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Book Publicist

Create hype for newly published books.

What does a Book Publicist do?

Every year there seems to be at least one really hot book that everyone either has read or wants to read. These books don’t just magically fly from authors’ computers into people’s hands. Instead, they’re promoted and popularized through the efforts of book publicists.

As a book publicist, you work with different types of media to market an author’s written work to the public. Your goal is to take a book from an author or her agent and turn it into a bestseller.

To get a hit, you work with everyone from book reviewers to talk show hosts, sending them copies of the book before it’s out and encouraging them to (favorably) review and talk about it. You also set up interviews with magazines and host book tours and readings. Additionally, you might set up a Facebook page or connect an author with their fans through Twitter since social media tools have become really helpful in marketing efforts.

One of the big things you should know about this job is that it’s in a bit of limbo right now. Due to things like a shrinking publishing world and the rise of self-publishing, the need for book publicists, as well as the amount of money they can earn, may have decreased. But if you really have your heart set on making it in this job, be aware that you need an outgoing personality and strong networking skills. It also helps to be located near New York or San Francisco where most of the major publishing houses—and jobs—are located.