In light of a recent episode with a (former) client, I felt like it would be a good idea to end the week with a brief description of just what hiring a publicist for your forthcoming book may or may not accomplish. Now, truth be told, it would be way more fun to write what we don't do - what the client can't expect, so I will do that soon.
1) we try (and let me say further that unquestionably, there are many slimy and stupid and worthless publicists out there who tarnish the righteous ones, um, like me) to get attention to your book/event/talk. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It's not. Competition is fierce, space is limited and while you and I know your work is of utmost importance, sometimes those myopic magazine editors/newspaper reporters/radio show producers/bloggers/websites fail to agree. Lord knows why.
2) We use our contacts, many cultivated and built up or bribed I mean coddled over the years, god knows I have watched those years fly by, too. The client is paying for our experience, our imagination, our hopefully realistic approach to getting said attention, one way or another.
3) we all have areas we do better in than others. I'm not a person you should ask about your business book. (although Regis McKenna, to drop a name, was quite happy with me!) Your book on horseback riding - another example. But give me some juicy political content, some environmental tract, some travel writing, some literary fiction (on occasion, what do you think we are, fucking magicians??) and I might - might be able to help.
4) why do we cost so much? Get out. Because like you, we have overhead - kids in college, office expenses, wives who want mink coats, stuff like that. And more importantly, we are willing to do things that you would look kinda silly at best doing for yourself. Like the fun task of cold calling, to name just ONE. We represent you, and because we (think) we have a degree of credibility, we can often get to people and places you may not even know about.
5) Yes, sometimes we fail. We fail to get that extra attention you deserve. We fail to meet your expectations (more on that doozy next week). We fail to meet that perfect configuration: right time, right place, baby.
6) But know this: we try, we really do.
more next week: how clients fail and why.