FAQ

Why should I hire a book publicist, as opposed to letting my publisher handle the publicity?
Here’s the short answer: As book publicists, we do nothing but book publicity. Every moment of our work day is focused on getting you high-value exposure, whether it’s scheduling radio interviews, doing telephone follow-up on press material mailed out, pitching a story idea to a magazine editor, or emailing a fresh media pitch to get you on television and in the print media in response to a breaking news event that happened just moments ago. Our priority is to get you and your book into the news—and keeping you there.

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Publicity departments at large publishing houses:

  • Don’t have the time, budgets, or staff to create for each of their authors a media campaign tailored to his or her expertise, professional objectives, geographic region, and travel schedule.
  • Don’t and can’t communicate with each author on a daily basis to develop media pitches in real time as news is unfolding, when it’s critical to be the first publicist to respond to a hot-button event and to book an on-the-spot interview or appearance.
  • Won’t or can’t customize a media campaign to fit a specific area of your work that you’d like to see promoted more or differently.

Because publishers churn out dozens of new titles each season, they have to make the best use of their limited publicity resources. Unless your book is on the publisher’s “top tier” short list—such as books by celebrities or best-selling authors—the most you can expect is to have your book and an accompanying press release mailed out to a list of book reviewers, with little or no follow-up. Publishers do the best they can, but that’s the reality.

Publicity departments at small, independent presses tend to work hard and have fewer authors and books to focus on, but they also have fewer resources than the big publishers. Small presses don’t have the budget or staff to design a targeted, strategic publicity campaign for each author. Nor do they have well-developed first-name relationships with hundreds of editors, reporters, columnists, and producers, like we do.

What, specifically, could your firm do that a publisher wouldn’t?

The main difference is that we work for you, and have your interests at heart. We use our considerable know-how and experience to help you sell books, get exposure, and make professional connections. Getting tangible results for our clients is the entire focus of our business.

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Specifically, we would start by having a conversation with you about your expertise and strengths, your media experience, and above all, your professional goals. Then we would customize a highly creative media kit and strategic campaign to generate interest in you and your book. If you planned to visit your Aunt Macy in Florida, we could arrange a local television appearance or coordinate a book signing in the area. If radio and television give you the jitters, we could find you media coaching to make you come across like a pro. We might write talking points for you to practice for an upcoming interview with a major daily newspaper columnist, or help you tighten up a by-lined article or op-ed piece. If there’s an aspect of your business that ties into the book, we can help you attract professional contacts or clients and form new partnerships by linking your expertise to current stories in the news, or by contacting reporters who write for key trade journals. If you decide that promoting yourself as a keynote speaker is the logical next step, we can switch gears and refocus on helping you win public speaking engagements. (See Services and Additional Services.)

What kinds of authors use your services?

We have worked with top-notch authors whose books fall into several broad subject categories. (See Subjects.) Below are some other criteria that might help you decide if now is the right time to seek our help with publicity:

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You have written a book that will be published in the next six to eight months, and you want it to get off to a galloping start when it hits the bookstores.
You have written a book in the past year, but aren’t satisfied with its sales, the amount of exposure it got, or your publisher’s publicity efforts.
Your published hardcover book is about to be reissued as a paperback, and you’d like to get some new media buzz and momentum going to boost sales.
You are republishing a previous book with a significant amount of updated or new material, and want to make sure that the media gives it the fresh attention it deserves.
You are an author who also has a business or professional practice, and you’d like to use the book’s publicity campaign as a selling tool that will help position you as an expert in your field in order to attract new clients and business opportunities, and to boost your professional image or that of your company.

What makes C.S. Lewis & Co. Publicists different from other book publicists?

First, we don’t consider ourselves successful unless our clients are completely happy with the results. To illustrate the level of client satisfaction, consider that 95 percent of our clients are referred to us by previous clients. Some of our clients are disgruntled authors who spent a small fortune on a previous publicist, and at the end of their contract, felt gypped. We’ve never had a client terminate his or her contract prematurely, and we’ve never had one who wasn’t totally “wowed” by what we were able to do for him or her.

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Second, we enjoy equally excellent relationships with our media contacts, who tell us that they’ll make the time to read our pitches, take our calls, and look at our books and media kits because they know that we won’t waste their time with inappropriate or poorly thought-out story and segment ideas for them. That’s why we get results.

Third, we offer a highly individualized approach. We treat every book and author differently, designing a customized media campaign that is uniquely suited to them and what they hope to accomplish for themselves and for their business or professional practice.

Finally, we’re news junkies who work at the same pace as the media. If a relevant news story breaks in the morning, only hours later we’ve got every major reporter, editor, and producer reading about our expert and how he/she is uniquely qualified to shed light on this topic to audiences craving the latest information. That’s how we turn our authors into newsmakers. We don’t know of any other publicist who does such rapid turnaround.

How much will it cost?

We don’t have a set fee, which is consistent with our commitment to be flexible. Our fees are determined by your needs, the services you want, the length of time you want to work with us, and your budget. We can work with any reasonable budget.

More questions?

If you have more questions that aren’t answered here and elsewhere on the website, feel free to contact us at clewis1333@aol.com.