Report From the Trenches: So what does this have to do with anything?

This morning I got on the elevator at work and this slight, short, interesting looking man (with great shoes on I might add) gets on with me.  I smiled, he smiled and I knew I recognized him, so I said, “You look like a movie star.”  He just smiled and I said, “Are you?” “Yes,” he replied as I asked, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?”  It was Tim Blake Nelson (I had to ask him his name) and I then proceed to tell him how much we (even my kids) loved that movie.  He said thanks and told me that his kids liked it too, right as I got off the elevator on the 8th floor.

I know that was completely uncool – as a good friend of mine pointed out to me when I first moved to New York from Wisconsin, nobody looks at anybody in elevators – let alone talk to them – but I was so happy I did it! I love NYC!

Watch Tim and the Soggy Bottom Boys here!

And, “If you are scratching your head and asking ‘Who the hell is Tim Blake Nelson?’, the long answer is you already know his work and the short answer is: He’s the guy in O Brother Where Art Thou? who isn’t George

Clooney or John Turturro.

So, what does this story have to do with anything?  Not much, just a great NY story and a reminder that this city is filled with interesting and creative people and amazing opportunities.  But, there is a connection to the book publishing world:  the movie is based on a great book by Bernard Evslin called The Adventures ofUlyssesI might just have to pick up a copy now.

 

 

Internship position at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Associate Agent Linda Epstein at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency is seeking an intern for 15-hours/week, 5-hours in her Long Island home office reading queries, doing Internet research, some light office work (filing, organizing, etc.) with additional hours to read manuscripts and write reader reports. In addition, the intern would be responsible for a once a month blog post. Linda represents MG, YA and Adult fiction, including literary, upscale commercial, contemporary realistic, Science fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk, historical, magical realism, quirky, off-beat, and LGBT. No mysteries, suspense, thrillers, romance, etc… The candidate should have experience reading MG and YA literature and be comfortable reading adult literature. There is a $20/week stipend to cover the costs of transportation and an endless supply of organic, fair trade coffee. Must have a sense of humor and like dogs.

If you are interested in this position, please email Prof. Jane Kinney-Denning for contact information at jdenning@pace.edu by December 1st, 2013.

FOLIO: Media Next Conference

A number of Pace MS in Publishing students had the unique opportunity to volunteer and to attend the FOLIO: media NEXT conference that took place in New York the last week of October.  In addition, Prof. Andrea Baron, Prof. Manuela Soares and Prof. Jane Denning were also able to attend.

Pace MS in Publishing student Maira Roman says, “Volunteering at Folio: MediaNext was a great opportunity to meet new people from Folio magazine and also to watch the presentations. It was good to see all the exhibitors and how they are engaged to think and build the future of magazine and book publishing.”

Tony Silber, the general manager of Folio:, Min, Expo, PR News and Audience Development,  and Jenn Heinold, Vice President, Events, Access Intelligence, generously provided us with this wonderful opportunity and we all learned a great deal about some of the issues, challenges and opportunities currently facing the magazine publishing industry.  It was an incredible opportunity for us to hear from key industry leaders about how they are transitioning their businesses in the digital age, to learn about new trends and strategies regarding  content management and social media.

Jenn Heinold
The conference was organized around five tracks—Media Management, MediaContent, MediaRevenue, MediaMarketing and MobileNext—and close to 100 speakers are on hand to guide you through today’s biggest opportunities: Mobile, tablets, social and transforming magazine publishing into a media model for a new era.  Click here for full descriptions of each track.

The speakers at the conference were an impressive and prestigious group of industry professionals, and included Chris Wilkes, Vice President, App Lab, Hearst Magazines, Chris Reynolds, Vice President, Marketing Analytics, Condé Nast, Chandra Magee, Senior Director, Digital Reader Outreach, The Economist, Kristine Shine, Chief Revenue Officer, PopSugar Media, and MS in Publishing Advisory Board member, and Bob Sacks, President, Precision Media Group.

Pace MS in Publishing student Ally Khristova says, “It was very rewarding to volunteer at Folio: MediaNext as I got to learn a lot about data, social media marketing, and digital newsstands. I also got to meet some great professionals in magazine publishing, including Caysey Welton, an associate editor of  Folio magazine, who was very welcoming and helpful.”

