Amy Stewart is a Publicity Assistant at Princeton University Press in Oxford and has worked in the industry for just over a year.
1) What does publicity contribute to publishing?
Publicity is all about making your audiences more aware of the book you are publishing by placing it in the media. This will hopefully increase sales and get you some valid and trusted endorsements for your book!
2) What skills do you need to be a good publicist?
You definitely need to be organised, able to prioritize and have a great attention to detail. You also need to have a good knowledge of all the different kinds of media out there e.g. print, podcasts, TV, blogs etc.
3) What is the most common job that you do on a normal working day?
I spend a lot of my time getting copies of our books to journalists and then looking for the review coverage that will hopefully follow! I also put together a lot of mailings about our new books.
4) Who do you work with day-to-day?
I assist our Global Director of Publicity @crpriday and our Senior Publicist @KatiePublicist . I also work on the publicity for @PrincetonUPress' Classics list!
5) How is publicity different in academic publishing?
We generally have to work a lot harder and shout louder to get our books noticed. This means we have to be more inventive with how we pitch books and the kind of coverage we look for e.g. perhaps a news hook rather than a traditional review.
6) What is the most interesting thing you've worked on?
For the last few months I've enjoyed working on a book called Gods and Robots about AI and myth. We spent a lot of time brainstorming ideas for social media and media coverage and we put together this video about the books contents!
7) How does your team work with other teams/departments at your company?
We work closely with the publicity team in the US and we regularly catch-up through video calls. The publicity department are able to comment on new projects as editorial brings them in and we have a say in the title and cover of a book at regular check-in points for each season.
8) What's the most exciting part of your job @PrincetonUPress ?
It's really satisfying when one of your pitches is successful and the media outlet picks it up and features your book. I love flicking through a magazine and seeing one of our books mentioned! This happened today when I flicked through New Scientist!
9) What's your top tip for someone who wants to get into publicity?
Read, listen, and watch a variety of media outlets to get an idea of what's out there. Definitely go to a @SYP_UK event, look at @publicitycircle . Get some office experience and internships are helpful. I found taking part in student journalism at university really valuable too!
10) Why do you work in publishing?
It's a cliché to say I love books, but I really do! It's great fun working for an industry that is changing constantly and that has to adapt all the time. Publishing is also a very friendly, creative and dynamic industry which is an added bonus!
© Amy Stewart 2018