Wildbound PR is a California based literary publicity company started by Julia and Jared Drake that works with authors across the globe to gain exposure for their work via traditional and digital media press campaigns, social media marketing, innovative book tours, author websites and promotional videos. In a time when digital media is changing the face of the publishing industry and the way readers find, process and share stories, we have worked with over a hundred clients––from New York Times bestselling authors to first time self-published authors––to create new and innovative ways to connect them with their target audience across the globe and celebrate great stories and writers and what they do best: venture into the wilds of the mind to bring back stories that entertain, edify, and transform us, all that within the bounds of a book.
You can write the most amazing book in world history––if nobody knows about it––nobody will read it or buy it. It’s like the proverbial tree falling in the woods. In today’s fast-paced world of technology where consumer experiences have become increasingly fragmented and the term “mainstream” is slowly giving way to a world of hyper-individualized digital experiences, trying to connect with your audience can be a formidable and overwhelming task. Wildbound maintains strong relationships with target media and social influencers and combines traditional and social media PR to get the most mileage out of each media hit. Media contacts at top publications are more likely to act on a pitch from a trusted publicist than an unsolicited query from an unknown author. Of course that doesn’t mean that we can get every book placed. The bottom line for the success of every PR campaign is the quality of the product and the demand in the market place. Some books naturally have stronger PR and marketing potential than others.
1. Build Your Online Platform/Brand:
Wildbound will help you develop your author brand and message and how to position yourself with media and consumers which starts with a professional website. Both consumers and media professionals will visit your website before engaging further with your book. So it’s important that your online platform is established prior to launch time. It should reflect you and your book accurately and look professional, so unless you have a knack for visual design and are tech savvy, our website designers will work with you to build a website that reflects your personality, work and vision.
2. Social Media Platform:
As with your website, a successful PR campaign relies on the strength of your social media network and should be in place 3-4 months before publication date at the minimum. Whether you choose to blog or use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, etc., our social media team will help you build and expand your platform with a completely customized social media campaign to fuel and work in tandem with the traditional media campaign. We can either train you to take over the reins after the conclusion of the campaign or we can manage your social media needs for a monthly retainer.
3. Media Campaign:
We will build a targeted list of print, online and broadcast media in local, regional and national markets. The media campaign often also includes blog tours, blog talk radio, online book groups and online author chats to take full advantage of all today’s virtual world has to offer. We realize that many authors have one or two dream media outlets they want to try for, so in composing our media list, we strive for a balance between “shooting for the moon” and setting attainable goals.
Unlike many major PR agencies, we don’t believe in general press releases. In fact, most media contacts consider them spam. Instead, we analyze each of our clients’ books to identify all possible interest angles within the world of the book as well as the author’s own background and personal story, personality and inspiration for the book, to create a pool of interesting story material from which to develop customized pitches for each media interest area. We then reach out to each media contact on our targeted media list for each book and individually to solicit review coverage, features, mentions, guest articles, interviews, and exclusive excerpts––as appropriate.
In addition, we will help you orchestrate your release with an e-announcement to your mailing list, social media buzz, giveaways, and other incentives to build anticipation and awareness for your book release and beyond.
4. Tracking Success
We believe in absolute transparency and our clients receive weekly and monthly media updates to track the effectiveness of all elements of the marketing plan and publicity campaign. It’s important to stay flexible because every book takes on a life of its own. We go where the energy is and will work with our clients to adjust the parameters of the campaign accordingly to attain results.
Due to the deep-seated changes in the publishing industry brought about by digital media technology, both the leading publishing houses (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, etc.) as well as smaller independent publishers have been forced to downsize their PR and marketing budget to a bare minimum while at the same time, the proliferation and ease of POD and self-publishing had led to a growing amount of books competing for a limited audience.
Although most established publishing houses will assign an in-house publicist to you and your book, you and your book will only occupy a limited amount of time and space in their assembly line of books (usually 2-3 months) and with shrinking publicity budgets, it is impossible for in-house publicists to explore all media opportunities for your book, not to speak of assisting you with your social media marketing needs, blog tours, book club outreach, and promotional tools such as book trailers, websites, and author videos.
Timing is everything when it comes to launching a successful publicity campaign. The ideal start date for the PR campaign would be 4-6 months before the publication date for the book. That allows for ample time to 1) help authors develop a solid online platform, a strategy for the PR campaign, the creation of media lists, pitches and an editorial calendar for social media 2) Mailings to long lead media (book industry trades, magazines, journals, newspapers, top tier TV and radio shows) require a 3-6 month lead time.
Unfortunately many authors approach us too late in the game when their book has already been published or shortly before publication date. At this time, a significant portion of available PR windows is already out of reach and therefore we will not be able to generate optimal results.
Our client base consists 90% of traditionally published authors, represented by major publishing houses or reputable independent publishers. As we believe in great stories and “the diamond in the rough”, we consider self-published authors on a project-per-project basis. Although we are very supportive and excited about the opportunities afforded to talented authors through self-publishing and believe that content should be king, many self-published authors contact us with good intentions but a book that is not ready to compete in the market place with traditionally published books. Self-published books often lack in writing skill, grammar, editing, and quality of design––not to speak of a lack of national distribution channels and a presence in brick and mortar stores. In fact, one of the reasons many major media outlets do not cover self-published books is because they are not widely available to audiences.
Due to the relationships we have built with media contacts over the years, we can guarantee coverage for your book. But we cannot guarantee placement in a specific media outlet or coverage within a certain time frame. Above all––if the product is not up to par or appropriate for a media outlet, not even the strongest media connection will make a difference. We also don’t believe that the job of a publicist is to “push” books on people. Our mission is to connect each book with the perfect reader, to fulfill a need, which increases your chances of receiving positive coverage for your book.
Our average campaigns run between 4-6 months and start 2-3 months before publication date and 2-3 months after publication date. The bulk of the first month is spent building and prepping our client’s online and social media platform for the launch and creating a master media list and pitches for each interest area, followed by the media outreach. The media outreach itself is a very calculated and painstaking process, and the first “media hits” can take up to between 2-3 months, sometimes longer. This time can be very tough for authors, along with the rejection that inevitably comes with media responses. So it’s important to remember that publishing a book is like giving birth. It’s a slow-burning, life-long journey and we will do our best to create the strongest legs for your book out of the gate to ensure its longevity on the real and virtual shelves.
Yes and no. Our speciality is not executing the ins-and-outs of self-publishing or book production, but we work with a handful of services providers we trust and can help facilitate the communication and process of self-publishing if you prefer to keep everything “under one roof.” Author Imprints is a resource and trusted alliance of ours that we suggest reaching out to directly for any publishing needs.
As all our campaigns are completely tailored to each client, we don’t have set pricing. Depending on the scope of our services and your specific needs, monthly fees for campaigns range from $1,000 – $6,000 a month, with the average campaign running in the $2,000 – $4,000 range.
Heart and a sense of adventure. We genuinely care about each book and author we represent and enter this collaborative journey with passion, a deep understanding and appreciation of your and our hard work, and absolute honesty and transparency. We also always stay open to the unknown, ready to take a fork in the path if that’s where the campaign’s energy leads us. In order to do that, a critical understanding of our clients’ work and how all the promotional pieces fit together is crucial, which means that, unlike many other PR firms, we actually read every client’s book from beginning to end to make sure that we’re the best team for the job. If we believe we are, we’ll work 24/7 for you and with you to connect your book with media and readers on a national and international level.