In the Keynote address for the conference, Elisabeth DeMarse, chair, president and CEO of TheStreet, Inc., a financial news and services network, addressed TheStreet Inc.’s turnaround: a company that has $60 million earmarked for acquisitions.

She also discussed her company’s subscription model and offered candid comments about downsizing her editorial staff and the expansion of TheStreet’s contributor content model. To read more about her talk, click here.

“Volunteering for the Folio: MediaNext conference was an eye-opening experience,” says Pace MS in Publishing student Caitlyn Callegari, “and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to attend. While there, I was able to attend a Sales session and meet with the speakers, and I also had the opportunity to browse the exhibition and I think that this conference was a glimpse into the promising future of books and magazines.”

To get a sense of what the discussions were on Day One of the conference, click here to read the MediaNext: Day One Wrap-Up: Key strategic, quick-hit takeaways in mobile, revenue, social and more.

To read what the prolific and insightful Bob Sacks posted regarding the event, see his newsletter and website here.

If you are interested in connecting with other professionals in the magazine and emedia industry be sure to check out  the FOLIO: MediaPRO group on LinkedIn: the group for professionals in the magazine and eMedia publishing industry. If you are involved in the creation, sales, marketing, editorial, production and delivery of critical information, resources, community and content via print, the Web, live events & other mediums, this is your group!

Thank you again to Folio: mediaNEXT for providing us with this wonderful opportunity.  We all learned a great deal and are looking forward to next year’s conference!

MS in Publishing Student Appreciation Dinner

The MS in Publishing program held a Student Appreciation Dinner on Thursday, May 2nd 2013, at the Midtown Executive Club.  The event’s purpose was reflective of its name, an evening dedicated to celebrating the success and hard work of our students.  In attendance were many Pace University officials including;  Provost Uday Sukhatme, Nira Herrmann, the Dean of Dyson College, Andres Villagra, the Associate Dean for Dyson College, Maria Iacullo-Bird, the Assistant Dean of Grad Programs, and Susan Ford, the University Director of Graduate Admissions, and Professor Sherman Raskin, the Chair of the MS in Publishing program. Faculty members Professor Jane Kinney-Denning, Professor Manuela Soares, Professor Jodylynn Bachiman, Professor Xiao-Chaun Lian and Professor Ivor Whitson were also present.  Click here to view professor bios!

 

Current students and alumni of the program also made up the audience which included over 70 people.  We are very fortunate to have such a dynamic and successful group of alumni, who frequently contribute to the Publishing program by attending events, teaching in the program, mentoring students and assisting them in their job and internship searches.  This event provided students with a wonderful opportunity to network and to learn more about opportunities for employment within the publishing industry.

 

Prof. Sherman Raskin began the event by introducing Provost Sukhatme and Dean Herrmann, who welcomed students to a wonderful evening and congratulated them on all of their achievements.  After main courses that included filet mignon, salmon and vegetarian platters, Professor Denning and Professor Soares offered up some sage advice to the students and warmly thanked them for all of the hard work they had put into earning their degrees.  “The future is now,” said Prof. Soares, in terms of technological innovations in the publishing industry.  She encouraged all of the students in the room to enter the workplace confidently knowing that they have the skills they need to succeed in today’s dynamic and competitive marketplace.  Professor Denning, also encouraged students to be confident as they move into the workplace and said that she is looking forward to seeing them develop into the innovative industry leaders that the program has prepared them to be.  She quoted a number of inspirational people such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose words Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail remind us that being unique is important.  Prof. Denning also quoted Madeline Albright, whose words “Real leadership comes from the quiet nudging of an inner voice. It comes from realizing that the time has come to move from beyond waiting to doing,” encourage students to trust themselves and strive to achieve their dreams.

