You might not know it from looking at this site, which seems to be all over the place, but I spend most of my time helping others, in some capacity, to promote their books and projects to the rest of the world, primarily through the publicity group Aid & Abet, which I coordinate along with my friend Matt Dineen.
What I do is, essentially, sales. It’s selling an author or their book to a writer at a magazine or to a host at a venue. “Sales,” in general, feels pretty gross, because potentially, I could fall into that loathsome set of people that self-promote constantly or who push their materials on you at inappropriate moments or try to sell you things you don’t need or want. Or who fuel consumption. Really, though, I think of it as a lot more (and better) than that – publicity can be all about helping authors/filmmakers/organizations connect with people who really want to know that they or their project exists. You know, like that moment when you find an amazing book and think to yourself, why did it take me so long to discover this? I look at my job as helping people connect with others who will be excited about their work. That feels pretty good.
Plus, and this is the good part for me, I get to choose the people that I work with so I get to interact with people who I am really excited about. And I’ve been really lucky over the years to work with people like Ted Nace, Raj Patel, and David Solnit, who I just think are really cool.
Anyway, the entire purpose of this post is to tell you that I’ve recently started working as the staff publicist for the Hesperian Foundation.
A lot of my friends/peer group have never heard of Hesperian before, though a few have heard of their book “Where There is no Doctor” (pictured to the left), which I first purchased myself around 1996. I still have my copy, along with “Where there is no Dentist.” You know, comes in handy when you don’t have health insurance.