So you want to work in… Publishing PR?

About the author

Olivia Thomas is Publicity Manager at Penguin Random House

Olivia Thomas
Olivia Thomas

What is publishing PR?

I work in house at Penguin Random House. The company has a variety of divisions which each publish their own lists of books. My division is called Michael Joseph – we publish commercial fiction and non-fiction titles and I create PR campaigns for a range of these books and authors across the year.

How do I get into publishing PR?

There is no one size fits all or obviously linear route into publishing but a great place to start is work experience. Penguin have two week placements that you can apply to via our website.

What’s the best thing about working in book PR?

The best thing about working in book PR – aside from all the wonderful books – is the people. The book world is filled with interesting and creative people from authors to journalists, bloggers and booksellers!

Are there any drawbacks to working in this sector?

Staying on top of your reading list can be a challenge at times. During lockdown I found it hard to focus on books and there is a slight pressure to not only keep up with your own titles but also competitor books!

What’s the difference between doing it in-house or in an agency?

I’ve only ever worked in house so it’s hard for me to answer this one but occasionally our division will use a PR agency for big brand authors. In this case it would be up to the publicist to oversee the campaign they produce for us.

Is publishing PR right for me?

If you are a curious person who is interested in the world and the media landscape then yes, book PR is absolutely right for you.

The best advice I have for anyone trying to break into the industry is to read and absorb everything you can from newsletters to blogs to podcasts and TV programmes.

Staying interested and involved in the cultural landscape is key!