So today I will welcome a very special guest, Danielle, an assistant publicist for Sourcebooks, Inc. I love the Sourcebooks Casablanca line and was very happy that Danielle agreed to an interview. I thought it might give you all a glimpse at another side of publishing.
So what exactly is your job?
I am an assistant publicist at Sourcebooks, Inc. I focus on our romance imprint, Sourcebooks Casablanca, as well as our Austen sequels. Additionally, I work on securing reviews/interviews for other books we publish in the web.
How did you get into this field?
I went to Bradley University as an English major/History minor (and a French concentration!), but decided very quickly that I wanted to be in publishing. I graduated and did the intern thing for a while, when I finally came to Sourcebooks. The rest has just fallen into place!
Can you tell us more about Sourcebooks Casablanca?
Sourcebooks Casablanca is a fun, diverse line of romance and women’s fiction. Every season we continue to grow and bring new and exciting authors to readers everywhere. In addition to our mass market romances, we have some women’s interest books that are incredibly fun, as well as reissues from the Queen of Regency Romance, Georgette Heyer, and most recently, reissues of Laura Kinsale. And let’s not forget about the fact that we are the #1 Austen Sequel publisher in the country! I think what makes Sourcebooks Casablanca different than other romance lines is that ANYONE can find something to read here. The authors are super proactive and always looking for new ways to reach out to their readers. I love it when my authors (yes, they are MINE—I’m very possessive) send me a great comment from one of their reviews or guest blogs—to see that a reader was truly moved by something I know the authors have worked so hard on is extremely gratifying.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Hands down: THE AUTHORS! They know that I haven’t always been an outward romance fan, but now, it’s pretty much all I talk about. Where else would I be able to help people live out the one thing they’ve always wanted to do—write a book? They always keep me laughing! And let’s face it, they must be pretty awesome to have convinced me to be a regular contributor on their group blog (http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com), something I never thought I’d do in a million years!
The worst part, as I would suspect it is for any publicist, is when a book receives a bad review. With Google Alerts and search engines, I know that the authors are going to find it eventually, and it’s tough. But that just makes me change the way I promote—there’s always going to be someone who’s personal aesthetic is completely different and not fit for particular books…but then again, there’s going to be someone out there that will give us the thoughtful review we’re looking for—and it’s my job to find them!
Describe a typical workday for you.
Whenever someone asks me this, I can never give a coherent answer, because I am so far ingrained in what I do, it never makes sense when I spell it out, but here goes: check email (the authors will tell you, I’m pretty much glued to my computer chair and answer their emails immediately), answer email, read the NYT, Chicago Tribune, Salon.com, HuffingtonPost.com, and BBC Headlines (gotta keep up on current events!), check the group author blog, check some of my favorite review blogs/sites…that’s the part that always stays the same. Then I move on to whatever project is in the works—be it querying for reviews, guest blogs, interviews, searching for new review sites/blogs/out of the box promo ideas, writing promotional materials, entering reviews/interviews/events into our database, etc. Once I finish one, I move on to the next one. And then the next. And so on… Of course, it’s never as organized as the list appears—I multi-task and jump back and forth between projects. And I have to say, I work in an amazing department with fellow publicists that I LOVE to pieces.
What do you like to read?
I will read just about anything put in front of me. Last week I finally got around to reading Water for Elephants (loved it), this week I’m reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (love it)… My most recent favorite books are Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, On Beauty by Zoe Smith, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (love it, love it, love it). I’m a professed Tolkien Geek (and not just because of the movies! I’ve read everything from The Silmarillion to the very rare Unfinished Tales), and I love the classics like Bronte, Austen, Dickens, Woolfe, Salinger, this list could go on forever… and I also read a ton of poetry. I’m exploring graphic novels right now because I think they are really cool concepts and seeing an visual interpretation of someone’s story intrigues me!
What do you do for fun?
I’m pretty low key (aka boring)—and will say the normal stuff that everyone says: hanging out with friends, watching movies, going to concerts. I love dinner parties (and throw a big one just about every year), and with Fall around the corner, I love going to sporting events (Football, Soccer) and bonfires! I’m also pretty content staying in and reading for an entire weekend with just my cat to keep me company.
Is there anything you’d like to tell or ask my blog readers?
I suppose, as a publicist, what do you like to see from your favorite authors? Do you enjoy the guest blogs, interviews, etc.?
Thank you so much, Danielle, for that interview!
Readers, go ahead and answer her questions…