"It’s not easy – and it usually helps to have been in the business a few years and to know the tastes of the person you’re addressing. The greatest publicists, even, will privately admit to a book’s faults without damning its author – and those, above all, are the publicists I like. No book is going to be 'perfect' to everyone, and by admitting flaws, honest publicists are helping reviewers and editors do their jobs."
Ok, first of all, I don't know anyone's tastes. I don't even know my own. I mean, I know Marilyn Stasio likes mysteries. I'm not going to pitch her a memoir about Iraq. And I know that Pat Towers isn't going to review the new advice book about how to pick up chicks. So yeah, fine. But do I have time do look through a pile of literary fiction and think to myself, hmmm, would Dwight Garner prefer the moving one about the boy coming of age during the Holocaust, or the comical story of a young woman trying to make it in finance. Um, no. And I certainly don't have time to do it for Sara Nelson - no offense, Sara.
For every book I work on, I'm pitching hundred of reviewers, editors, producers, and reporters. And yes, I try to tailor those lists based on the type of book and to tailor certain pitches. But, the book review editor in Tulsa is probably going to get the same pitch as the BRE is Atlanta (if the AJC still had one, of course). That's just the way the cookie crumbles. I don't have time to research all of you and discover your tastes. And if you care so much, why don't you let me know? How about sending me some guidance - ie, I only review this. I prefer this. Then, I can stop wasting your time and mine.
Bonus question: Thoughts on who the favorite unnamed publicists are?