Kim Weiss Publishing Services

How many publicists does it take to change a lightbulb (or how many books does it take to send a publicist over the edge?!)

April 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm

It’s 3:15 pm. I’m at my desk at the HCI Ok Corral. The sun is shining through my floor to ceiling windows. One can imagine the sweetness of the April air. Yet one can also feel like sprinting around the 100,000 square foot glass building and screaming at the top of one’s lungs.


Ah! Now that I’ve said that, I won’t need to do it. There’s work to be done (a huge understatement), authors to be put in the public eye, books in the hands of the public in general. So many of them, so little of me. Can I get an amen?

So, here’s the deal. Having little (ahem, no) support on my publicity island (at least no one can vote me off), I’ve decided now to rely on YOU to keep me from going over the edge. Help me remember where I am, who I am and all of the titles that need my love and attention.

What? Has she gone mad, you say? If you knew me personally, the question would be moot. I’m already there and have been quite comfortably, for some time. You can be my virtual team of administrative assistants, shrinks, masseuses, and coaches. Just every once in a while send me a note and remind me to breathe.

I’d do the same for you, honest.

How bad is it? Actually, I’m complaining from a very exciting place. I’m having the best time dealing with some great authors, great books and subsequently attracting media attention from some great journalists. Not to mention the additional excitement of the new marketing horizons found on the brilliant social networking devices.

The irony is, the virtual aspect of the work doesn’t seem to lighten the load. Perhaps it does literally in terms of paper and packaging but these nifty little techno gizmos are tres time consuming.

What’s a publicist to do?

That’s where you come in. With your reminders, your mantras, and your ‘atta girls’. Then my little publicity corner won’t feel so much like a vacuum.

Let me know if you’re on board and if you’ve got the stuff to be part of my team. The pay’s lousy but we’ll make it up in giggles and good ideas.  I’m recruiting today and possibly won’t make this offer again for a while.

Call me silly, call me mad, but call me — I mean through your computer screen. I’ll hear you, not to worry.

It’s 3:30 now, I’ve now stolen 15 minutes of HCI’s time. Forgive me. I’ll give it back. Promise.

Go out an breathe the April air. It’s the last day for May comes knocking tomorrow. Hopefully, complete with its trademark flowers.

Until next time…see you at the water cooler.

p.s. cartoon created by the brilliant and talented Larissa Henoch!

Comments (10)


    Don’t worry, Missy Kim…re the p.r.,I am here to help, remember. And to stop you from worrying, I have a new blog, THE WORRYWART’S CORNER, where we’ll banty about all things relating to worrying and how not to. Come pay us a visit at visit, @ Pull up a chair, have a coffee, relax. It will all be waiting for you when your return.

    Comment by KittyLiterate (a/k/a Allia Zobel Nolan)February 10, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

    Don’t worry, Missy Kim…re the p.r.,I am here to help, remember. And to stop you from worrying, I have a new blog, THE WORRYWART’S CORNER, where we’ll banty about all things relating to worrying and how not to. Come pay us a visit at visit, have a coffee, relax. It will all be waiting for you when your return.

    Comment by KittyLiterate (a/k/a Allia Zobel Nolan)February 10, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    How many publicists does it take to change a lightbulb?


    1 to actually change the bulb, and the other 99 to say things like, “atta girl!”, “way to go!”, and “great job!” 🙂

    Moral: We all need support from those who get it.

