Q&A With Kaitlyn Kennedy
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Q&A With Kaitlyn Kennedy
Today’s Q&A will be another different and exciting one. I am going to do a Q&A with Kaitlyn Kennedy who is a literary publicist at Kaye Publicity. Kaye Publicity a literary public relations agency and one of their clients is New York Times Bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz. It’s so exciting isn’t it?
Q: So Kaitlyn can you explain to the readers of my blog and I, what literary publicists do?
A: Thanks so much for hosting this Q&A, Bianca! As a literary publicist, I work with authors to secure earned media coverage for their books. Working with media is a huge part of the job and in my 15 years working in the industry I’ve developed strong relationships with book reviewers at national magazines and newspapers, podcast hosts and producers, and other media pros that cover books. This includes reviews, author features or Q&A’s, listicle mentions and author interviews.
Q: When in your life did you realize that being a publicist is something you wanted to do?
A: My degree is in English and Public Relations and when I graduated in 2008, I interned in the publicity department at one of the big five publishers. I absolutely fell in love working on books. As a news junkie, publicity seemed like a natural fit for me and I found it thrilling to secure national media for authors and play a crucial role in a book’s success.
Q: What advice do you give to anyone who wants to pursue being a publicist as a career?
A: Try securing an internship so you can get a taste of what the day-to-day life of a publicist is really like and see whether it’s something you truly enjoy. People in the book world are friendly, so talk to people in the industry and set-up informational virtual interviews where you can ask questions and learn the ins and outs of what the job entails.
Q: Other than Gregg Hurwitz, can you tell us some of the other authors you’re a publicist for?
A: At Kaye Publicity, we work with a wide range of fiction and non-fictions authors and have experience working on campaigns for everything from thrillers to romance to historical fiction. I’m currently working with contemporary romance author Annie Rains, prolific historical author Vanessa Riley, thriller writer MP Woodward, and fantasy writer Rebecca Yarros, to name a few. Being able to work with such incredible authors every day is my favorite part of the job.
Q: For anyone who is an aspiring author, what advice do you give them to contact a publicist to work for them?
A: Authors don’t need a publicist until their book is under contract, so if you’re still working on your book, that’s where you should focus your energy. You don’t need to focus on book promotion until you know your path to publication, either with an agent and traditional publisher or self-publishing.
Once you are ready to hire a publicist, know what your goals are and do your research to be sure you’re working with a publicist or hiring a firm that’s the best fit for you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to past or current clients to find out what their experience was like working with the firm before you make any decisions.
Q: If you ever became an author, would you be your own publicist or would you want someone else to be your publicist?
A: Interesting question! I think sometimes authors find it uncomfortable or awkward to pitch their own book to the media and I would likely fall in that camp so I would prefer to have a publicist represent me. It’s always ideal for a publicist and author to work hand-in-hand and have great communication, so I would definitely be active in the publicity conversation but wouldn’t want to pitch myself. That being said, publishing is a small world and I have many connections that I’d be sure to utilize if I were to have a book release. It takes a village to have a successful career as an author and you often need many talented people on your team to make a book launch successful.
Kaitlyn Kennedy, Publicity Director
Kaitlyn spent more than a decade as an in-house publicist at Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Sourcebooks, and is now the Publicity Director at Kaye Publicity, a literary public relations agency Specializing in commercial fiction, she has worked with a wide range of both fiction and nonfiction authors throughout her career and led numerous New York Times bestselling campaigns including Orphan Train, The Woman in the Window, All the Gallant Men, Sold on a Monday, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and The Only Woman in the Room. She’s maintained strong relationships with key media outlets and has landed national placements for clients on CBS This Morning, NBC’s Today, Parade Magazine, People Magazine, Washington Post, NPR and many more. A Quinnipiac University graduate with a dual degree in English & Public Relations, she currently resides in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood and in her spare time can be found reading, biking or walking her senior rescue dog, Sloane, along the lake. She can be reached at Kaitlyn@kayepublicity.com