My Job in 5: Keara Donnachie, Marketing and publicity, Sandstone Press

My Job in 5: Keara Donnachie, Marketing and publicity, Sandstone Press

Describe your role

I’m the publicity officer for Sandstone Press. It’s my job to look after authors from the moment they sign their contract. This involves creating publicity campaigns, organising events such as book launches and, of course, social media.

What do you like best about your role?

I love being able to work with authors one-on-one. Every author and book is different, so no two publicity campaigns are ever the same. Helping writers spread the word about their book is very rewarding—especially getting that first review. I enjoy having the opportunity to build relationships with authors from all walks of life.

Which great new titles are you working on at the moment?

The first ever biography of Josephine Tey, the legendary Golden Age crime author and playwright. Despite being from Inverness, she had great success on Broadway and even wrote for Hollywood—it’s a fascinating story. It’s penned by the historian Jennifer Morag Henderson, who has been granted access to fascinating letters, photographs, and even some never-before-seen stories of Tey’s. She was a great inspiration to many crime writers; it’s an honour to bring her own story to life.

What are the benefits of working for a small publisher?

I think one of the main benefits is that we publish fewer books each month, therefore we can pay greater attention to every publicity campaign. It’s a more personal touch and one that many of our authors enjoy. Personally, I have a much greater role to play than I would in a bigger publishing house.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?

Internships are crucial. Experience is essential and you can build on future relationships. I found having a degree in publishing opened a lot of doors for me, and I’ve brought a lot to my role because of it. It can give you a solid foundation of how the publishing industry really works, which is essential in order to understand the bigger picture.