As Head of Publicity and Communications at Pantera Press, what does your typical day at the office look like?
Much like the Chelsea Peretti tweet, another powerful day of receiving and sending emails. At any one time I’ll be working across various points of various campaigns – posting advance reading copies, pitching to editors, TV and radio producers, festival directors, following up on events and tour logistics. The Pantera office is a dynamic workplace and I’m lucky to be involved in multi-departmental processes like acquisitions and cover discussions, as well as managing corporate communications to announce things like newly signed authors or initiatives the Pantera Press Foundation is working on.
How important is it for authors to have a social media presence?
The answer to this really depends on the author and their book. For some authors, particularly those working in non-fiction and/or lifestyle, their public profiles are already built around social media and I like to work collaboratively with those authors to reach their existing following.
Many fiction writers who don’t use social media – or don’t like social media – express anxiety about missing a key promotional tool. But using social media for promotion takes a lot of time to get right. I tell authors that they should use social media if it comes organically to them, if it helps them engage with others, if they find it useful for things other than promotion. The balance between promotional and organic content needs to be right and that’s a difficult balance to strike if you don’t genuinely enjoy it.
What is one important thing for authors to keep in mind when promoting themselves and their book?
That it takes time and the effect of promotion is cumulative. Small mentions in local newspapers, interviews on community radio, introducing yourself to your local bookseller – these all add up.
When you’ve been so close to the work for such a long time, it’s difficult to distil that work into a short pitch. Work with your publisher to think about the underlying themes in your work, how different groups of readers in your audience might respond to them, and then use them as an entry point.
Léa Antigny is a publicist and writer with nine years’ experience in the publishing industry. She has worked on media campaigns for local and international authors across genres including literary fiction, non-fiction, illustrated and lifestyle. She is Head of Publicity and Communications at Pantera Press and has previously worked at Text Publishing, Giramondo Publishing and Pan Macmillan.
Please note, Writing NSW is still developing the online version of Book Publicity for Authors with Léa Antigny. If you want to be updated once we have confirmed how we will run this seminar online, put your name on this form here. If you enrol in this seminar, we will send you updates via email.