7 PR Questions Every Author Should Ask

PR questions for authors

Is there something that keeps you up at night when your thoughts turn to the upcoming launch of your new book?

Someone brilliant on my staff (Jessica Krakoski) suggested I start asking this question when speaking with potential clients. I love it, not only because it prompts surprising answers, but also because it helps everyone get clear, very quickly, on goals.

Authors too often think in broad terms when defining success. A lot of sales, a good bit of media notice, oh, and by the way, it would be great if this book helps me sell more consulting and raise my speaking fees.

Do you understand the problem with that list? It isn’t helpful in mapping a strategy. It suggests ways you might succeed but doesn’t really commit to any of them. It feels like a standard, check the boxes form that none of us likes to fill out in part because the answers suggest that it’s a trade-off, with no option to combine several outcomes.

Before you hire a publicist, sign off on a PR or marketing plan, or invest any effort in making the world aware that you’ve just written a whole book for heaven’s sake, put a few more words on paper and answer these seven questions:

Why Being Published is So Personal

This month is a big one for me, so much so that I am departing from my usual blog format of serving up what I hope is useful information on any and all things book-related. Instead, I’m writing from what I now fondly call my author chair, the place where I did a 180-degree career flip and wrote a book rather than promoted them. As with so many of life’s experiences, it’s been a journey.

Being Heard in an Era of Noise

Standing out in a crowd

We live in an era of noise where news and information is abundant, coming to us 24/7 in an unceasing stream. At the same time, our attention span is shrinking. A study conducted last year by Microsoft shows that our ability to focus dropped from 12 seconds in 2000, to a new record low of eight seconds in 2015. Together, the din and our diminishing ability to pay attention make it more difficult to be heard. How can you stand out? What does it take to become a world class communicator? And perhaps the biggest question of all – how do you not only get someone’s attention, but keep it? Before you begin crafting material and take to the public stage, consider cultivating at least some of the skills that seasoned reporters rely on.