My Job in 5: Paul Smith
1. Describe your role
I'm the publicist at SelfMadeHero, and my role is create an awareness of our books by liaising across all national media, whether that's in print, through broadcasting or online outlets. Whilst I focus each new titles as it is published, I am also dealing with enquires about our whole catalogue of titles. We're a small team so I work closely with marketing and acqusitions departments to share our ideas on how best to promote each book. Those teams efforts often develip the most surprising results.
2. What do you like best about your role
I enjoy the diversity of topics that each book since they cover a range of topics and styles, meanting that each book can potentially appeal to a wider audience beyond the graphic novel. It's a delightful challenge to find ways of wideneing a continual awareness of SelfMadeHero as one of UK's exciting independent publisher and increasing an appreciation of what graphic novels or sequential art can offer any reader. For example, INJ Culbard's Lovecraft appeal to horror fans whilst Martin Rowson's The Communist Manifesto and Reinhard Kleist's An Olympic Dream offer opportunitites to reach out to readers more interested in politics and current affairs. Likewise the range of Atr Masters titles, which include Vincent and Munch offer an invaluable introduction to art history. On top of that, I get to meet an amazing range of writers, artists and creatos from all over the world . It's a friendly suppotive community who like to share their creative passions.
3. Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
Currently, SelfMadeHero have a strong slate of titles for the Autumn making it a busy time of year. There's Rachael Ball's emotional fable, Wolf, the macablre delights of Lip Hook by David Hine and Mark Stafford, and the bright pop art celebtation of Warhol's life in Typex's Andy. However, we're already preparing our slate for Spring 2019 next year and one of those highlights will be the new acquired Guantánamo Kid, the powerful true story of Mohammed El-Gharani by Jérôme Tubiana and Alexandre Franc.
4. What skills do you need for your role?
Publicity and PR are skills that combine natural personal and a wide range of practical skills, Clearly it helps to be a good communcator and enjoy meeting a wide range of interesting people in all walks of life. I have developed my experience through a varied range of roles, promoting arts-related events and independent films, even writing book reviews It's a role where you never stop learning and that's very exciting.
5. What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
As with any job, it's important you have a love for what your doing and understanding of the the graphic novels and comics medium, as well as the books industry in general. Equally, it's important to keep a broad awareaness of trends and ideas that are going on in the world because you nevre know when specialist knowledge or even trivia you've picked up elsewhere will open new doors of opportunity.