A day in the life of a Publicity Assistant
A Publicity Assistant working at
has a very busy, interesting and varied job.
The Publicity Assistant works with the Head of Publicity (HOP) and the other members of the department doing a variety of jobs.
Daily jobs include looking at the daily newspapers and filing electronic cuttings which we receive at the beginning of the day, the latter from a specialist agency. Once these are gathered, we would put these up on Amazon.
Social media is hugely important and a Publicity Assistant would have got Quadrille related information from the newspapers and the cuttings (and also from previously set up Google Alerts) which would be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and the like.
Other tasks include making sure that press and media lists are in order. Names and addresses of people who write book reviews, magazine and newspaper editors, television and radio producers et al must be put on this list. As people that work in the different media change jobs frequently, the list must constantly be updated. The individual must also update lists of specialty reviewers, such as food editors and craft editors.
Sending out review copies of books
is very important. The Publicity Assistant must check with the HOP to make sure which people on the list are to receive review copies. Those on the list who don’t receive a review copy usually receive a press release and a blad (stands for Book Layout and Design) and sometimes a little goody bag too!
When the Publicity Assistant sends review copies, he or she includes a press release with full details of the book and an indication of the release date. The Publicity Assistant may write press releases for new books or may just gather information and give it to the HOP to write. The individual may also fill requests from media for information on authors.
We also send out a monthly newsletter via email which includes all the latest book releases, events news and competitions.
A Publicity Assistant would also submit books to organizations for awards
or other prizes. Obtaining an award or prize gains additional publicity
and boosts book sales.
Booking appearances on radio and television shows is yet another duty of the Publicity Assistant. While much of the work is done by the HOP, the Publicity Assistant often sends out the press releases and/or review copies and makes a call in an effort to obtain appearances that will plug the book. It is essential for the assistant to get to know as many producers and celebrity bookers as possible. A publicity person with these contacts will always be highly employable!
The Publicity Assistant is expected to accompany the author on a personal appearance tour to various cities.
The assistant might also help set up signing sessions
(at which the author meets with fans of their work and signs their copies of his or her book).
The Publicity Assistant works closely with almost every department in the company. At one time or another he or she will probably deal with editors and people in the design, production, finance and sales departments. The assistant usually keeps the other departments informed about what the publicity department is planning for a new book release.
As a Publicity Assistant, an individual works with the HOP, trying to come up with interesting and unique ways to publicize the book. If an article about the book or an interview with the author gets national attention, it will usually sell many thousands of additional books!
There’s no set degree needed for a job in publicity. But, as a job which requires writing, it’s good to be comfortable and enjoy doing this. Attitude is very important. A publicist’s job is to make the product they’re working on sound interesting
and good. If you don’t like the idea of talking up things you might not be interested in, or passionate about, this isn’t the job for you!