Book Publicity- An interview with Susan Schwartzman (Part 2)

Written By: Kellie - Jan• 30•12

Last week, I had some insight from Susan Schwartzman into the world of book publicity that I thought some of you may be interested in. Susan Schwartsman answered some questions about what she does and how the internet has change the shape of book publicity. Today, there’s more! Read on to find out about the best and most frustrating parts of being a book publicist as well as some advice about location.

Susan has been in publicity since 1992 and has worked both as an in-house publicist as well as for herself.Some of her recent titles include… MY JOURNEY AS A COMBAT MEDIC: From Desert Storm to Operation Enduring Freedom by Patrick Thibeault and THE BARBECUE! BIBLE by Steven Raichlen. Click here to read the first half of the interview.

You can visit Susan online on her website or on twitter.

ReaWrite: Your campaigns obviously span quite a few major cities. Is there an ideal location for a publicist to be located (New York, I’d assume) or is this a doable career elsewhere with the right connections?

Susan: This is an excellent question. It really doesn’t matter where a publicist lives. I have contacts throughout the country whom I’ve never met. I handle media tours not only in New York, but in Philly, Denver, San Francisco & in every major city in the country. Being based in New York has some advantages. There are luncheons and meetings you can attend. And it is conducive to meeting with producers based in New York. But most producers and editors simply do not have the time to meet with publicists these days as they did when I started out twenty years ago,  and with e-mail and Facebook, it is really not necessary. The age of the Internet and all the technology that keeps evolving such as smart phones, has made it possible for an independent publicist to work anywhere in the world. Even on top of your favorite mountain, as long as you have Internet access!

I booked several campaigns in the past from my summer beach share-houses in the Hamptons and Fire Island. And I landed a major interview for one of my clients while relaxing at the beach!

ReaWrite: What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job? The most frustrating?

Susan: The most enjoyable aspect of my job is getting interviews and reviews for my clients. It’s like winning the lottery for a publicist each time I land an interview. I still get as excited as I did when landed my first interview twenty years ago.

The most frustrating part of my job is sending out hundreds of e-mail pitches and not hearing back from a single contact. But that is more common in the life a publicist than landing an interview after the first try. Sometimes you have to send many pitches to many, many contacts before you land one interview. It takes persistence and perseverance.

ReaWrite: That’s all folks! Thank you again to Susan Schwartzman who was not only so helpful to a hopeful future publicist (that would be me) but also genuinely interesting to talk to. Remember to have a look at Susan’s website for more information and to follow her on twitter.

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