Mar 22

The Book Publicist EllyDonovanPR talks to Jane Cable

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the-business-of-books-interviewswithjanecableWhat is your book-related job or business?

I am a freelance book publicist carrying out PR campaigns for authors and publishers. I try to obtain reviews, articles and interviews about my clients’ books in newspapers and magazines – and on the internet, the radio or television.  This type of publicity can help boost book sales as well as raising the author’s profile: a good review, an article or an interview in the media is more likely to get a book (and its author) noticed than expensive advertising might do.


Nonetheless, book publicity is an extremely competitive and there are no guarantees of success. With approximately 500 new books published every single day in the UK (yes, 500 every day!) it is impossible for every new book to get the media attention it may deserve.


Every day, busy journalists and broadcasters are inundated with communications from publishers and authors who are trying to grab their attention with news of forthcoming books. A professional PR campaign may improve an author’s chances of success.  A professional book-publicist knows and understands the media – and knows how to give a book the best possible chance of media coverage in this tough industry.

The Book Publicist EllyDonovanPR talks to Jane Cable …

What is the most rewarding part of it?

It is very satisfying to help authors make the most of their PR opportunities (eg: helping them with their interview technique or advising on their use of social media etc).   New authors soon discover that writing their book is just the first step in a long journey. These days, authors are also expected to be experts at marketing, sales and PR – as well as being good writers. It can be an extremely frustrating and bewildering experience for some novice authors.


Assisting authors by carrying out their PR campaigns and then supporting them in the lead-up to publication and during the first few months after is extremely rewarding for me.  It is always a pleasure to hear an author’s reaction on receiving their first good review or when they hear themselves performing well  on the radio or when their TV appearance gets lots of ‘Likes’ on social media. And, naturally, the lovely comments, thank-you cards and testimonials that I receive from authors also mean the world to me.


What do you consider to be your major successes?

With so many books being published, only a tiny percentage of books achieve any nationwide publicity at all. This is why it is always a thrill when I see or hear my authors appearing in the national media as a result of my efforts.  Even after all these years in the business, I still get a ‘buzz’ from seeing one of my authors on TV or hearing them interviewed on the radio or reading a good review of their book in a quality newspaper.  However, my successes are not always measured in circulation figures or audience numbers. Sometimes niche coverage in the right publication can be an even more effective way to reach the perfect book-buying audience for a particular book.



Have you always loved books and what are you reading at the moment?

I’ve always loved reading so studying English literature at University was a pleasure, not a chore. In my professional life, I make a point of reading every one of the many books I promote. (It may surprise you but not all book publicists read the books they promote.) Currently, for my work, I am reading one novel and one memoir written by my clients. In my free time, I am also enjoying Jeremy Paxman’s autobiography, A Life in Questions.


Brighton-based EllyDonovanPR has worked in publishing and PR since graduating in 1980. She is a Member of The Publishers’ Publicity Circle; 

and a Partner Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors. 

To find out more about EllyDonovanPR ‘s services for authors and publishers, visit her website ellydonovan.co.uk

You can connect with Elly on social media: 

twitter: @EllyDonovanPR   facebook.com/elly.donovan.7   

Linked-In: Elly Donovan PR  

For further information,  authors & publishers can email: elly@ellydonovan.co.uk