Still at work over here

Happy holidays to all in the U.S.! Meanwhile, in Blighty, I got up at 6am this morning for a breakfast meeting in Hemel Hempstead. Now, it is my belief that publicists are not 6am people, despite the hype we like to promote that we’re energetic 24/7ers.

I’m certainly not a 6am person when I have a head cold as I have done for the past couple of days. However, this combination did the trick:

  • super-strong, black coffee
  • paracetamol
  • laddering two pairs of tights, which caused me to shout at myself something like ‘wake up, you idiot’

Thus, by 6.28am I am awake.

By 7.54am I am listening intelligently enough about a business book which is currently being translated for the UK, to know exactly how I’d promote it and even a specific podcast syndication service who I know would be delighted to do an interview with the author.

But something is still bothering me. It’s been bothering me since I went for a walk around one of the big London bookshops (no names mentioned) with a publisher on Tuesday.

Books. Or more precisely, what’s out on the tables asking me to buy for Christmas.  And it’s probably not even the books themselves.

Boyd Tonkin summed it up brilliantly in the Independent last week with the description of “snowdrifts of Christmas drivel”. But even avoiding the most obvious Christmas-theme titles, it seemed that every other book cover was filled with ice and/or snow. One title resplendent with shrunk-wrap tropical beach, obviously originally intended to be a summer read, stuck out like a red-nosed reindeer.

I understand that seasonally-themed marketing seems like an easy win, but books are not just for Christmas. When I take the time to browse in a bookshop, I’m looking for inspiration. Suddenly that snow-filled landscape doesn’t look so interesting when it’s one of twenty.

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Filed under A publicists life, Book trade, books, marketing

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