It was so exciting, when I made my first sale, to be given the name of my "publicist". Wow. My own publicist! I had really arrived.
I received an email from my "publicist" introducing herself, expressing enthusiasm for my project, and asking me for any ideas or plans I'd made. Naturally, filled with optimism and energy, I responded with volumes of suggestions.
And then she went away. I don't know where. I never heard from her again.
A few years later, with a new series to be published, I heard from a new "publicist". Of course, I was wary by then, and a good bit wiser. I had learned that unless you're already a bestseller, "publicists" don't actually do anything demonstrable beyond sending out review copies. I dutifully informed mine of the booksignings I had arranged, of the publicity I was doing with my local media, and that sort of thing. No answer. I decided "publicist" must be an inside joke, and somehow I wasn't getting it.
I've always thought my experience must have been unusual. Surely it's not like this at every publishing house? Hmm. Read this, and then you decide. Oh, but put down your coffee cup first! Coffee snorted all over the keyboard just isn't good for it.