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?