerves, you could probably handle much of this yourself.