Posted On April 15, 2016 by Print This Post

What Does a Publicity Director’s Job Involve? Q&A with Danielle Bartlett

Today’s guest is Danielle Bartlett of HarperCollins Publishing – but, wait – I’ll let her tell you herself:

Q – Please tell us a little about yourself.

Danielle – I’m a Publicity Director at William Morrow, mom of two and lover of mysteries!

Q – How long have you been working in publishing? Is this the career you planned on, or did you change tracks somewhere along the way?

Danielle – I’ve been in publishing for just over 11 years now. I started working at a public relations agency, but always loved reading. The agency worked for some smaller imprints, so I worked on book publicity along with other areas, such as travel and tourism. I was brought over to HarperCollins when my boss from the agency made the move and brought me along for the ride. I haven’t looked back!

Q – What does being a Publicity Director involve? Is the job definition pretty constant from one publisher to another? Do you work with a team of publicists?

Danielle – It’s pretty constant. Our job is to get the word out about books that we work on. Mainly through traditional media such as tv, radio and print reviews. Our jobs are changing though with the rise of digital media.

Q – How closely do you work with book editors? Are you involved in the marketing plan from the get-go?

Danielle – We talk with book editors on a daily basis. Depending on the book, our publicity plans start even before the book is finished.

Q – Do you get to choose the books and/or authors you work with or are they assigned to you? Also, do you coordinate a plan with the author or is your work done independently?

Danielle – Yes, I get to choose the authors and I am very much in touch with the author about the publicity plans for their books.

Q – Are authors expected to do a specific amount of promotion for their books, i.e. book signings, blogs, social media, etc.?

Danielle – Yes, all authors are expected and should want to promote their books, but it’s a fine balance, because writing the next book should always be priority #1.

Q – What are the first steps you take when you choose, or are assigned, a book to publicize?

Danielle – READ THE BOOK! You think that would be obvious, but so many people think they can promote an author or book without reading it. Not possible.

Q – Is your job generally a 9-to-5 sort of schedule or does it overflow into nights and weekends? (I ask this because I picture editors lugging home manuscripts – or digital manuscripts – and poring over them long into the night. I don’t know if this is an accurate image.)

Danielle – I had a supervisor once that said this job is like a never ending carousel, at the end of the day you jump off, and then jump right back on the next. I could work 24 hours a day. There is always a new contact, a new angle, a new pitch, that’s what keeps it exciting.

Q – Are there any particular elements of a book that make them easier to work with, from your standpoint?

Danielle – Honestly, it’s the writing. If the writing is great, then my job is a lot easier.

Q – Finally, what would you say is the Next Big Thing in publishing trends?

Danielle – I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of reaction to what is going on in the presidential election soon. How writers deal with it, well that’s up to them to figure out, I’ll just tell you about it after I read it.

Thank you so much for visiting with us today! 


RU followers, now’s your chance to ask Danielle your burning questions!

Kayelle Allen joins us on Monday, April 18. Her topic is: Author Blogging: How, How Much, How Often




Danielle Bartlett is a Publicity Director at William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.  She has worked in publishing for 11 years.  Her passion is the crime fiction genre, but she’s also an avid sports fan.  Prior to working at HarperCollins, Danielle worked at public relations agency with such clients as the country of Singapore, Gaylord Resorts and the Stephen Siller “Tunnel to Towers” run.


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4 Responses to “What Does a Publicity Director’s Job Involve? Q&A with Danielle Bartlett”

  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to this Q&A, Danielle! I’m sure a lot of writers – and readers, too – are curious about what your job involves.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | April 15, 2016, 2:11 am
  2. I’m a little afraid how much of this year’s election folderol is going to end up fictionalized. Mystery writers will have a field day!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | April 15, 2016, 12:06 pm
  3. Danielle is quite simply the best! And she definitely is working more than 9 to 5—too much—and all on behalf of her authors. I have been lucky enough to be with her since the start of her time at Morrow. She is a consummate professional, but also one of the smartest nicest people I know. There aren’t enough “thank yous” for what Danielle has done for my books. So glad you posted, so people know about her!

    Posted by Katherine Hall Page | April 15, 2016, 12:57 pm
  4. When I was moderating the Mystery Forum at, Danielle frequently introduced me to new books and authors and helped set up featured visits from her authors. She knows EVERYBODY! 🙂

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | April 15, 2016, 1:48 pm

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