 

Next, two current students spoke about their time in the program.  Ms. Diana Cavallo, a graduating student, and Ms. Heather Allen, in her second semester of the program, shared their academic and publishing experiences with the audience.  They thanked their professors for all of their assistance and support, and encouraged their classmates’ successes, as well.  Ms. Melanie Mitzman, an alumni of the MS in Publishing program currently working at Oxford University Press, also addressed the audience about her time spent in the program and how important it is for students to network with each other and their professors.  Professor Bachiman, also an alumni of the program, shared a number of her rewarding experiences as both a student and faculty member.  Professor Ivor Whitson, a long-time member of the MS in Publishing Advisory Board and faculty, concluded the evening by offering students advice about the entering the publishing industry. Many of his thoughtful and insightful comments centered on his reaction to a recent Op-ed piece written by Thomas Friedman in  the NY Times, in which Friedman discusses the implications of our moving “from a connected world to a hyper connected world.”  Professor Whitson also relayed his pride in all that the Publishing program has become over time.  Many students, faculty and alumni stayed to meet and connect with students long after the actual event ended.

 

This wonderful event is due, in part, because of the fees included in student tuition, the University’s decision to put these monies into programs that give back to students, and the support of Dean Herrmann, Associate Dean Villagras and Assistant Dean, Maria Iacullo-Bird in putting together this event.  It is Professor Raskin’s hope that the program will able to host Student Appreciation Dinners once a semester.  Thank you to all who attended and we hope to see you all next year!

Written By: Professor Jane Denning and Diana Cavallo

Report From the Trenches: Writing the Perfect Resume

Report From the Trenches:  Writing the Perfect Resume

By Professor Jane Kinney-Denning, Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach

 

This is the time of year that students who are about to graduate or who are in the middle of their graduate coursework are looking for their first entry-level jobs and summer internships.  Perhaps the most essential tool you have, in addition to your excellent degrees and strong work ethic, is your resume. 

 

In working with students over the past 14 years to guide them in their job and internship searches, I have reviewed more resumes and cover letters that I can even count!  Students come to me with a variety of experiences and diverse backgrounds and my main goal is to encourage them to use their resumes to showcase, in a clear and uncluttered format, the strong skills that they have to succeed in today’s competitive publishing marketplace.  This means putting together a resume that the potential employer does not have to “figure out”.  Your resume should present a clear chronology of both your academic and professional experiences — this can be accomplished simply by starting your resume with what you are doing right now…if you just completed your degree or are still in school, your education goes first and is then followed by any professional work experience you have (and, if you don’t have any, time to think about interning!). 

 

In today’s marketplace, where technology has and continues to impact every aspect of the book, magazine and media industries, it is also essential to include a section on your resume that showcases your technical and social media skills and, work on developing those—constantly!  Remember that your resume is not a static document.  As you acquire new skills and experiences, add them to your resume — it will need to be reorganized and content streamlined or deleted if it not relevant to the positions you are applying for.  If your interests and talents are varied and you would like to move throughout the industry in different directions, you might want to consider preparing two resumes—for example, if you are applying for a position that involves eBooks or magazine Apps, prepare one resume that focuses on your technical and design skills and if you are interested in the editorial or marketing side of things, also have a resume that focuses more on your editorial and management skills.

 

Once you have the basics included and a format that you like, updating your resume will not be an overwhelming prospect.  Updating your resume is something you need to do on a regular basis as you move on and up in your career.  For more tips on how to write the perfect resume, check out the article from the blog DailyWritingTips  entitled, 44 Resume Writing Tips by Daniel Scocco.  It is a great resource and gives some good advice on preparing your resume.  The only thing I would add would be to pass your resume by people whose opinion you trust—a Professor, a classmate, a friend—the more eyes you have on the resume before you send it out, the better. 

Another interesting article I want to share, “This is Why Your Resume was Rejected” from The Recruiters LoungeClick here to see the larger version of the interesting info graphic to the right that shows how resumes (in this image, CV=Resume) are received, reviewed and rejected!

 

 

Link of the Week: Professor Denning’s Trip to DC Comics

This past week, Tom Di Mascio, the Director of Supply Chain Management at DC Comics and a Professor in the MS in Publishing program (and also a former student of mine), graciously gave my three middle-school children  (and my husband who could not resist coming along) a tour of DC Comic’s  New York offices.   We were all excited to see where Superman, Batman and Catwoman (to name only a few), comic book characters were created and brought to life.

When we arrived at 1700 Broadway, we met Tom in the lobby where we found Clark Kent and Batman also waiting.

Mad Magazine

In some ways, the halls of the office is like a museum; filled with really cool art — covers from early comic books,  a giant hook rug wall hanging of  Alfred E. Neuman, the fictional mascot and cover boy of MAD Magazine  and giant paintings of Superman.

