Unsolicited: A Taxonomy of Book Publicists

If there's one thing that about 96 percent of authors can agree on, it's that their in-house publicist sucks, and often, editors tend to sympathize - especially when they end up fielding the disgruntled calls from their authors who've trooped out to East Buttfuck to give an impassioned reading to three people. But is it possible that publicists are unfairly maligned? On the one hand, it's a publicist's job to make people care about a book. On the other hand, is it a publicist's fault that an author wrote a book no one cares about? Besides, working in publicity is no treat. On any given day, a publicist might go from harried travel agent to ill-prepared baby-sitter for truly awful authors, all for the same shit wages that editors bitch about. People who can pull this off with grace and panache deserve just as much credit as editors do, believe me. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that too many publicists do, in fact, suck at their admittedly difficult and repugnant jobs. But they certainly don't all suck in the same way.

Publicist Barbie
She's cute, she's bubbly and she, like, totally thinks the book is the best ever! Of course, she read it! Well, like, she read most of it. Most of the first chapter anyway. But she definitely read all of the flap copy.
My Publicist Likes to Party All the Time
She's fun to drink with and she ain't bad-looking, but she's better at scoring party invites (and just plain scoring) than scoring a feature or review. And definitely don't expect her to wake up early to accompany your author to his GMA taping.
PUM - Publicist Until Married
She's organized - at least when it comes to updating her Match.com profile. But she's not in it for the long haul. When you see a ring on her finger and/or notice she's learned a new term she likes to trot out at least 5 times a phone call ("my fiance..."), you'll know it's only a matter of time (seriously, like a year max) before she trades in her stilettos for a spit-up stained Juicy sweatsuit - permanently.
The Three Ls: Lazy, Lying and... Lazy
These are the squirreliest of the lot. They can talk the talk (who's better at spin than a publicist?) but when it comes down to it, they are sitting in their offices playing solitaire while chatting on their cell phones dealing with their nanny/husband/mom. But while they might be slow to answer authors' voice mails and emails, they're always quick to claim credit where credit isn't due. (And, no, getting mentioned on awesomereadergirl16.blogspot.com doesn't count as a press hit.)
Overburdened (and Soon to Be Otherwise Employed)
With too many projects on her plate, she barely has time to eat lunch at her desk and she certainly doesn't have the energy to answer your authors' questions. This publicist could be good, hell she could be great, but no one will ever know since soon, she'll be gone. Why slave away for publishing wages when PR is PR no matter what industry pays your bills?
Still Waters Run Deep
You wouldn't think this woman is the one you want hawking your authors' wares - she's subdued, a little cranky sometimes, and doesn't speak unless spoken to - but set her loose on magazine editors and damn can she sweet talk a couple of column inches out of them.
One in a Million
Responsive, creative, passionate about books, good with people. This publicist has her shit together, and if she acts like it don't stink, it's only because she's too busy being awesome to care about what people think. If you see her, let us know.

Unsolicited is a brand-new anonymous editor with a chip on his/her shoulder. Yes, somehow we managed to find another one.