Grace Pilkington

Grace Pilkington - Publicist

Hastings, UK

As Head of Publicity at versatile Quartet Books for ten years, I’ve worked on a huge range of campaigns for fiction & non-fiction titles

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Overview

I'm a freelance book publicist who has worked in the publishing industry for thirteen years. I was Head of Publicity at Quartet Books for ten years. Books and people have always been my passion and as soon as I found a career that combined the two, I knew it was my calling!

Every book is unique and requires a different approach and I love dreaming up innovative ways to get extraordinary titles the attention they deserve, whether this be through features, interviews, articles by the author, or online and in person events. The process of publishing a book should be an exciting and collaborative process, with the author feeling supported and encouraged by their publicist. I believe in the personality behind PR - I like to strip back the PowerPoints and build a strong relationship with my authors.

I will have an initial video meeting with you to discuss your book, what your dreams are and what your budget is and then I’ll put together a plan for your approval. I will then begin the process - writing a press release, contacting the media and creating online traction. The campaign can lead up to publication date or beyond! I will give weekly updates and be contactable at any point, should the author have any questions.


I can also talk you through other elements of the publishing process and, with experience in sales and copy editing, I can help you write pieces to publicise your work and approach bookshops and potential stockists. I also have contacts in printing, distribution and still work closely with Quartet’s managing editor should you need editorial assistance.


Here are some testimonials from authors I've worked with in the past:


The Magic of Grace Pilkington. Grace Pilkington gave life to my book. Marked Cards, a lighthearted memoir of a more glamorous time, was published by Quartet Books in September 2020. Its audience would be limited, I was no household name, and there would be no media interest.

Grace waved her wand. A three page feature entered Tatler’s October issue. I was stunned. The wand flicked again. A lengthy article in the Mail Online, a double page spread in the Daily Express, a favourable review in Spears magazine were conjured up. Now I was entranced. Then the wand summoned forth interviews on BBC Wiltshire (my local), on Talk Radio Europe, an amusing mention in the Hardcastle column of the Daily Mail. The High Life column of the Spectator recommended the book, Spears Magazine chose Marked Cards as one of its ‘four best autumn reads’. Along with the autumn leaves I was blown away.

The wand’s work was not quite done. Major features in both the Gentleman’s Journal and Wiltshire Life suddenly appeared.

Marked Cards has registered with the reading public through Grace’s expertise, reputation, and humour. Now that she is starting her own independent book PR firm, no one could better promote self-publishing authors , or those writers who feel neglected by their own publisher’s promotional team. Or indeed help a small publisher that has no such team.

So enter the magic circle of Grace Pilkington Publicity. Close your eyes tight, let it happen ...and have fun.’

Emmanuel Olympitis, Author of Marked Cards (Quartet Books)


On completion of Doctors Dissectedin 2014 my co-author Jane Haynes and I had the good fortune to fall into the hands of Quartet Books and publication loomed. What I needed - and had the great good fortune to achieve - was a skilled and experienced midwife to help deliver this baby. Jane was already a published author and highly acknowledged editor, but I, a newcomer, welcomed the professionalism of Grace

Pilkington in navigating the stormy process of publication. Grace has all the calm savoir faire that made what otherwise might have been a tempestuous time seem easy and I am eternally grateful to her for being there, saying the right things, and for being the catalyst that made our publication happen. Once the book arrived, Grace facilitated a strong promotion across the media and the launch of the book was a rapid success welcomed both within the realm of medicine and in particular the wider public, with sales continuing to this day. Have confidence and place yourself in her hands, you will not be disappointed.’

Dr Martin Scurr, Daily Mail Columnist and co-author of Doctors Dissected (Quartet Books)


'Grace has been publicising my books published with Quartet since 2014 and when ‘If I chance to talk a little wild’ was published she achieved excellent coverage for the book including a controversial review in the Spectator, as well as TLS and several others, including a sold out gig with the How To Academy. Since then we have worked on two further ventures and I am always in awe of Grace’s ability to combine persistence and insistence with an ability to charm editors rather than pester. Working with Grace is dynamic but challenging because she makes it clear that the author needs to be as committed to the quicksilver demands of the media as her publicist. I enjoy the collaboration so much, it is an incentive to write another book or article. Her social skills and experience in organising media events and Naim Attallah’s infamous book launches are legendary.’

Jane Haynes, co-author of Doctors Dissected and author of If I chance to talk a little wild (Quartet Books) and In the Consulting Zoom: A Psychotherapist’s Journal of Lockdown (Independently published ebook-exclusive)


'I worked with Grace Pilkington for many years and believe her to be one of the best PR practitioners I have ever known; intelligent, discreet, courteous, imaginative, reliable, successful and hard-working. I have no hesitation in recommending her and her considerable talents.'

