The Publicity teams within publishing houses create campaigns to spread the word about new books and encourage readers to buy them. The main goal is to connect authors’ books with readers – reaching people who already read the author’s books or similar genres, as well as introducing the book to new audiences who might be interested in the story or subject matter.
In a world where thousands of entertainment providers (from TV to film and theatre to podcasts) are fighting for people’s attention each day, people working in Publicity need to be creative and think outside the box to make sure they can cut through the noise and make their books appeal to potential readers. Creating a ‘buzz’ around a book often directly results in book sales.
To create this buzz, people in Publicity work closely with the media. They spend a lot of time speaking to journalists to secure book reviews, features or interviews with the author, to generate ‘publicity’ for the book and make sure as many people know about it as possible. They also work closely with the author to promote the book through events, such as book launches, author tours or literary festivals. Finally, they will often create publicity ‘stunts’ to draw even more attention to the book.
The work of the Publicity teams usually plays a significant role in making a book a bestseller. They usually work very closely with the author of the book to help them promote it as much as possible.
Job level decoder
Titles for people working in Publicity can vary from publisher to publisher, so it’s always worth reading a job advert in detail to understand what level of experience they are looking for.
Job titles at entry level will often look like the following:
- Publicity Assistant
- Publicity Coordinator
- Communications Assistant
For people who have slightly more experience (it varies from publisher to publisher, but is often around 2 years), you might be looking at the following job titles:
- Press Officer
- Press Executive
More senior titles, which will require more extensive experience in either publicity for another industry, or within the publishing industry, will include:
- Publicity Manager
- Senior Publicity Manager
- Head of Publicity
- Publicity Director