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Publicist Interview: Via Justine De Fant

Today, we are thrilled to be interviewing Via Justine De Fant, a Publicist and Project Manager at the University of Guam Press. You can learn more about Via on her website and Instagram.

We started this book publishing professionals blog series to spotlight book publishing professionals for Asian and Pacific Islander month. Our hope is that this series will inspire other Pacific Islanders interested in pursuing a career in traditional publishing. There are only a handful of Pacific Islanders in the publishing industry and we hope to see that number increase.

Thank you for joining us!

Book Publicist Responsibilities

Could you introduce yourself for our audience?

My name is Via Justine De Fant. I am the Publicist and a Project Manager at the University of Guam Press. I am an emerging Filipina writer and avid reader raised on Guam who also holds a deep love and respect for literacy and the literary arts. 

What does a book publicist do? 

A book publicist promotes an author's work by creating and executing marketing strategies to increase visibility and sales. I arrange media appearances, interviews, book signings, book launches and community outreach events that center UOG Press’s publications and our authors and artists. I also oversee various projects and initiatives that center our publications and find creative ways to share them with our community. 

In my day-to-day I oversee and create partnerships with local, regional, and international vendors and organizations in an effort to share the value of our titles with the rest of the world. I craft press releases and collaborate with a talented creative visual team to craft engaging graphics and marketing assets for promotion. My goal is to maximize exposure of UOG Press publications and promote a positive image for our authors and artists as part of UOG Press’s mission to advance regional scholarship, develop cultural literacy, and expand accessibility to knowledge about Micronesia.

Share with us how you became a publicist. What were the steps you took to get to your position?

I applied to UOG Press in June 2021 where I was hired shortly after. I’ve always had a passion and love for literary arts, so I made sure to include relevant experiences in my resume to show my strengths in writing, publishing, research, and communications or marketing. Knowing what I love and what I wanted to do at a young age, which is to be around books, informed the opportunities I went after as I curated by resume. In high school, I was a youth journalist for the Pacific Daily News. I was a writing tutor in college, a research analyst for the Guam Legislature, a freelance writer for various local businesses, and a workshop facilitator for poetry. I also graduated with my BA (2018) and MA (2021) in English Literature. It’s not mandatory to have a degree, but it’s helps to have a strong familiarity with marketing, communications, English or a related field to separate yourself from a pool of applicants. I firmly believe my background helped me get to where I am today.

UOG Press is small publishing house that relies on grant funds and book sales. To sustain all the positions and projects here, it’s important to be creative in the ways we secure funding. Larger publishing houses may not have to worry as much about funding as smaller ones do, but I think our unique situation keeps us highly dynamic, creative, and adaptable to the needs of our press.

Career Advice

Marketing to the Pacific Island Community


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