Jack Jones Founder Gets Real About Book Publicity

Book publicity maven Kima Jones says her company is veering away from helping authors market their work for exorbitant amounts of dollars due to the uncertainty of sales, particularly for writers of color.

The Jack Jones Literary Arts founder tweeted Tuesday that she wasn’t satisfied with the traditional book publicity method where authors pay upward of $25,000 when their publishers failed to put up that kind of money to market certain books.

“While it’s wonderful when the book does a great job, lots of times, esp working with small press books, you just don’t get the impact you were hoping for,” Jones tweeted. “That doesn’t feel good to me at all. And nobody wants to tell a client, hey, you wrote a great book but it’s not resonating.”

Publishers usually invest an allotted amount of money into advertising and marketing campaigns for an author’s book. But if the author is on a smaller imprint or a hugely popular author’s book comes out at the same time, then the money reserved for the author’s book may shrink. So the author has to seek outside help. That’s where book publicists come in, usually billing the thousands necessary to place the book in front of the right readers.

The investment could backfire for any writer, especially a woman writer or writer of color where they may likely have an indie publisher with little to no marketing funds and smaller distribution.

Photo credit: Oriana Koren

Jack Jones has become a beacon of hope in the literary industry with its mission to focus on writers of color and their book publicity needs. Since its 2015 birth, the agency and founder Kima have been highlighted in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NPR, The Root, and other news outlets during a time when demands for diversity and inclusion are rocking the literary industry. The agency has also created a speakers bureau for diverse writers and a retreat for women of color writers.

Kima ended her Twitter thread with letting followers know Jack Jones, which on its website is called a “multifaceted book publicity company,” is in evolution mode. She said a preview into her new project, Virgo Coffee, will be coming out soon. The Twitter account for Virgo Coffee steadily rose to over 500 followers by Tuesday night.

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