Friday, June 29, 2007

They Work Hard for the Money

As noted previously, I'm updating my address book. Wednesday at around 5:30 p.m. Mountain Time, I sent out an email blast to 170+ inhouse publicists, asking them to respond with their contact information.

Within minutes, I had a half-dozen personalized responses from pubs on the East Coast. Which means they were still in the office at 7:30 p.m.--long after they should have gone home, even with summer hours. (Many publishers close at 1:00 on Fridays; employees make up the time by working an extra 30-60 minutes the other days.)

At LAX after the last BookExpo in LA, I ran into a pub I know at a major NY house (incidentally one of the people who responded after 7:30). We had time to kill before our flights, and agreed to have lunch together at a restaurant in the food court. But first, she said, she had to check her office phone messages.

I waited and waited, but she'd disappeared. I started thinking maybe I'd imagined what she'd said, or that she'd invented an excuse to get rid of me. So I had lunch by myself. An hour later she found me and apologized profusely. She'd had SEVENTY (70!) PHONE MESSAGES--and she'd only been out of the office one weekday.

Now do you wonder why your publicist may not like to chat on the phone?


Katharine Weber said...

My wonderful Picador publicist, James Meader, replied just this past Sunday afternoon to an email of mine concerning some upcoming readings.

Mr. Obie Joe said...

Yet another reason why authors should know about, and publishers should advise for, the hiring of outside publicists. Why these sectors resist this is odd to me.