Publishers and authors wouldn't produce nearly as many best-sellers without book publicists to market their books. They maximize book sales by reaching readers of particular genres through press releases, magazine ads, radio, television, the Internet and social media. They also coordinate author tours, track media effectiveness and manage the publicity budgets for their firms. Anyone who wants to become a book publicist must get a formal education. In return, they can expect above-average yearly salaries.
Salary and Qualifications:
The average annual salary for a book publicist was $49,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Simply Hired. Most of these professionals have bachelor's degrees in marketing, communications, public relations or journalism. Employers also prefer hiring candidates with experience in the publishing, entertainment or public relations industries. Aspiring book publicists can get experience through college internships, or by working as assistant book publicists or public relations specialists. The most successful candidates are usually creative and have excellent organizational, research, speaking and writing skills.
Salary by State or District:
Average salaries for book publicists can vary significantly by district or state. They earned some of the highest annual salaries of $78,000 in the District of Columbia, according to Simply Hired. They also earned relatively high salaries in Massachusetts and New York at $60,000 and $58,000 per year, respectively. Those in California earned $56,000 annually. And book publicists in Ohio, Texas and Florida made somewhat less -- $47,000, $46,000 and $45,000 per year, respectively.
Most book publicists earn higher salaries as they gain experience. Merit increases each year can add thousands of dollars to their incomes. They also hone their marketing and public relations skills with experience, which enhances their marketability to book publishers. Geographical area can also affect their salaries. Book publicists in New York, for example, usually earn more than those in small markets because of higher living costs in that state. Also, larger book publishers typically offer more money because they have bigger budgets to support the higher salaries.
Book publicists' jobs are highly commensurate with those of promotions managers and public relations specialists. Therefore, the number of job opportunities for book publicists should be on par with these two careers. That said, the number of jobs for promotions managers and public relations specialists are expected to increase 21 and 13 percent, respectively, in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics -- versus a 14 percent growth rate for all occupations. Book publicists who can market books through traditional channels, such as radio and press releases, and reach core readers through social media and the Internet likely have the best chance of getting these new jobs. Moreover, electronic book readers such as Kindles and Nooks should increase demand for books and, therefore, book publicists. Similarly, books on compact disks open up new markets for these professionals.