One really great part of our visit was when Tom walked us through the process of making a comic book by using the 5 huge paintings that lined the lobby wall of the 7th floor ( Picture 3).  It was so interesting to learn about all of the people involved in the process and to hear what they each did—who knew that you could be an “inker” as a job!

We met a lot of really interesting people; the MAD Editors, a lawyer with a really cool office filled with action figures and toys and of course we got to see Tom’s office which, given his title, is a dream come true for any kid or comic book fan.  We also had a chance to see the Library where the librarian showed us some of the collection and told some great stories about what was there.  We even got to hold a copy of a few first editions.  It was a fascinating day for us we learned a lot about DC Comics and comic book publishing in general.

According to Prof. Di Mascio, for anyone interested in publishing,

What is so cool about DC is that we are very active in: traditional publishing (Random House is our distributor); specialty (Diamond Comics is our distributor); subscription sales; newsstand sales; electronic books; collectibles (movie replicas, action figures, and statues)…  We’ve got it all  AND we save the universe from destruction every day.”

We had a great day-Thank you!  Be sure to check out the DC Comics website.  The blog is a good read.

 

Summer 2012 Internship Report!

By Professor Jane Kinney-Denning

This summer, there were 20 students enrolled in PUB 699A, Internship I, and interning all over New York City (with one student in Florida) in prestigious internships in both the book and magazine publishing industries.  It has been a very exciting and rewarding summer for all, and certainly a wonderful way for Pace MS in Publishing students to build their resumes and launch their careers.  Below is a list showing where these students interned and what their titles were.  I have also included links to five of the final Internship Essays (one of the requirements of the course) in case any of you are interested in getting a better sense of what the internship experience was like for some of these students.  All of the essays my students submitted were excellent, but the ones attached represent a broad spectrum of experiences and showcase the varied interests and talents of our students.

I am very proud of all of these students and very grateful to the companies who hired them and provided them with such a wonderful educational opportunity.

Students in our program are required to complete one internship for credit (if they are not online students or already working in the industry or another industry) and to write a thesis paper in PUB 699B, Internship II, the following semester.  It is a wonderful way for them to reflect upon the experience and to develop expertise in a particular area of the industry—a useful thing for them to take with them as they begin interviewing for their first entry level positions.

These courses are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer, so if you are a student in the program and interested in doing an internship, please email me at jdenning@pace.edu to set up an appointment.  If you are an employer and have internship positions available and would like to interview some of our students, please email me at the above address anytime.

I believe that our internship program, coupled with courses that students take to complete the MS in Publishing degree, really prepare our students for successful publishing careers.  They enter the workplace with excellent skills, practical, real world experiences, outstanding technological skills, and a strong knowledge of current issues facing a dynamic and evolving publishing industry.

It is a pleasure working with our students and I am looking forward to another exciting academic year!

****

James Abbate
Noelle Webster: Agency Intern – Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency, http://sheedylit.com/
Liberty Schauf: Sales Intern – HarperCollins’ Distribution Client Services, http://www.harpercollins.com/
James Abbate: Editorial intern – Kensington Publishing, http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/
Read James’s Internship Essay here.
Rakesh Suresh: Production and Manufacturing Intern –
Hachette Book Group, http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/

Diana Cavallo
Zhen Li: Design Intern – Musee Magazine, http://museemagazine.com/
Coleman Bentley: Editorial Intern – Elite Traveler Magazine, http://www.elitetraveler.com/
Diana Cavallo: Agency Intern – Nancy Yost Literary Agency, http://www.nyliterary.com/
Read Diana’s Internship Essay here.
Shao-Chun Kung (Abby): Social Management Intern – classictravel.com, http://www.classictravel.com/

Andrew Villagomez
Mallory Davis: Styling Assistant – Cityist, http://www.cityist.com/
Andrew Villagomez: Editorial Intern – Passport Magazine, http://www.passportmagazine.com/
Read Andrew’s Internship Essay here.
Julia Cuozzo: Editorial Intern – bizbash media, http://www.bizbash.com/, and EMCblue.com, http://emcblue.com/
Yuhan Liu: Fashion/Editorial Intern – New York Monthly Magazine

