Alumni in the Spotlight Interview: May 2014

Alum_Spotlight3Allegra Green is a May 2011 graduate of the MS in Publishing program. During her time at Pace, she interned with the Jean V. Naggar Literacy Agency, Vanguard Press, and at Dutton working  on online marketing. Currently, Allegra serves as the Marketing Operations Coordinator at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She was just recently promoted from her position as Marketing Assistant which she held since 2011.

Professor Denning: What has life been like since graduating the Publishing Program?

Allegra: Since graduating from the M.S. in Publishing program, I’ve work in quite a few different roles, before I finally found myself in Marketing.  My first job in publishing was In House Floater for Hachette Book Group. This job allowed me to work with almost every department in the company. I’ve worked with Marketing, Publicity, Production, Editorial, Sales, Subrights, etc. I’ve met many of my colleagues, and that helped me get my previous job as Marketing Assistant.  I previous served on Children’s Book Council’s Early Career Committee, on their networking and social sub committee. Currently I’m the Marketing Operations Coordinator, for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Professor Denning: You had some impressive internships while in the program. Do you think they were essential in securing your job?

AllegraGreen_photoAllegra:  All of my internships helped me in some way get to where I am today.  Interning helps prove to any hiring manager that you know what you are doing and you are invested in this career path because you’ve taken the time to learn about it.

Professor Denning: Did you always know you wanted to be in the marketing side of publishing? What motivated you on this path?

Allegra:  I never thought I would end up in Marketing.  I started the program believing that I was going to be an editor. It was a journey; finding out that marketing was the right place for me.  My internships sparked my interest in marketing because I worked on creating target blogger lists, and looking into online communities where our authors could engage fans as well as ways to connect them to booksellers.  What confirmed my choice was a combination of all of my experiences, my internships, my time as In house floater, and a former mentor.

Professor Denning: What are some challenges you face as a Marketing Operations Coordinator?

Allegra: In my role it’s important to keep track of what is going on in the department and making sure that everyone has what they need to get things in by the due date.  I manage a few different things that affect our whole marketing and publicity department, including monitoring, and maintenance of our marketing budget, sales materials, advertising, and departmental scheduling. The most challenging thing has been sales materials.  It is vital that sales in any company has the materials that they need in order to present to an account.  I oversee the production of the materials that Sales needs and work in conjunction with Managing Editorial, Production, Design and our warehouse to make sure that all materials are produced and delivered on time.  This process involves keeping track of multiple things including tracking the material budgets, any changes to the schedules, communication with the different groups so that they are aware of the changes, ensuring delivery, and creating some materials and presentations.   The challenge with this is staying on top of all those things, and not missing the deadline.

Professor Denning: You were just recently promoted. What has the transition been like?

LBYRAllegra: My job has always involved departmental operations, sales materials and budgeting, but I’ve increase my responsibilities in those areas and I’m no longer assisting anyone and that has been a strange transition.  My department has underwent some transitioning and my role expanded including overseeing the booking and monitoring of our advertising efforts.  I work with our ad agency to brief them on all books that are getting campaigns, what venues we want to hit, when we want the campaign to run and from there I track the booking internally with marketing’s designers through delivery, and track  the success of each ad campaign through the tracking reports.

Professor Denning: What advice do you have for students who are interested in marketing? What skills are essential in getting hired?

Allegra:  One of the things that I’ve taken away since my first internship and it is a lesson that I continually learn in this business—everyone markets and the first step in being a good marketer is mastering marketing yourself. Marketing is a part of publishing that interacts with many different departments internally including Publicity, Sales, Editorial, Design and Production, as well as communicating with the consumer externally; so you need to be a person that can adapt to working with different people. In order to thrive in this area you always need to be knowledgeable about what other companies are doing, who is the target audience, and how they would react to book that you are marketing.  Marketing is all about creativity, and one of the best things I learned from my last manager, is to always speak up because all ideas are appreciated even if they are not the best—some of the worst ideas can help lead to the best ones.

The best advice I could offer to help get students hired is to take advantage of your classes, professors, guest speakers, classmates and networking events. My first job in publishing was because a classmate told me about a job board posting at my current company.  The publishing program will help you stand out amongst the other hundreds of job candidates but internships, and references from other people around the industry with help you land the job. Your classes will give you the background but your interaction with others will give you the skills.  So network, network, network.

Professor Denning: What were some highlights of your graduate career?

Allegra:  Some of the highlights besides, some of my classmates, was having the guest speakers come in and hearing about what they do in their roles. Professor Soares’ Children’s Book Publishing confirmed that I wanted to be in children’s publishing and Professor Diehn’s Desktop Publishing course has helped me time and time again with presentations, and projects.

Professor Denning: What did you write your thesis paper on? Do you have any advice for students currently writing their papers?

Allegra:   My thesis topic was Book Publishing and the Digital Future: How Have E-books and Technology Impacted Adult Trade Books?  When I first chose this topic it was something that I was deeply interested in and wanted to learn about.  My advice is pick a topic that you are passionate about, and think about why that it.   You have a wide array of information at your disposal use it.  I used articles in my thesis paper that I read for my first class in the program; so think about everything you have learned and how you can apply it to writing your paper.

Professor Denning: What do you think are the biggest challenges or changes occurring in the Publishing industry?

Allegra: One of the biggest challenges in past few years has been Amazon.  Amazon’s growth and control of book sales has changed this industry in many ways, with the closing of Borders, and many Indie bookstores. Amazon continually revolutionizes book publishing with their publishing model.

Professor Denning: Where do you see yourself headed in the future in regards to your career, 5 or 10 years down the line?

Allegra: This industry is always changing and expanding in digital. I think I would like to learn more about digital operations and expand my knowledge of web design, and move towards that direction.

 

Thank you, Allegra!