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How Much Does a Publicist Cost?

I hear this question a lot, and there is no simple answer. Every publicist is different, as is every client and every project.

There is a large scale for the cost of PR services, mostly dependent on the type of campaign you are planning. For example, are you hiring someone to launch your book at the time of release? Then you’d typically hire a publicist 4-6 months in advance of the release. Or has your book already been out a while and you need someone to keep the publicity going? Then you might just hire someone for 3 months and see how it goes from there.

Common practice is to hire someone and pay them monthly, with a contract in place for the number of months on the project. But many publicists have varying structures to accommodate a client’s needs. It is really a matter of what you want, what your goals are, and the level of experience of the publicist.

When you hire a publicist, you are paying for their contacts, their relationships, and their skills. It is not always true that a large PR firm can get better results or is more expensive than an independent publicist. Independent publicists might be able to give you more one-on-one attention and have long standing relationships with the media with whom they work very closely. Again, it is up to the preference of the client: some like having a big PR team of people representing them, and some prefer a close collaboration with just one person.

There are many other factors to consider, such as:

  • Will there be a tour to support? Are you traveling to many cities and hoping to secure media coverage in each one? Do you need help booking events?

  • Are you expecting to be on every national morning show and in the major newspapers around the country? Or are you a first time author just hoping to get as much local and regional coverage as possible?

  • Do you have anyone on your team already supporting you? Or do you need your publicist to do everything including writing your articles and blog posts, booking your events, arranging travel and accompanying you to events?

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when it comes to estimating the amount of time that will go into a campaign, which ultimately determines the cost. And again, a larger firm may or may not be more expensive than a smaller agency.

Bottom line, for a full PR campaign, you can expect to pay anywhere between $3,000-$10,000 a month, depending on A LOT of variables. It's best to have a 30-minute conversation with a publicist up-front, explain your goals and get a good feeling for the people who will be working on your campaign. PR is a very personal relationship and you want to feel like the person representing you understands and truly supports your work.

Carina Sammartino is President of Parallel 33 Public Relations & Literary Services. Find her at

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