David Elliott, long term Editorial Director of Quartet Books



Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Fiction
Children's
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Poetry
Women's Fiction

Work experience

Freelance Book Publicist

Self-employed
January, 2021 – Present (11 months)

I'm a freelance book publicist who has worked in the publishing industry for thirteen years. I love dreaming up innovative ways to get extraordinary titles the attention they deserve, whether this be through features, interviews, articles by the author, or online and in person events. The process of publishing a book should be an exciting and collaborative process, with the author feeling supported and encouraged by their publicist. I believe in the personality behind PR - I like to strip back the PowerPoints and build a strong relationship with my authors.

Head of Publicity

Quartet Books
September, 2011 – Present (over 10 years)

As head of publicity for Quartet Books, I managed publicity campaigns for over a hundred books, including six books by Brian Sewell, titles by Sally Emerson and Alexander Newley’s memoir. I managed the serialisation of a number of memoirs, with extracts published in The Sunday Times, The Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail. In addition to this, I organised interviews and features on TV, Radio and in broadsheets, magazines, online and social media. As well as arranging launches, interviews and paid for festival appearances, I have escorted authors to such events to ensure they feel comfortable and supported.

Projects

The White Umbrella by Brian Sewell

As well as handling publicity for his memoirs, I led a campaign for Brian Sewell's children's book The White Umbrella. As he was not known as a children's author and Quartet did not usually publish children's books, it was a challenge. However, the campaign was extremely successful and the book received the following press:
Evening Standard news story, 13th February
Mail on Sunday Event Magazine first interview on Brian’s life and review, 1st March
Vogue Online Culture Guide, 2nd March
Independent columns by Simon Kelner and John Walsh, 5th March
The Times Children’s Book of the Week, 7th March Telegraph Magazine Flashback interview, 7th March
The Times T2 interview, 9th March
Evening Standard review, 12th March
Daily Telegraph Fame and Fortune interview, 21st March Sunday Times Home supplement feature with a plug for the book, 29th March
Independent on Sunday review, 28th March
Spectator review, 2nd April
Books for Keeps review, 10th April
Observer This Much I Know interview, 12th April
The Lady interview, 17th April
Country Life review, April
Radio 2 Steve Wright Afternoon Show interview, 14th May Times Literary Supplement review, 15th May
Oldie Review of Books review, July issue
Town and Country launch coverage, Summer Issue
Tatler, Summer Books round up, August
Vanity Fair book review on the blog, date TBC
The Week review, 11th June
The Literary Review review, July issue
The Times Christmas round up, 5th December

Unaccompanied Minor by Alexander Newley

I led a publicity campaign for Unaccompanied Minor by Alexander Newley, which included a large serialisation in the Mail on Sunday, an interview in the Sunday Times and reviews in The Lady, The Sunday Times and The Eening Standard. He was interviewed on BBC London and in Interview magazine. And much more...

Marked Cards by Emmanuel Olympitis

Emmanuel Olympitis' memoir Marked Cards was published in October 2020 and it received a double page spread interview in Tatler, a big spread on the Mail Online and The Express. As well as a feature in Spear's, Wiltshire Life, The Spectator and The Daily Mail. Emmanuel was also interviewed on BBC Wiltshie and Talk Radio Europe.

Sleeping with Dogs by Brian Sewell

I managed the publicity on all Brian Sewell's memoirs, including his peripheral autobiography Sleeping with Dogs. The Daily Mail published an extract and Brian was interviewed on the Today show and much more! Please see the press sheet with details of all the press it received.

Covid Thoughts by Gemma Levine

Covid Thoughts by Gemma Levine is to be published on 6th March 2021. My campaign included a double page feature in the Saturday Express, features in The Times and Evening Standard, features in three glossy magazines and an interview on BBC London and much more...

Portfolio (3 selected works)

The White Umbrella

Sewell, Brian, Lasson, Sally Ann

Grace has 2 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Jonathan Crane
I engaged Grace Pilkington to run the publicity for my debut novel We Need to Talk. She was friendly, approachable, efficient and effective. As an unknown first time author she did fantastic work promoting my book. I'd written an out of the way literary fiction cross between short story collection and novel, so I wasn't hopeful of gaining any media coverage. But Grace wove her magic and I ha...
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Jonathan Crane, September 2021


Ruth Kirby-Smith
Grace is brilliant to work with and I would highly recommend her services. Efficient, quick to respond and very well connected. She has arranged interviews and articles with people who I would not have been able to access. A delight to work with and I would absolutely use her again.

Ruth Kirby-Smith, June 2021

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