How Publicity Helps Writing Careers: A Case Study

At some point, almost every writer asks: How will publicity help my career?

The truth is, like with so many other writer’s life issues, there is no single answer. But there are some general scenarios that can help guide our thinking, and this past month I had the privilege of seeing an author I’ve helped live out one of the success stories we all can hope for.

In early January Joe Burgo, whose self-published book Why Do I Do That? Psychological Defense Mechanisms and the Hidden Ways the Shape Our Lives I publicized, landed an impressive publishing deal from Touchstone for his next book, The Narcissist You Know.

Before getting to the story of the role publicity played, I have to gush about how superbly top-notch Joe’s writing and expertise are. Why Do I Do That is a page turner that sheds light into something we should all be aware of: the little lies we tell ourselves to hide from pain. Joe – who’s a practicing, Ph.D. psychotherapist – works round the clock, not only writing books and helping clients, but also blogging at his personal site,, writing articles for The Atlantic and blog posts for Psychology Today.

(The last two are are gigs that came from our work together.)

Joe’s story of catapulting from self-published to “featured deal” on Publisher’s Lunch Deluxe – at auction no less — is exactly the type of scenario