My Job in Five: Francesca Baker

My Job in Five: Francesca Baker

Describe your role. 
I am co-programmer and marketer at Margate Bookie, the friendly lit fest by the sea. I’m a publicist and copywriter at Literally PR, a boutique PR and marketing agency for the book industry. I also review books on my blog, “And So She Thinks”. I organise and run literature events. I’m outreach manager at Lapidus International, which focuses on words for wellbeing. I run lots of writing workshops for all sorts of audiences, and I do ad hoc PR for authors, so a bit of everything.

What do you enjoy about your role?
Well, thankfully, I like the variety. It keeps me excited and keeps me buzzing. My favourite part is communicating about brilliant writing and bringing people together—that’s why I really enjoy events. I love bringing people together to see new writers and literature and being part of a community.

What are you working on at the moment?
The big focus right now is producing a digital programme for Margate Bookie, as our real-life events can’t happen this year. It’s exciting, and in many ways opens us up to more diverse audiences. I’m also loving the broad spectrum of authors that Literally PR is working with—it’s a really exciting time. I’ve also been doing a lot of writing for wellbeing workshops, which seem really important in the challenging times we’re in.

What skills do you need for your role?
Versatility, because I do so much and need to be able to spin my skills to respond to the circumstances. Curiosity is key. I need to ask questions and think about what matters to the author and the audience. Creativity matters—thinking of new ways to connect with people and, of course, good communications skills are crucial.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
See what is happening in your local community and how you can get involved. Also know your worth. There’s a lot of volunteering happening in the world of literature, but there are also paid gigs out there. You need to eat and pay rent as much as the next person. Take part in Twitter chats and join social media groups to connect with other people in the industry.