Skip To Content

    23 Confessions From A Book Publicist

    No, we haven't read your book.

    1. We will agree with you when you say your book is "groundbreaking," but we really don't mean it.

    20th Century Fox

    Yes, we understand you put a ton of time into your book. But if we had a dime for every time someone told us their book is "revolutionary" or "groundbreaking," we'd be rich.

    2. All books begin to sound the same after a while.


    While books contain different plots, they all blend together after a while.

    3. We'll tell you over and over again that we've read your book, but we haven't.

    Universal Pictures

    Our ~knowledge~ of your book comes from the copious amount of documents you're required to fill out before your book even gets to us. By the time we've scanned said documents, we know enough to get going.

    4. It only takes looking at a few pages of your book to know if it's going to get any media attention.

    Buena Vista Pictures

    We've worked with literally hundreds of books, and we can spot an unpromising book a mile away.

    5. And we've probably talked about how bad your book is.


    Though we would NEVER let you know that.

    6. Your press release is most likely a combination of several press releases of the past.

    Disney / Via Meme Generator

    But it's OK, nobody reads these, anyway.

    7. Getting a national hit is not easy.


    Securing a hit in The Washington Post, USA Today or Cosmopolitan can take weeks, or even months, to happen. Most magazines work with long leads, so it's likely your story won't be published for months to come.

    8. That being said, we almost always go to your local media first.


    A local author publishing a book is a big deal, and it's almost always newsworthy.

    9. If you're rude to us, we will go out of our way to not get coverage for you.

    Pop TV

    Most of the time, you go into this knowing nothing is guaranteed. So when you complain when your book isn't sparking media attention, we so badly want to say you had it coming.

    10. No matter how unconventional you claim your book is, nothing surprises us anymore.


    11. When you complain to us about not getting your money's worth, it goes in one ear and out the other.

    New Line Cinema

    We get that this means a lot to you, but hey, we're trying to help. Be nice!

    12. We'll tell you our pitches are unique, but 85% of them contain the same jargon as the last one.

    Channel 4

    Most of the time, we're replacing one author's name with another. The same goes for the title of your book and almost all emails end with "Are you interested in a review copy?"

    13. Paid book reviews will get you absolutely nowhere.

    The WB

    Paid book reviews do not promise a good review — if someone is going to review your book, it's best if it's something that happens organically.

    14. Conducting media outreach yourself while we're doing the exact same thing defeats the whole purpose of our job.

    The Orchard Films

    Please, please, PLEASE do not reach out to any media outlets while we're working with you — especially the same media. It only confuses the reporter and makes us both look bad. Don't do it.

    15. If your book is going to be about a historical event, it's best to consult an expert on the topic or at least have your facts straight.


    Be prepared to lose all credibility if you have as little as one historical fact incorrect.

    16. A ton of behind the scenes planning goes on that you don't see.


    Once we have the necessary information about your book, we can't just begin media outreach right away. We need to build media lists, develop strategic documents like press releases, media alerts, and much, more more.

    17. A lot of what we're doing for you can be done entirely by you.


    Most newspapers, news websites, and bloggers have their contact information listed somewhere online, for free.



    Most, if not all, self-published authors don't have an editor because it usually doesn't come with the services they're purchasing. Take this key point of advice: GET ONE. A book full of typos and grammar errors will not sell.

    19. We know what we're doing and don't like being told how to do our job.


    20. It can make our day when an author simply says "thank you."


    We put in a ton of hours for you, so a small gesture like this can mean SO much.

    21. And when we get a book we can relate to, it makes our job much more enjoyable.


    22. When you have an open mind it makes our jobs SO much easier.


    We usually have your best interest at heart and wouldn't steer you in the wrong direction. After all, this is our area of expertise — trust us!

    23. Though our job is tough at times, we like helping people raise awareness about their books and it's incredibly satisfying when an author walks away happy.


    Even if we only get one hit for an author, chances are it's the first time their name has been mentioned in the media. Seeing them get so happy over this can make our day.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form