Not everyone knows what a book publicist does. As you can imagine, most of our days are filled with pitching our clients to the media, but we also have to go on book tours with our authors. So, what would a book publicist need when out on the road with an author? Look inside my bag to find out…
Sharpies. In just about every color and point size, because you never know what your author wants to use. Oh, and chances are, the Sharpie that you’ve brought isn’t the one she wants.
One stunningly beautiful, upscale fountain pen. Because he will only use this type of pen to sign his books.
Mints and breath spray. Because he has a hangover from the night before. It’s not every day he gets to go to cool bars in New York, you know!
A charming little sterling silver bookmark from Tiffany’s. Because she always gets a gift from her publisher after her book tour is over, dontchaknow! And, because she only had nine people show up to her last signing, she needs a little bit of love.
Extra-Strength Aspirin. For me! Because if I have to hear the same excerpt reading one.more.time, I might throw up.
Lots of ones. Because I have to tip pretty much everyone that helps us throughout the day, and Mr. Washington will keep things going smoothly.
Purell. Do you have any idea how many hands an author has to shake during the tour?
Readers. For me and for the author. Trust me, anyone over 40 probably needs them.
Earbuds. So, Beyonce, Maroon 5, and Miles Davis can help tune out the reading after the 11th time.
Post-its. To write out, very clearly, all those names that the author can’t spell when people hand him the book, especially the people who spell their name differently from everyone else (“That’s Emily with four E’s and an I.”).
Almonds, protein bars, and chocolate. To keep things running smoothly when the blood sugar dips. This whole book signing thing is an energy burner, so always have a plethora of snacks handy.
Mala beads, smooth stone, or lucky coin. When your author is super nervous, it’s always good to hand them something to hold. It keeps them calm for those first-time jitters.
Tissues. If it’s a love story or a memoir, chances are, there’s going to be some tears.
Notepad. My old school go-to: there’s always something you need to jot down, and a smartphone doesn’t always do the trick.
Comb. Hello, bedhead?
Hairspray. Hello, flat hair?
Lip gloss. Time to work the camera. Gotta look sexy in all the pictures, right?
Cologne. There will be a lot of hugs throughout the day, and not every book enthusiast smells as immaculate as you do.
Deodorant. Authors DO get nervous before an interview. Always keep ‘em dry.
Press release. For those media “professionals” who accidentally deleted the one you sent them 17 times.
An extra two copies of the book. You never know who’s going to show up!
Tell us what’s in YOUR bag? Enquiring minds want to know!
ANDREA BURNETT is the founder of Andrea Burnett Public Relations. She has over 20 years of creative and innovative public relations and marketing experience. With a robust background in publishing, Andrea has worked with authors in virtually every artistic discipline and boasts an impressive list of media contacts. She lives and works in Northern California.