Publicity 101: An Interview with a Publicist

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Interested in getting publicity for your book, but don’t know where to start? Look no further! We sat down with Pacific & Court President, Kourtney Jason, to ask your burning questions. Here’s Publicity 101!

  1. Introduce yourself!

Hi! I’m Kourtney Jason, and I’m the president and co-founder of Pacific & Court. I have more than 10 years experience as a publicist, working alongside celebrities, world-renowned chefs, and bestselling authors. Before launching P&C, I led the in-house publicity departments at independent publishers Ulysses Press and Time Inc. Books. Further developing my client relations, I represented top NYC chefs and restaurants at Bread & Butter and worked with New York Times bestselling authors at Smith Publicity

I am an author as well, and I wrote 5 non-fiction lifestyle books with Ulysses Press. One of which, Lights Camera Booze: Drinking Games for Your Favorite Movies, was included in the Academy Awards swag bags.

I started my career as an entertainment journalist at Seventeen and TWIST magazines, covering all things Selena Gomez, Justin Beiber, Twilight and Jonas Brothers.

When I’m not working, reading or writing, I will most likely be found indulging my pop culture addiction with a Netflix binge, hitting the movie theater (always with a large popcorn and Diet Coke!), adding to my designer shoe collection, consuming a meal with carbs and cheese, or relaxing in Prospect Park with friends. Feel free to reach me at kourtney@pacificandcourt.com anytime to talk about book publicity or to share your current favorite book or show.

  1. What can a publicist do for me?

A publicist can and will do so many things to support an author’s book launch. The standard services include media outreach and interview coordination, blog tours, and book signings and event planning. Additionally, hiring a publicist for your campaign will include creative and professional press materials that will capture your key messages. We’ll take your bio to the next level, draft a book press release that will catch the attention of the media, and write various creative pitch angles to give you multiple opportunities to share your expertise and talk about your book. We are collaborators who want you and your book to succeed, and we are cheerleaders to encourage the hard work it takes to write a book and then have to sell that book. The best author-publicist teams are the ones where the communication is open, goals are clear, and trust is established. An author must be available for media opportunities and open to sharing ideas as well.

  1. How long does a publicity campaign usually take?

Ideally, 2-3 months is the sweet spot for book publicity campaigns. However, some campaigns may need up to 6 months, if it includes an ARC outreach and/or a book tour. If your particular area of expertise relates to a current news topic, the campaign may continue longer than the estimated 2-3 month timeline.

  1. What should I consider before reaching out to a publicist?

An author should ask themselves the following questions before reaching out to a publicist:

What are your goals–to sell books, make money, establish your name and credibility, grow your business, etc? Who is your audience? Do you have experience talking to traditional media? What is your budget? What does a successful book campaign look like to you?

If you have honest answers to those questions when you first connect with a publicist, it will help us land on the ideal strategy to be able to reach the goals set forth for your campaign.

  1. What’s one thing no one knows about/assumes about book publicity?

Public relations is hiding all around you, everywhere you look, and however you consume news. That guest on your favorite podcast? A publicist secured that. That how-to story you just read in a magazine? A publicist pitched that. The expert interview on a morning talk show? A publicist coordinated that. The A-list actor on the cover of a magazine? A publicist landed that. Publicists are working behind-the-scenes to get you and your book in front of the most influential journalists, producers, reporters, and bloggers who will then decide whether to put you and your book in front of their audiences. We publicists don’t care about the spotlight on ourselves, we are over-the-moon to celebrate every headline and media hit that features our clients. Coverage is not a guarantee, but you’ll want to find a publicist that you trust is doing everything they can to get your book out there into the most impactful places.

As you can see, investing in publicity for your book can give you access to new opportunities and new audiences. Interested in learning more? Find out how you can market your book effectively and highly efficiently with Pacific & Court, the Brooklyn-based publicity and digital marketing firm that specializes in promoting the written word.

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