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What’s In My Bag? A Book Publicist Reveals All

Not everyone knows what a book publicist does.

As you can imagine, most of our days are filled with pitching our clients to the media, but we also have to go on book tours with our authors. So, what would a book publicist need when out on the road with an author? Look inside my bag to find out…

In just about every color and point size, because you never know what your author wants to use. Oh, and chances are, the Sharpie that you’ve brought isn’t the one he wants.

One stunningly beautiful, upscale fountain pen.
Because she will only use this type of pen to sign her books.

Mints and breath spray.
Because he has a hangover from the night before. It’s not every day he gets to go to cool bars in New York, you know!

A charming little sterling silver book mark from Tiffany’s.
Because she always gets a gift from her publisher after her book tour is over, dontchaknow! And, since she only had nine people show up to her last signing, she needs a little bit of love.

Extra-Strength Aspirin.
For me! Because if I have to hear the same excerpt reading one.more.time, I will throw up!

Lots of ones.
Because I have to tip pretty much everyone that he insults throughout the day, and Mr. Washington will keep it from getting violent.

Do you have any idea how many hands an author has to shake during the tour?

For me and for the author. Trust me, anyone over 40 probably needs them.

So Beyonce, Maroon 5 and Miles Davis can help tune out the reading after the 11th time.

To write out, very clearly, all those names that the author can’t spell when people hand him the book, especially the people that spell their name differently from everyone else (“That’s Emily with four E’s and an I.”).

Almonds, protein bars and chocolate.
To keep things running smoothly when the blood sugar dips. This whole book signing thing is an energy burner, so always have a plethora of snacks handy!

Smooth stone or lucky coin.
When your author is super nervous, it’s always good to hand them something to hold. It keeps them calm for those first time jitters.

If it’s a love story or a memoir, chances are, there’s gonna be some tears.

My old school go-to: there’s always something you need to jot down and a smart phone doesn’t always do the trick.

Hello, bedhead?

Hello, flat hair?

Lip gloss.
Time to work the camera. Gotta look sexy in all the pictures, right?

There will be a lot of hugs throughout the day, and not every book enthusiast smells as immaculate as you do.

Authors DO get nervous before an interview. Always keep ‘em dry!

Press release.
For those media “professionals” who accidentally deleted the one you sent them 17 times.

An extra two copies of the book.
You never know who’s going to show up!

Tell me what’s in YOUR bag? Enquiring minds want to know! 


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