Q&A With Emi Battaglia

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Q&A With Emi Battaglia 

Emi Battaglia has had over two decades of experience in the publishing world and senior positions held at companies including Regan Arts, Hachette Book Group, and St. Martin’s Press.  Emi is a publicist that has worked with many authors’ bestselling authors & new authors, celebrities, memoirists, pop culture, parenting, business like experts, & bloggers. Emi has been so kind connecting me with so many amazing people it is an honor doing this with her! I love doing Q&As with publicists, literary agents and editors because these people help get so many authors’ amazing stories out into the world for us to read! 

Q: Emi for those who don’t know, can you explain what a publicist is and how it’s different from being a literary agent? 

A: A literary agent is a person who helps to secure a publishing deal for your book and submits your manuscript to editors at publishing houses where they have relationships and where they feel your book would be a good fit for an editor’s list.  Working with an agent is one of the best things you can do as they become your advocate once the book is sold and can advise on so many areas in the launch to publication such as cover concept, working to secure author blurbs, etc.

A publicist helps to secure “earned media” for book tied to its launch/publication date.  Publicists work to get coverage of your book in newspapers, magazines, online, and work to secure interviews on radio and podcast as well as TV.  We also work to arrange events at bookstores and libraries and literary festivals.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a publicist?

A: My favorite part of being a publicist is connecting readers with authors.  I also do still get a thrill when I land a big media “get” for an author like a booking on the Today Show and Good Morning America and I love working with debut authors!

Q: With twenty years’ experience in the publishing world, what would be your advice for anyone wanting to get his or her foot in the door to become a publicist as you have? 

A: Be curious about the book and author world around you! I think a good place to start is to read the industry publications like Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness and others. Being a publicist requires that you be an excellent writer and communicator so I would brush up on those skills if you need to. Internships can also be a good place to start and get real world experience and several of the large publishers like Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins offer them. 

Q: You’ve worked with so many interesting people especially bestselling authors, new authors and celebrities! Would you like to talk about some of your famous clients?

A: Over the course of my long career, I have been fortunate to work with many famous authors and celebrities. Among the highlights was the launch of Nicholas Sparks’ first novel THE NOTEBOOK as well as David Baldacci’s first novel ABSOLUTE POWER. I consider myself fortunate to have worked with an array of accomplished authors and modern day icons including Martha Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, the estate of Martin Luther King Jr, Maria Shriver, Bill Gates, and Robert Downey Jr among many others.

Probably the most fun I had was working with Khloe Kardashian on her book, STRONG LOOKS BETTER NAKED.  My assistant was featured on an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashianswhen we promoted the book at BookCon.

Q: For aspiring authors what is your advice to them on getting you or anyone as their publicist?

A: There are so many wonderful publicity firms!  Publishing Trends compiles a yearly list of them:

You can also find me here:

Q: If you were to ever become an author would you be your own publicist or have someone else do it? What would your book be about if you wrote a book?

A: I would never be my own publicist – probably because I would be too tough on myself!   But I would definitely work to leverage all my contacts for coverage of it!  My book would be a semi autobiographical novel about working in the publishing industry and I have about a third of it written already!

Q: What’s it like having senior positions at Regan Arts, Hachette Book Group, and St. Martin’s Press? 

A:  Having senior positions is hard work but what I love most about having them is that you can mentor new and emerging talent and that is one of the things I most love to do. I was only able to get to where I am through my mentors as I was growing up in the business so I make it my mission to carry that forward to the next generation.