    Comment by Joanne McCallMay 7, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

    First strap on your Isotoner slipper/roller skates, because when your feet are happy, the rest of you will be happy … then, as you zip from place to place, appearing as if you are in two or more places at once, you will add to your own mystique as a publicist(and magician)… changing light bulbs with ease, while pulling rabbits out of the packing boxes ;o)

    Comment by Cat WagmanMay 4, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

    My first ever blog reply—or anything cyberspacey—so you now have your first seriously challenged social media novice retort. You are so right about the mainstream media; it is passe’ even for an oldie but goodie like me! Only those who have chosen not to think, or those who were not taught to think rely on the traditional media for information. Ever wonder why the television news programs all have the exact same story at the exact same time; switching channels doesn’t help! You get the same feed-and interviews with locals without any real idea about what they are commenting on–followed by the print media’s longer version of the same content— Do I sound cynical or just over 50? The future of content based information for thinking individuals is mediums such as this! Keep blogging and I may learn something—or at least get a giggle. Regarding light bulbs; I didn’t know publicists changed light bulbs; I thought little lights just went on and off in their heads………….

    Comment by Nancy MosconeMay 2, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

    It only takes one publicist to change a light bulb….but they must choose from a huge pile of bulbs on the floor.


    Comment by Neil KillionMay 1, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

    Well Kim, if I could join you at the water cooler, I would, but I am busy here in cyberspace, seeking publicity for my own new book, trying to catch the attention of the unseen crowds dashing about in e-land. To those who are unfamiliar with social networking, I describe it to them as the most gigantic trade show ever, with zillions and zillions of vendors and visitors, open and ongoing and changing, 24/7.

    If they’ve ever experienced a book expo or PC Expo or any other huge trade show, I suggest they multiply that by some outrageous unspeakable number, and that might give a hint of the size of this thing. Which isn’t really a “thing” but a living, evolving, interactive universe forever tantalizing us with more opportunities than we can ever partake of.

    I didn’t realize that becoming an author – even with a publisher – would mean becoming a perpetual guest at this e-feast of potential publicity. Phew! (I’m not really prone to alliteration, but it’s been a long day in cyberspace and my brain is soft around the edges.)

    OK, I’m signing off – for awhile. Maybe some seeds will actually sprout from my online-efforts today!

    ~ Diana

    Comment by Diana DaffnerMay 1, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

    Oh my big sis – ye of big faith who has had my back on more than one occasion. I empathize. It’s such a sensory overloaded world out there that one wonders how to rise above all the noise.

    Even with the learning curve time it takes I’m a firm believer that the mainstream media is heading on-line full time in any event. May as well be there to greet all of us as we battle our own demons in the trenches of the on-line world.

    BREATH! I know I have to – just to get through e-mail these days! xoxo Judy

    Comment by Judy MartinMay 1, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

    I agree with your observation about the time-sucking aspect of social media. Keeping up with all the blogs, posts, tweets, texts, and writings on the Facebook wall can be exhausting. But I view it as self-syndication, an amazing phenomenon that will take traditional media gatekeepers out of the mix. The unlimited possibilities of that are intoxicating.

    So the groundwork, which requires more time and focus than anyone really intends to give it, will pay off eventually. And in the meantime, it’s a fascinating obsessive compulsion full of surpries and magical connections.

    Comment by BarbaraApril 30, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

    How many publicists does it take to change a light bulb?

    It depends. If we are talking about the Heathers…the number can best be described as a 2-digit number to the 5th power…or higher. You see, I have to deal with the Heathers periodically and it drives me crazy. The worst part is when I ask for a short, brief description of a book. (I’m
    looking for about 8 words that will go right after a listing of the book and the author.)

    Well, from the Heathers…I generally get something equal in length to the first three chapters of Dr. Zhivago….and I have cut it down and literally write it myself. That is what the Heathers do.

    However, I also work with some publicists who actually follow instructions…and this group will probably not need to change the bulb, because they set that bulb up on a maintenance program and the bulb was “rotated” on an energy-saving program that is projected to save MORE THAN 2.37 cents per day.

    Oh, who or what are the Heathers?…you ask. These are the “new” young ladies in the publicity department who are straight out of school and who are now THE hottest thing in the publishing industry (and if you don’t believe me; ask them). Trust me; they love to write…and the longer the better.

    Oh…and for some reason…they all seem to be named, Heather!

    Oh, well…back to designing posters!


    Comment by DaveApril 30, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

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