Monday, 27 May 2013

Day in the Life...of a book publicist

It's the month of May and we love YA - that's what Headline Publishing have been shouting from the rooftops (or book blogs!) this past month. We love all sorts and are delighted to let them shout it all out here today by giving us the lowdown on a book publicist's life and books she likes: welcome Vero Norton!
A Day in the Life with Vero
"I am Vero and I am a publicist at Headline.

Vero Norton book publicist at Headline

 First things first, at the start of the day – I make myself a cup of tea. Usually in an oversized vat-like mug so that it will tide me over for a while and help me forget the usually fraught cycle to work.

Next (once I feel slightly more human after the caffeine hit kicks in) I meet and greet my lovely Publicity colleagues. The team comprises half a dozen of us, though the nature of the job means that morning meetings, events, author tours etc etc take us away from our desk and publicity corner can be bereft of chatter at times.

Next, the inbox is opened like Pandora’s Box. Kidding! Sort of.

Each publicist looks after a wide range of titles so emails cover a spectrum of topics and come from many different sources such as journalists, booksellers, event organisers, authors, bloggers. They could be anything from ‘would xxx like to come and do an afternoon tea event in xxxx’ to ‘could xxx come and talk about the role of the female in politics’ or ‘What is the next Andrew Hammond novel’ to ‘Would you like another cup of tea*’ *this sort of email is only ever sent from my lovely tea-minded buddy Sam.

As well as answering pitches, there are a lot of pitches to be done to get publicity for our fab authors and lots of suggesting and organising author events.

The mid-morning dip is often filled with another cuppa and then there might be meetings in the office or out and about in the wider world.

On days when we are out with authors we could be anywhere – a school event in Crawley; a food festival in Bishop Auckland; a Girls Night In event in Plymouth or an afternoon tea in the middle of the countryside. Variety is the spice of life and I think it’s fair to say the job of a publicist is especially spicy. I love this job!

Fave YA

My favourite YA book is a tough call. So I’m going to cheat and pick two. Can I do that? I’m gonna.

An oldie but a goodie – The Enemy by Charlie Higson. What a book! Ever wondered what might happen if a deadly disease decided to make its mark on the UK wiping out anyone over the age of 14, killing them dead, or worse, turning them in to staggering zombies, oozing with puss and a passion for revenge. Wonder no more – this is exactly the ghoulish world the Young Bond author creates.

This is the first of the series and introduces us to the brilliant characters that Higson deftly creates (Little Sam’s my fave). The action’s all set in London: there’re battles, there’re brooding teens, there’re famous buildings filled with danger and even a little romance thrown into the mix. Just a little mind, Higson doesn’t let the mushy stuff get in the way of the fighting.

Next up is a YA book I’ve recently read: Forgive Me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. Quick is the mastermind behind the book that was made into the film called The Silver Linings Playbook which scooped up lots of awards a couple of months ago. We meet Leonard on his 18th birthday. Unusually instead of receiving presents, Leonard has his own to give, and each of these has its own story to tell. Brilliantly written, painstakingly sad and dark in parts but at the same time laugh out loud funny. You can meet Leonard yourselves when the book’s published in August. It is worth the wait!"

Oo, Little M liked Charlie Higson's SilverFin (Young Bond). And, we haven't read the book but quite enjoyed The Silver Linings Playbook movie.


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