Just like the name implies a publicist’s sole responsibility is to publicize your work or build your brand. They are the reason celebrities become famous. They are the behind the scenes workers getting interviews, spreading buzz worthy tales and making sure the people who moves and shakes have you in their direct line of vision. How does this relate to an author? Very simple without a great product, a marketing plan and enough buzz created around your book it will become a pretty little wall flower on a wall filled with wall flowers. An added benefit is that most book publicist will read your book and if they are sold on it they are adamant about pushing your success. What can a publicist do for you that you can’t do for yourself? Well unless you have a long list of contacts and industry insiders you can call in favors on than they can do a great deal. I hope to give you five reasons why you need a book publicist and in true Urban Fiction News style I will provide you with a list of publicist that are specific to the urban fiction genre.

Reason #1 You Need a Book Publicist to take you From Unknown to Known

Self published authors have the disadvantage of not having a large big named publisher to fall back on. It’s easier to gain the attention of industry insiders when you have a large traditional publisher backing you. However, a disadvantage can also be an advantage because once you show the big boys you know how to sell your book the potential to be picked up by the big boys is much greater. That could mean higher advance checks and companies fighting for Your attention. The publicist will put you or your work in front of the world giving you more exposure. The great news is their job is to make you known/famous.

Reason #2 A Book Publicist has Connections

We have all heard that it’s not what you know but who you know. Well if that’s true many of us wouldn’t go far on our own. The most valuable aspect of a publicist’ job is networking and building relationships with media outlets. The author doesn’t have to know anyone personally as their representative puts them in front of their long list of contacts. That alone is valuable. How many authors are interested in hunting down folks to talk about their book? I know I am not (but I will) With a publicist you won’t have to. They get you interviews threw newspaper, magazine and radio or TV. They also create campaigns that will generate a buzz around you the author and the book.

Reason #3 A Book Publicist Help with Reviews

As I’ve said before book reviews are the literary gold of the book world. Having quality book reviews on retail sites can make or break your book. Word of mouth marketing can make your book a top seller. A publicist is able to get your book in the hands of reviewers by sending out review copies.They locate popular bloggers in your genre, from media resources and get your book in their hands. One great review can take you from an unknown to a known.

Reason # 4 Book Publicist Create Detailed Ad Campaigns

Many self-published authors may find it overwhelming to market their own work. When you employ the services of a book publicist they not only locate the best ad campaigns but do the ad placements for you. Many will tell you that not only is important to increase your books’ visibility through interviews etc… but also to have your book displayed prominently throughout the places readers of your genre are located. Your book cover should be placed on multiple sites for maximum exposure.

Reason #5 Social Media Should Be a Book Publicist’s Specialty

The world of marketing has changed so greatly that having an online presence is vital to your book’s success. You must know how to work the social media platform to get ahead. Many publicist are well versed on social media marketing and will use it to their advantage. They create enough buzz that gets Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc… discussing your book which ultimately means more book sales.

Below is a list of book publicist that cater to African-American Authors and also to the Self-Published author enjoy!!!

Dawn Michelle Hardy

Gwen Richardson

Heather M. Palmore ESq.

V. Michelle Stephenson

Makeda Smith or

Publicist for the Indie Author

Smith Publicity

Kelley & Hall

Novel Publicity

This is a small amount of publicist resources but if you enjoyed the post don’t forget to like and share with the links provided below.

Remember to Follow for more Urban Fiction News, Reviews and Resources!!!



  1. I love your blog !!!! #thebest

  2. Edward Smith says:

    May I add a link for those authors interested in doing their own publicity? I have a blog at that authors can get tons of free information from. OK, thanks for the listing of publicists, you have some fine people on there. Edward Smith.

  3. Mary McBeth says:

    Another great and highly informative article KC. Thank you! I have just one question: as you know I am introduced to the work os many first time authors through my company and when I encourage them to use a publicist for their book and their brand they often ask me how much do publicists cost? It’s a sticky question for me. Can you give us a ballpark figure of how much on average authors should expect to spend/budget on their publicist services or is this too general a question? Again great post!

  4. Brittney says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Working for a book marketing/ book publicity firm (Smith Publicity), we stress some of the very same points!

  5. TheGirl says:

    Wow this is informative!

    I have been looking for someone to assist me with book marketing for months, and I have met some disappointing people. So much, that I don’t know if I want to venture out and look for another publicist. First off, it can be expensive, I don’t have 2k to pay someone every month, and very few will do profit-sharing/commissions.

    Also, you were a bit wrong on your first point. The backing of traditional publishers only apply to a few authors (maybe 10%). Most authors published by the big houses do not get a lot of marketing, especially if there aren’t a lot of sales during the first 6 weeks or so. So a traditionally pub author may have to still hire a publicist to help with promotion.

    • kcbaylor says:

      Thank you for stopping by. You are right about traditionally published authors finding themselves hiring a pr firm the difference however, is they may be given advance checks that are really provided to jump start marketing efforts. PR firms can be expensive unless you find a company that is fairly new and have much to prove.

      • TheGirl says:

        Hhhmm….that is true. but again, I don’t see how it helps indie authors, as many aren’t able to afford PR firms. What about self-PR?

      • kcbaylor says:

        Most of the publicist on my list are reasonably priced. I generally provide most cost effective resources but I will create another article regarding cost. Self pr is always a good.idea. The problem with indie authors is that many of them don’t know where or how to begin outside of Facebook and Twitter.

      • TheGirl says:

        That is true! And by the time you release the book..You’re so “tired” you worked so hard on writing, and editing, and book cover…to now have to start with marketing process….

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