LDS Publicists

Do you know? Is there such a thing as a publicist in this LDS literature market? Or marketing specialists? I need some serious publicity and marketing help. Thanks for all you do.

I don't know of any publicists specific to the LDS market. Most publishers have their own publicists—either in-house or those to whom they contract out.

Some authors hire their own publicists.

Help me out readers. Do you know of a publicist or marketing firm/agency/individual that you would recommend? Or are YOU a publicist? Tell us in the comments. Include enough info (website, full name, etc.) so that we can track them/you down if we want to hire them/you.


Wm Morris said...

I considered trying to set myself up as a freelance LDS book publicist a couple of years (I have 10 years experience in higher ed public relations), but ultimately decided not to for the following reasons:

1. Although publicists can work from anywhere these days, I think that for the Mormon market, you really should be located in the Wasatch Front. I'm not.

2. At the rates I would need to charge in order to make it worthwhile for me, I'm not convinced that the author would be getting a good deal. Except in rare cases, I don't think the sales volumes are high enough in the Mormon market to really warrant that. I could be wrong, of course.

3. There's a limited number of media outlets that you can reasonably expect to cover a Mormon market book. Part of how a good book publicist earns his/her keep is by working (as opposed to blasting generic stuff out to) a wide variety of media outlets and other promotional campaigns, including events and publicity opportunities that are related to your book but aren't just going after a review or a profile piece.

4. I think it's important that authors learn to do their own publicity because I think that will help them A LOT in the long run.

5. I have a day job, plus a family, plus AMV, plus a church calling, plus my own writing.

6. Most of the top publishers in the Mormon market have an internal publicist.

7. Publicity (especially if all you really mean is media relations) has become less and less important and is becoming more and more difficult with the changes in the media over the past decade. On the other hand, there are more media outlets than ever that focus on an LDS audience.

None of this, of course, means that it is a bad idea per se. I'm just laying out my reasons for not pursuing it.

That said, I have to say that I've read some really poorly written news releases for the Mormon market, and as far as I can tell the innovations in using new media, etc. in book publicity are being driven by the authors in the Mormon market and not the publishers so there certainly could be some value in providing publicity services, especially if they were offered by an experienced professional whose idea of publicity goes beyond the standard "write a news release and send it out" and "send out a bunch of ARCs."

Michael Knudsen said...

As far as I know, unless Deseret Book is treating your book like an event or you've got some serious bank to put behind it, you're on your own. There are many things an author can do to generate "buzz". The information is intended for their own authors, but Cedar Fort's PR site http://cedarfortpr.blogspot.com/, has a couple of pages, in particular "Your Marketing Web" and "Recommended Resources" that provides good self-help for authors who need to do their own PR.

Rebecca Talley said...

You can hire a publicist, Doug Johnston was doing PR but I'm not sure he is anymore, but in this small market it generally isn't worth it.

Karlene said...

LibrisPro (that's me and my posse) do some publicist type of things--virtual book tours, marketing materials, online presence. We help authors get websites, blogs set up; design bookmarks, postcards, business cards, etc.

If you're interested, mention this post when you inquire and get 10% off your job. =)