After a fifteen-year career in the book publishing industry, most recently as Vice President, Assistant Publisher, and Director of Publicity at PublicAffairs, Gene Taft relocated to Washington, DC and in 2006 set up his own public relations firm, GT/PR, specializing in the promotion of books and authors. A long-time media, marketing, communications, and public relations professional, Taft blends his significant experience dealing with "serious non-fiction" books and his personal love of popular culture by working on a wide range of books on politics, current events, history, biography, sports, music, film, and television.
Upon moving to Washington, DC in late 2005, Taft observed that there were an abundance of authors in town and plenty of national and local media, but surprisingly few good book publicists operating exclusively in "The District." And although there are a number of very fine freelance publicity firms around today, Taft also noticed that over the past several years there were fewer and fewer small firms around to work more intimately with authors.
According to Taft, "Over the years, I found that my favorite, and the most effective, way to conduct book publicity was through the one on one cooperation between a publicist and author. Having worked as a publicist at both large and small publishing houses I am well aware of the wonderful support a publisher provides an author, but I am also aware of a certain degree of frustration. Much of my personal frustration stemmed from the inability to really sink my teeth into every project because I had too many other daily responsibilities. Now, with the formation of GT/PR, I intend to be very choosy about which books, and how many books, I take on, so I can put all my resources behind each campaign."
Commenting on his decision to open GT/PR, Taft added, "the chance to get back into the flow of the book publishing world and reconnect with the wonderful producers and editors I've worked with over the years was an opportunity I could not resist. Frankly, I missed working with the creative and dedicated people on all sides of the business, from publishing colleagues and authors, to the media and booksellers.
Book publishing is an industry where ideas, inspiration, words, and information brilliantly coalesce into fantastic, portable, collectible forms of entertainment and education. The publication, promotion, sales, and consumption of books is such a wonderfully strange world, there really is no other industry quite like it. It's good to be back, and I'm looking forward to reconnecting with many others from my publishing past including some outstanding authors, and I'm looking forward to meeting many exciting new authors and discovering great new books."
In an effort to better serve each and every client who approaches GT/PR looking for promotional help above and beyond what a publisher can provide, GT/PR has built an informal referral network with fellow publicists. GT/PR has also established alliances with companies that provide radio and satellite TV campaigns, graphic design, and many other promotional outlets.
Taft summed up this informal referral network by saying, “GT/PR hopes to never have to say NO to any potential customer. When a customer comes to GT/PR with the need for additional promotional support and it is something we cannot handle for one reason or another, we will do our best to find someone in our network to provide that help.”