Natanya Housman
Elyse Rozelle: Production Editorial Intern – Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House, http://www.fodors.com/
Timothy Maxwell: Editorial Intern – classictravel.com, http://www.classictravel.com/
Natanya Housman: Social Media Intern – Workman Publishing, http://www.workman.com/
Agency Intern – Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency, http://sheedylit.com/
Read Natanya’s Internship Essay here.
Nidale Hosri: Pub Marketing Intern – American Express Publishing, http://www.amexpub.com/

Hannah Bennett
Caroline Perny: Agency Intern – Folio Literary Management, http://foliolit.com/home-9/
Hannah Bennett: Editorial Intern – Tor Books, http://us.macmillan.com/TorForge.aspx
Read Hannah’s Internship Essay here.
Mary Caya: Operations Intern – Rain Publishing, LLC. (part of Fourth Door Creative Media), http://www.rainandgrow.com/
DJ McErlean-Hopson: Research Assistant for Dr. Sarah Blackwood (Pace University) and Professor Janet Neary (Hunter College) on their text, A More Perfect Likeness: African Americans Write Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture

Congratulations, Thank You, and Our Best Wishes!

Professors Sherman Raskin and Allan Rabinowitz

We are proud to publish this interview with Professor Allan Rabinowitz, one of the founders of the MS in Publishing program at Pace and a creative force who has contributed greatly to the overall success of the program.  Professor Rabinowitz has had a long and illustrious professional and academic career.  He has worked in the corporate sector in many different capacities as a finance and accounting professional and as a Professor of Accounting and Publishing at Pace University for the past 50 years.  With his wealth of knowledge and practical real world experience, he has positively impacted the lives and careers of countless students and colleagues as well as many business and publishing professionals.  After teaching his last course this summer, Professor Rabinowitz will be retiring so that he can spend more time with his family, travel, and of course, read!

In this interview, Professor Rabinowitz will tell us a bit about how the MS in Publishing program came to be, share his thoughts on the value of publishing education and some thoughts on the future of the publishing industry.

Prof. Denning:  Hi Allan and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for the MS in Publishing blog.  You have had a remarkable career in both the professional and academic worlds.  Can you tell us a bit about your work and the path that led you to where you are today?

Prof. Rabinowitz:  I graduated from Pace with a Public Accounting major, was set up with interviews by Career Planning, and became an Auditor for an international CPA firm. During my last year with them, I was in charge of the audit of the Crowell – Collier Publishing Company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which was later renamed Macmillan, Inc. It was a multinational corporation involved in publishing, printing, home study and classroom instruction, distribution and retailing, and manufacturing.  The Company then hired me as Manager, Corporate Accounting Department and appointed me subsequently in a series of financial executive positions as Manager, Corporate Internal Audit; Controller, Macmillan Book Clubs, Inc.; Controller, Mail Marketing Division; Assistant Controller, Macmillan, Inc.; and Vice President – Finance, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.

My next position was Controller of Gilman Paper Company, which manufactured paper and paper bags, owned lumber mills and hundreds of thousands of acres of timberlands, and bred racehorses. I then re-entered publishing as the Vice President of Finance of Family Weekly (today USA Weekend), a weekend newspaper magazine appearing in approximately 360 papers throughout the U.S. This privately owned company was acquired by CBS as part of its Magazine Division. Next up was the position of Executive Vice President and Treasurer of The Scribner Book Companies, where the Board of Directors elected me President several months later. I was also on the Board of the Scribner Book Stores. Entrusted by the Scribner family to sell the Company, I negotiated its acquisition by Macmillan, Inc. and I became the President of its Scribner Books Division. After integrating Scribner into Macmillan, I joined Williams Real Estate Company as its CFO, before beginning to teach full-time at Pace in 1989, where I had been an Adjunct Professor since 1962.

At various times since 1979, I have done consulting for numerous entities, principally in the publishing industry, and conducted accounting and auditing education sessions for many organizations.

Prof.  Denning:  I know you were instrumental in the creation of the MS in Publishing program.  Can you tell us a bit about how and why it was created?

