Faces of Publishing: Danielle Bartlett, William Morrow (April, 2012)

Danielle Bartlett

Danielle Bartlett is an Associate Director at William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, where she has worked for 7 years.  Prior to that she worked at a private public relations agency for travel and tourism clients.
She has created publicity campaigns for many major bestsellers including James Rollins, Noah Boyd, T.J. English, Andrew Gross, J.A. Jance and Charles Todd.
She graduated from New York University with a degree in Communications.  She lives in Astoria with her husband and son.

Michael Homler

Alex C. Telander: How did you first get started in publishing?

Danielle Bartlett: I came to publishing via publicity.  I started my career at a public relations agency and my director from that agency left to work in publishing.  A year later she called me up because there was an open spot and I loved mysteries.  Been in publishing ever since.

Alex: Did you always want to work in publicity?

Danielle: Yes, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Alex: Who are some of your favorite authors you’ve gotten to meet and/or work with?

Danielle: One of the reasons I decided to leave my agency and come to publishing was Lawrence Block.  He’s a legend, rightfully so.  Katherine Hall Page and Carolyn Hart have been incredibly kind to me over the years and I have loved working with them.  And my fellow Texan, Deborah Crombie; it’s always a pleasure to work with her.

Alex: Author book tours: are they lots of fun, lots of hard work, or a combination of the two?

Danielle: Hard work and increasingly less worthwhile.  I think someone really has to have a following to make a book tour work.  I’m not saying they need to be a bestseller, but they definitely need to be able to rally a crowd, whether through social media or friends.  And the author needs a story that media is going to want to cover.

Alex: Any enlightening stories you’d like to share about a particular author or author tour?

Danielle: Can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

Alex: What does an ordinary day entail for you?

Danielle: Too much email.  Every day is different.  Some days I’m putting out fires, others I’m starting them.  All day I’m communicating to someone—authors, media, bookstores, fans.  By the time I get home I don’t want to see a phone, computer or blackberry and I barely can say hello to my family.

Alex: What’s your favorite part of the job?

Danielle: Getting that great piece of media that lets the world know about your author.  It’s fantastic.

Alex: Do you get lots of free books as a publicist?

Danielle: Yes!  But I don’t have the time to read them all.

Alex: Like anyone who works at a bookstore, it’s said that everyone working in publishing is an aspiring writer; is this true for you?

Danielle: Absolutely NOT.  I would never write a book, it’s torture.  I see the emotional toll it puts on authors and I just don’t want to go through that.  Plus, publicists are social beings.  If we had to be locked in a room with our thoughts for hours a day… I can’t imagine.

Alex: What do you think about ebooks?

Danielle: Ebooks are changing our business.  Time will tell if it’s for the better or worse.  I owned an e-reader for about two months until it stopped working.  A book never stops working and I could have purchased 10x the books I read on the e-reader for the price I paid for that piece of failing technology.

Alex: How long do you think printed books will last, or will they never disappear?

Danielle: They will never disappear.

Alex: For someone interested working in publishing, what’s the best way to get started?

Danielle: One of the publishing courses at either Columbia or NYU.  Although I didn’t come into the business that way, I know many did and I would say it is the best way to get your foot in the door.

Alex: What do you like to read?

Danielle: Mysteries and thrillers.  If I didn’t like to read them there is no way I could promote them.

Alex: Who’s your favorite author?

Danielle: They are all my favorite 😉

Alex: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Danielle: I have a toddler, I have no spare time.

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