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After Japanese courtier Sei Shonagon: How to Please Your Literary Publicist - May we be free of torture, may there be peace in hearts and minds
August 1st, 2013
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After Japanese courtier Sei Shonagon: How to Please Your Literary Publicist
Prose list essay, as inspired by Japanese courtier Sei Shonagon. Her essays are gently humorous, yet she makes a variety of good points.

Things Publicists Appreciate:

Clients who edit their books, more than once, to free them of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Clients who can’t afford editing, who revise their work and use spell check. Clients who can describe their book in two sentences without comparing themselves to famous authors or celebrities. Clients who have some ideas about publicity, but are open to us also having ideas.

Clients who respond promptly to email and phone calls. We know everyone’s busy but you should be reachable within a day or two since the journalists we contact for you also have deadlines. Clients who have open minds about potential audiences and methods of communication, who aren’t too cool for formal writing programs or old-style bloggers, or too traditional for social media. Clients who’ll send their books just as happily to family holiday gift guides as to academic bloggers, who’ll reach out to anyone requesting copies in good faith.

Clients who stay positive without unrealistic expectations. Who can go a few weeks without landing a review or seeing sales go up, who don’t start asking for advice on their wardrobe for going on Oprah. But who don’t get discouraged and abandon the project, and don’t go off into a drunken haze depressed that they’re failures or that the world isn’t good enough for their pure artistic souls.

Clients who stay polite and professional with the other folks we represent. Who know that a blogger or bookstore might do reviews and events with more than one person, and who don’t pick a fight if the other writer’s not their favorite.

Clients who enjoy the process, who ask how things are going, who brainstorm together with us and enjoy the wild adventure that is promoting a book!

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