Prof.  Rabinowitz:   In November 1979, I was asked by Dr. Edward Mortola, then the Pace President, to attend a meeting that would discuss the feasibility of a graduate program in publishing studies. Sherman Raskin, then English Department Chair, was also present at that meeting along with other interested parties. Over the ensuing years, it was decided that New York City was an ideal site for such a program, a beginning curriculum was formulated, New York State approval was received and an Advisory Board was formed in 1985. My years in the publishing industry equipped me to propose Advisory Board candidates who I held in high regard, a number of whom continue to serve.

Prof. Denning:  At the time the program was started, publishing was still considered to be an “accidental profession.”  Why did you think a graduate degree in publishing was necessary/important then?  Why do you think it is valuable today?

Prof. Rabinowitz:   We continue to believe that Pace was the innovator of graduate publishing education. In 1985, remarkably few industry employees had engaged in such formal studies. They were generally stereotyped as editorial, marketing, sales, distribution or production area personnel and too often considered unsuited for positions in other areas, let alone for moving between books and magazines and newspapers.  Too few of these people understood the full sweep of the publishing processes. We strongly felt this needed to change, by having publishing personnel equipped with ample understanding, mobility and enhanced ability to advance in their careers and provide enhanced value to their employers.

Today, with change in the industry occurring more quickly than ever, we want to give our students a solid base from which to launch and then maintain successful careers. This has motivated us to consistently supply them with the cutting edge of knowledge demanded of successful industry employees.

Prof. Denning:  You have taught PUB 618 – Financial Aspects of Publishing since the program started.   Why is this course important and what do you try to get your students to understand about the business of publishing?

Prof. RabinowitzPUB 608 – Financial Aspects of Publishing was designed based on my experiences in magazine, book and newspaper publishing operations as well as my grounding in accounting and finance. It has attempted to introduce students to the basic concepts of accounting and finance as it applies to the industry and to every one of their personal lives. Among other things, they need to understand the budgeting process, how to protect their employer’s and their own financial interests, how to read financial statements pertaining to the entity employing them and to their area of responsibility. Students with entrepreneurial aspirations cannot succeed without this knowledge.

Students are required to read the Wall Street Journal over a ten week period during the semester and provide meaningful comments on articles they select relating to topics covered by the course. I have been a constant reader of newspapers for many years and follow the other media to stay on top of industry developments and changes in the economic environment that need to be communicated to students.

Guest speakers prominent in the book, magazine, and newspaper fields visited individual course sessions on at least 75 occasions over the years to impart state-of-the-art insights in their areas of expertise.

Believe it or not, Professor Rabinowitz, was the major reason that I pursued my MBA after I completed the MS in Publishing program at Pace.  His experience amazed me, but it was his teaching style and humility that made me believe in myself.  He was a great professor and I’m most upset that he won’t be there to teach my nine year old son.”

Thomas August  Di Mascio
Director of Supply Chain Management & Logistics
DC Entertainment
Adjunct Professor, Pace, MS in Publishing
1994 graduate of the MS in Publishing Program

Prof. Denning: Teaching for 50 years means that you have taught a lot of students- do you still keep in touch with any of them?

Prof. Rabinowitz:   My undergrad and grad students in the Lubin School of Business over a 50 year span and in the Publishing Program over a 27 year span must approach at least 8,000. I recognized many years ago that I could not practically reach out to them after their graduation but would instead remain in periodic contact with those who felt I could assist them with career advice and letters of recommendation.

A satisfying number of my former students have informed me of their career success in the accounting, financial, and publishing fields. One evident indicator of their success rests with the number of Publishing Program grads who have taught or now teach in the Program and were my students. Another was at the two Pace Alumni reunions I attended to mark the 50th anniversary of my own Pace graduation, where I was thanked by students from each of my decades of teaching.

I have long advised current students and grads that education is subject to depreciation as things learned are forgotten and as a profession changes. I urge them to get as much formal education as they objectively feel will be useful to them and to keep it as fresh as they can throughout their careers.

When I took Professor Rabinowitz’s class, I never dreamed that some of his lessons would stick with me ten years after taking his class. I have found it extremely helpful to have a solid understanding of Accounting principles even though my career is not in Accounting or Finance, and I thank Professor Rabinowitz for instilling that knowledge.”

