Swoon Reads Behind the Scenes: Publicity

So, you’ve written your book and are coming up on publication – congratulations! Now you start to wonder how to get it on readers’ radars… and that’s where I come in!

I’m here to pull back the curtain on a big part of that process: publicity! I work here at Swoon HQ for most of our Swoon titles, as well as representing authors across all of MCPG’s imprints. I love what I do (because who wouldn’t love getting to gush about books and plan events all day?), and am especially happy to be the point person for all things Swoon publicity.

It can be hard to break down any job, but in general I tell people that publicity equals anything media or events related. And in a nutshell, that’s absolutely true. A publicity campaign starts in brainstorming, where pitching angles and media goals are defined. Once those are locked down the process of writing press materials begins, as well as initial outreach. Then the endless rounds of follow-up come: I joke that as a publicist I’m basically a professional pest – but a really friendly, nice one!

In addition to more traditional media outlets, I work very closely with bloggers – and it’s one of my favorite parts of the job! Bloggers are so enthusiastic and well-connected, and are an amazing resource to have behind a book. They’re social media-savvy and aren’t afraid to shout from the rooftops about books they love – just like all of us in-house do too! I frequently set up blog tours, which means I put aside a week or two and schedule bloggers to post content one on each day. It’s a nice way for readers to follow along and get to know authors in a new way.

Then, of course, there’s the events-side of my job! I’m big into organization and details (which has spurned my addiction to buying planners, to-do list pads, notebooks – all in the name of organization!), which are two necessary traits when it comes to planning launch events and author tours. This past May, I spearheaded the first-ever Summer of Swoon group author tour, which I’m happy to say was a big success and took four of our Swoon authors to seven cities in eight days. Tours involve a lot of different tasks: selecting markets and bookstores, pitching regional media, and handling all of the travel logistics (flights, hotels, media escorts & scheduling, oh my!). I’m also lucky in the fact that I get to go out on tour with authors pretty frequently. There’s nothing like being on the ground at events to see what works, what doesn’t, and make sure that everything is running according to schedule. And, of course, there’s no better bonding than being out on the road together!  

And that’s a general overview of how publicity works, and a peek into the life of a book publicist! Every day is crazy different and you never know what tomorrow will bring, but that’s the fun in it. And, the whole gushing-about-books-all-day-long thing isn’t half bad either.

Want to learn more about the publishing process? Check out the other entries in our Swoon Reads Behind the Scenes series:

– Managing Editorial

– Advertising and Promotion

– Trade Marketing

– Digital Marketing

– Social Media

– School & Library Marketing

Author spotlight

Nicole B.

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