I am my own publicist


I have a question regarding query letters. I know that a query letter should include any writing credentials such as previous publishing, contest wins, etc. I haven't published before and I have not taken the contest route. But I do work in public relations and would be able to promote my book were it ever published. Do you think it's worth mentioning my ability to publicize myself? I've been told by a couple of authors that that promoting the ability for a writer to promote their own work is becoming very important as publisher PR/marketing departments are overworked, but I don't know whether to believe them. I was just curious if this was true or would I be laughed at for including that as a possible selling point for myself.

It can't hurt to mention you work in pr. However, its much MUCH harder to promote yourself than promote other people and press release writing doesn't mean you can write a great novel.

The thing that would appeal to me about your PR background is your contact list. Do you have good contacts in non-book media that will help you with this book? Publishing companies have the book media down pretty well, but they can always use help "off the book page". More than your actual job title, who you know will be a plus.


Lisa Pulliam said...

Thanks! This was super helpful.

waywardclam said...

It's my understanding that James Patterson is also his own publicist, and is highly successful... perhaps he can be looked upon as a good example of this working in practice?

Lisa Hunter said...

I don't know about novels, but for non-fiction, a PR background is extremely helpful in getting a contract. My background as a museum publicist was an important part of my first book proposal.

It's not just about having contacts (though Miss Snark is right that that helps a lot). It's also about understanding how to craft your story into a story a journalist will want to tell. (i.e., How do you find a hook? How do you target different publications with different angles?)