Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Being a book publicist is no joke.

Being a book publicist is no joke, and book promotion isn't a joke, either. So when a client approached me about sending out a press release parody on her behalf for April Fool's Day, I declined.

The press release would have contained how-to tips that were "funny," because they represented ideas that were diametrically opposed to the author's "real" how-to tips. I declined to send out such a press release on the grounds that it was irresponsible.

The author in question isn't irresponsible. She's been offering the media her how-to tips for years, and the media loves them and rewards her for being the expert in her field by providing her with tons of high-profile interview opportunities on a regular basis. But, in this case, I believe the author was misguided.

An author can have fun during her book promotion campaign. I hope book publicity is fun. I want it to be fun.

But an author, like book publicists, has to guard her credibility. All she has to offer the media, finally, is her credibility -- just as all book pubicists have to offer the media, finally, is the trust they've earned over the years they've spent nurturing relationiships. It would be a very bad call, in my judgment, to throw away that credibility and trust for the privilege of being able to chortle "April Fool!" when someone believes a press release (and, perhaps, is ready to schedule an interview that revolves around a press release) that contains false information.

That is why this book publicist declined to play an April Fool's Day joke on the media. I think it's a very bad idea, and as a book promotion professional, I choose to associate myself with only very good ideas. Onward....