What I Learned About PR & Marketing: From Author Shari Leid

Book publicity + marketing from an author

In this new blog series, we’ll share an author’s perspective on all the lessons learned from their book publicity and digital marketing campaigns. This week, life and mindset coach Shari Leid is sharing her experience launching The Friendship Series into the world. Shari’s a long-time P&C client and has worked with president Kourtney Jason since fall 2020.

Former litigator, Shari Leid currently operates An Imperfectly Perfect Life, LLC, a professional mindset coaching business primarily serving clients who are in those tricky middle age years, helping them create the life of their dreams. She is a national speaker and author of The 50/50 Friendship Flow: Life Lessons From and For My Girlfriends and Make Your Mess Your Message: More Life Lessons From and For My Girlfriends. Her third and final book in The Friendship series is scheduled for Fall 2022. 

What did you know about both publicity and marketing before starting on your book campaign?

Shari: When I began my first book campaign, I knew absolutely nothing about publicity and marketing or even the differing roles of a publicist vs a marketing specialist. I came into this world of PR and marketing completely green, learning as my initial campaign proceeded. 

What did you learn about publicity and marketing during your campaign?

Shari: I learned the value of working with a seasoned publicist who understands how to pitch to the media, has contacts in the media, and the planning and strategy that goes along with it. Through working with an experienced marketing expert, I learned the importance of developing a very targeted marketing strategy to make sure that dollars aren’t wasted.

What do you wish you had known about PR/marketing before your book launch?

Shari: I wish I understood the role of producers and editors. Following my initial campaign, I took a course by media coach Paula Rizzo, who described the behind-the-scenes of TV programming and written publications. It was helpful and allowed me to understand the roles of the producers and editors, who my publicist was pitching to, and understanding the respective roles gave me a better understanding of the entire publicity process.

What did you find to be the most challenging or eye-opening part of the campaign?

Shari: Patience. Recognizing that everything that happens takes patience and it is a process where one article, one TV appearance, one podcast builds on another. PR and marketing takes work, practice, and patience.

What was the highlight for you during your book launch?

Shari: Being booked on major networks – including FOX, NBC, CBS, and CTV, and being interviewed and quoted in PureWow and Real Simple.

In your experience, how can an author best support their PR + marketing team?

Shari: Show up on time, be professional, and communicate in a timely manner. The PR team is putting their reputations on the line when they book you – and it is your job as the talent to show up on time and to be professionally ready. The author can also support the PR team by staying current with what is going on in the media in their area of expertise or genre.

What do you think other authors should know and understand about PR/marketing prior to their book launch?

Shari: Publicity will be one of their largest expenses, so they need to have their goals defined, clearly communicate with their PR team, and have realistic expectations. Authors need to realize that PR and marketing is a collaborative process, and the author will often get out of PR and marketing what they themselves also put in. In other words, it takes teamwork!

What questions would you suggest an author asks a publicist before hiring?

Shari: What is the campaign schedule, pitching angles, and media outreach plan along with asking the publicist what is expected from the author to make the campaign a success.

In your experience, what sets P&C apart from other agencies?

Shari: I worked with another publicity agency before P&C and the biggest difference that I have experienced is that P&C clients are not just a number. The success and promotion of the client’s career is just as important to P&C as it is to their clients. Also, the attention to detail, communication, and personalized campaign design is second to none.

Do you have anything else to share or add?

Shari: I’m looking forward to continuing with P&C as I move towards publishing my third and fourth books.

Thanks so much, Shari, for sharing your experience and everything you’ve learned during your campaigns!

Be sure to check out Shari’s books here, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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