My Job in 5: Eve Wersocki-Morris
Bookseller Interview: My Job in 5
- Describe your role.
I secure media coverage and organise events for authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade and young adult titles. This regularly involves posting out books tied in coloured ribbon; raving about upcoming titles to journalists; carrying an excessive number of signing pens; calculating prosecco-to-guest ratios and frantically buying authors deodorant ten minutes before an event.
- What do you like best about your role?
The variety; from thoughtfully crafting a press release to sharing a cuppa with a passionate librarian at a school event. Meeting people; publishing attracts a wonderful array of creative and interesting individuals. Talking about books – whether it be with colleagues or young readers or taxi drivers!
- Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working with Abi Elphinstone on her new middle grade adventure, Rumblestar. 2019 is our ‘Year of Abi’ – she’s had a £1 World Book Day book Everdark and in October she has a picture book The Snow Dragon, illustrated by Fiona Woodcock. The joy of in-house publicity is building up a strong relationship with an author.
- What skills do you need for your role?
Passion and patience are essential. You need to be able to convince an editor or a festival director to make time for your authors and illustrators. You also need to accept that somethings might go wrong – whether it’s a no-show at a signing or a late book delivery – keep smiling and have a plan B.
- What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Volunteer at a local literary festival (chat to publicists in the Green Room); explore PR job opportunities in other creative fields to gain some transferable skills; follow industry people on social media; read The Bookseller! Keep positive – it might be a long slog but you’ll get there in the end.
Eve Wersocki Morris, Publicity Manager at Simon & Schuster Children’s