Last Updated: November 10, 2020

Every year, authors publish nearly 330,000 books in the United States. Chances are, you’ve only heard of a few of them. So what distinguishes the books you’ve heard about from the ones you haven’t?

While obviously the skill of the writer is a large indicator of a book’s success, another major factor is a book publicists effectiveness. These professionals build buzz for a new release, making or breaking a new author’s career.

What do they do?

Book publicists are almost like the agent of an author. By organizing press events, scheduling book signings, and crafting press releases, book publicists get the word out about an author’s latest writing endeavor.

When an author finishes writing a book, he or she turns to a book publicist to contact the press and promote the story. Book publicists develop working relationships with journalists, radio djs, and other members of the media to make sure their author is noticed.

Many times, book publicists take on multiple clients as independent contractors, while others work within a publishing company. Some professionals they might work with include:


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Because book publicist jobs are fairly specialized, most obtain previous experience in public relations or book publishing firms. Most earn bachelor’s degrees in communications, English, or marketing before becoming publicists.

The key trait for any book publicist is great communication skills. These individuals must develop relationships with members of the press, organize public speaking events, and write press releases on a regular basis.

Become a Book Publicist

Book publicist salaries vary widely. If you’re the publicist for a new author, you’re not likely to make quite as much money as, say, Stephen King’s publicist. Because the career in specific to the author or publishing company, it’s hard to pin down an average salary.

The best way to obtain a book publicist position is either through intense self-promotion using social media, or by working at a book publishing company and rising through the ranks. If you’re interested in a career in book publicity, contact schools offering degrees in marketing.