Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Diary of a Publicist

A day in the life of a book publicist at the Sydney Writers’ Festival

1.30am – Awaken in Sydney hotel room to the sound of dripping water. Hotel room roof is leaking.

1.40am – Discuss the issue with the night manager (try to look both dignified and outraged whilst wearing brightly patterned pajamas)

1.43am – Due to the number of authors and publishers staying in hotel, there are no spare rooms available. Make do with a bucket and towels to stem the flooding.

6.15am – Alarm goes off.

7.25am – Meet author in hotel lobby for his first session, a breakfast event.

7.35am – The pre-booked car transfer from hotel to the venue is held up in airport traffic. Rush to find a cab.

7.45am – Cab circles the same block several times whilst we all peer out the windows, trying to read building numbers and find the venue. (I’m not a Sydney local, needless to say.)

7.50am – Safely deliver author to session.

9.50am – Session has ended and author still signing books for audience members. Call the producer of a TV interview we have lined up. Let him know we might be delayed.

9.55am – Rush to find a cab.

10.20am – Arrive at studios for pre-recorded TV interview.

11.00am – Interview successfully filmed. Find a cab and rush back to hotel for interview with a journalist from newspaper.

11.20am – We are ahead of schedule. So is the journalist. Interview begins.

12.10pm – Interview ends and photographer from the newspaper takes author “across the road” for a photo shoot. Whilst my back is turned (chatting to journalist) the author and photographer disappear.

12.20pm – Author and photographer still missing. Wander up and down road looking for them.

12.30pm – Author reappears. Says he was taken to what appeared to be some kind of cave. Is nervous about the photo.

12.45pm – Head back to the hotel to move out of my flooded room.

1.30pm – Eat lunch, check emails, make calls. Set up several more interviews for the author. Watch a few minutes of Days of our Lives.

3.15pm – Meet author in hotel foyer

3.30pm – Travel to ABC studios for a radio and a television interview.

5.45pm – Interviews both successful. Detour by the make-up room at the author’s wife’s request to remove all the heavy foundation applied to his face for TV interview.

6.00pm – Cab back to the hotel

6.30pm –Time for dinner with another publicist to debrief and gear up for the next day.

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