Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oh, Deathtron

In response to Deathtron's latest, I just had to say something. It's quite possibly all the lemon vodka thingies I've been having tonight, but I agree. I do. And it makes me a little bit sad that this is my job. Because some days it does truly suck. There are authors or bosses who can suck the life out of it - and make me doubt that I'm any good at it. And I hate that. It pisses me off more than I can say, especially when it's one of those authors that I have made a priority. Deathtron is right in the fact that we're all overworked, and that there are just too many damn books for anyone to do a decent job. But when one of the authors who I have focused on, who I have pitched to hundreds of outlets, who I have gone above and beyond for...well, when they question my "commitment" to a project. Yeah, it's enough to make me want to throw in the towel.

But...there is something great about some authors that makes it worth while. The ones that appreciate every little thing you do. Unfortunately, some authors are horrific. You can try and try, and no one cares about the book - and the author thinks it's because you're not putting the effort in. That you're emailing instead of calling, or not calling or emailing enough. And the fact is, that at least from what I've experienced, that people you are pitching to either want the book or not. And I'm not going to mess up my relationship with a reviewer because Author X thinks the best way to handle it is to call them everyday. I know that reviewers and producers are overworked as well. Mostly because people like us are harassing them everyday with books or stories they don't care about. But I like to think that it's understood that I'm going to try this idea out on you, and if you don't like it, then I won't bug you again. And the times I do have a story you like, then we will get along splendidly. But, I'm sorry, authors, I'm not going to make someone so irritated that they NEVER want to like a pitch I send them in the name of harassing them about your book.

Yes, your book is important. I get that. you wrote it, it means a lot to you, and I'm publicizing it. If I'm freelance, then I took it on and I obviously want to do a good job because it's my name and my reputation. If I'm in-house, I want to do a good job so I don't get in trouble. WE ARE TRYING. And calls about how you think maybe we could try harder, or maybe we're not doing it right...well, it's not a motivator. It's a turnoff. The authors that are appreciative for what I do, I work that much harder for them. Because I want to prove that I'm worthy of their thank yous. Those of you who criticize....well, I feel guilty and then angry. And it eats away at my self-confidence. And I don't think you want a publicist who is doubting him/herself.

So, yes, Deathtron, there are times when publicity can be a soul-crushing job, and if I had the balls and/or money to leave it, I just might. But, at the end of the day, I do it for those authors that appreciate me. And for the rush of getting the perfect placement for one of my favorites. And for now, those moments of glory are enough for me. And I hope that it will continue to be. And I hope that authors and bosses will keep this is mind (ha ha, 'cause I know that sooo many of them are totally reading this. sigh) - because I've watched people that I know are fantastic at their jobs being broken. And I hate it.

We do it because we love books and we love our jobs. Please stop ruining it for us. Or we'll all end up like Deathtron. And I, for one, would like to retain enough optimism to keep this up until I'm head of a department with much, much more money.



Bella Stander said...

Thank you, Ladytron and Deathtron, for giving us a glimpse into the publicity sausage factory. I quoted from and linked to both your posts in It's Hard Out There for a Book Publicist.

Anonymous said...

[Yeah, it's enough to want me to through in the towel.]

It would help if a BOOK PUBLICIST could spell. Sheesh.

Ladytron said...

oops. that's what I get for writing and drinking...I leave out words and misspell. thanks for catching, anon.