In Conversation with Tatti de Jersey
Posted in Neem Tree Blog on September 9, 2021
Tatti de Jersey has worked in children’s book PR for over 18 years. During that time she has worked for both traditional and independent publishers as well as a wide-range of authors such as Michael Morpurgo and Judith Kerr. She now works as a specialist PR consultant helping to build authors profiles via media interviews, literary festivals and book tours. Tatti talks to us about how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted PR over the last year, her advice for publishing hopefuls and the positive changes she would like to see within the publishing world.
To start us off, could you tell us a bit about your journey into children’s book PR?
I began my career in children’s book PR 18 years ago when I started to work with Philippa Perry Associates. The main clients were Michael Morpurgo and Judith Kerr. In addition we worked across many literary awards including Wicked Young Writer Awards and Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role as a specialist PR consultant for children’s books?
The work is varied in that this role. As a publicist you organise media interviews across all outlets including broadcast, TV, national and regional newspapers and digital platforms. In addition to build the authors’ profile you propose them for literary festivals and book tours, often you accompany them. Essentially you are always building their profile which leads to increase in book sales.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted PR over the last year? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
All literary festivals were either cancelled or postponed. All book tours were cancelled. Where possible the festivals were put online but one of the most important elements of children’s book festivals is for the children to see and hear their favourite authors live.
What words of wisdom/advice for publishing hopefuls out there? How can they best prepare for a position in book PR?
- As soon as you can in sixth form try to get an intern role or work experience in a publishing house so that you understand the daily routine.
- You could start your own reading/reviewing blog on your favourite authors. You can also offer to be a reviewer at various publishing houses.
What are some positive changes you would like to see within the publishing world in the next few years?
For publishing houses to give new authors opportunity to see their work published. Often big publishing houses stay safe for sales and keep the same authors on the front line.
What trends do you see in children’s books for the next few years?
- Picture books will always remain popular as young children will always respond to colours and touch.
- I see more books about nature, climate change and self-awareness diaries becoming popular.
Favourite publicity campaigns for book(s) you’ve worked on?
- Guess How Much I Love You 25th anniversary by Sam McBratney.
- We are Going on a Bear Hunt 25th anniversary by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
- The Gideon Trilogy by Linda Buckley-Archer.
What are you reading at the moment – children or adult?
I am reading Travellers Through Time by Ian Mortimer and Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust Book 3
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your insights with Neem Tree Press, Tatti!