How an Author and Publicist Work Together

As a publicist I think of my relationship with an author as my client. I am here to serve their needs, within the parameters or constructs of our service agreement to promote their book. Often the relationship can develop into a friendship. So how should an author work with a publicist?

The relationship’s limitations or barriers will be set early on by the basis in which you agreed to work together. If the publicist was hired by the author that is different than if the publisher hired the publicist, which is different from an in-house publicist working at the publishing company. But in any case, the publicist should set the guidelines early on for how things will work.

The publicist should identify:

  • The wishes of the author.
  • The timeline of a start and end date to the partnership.
  • What exactly the publicists will or will not do.
  • What the author should/can do to help the publicist.
  • What the author can do on his or her own to promote and market his book.
  • What resources are available to the author.
  • A plan of action.
  • A mechanism to communicate regularly with each other.

The author should identify:

  • Their goals, concerns, and needs.
  • Questions they need answered.
  • What they believe are the important talking points or story angles.
  • A summary of their background as it relates to the book.
  • Prior media coverage obtained for past books or promotions.
  • If anyone else is involved in his marketing or PR efforts.
  • The best ways/times to reach them.

Working together with your publicist:
The author can help by being polite, fair, and honest in their communications with the publicist. Do not be rude, unreasonable, or untruthful with the person who is trying their best to represent your interest.

The publicist knows what has to be done and when, so give your publicist the benefit of the doubt and do not ignore the advice of your publicist.

Do not expect your publicist to read every article, book, or blog post that you send them. Summarize for them and filter out the key parts. The publicist may not be knowledgeable enough, on that topic, to discern the meat from the fat. You are the expert of your field/book, so direct the publicist accordingly.

Do not put undue pressures or demands on your publicist by asking when the NYT, Today Show, or Good Morning America will be scheduling interviews. The big hits come with time, luck, connections, and other factors. No one just picks up the phone and gets the big hit right away, unless the book is by a celebrity on a newsy topic, and even then, nothing is automatic.

Be patient and try to not ask the same questions over and over.

Expect to help yourself, especially with social media. Blog often, tweet, tweet, tweet, and talk it up on Facebook. The bigger your online footprint, the better it is for the publicist to make the case that you have a platform.

One of the keys to a good publicity campaign rests in the establishment of a good relationship between the author and the publicist. Have fun with the campaign and respect one another.


PrimeStar Publicity and Public Relations is owned by Helen Cook, with principle offices just outside of Houston, TX. PrimeStar Publicity provides publicity, marketing and public relations services for publishers, authors, and artists.


Cook, who was a Vice President at The B & B Media Group, for many years, started PrimeStar Publicity and Public Relations in 2011 after relocating to an area just south of Houston, TX.


Helen is a familiar, trusted, face within the industry and has an enviable professional relationship with the faith-based and mainstream media. Cook has more than 32 years of publicity, public relations, advertising, and marketing experience to her credit.  


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Information Sources:
PrimeStar Publicity and Public Relations
Book Marketing Buzz

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