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Publicity

Publicists: A few things your authors would like you to know

I have been working as a publicist for… well, let’s just say that it turned out to be a rather horrifying number of years when I added it up, but I recently gained a new insight into the author’s experience. I had edited a handful of poetry anthologies for which I handled the publicity myself, but in 2018 my latest – She is Fierce – was published by Macmillan’s Children’s Books. Thanks to their excellent publicity team, especially my publicist Amber Ivatt, it was a brilliant experience being on the other side of the campaign and underlined for me several points that were hugely valuable to me as an author. So, publicists, here are some things your authors would like you to know:

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Publicity in Publishing

Publicity: the most creative department in Publishing

Ana McLaughlin has worked in Publicity at Random House, Kyle Books and Michael O’Mara Books and is now working in arts and books PR at Sarah Harrison PR (@Anabooks / @SarahHarrisonPR / www.sarahharrisonpr.com ) I gave this piece a deliberately controversial title, and one I think many in the industry will disagree with. (Let’s talk about it – after all, publicists love to talk!) Book PRs get a fairly terrible press – ironically. Roger Lewis’s Anthony Burgess talks about ‘those flotillas of 24-year-old publicity handmaidens who laugh at your jokes but whom you’ll never in a million years get to fuck because they have fiancés in marine reinsurance or coffee futures in the City who all look like Jeremy Northam’. (Drat, I must have been so busy honing my showcard-making skills that I managed to miss the wealthy spouse queue…) It’s a line that beautifully conveys the fallacious ideas about publicists still cherished by certain sections of the industry and the wider world: that we are all young, female, a bit posh, slightly dim and more ornament than use.

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