From Idea to Bookshelf
STEP 8: THE PUBLICITY MANAGER (Alex Layt)
I’m a Publicity Manager at Orion where I’ve been working for almost 6 years, starting out as Publicity Assistant after studying History at Southampton University. Our Comms team work across Orion’s varied imprints so I have the joy of working on multiple genres, both fiction and non-fiction!
Tell us about your job: what does being a book publicist entail?
Being a book publicist is a diverse role that involves championing books within the industry and externally too, speaking to both the public and the media. It’s our job to set up print and online press, secure podcast and broadcast interviews, liaise with bookshops and venues to organise events, and work with bloggers and influencers to make sure there is lots of buzz online when publication arrives!
Which other books have you worked on, and is there a campaign or an aspect of a campaign you’re particularly proud of?
I’ve worked on so many outstanding books and with some incredible authors such as Joanne Harris and Michael Connelly, as well as talented debuts such as Chloë Ashby. I loved working on poet Nikita Gill’s beautiful collection Where Hope Comes From as it published in lockdown and was the perfect balm for the soul that readers needed at that moment in time, and it was great seeing the impact it was having. As an Arsenal fan, working with Arsene Wenger on his autobiography was also a career highlight!
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to work as a publicist?
For me, work experience was absolutely key to securing my first permanent role in the industry and shows that you’re serious about a career in books. Read across genres and keep up-to-date with the latest news and current trends; tapping into news stories and cultural zeitgeists is part of the publicist’s role, so it’s important to know what’s going on in the world.
Tell us something about The Clockwork Girl.
Media coverage is something that’s never guaranteed but it’s been a delight pitching The Clockwork Girl! It’s a fascinating and unique premise, executed perfectly by Anna, so the brilliant reviews have been rolling in from the likes of Woman&Home, Heat, Best and The Sunday Express!