A publicist’s role is to generate and manage publicity for books, authors, and publishers. They work with media outlets to secure press coverage for their clients:
- Arranging book tours.
- Sending out review copies.
- Getting interviews set up – whatever it takes to ensure their client’s work gets the attention it deserves.
Interest in a book or author that comes from media coverage in newspapers, magazines, online media, radio and television programs (and increasingly through bloggers) is generated by the work of a publicist. Publicists also often plan and organize book tours around the country or internationally, as well as signings and other events that help create buzz around an author or title.
While some might think of a publicist’s job as generating positive publicity for their client’s books, sometimes things go wrong and negative press happens. A good publicist will be able to minimize damage when this occurs. Publicists can also take on additional responsibilities, such as running social media accounts for clients or creating marketing campaigns.
Authors can promote themselves, but getting widespread media coverage with professional help can be easy. Publicists have existing relationships with journalists and others who may feature their authors in articles or broadcasts. Publicists also usually have colleagues helping them handle more than one campaign.
If you’re an author – or publisher – looking for more publicity for your new book, then hiring a publicist could be helpful: they might get you reviews in newspapers where otherwise there’d just be space-filling puff pieces; introduce your work to influential bloggers who’ve never heard of you before; connect you directly with booksellers, etc.