If You Can’t Do These Three Things, Forget About Publicity

I am often asked what are the qualities that make a good publicist. The truth is, even if you have a publisher for your book, you’re still going to have to publicize it. If you’re self published, this goes without saying. Here’s some good food for thought.

The most important qualities for a publicist include:


When it comes to publicizing your book, there are far more opportunities out there then you realize. One way to discover this is to get your hands on a media database. It can absolutely make your head spin as to all the possibilities. If that’s not possible, then Google is your next best friend. Become a detective by researching and finding the best places for you to appear. Be sure and approach this process with an attitude of fun and adventure, which will make it much more exciting and appealing, especially when you begin to land some media! One mistake I see some people make is to approach this like a chore and a lot of work. Who can have fun with that kind of attitude?


There may be lots of opportunities out there, but I’m not going to tell you it’s easy. And that may be the very reason it’s so much fun when you land something, because getting there can be challenging. Plan for this to take some time. You’re more the tortoise than the hare in this race. If you get something quickly, embrace it, enjoy it, celebrate it, but don’t expect it. While working to land a story it can often mean going back to the media contact several times, often with a new idea. Just remember my mantra: If they say no to you, ask: “Is that ‘no’ never in a million years, or just ‘no’ not right now?”

Ability to bounce back quickly

There will be times when a scheduled interview gets cancelled because of some huge breaking news story. Yes, there will be times when you thought something was going to land and at the last moment you were excluded. It happens. The more prepared you are to let the disappointments go and move on, the better. Keep your eyes on where you’re going, and remember, if you get cut out of a story, guilt can work wonders. (If you want to know more about that, contact me at joanne@joannemccall.com).

Take the How Media Savvy are you Quiz.

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