Kerry Rosen,
Client Services Manager
HarperCollins
2002 graduate of the MS in Publishing Program

Professor Rabinowitz was the most intimidating professor of my Pace experience — on the first day  of class, he seated the students in alphabetical order by last name, and we all feared it would be a stern, dry semester. It soon became clear, however, that he had a wonderful sense of humor, and a fascinating collection of stories from his publishing experiences. I learned a great deal about the publishing industry in his course, and also found an appreciation for the Wall Street Journal! He was very influential in my own career, discouraging me from returning to California when I completed my degree because he thought New York would have better opportunities for applying my publishing skills. He was right, of course, and I am thankful to him as a major influence in the development of my career and the successes I’ve achieved. He is a true mensch.”

Linda Bathgate Publisher
Communication and Media Studies
Routledge/Taylor & Francis
Adjunct Professor, Pace, MS in Publishing
1991 Graduate of the MS in Publishing program

Prof.  Denning:  What are some of the major changes you have seen in the publishing industry that you find interesting, remarkable, game changing?  How has the industry changed since you were working in it?

Prof.  Rabinowitz:  I recall reading and hearing in the early 1970’s that the book’s days were numbered and that they would soon disappear. Those predictions appear to have been premature but what has occurred during the past decade more than makes up for all the previous non-eventful years. We are now in an era of constant and significant change, with no end in sight. When I entered the field as an auditor in 1962, book publishing was still considered a “gentleman publisher’s” profession where mid-size houses thrived and independent bookstores dominated book retailing. At Scribner’s, privately owned before its sale in 1984, I relished that environment and the freedom of movement and innovation that it offered. Macmillan, Inc. in the 1960’s was constantly buying companies connected in any way to publishing and education. Other organizations began doing the same in the publishing industry, buying the smaller houses with well-known names, which became imprints in complex organizations. A similar trend took place in the magazine field but, despite these developments, many new magazines are launched by individuals and increasing numbers of books are self-published each year.

Prof. Denning: Why do you think the Advisory Board is an important element of the MS in Publishing program?

Prof. Rabinowitz:   The Advisory Board has long served as a valued and trusted sounding device for an ever-changing Program. On many occasions it has pointed the way for the introduction of new courses and course content. It has functioned as a forum for informed and friendly guidance by persons acquainted with most aspects of the industry. It has been kept fresh and lively by regularly infusing new members and invited guests engaged in evolving areas, accomplished Program graduates and highly intelligent young people possessing wonderful aspirations. Board meetings remain as vibrant and state-of-the-art as ever because of these members.

Board members have also supported our endowment fund-raising efforts by their own contributions and by providing valued connections to external contributors.

They have also supplied links to qualified adjunct instructor candidates and to prospective guest speakers.

Some 45 years ago, I was a young accountant with the auditing firm of Deloitte, when I was assigned to the audit of a major publishing company. This was a very difficult client to audit, and the auditors had a lot of questions for senior financial officers about accounting matters that might have been problems.  Every time we raised a question, they would say “what does the head of our internal audit dept think?” and I found out that they placed a lot of reliance on what this person thought of Deloitte’s recommendations, and accordingly what they would or would not do about making changes.

This person was Allan Rabinowitz. I had the opportunity to work with him for the rest of this audit, and many times thereafter in the years ahead. I found him to be extremely competent, very professional, with the highest integrity, and (by the way) an absolute pleasure to work with….  and, he became my friend.

When Allan asked me, over 25 years ago to join the pace MS in Publishing program’s Advisory Board, I readily agreed. I knew almost nothing about the program, and almost nothing about Pace. But, because of the respect I had gained for Allan, I knew my involvement was an appropriate one for me. I have never regretted that decision, and over those 25+ years, I have spent more time at Pace than I have with my alma mater, again because of people like Allan Rabinowitz affiliated with the Pace program”

Ed Lewis
(proud) Member of the MS in Publishing Advisory Board
Former Vice President & Treasurer
Hearst Corporation

Prof. Denning:  The MS in Publishing program is comprised primarily of adjunct faculty—why do you think that is important?

Prof. Rabinowitz:   Adjunct faculty, like most guest speakers, are critical to student success for they are currently employed in the industry and speak with authority about existing realities. Our adjuncts have been carefully selected for dedication to their field and the desire to impart their knowledge to our students. Excellent examples are all of the program grads who have come back to teach for those reasons, for their love of the program and for what it has done for their careers and their lives – the very same reasons that brought me back to Pace to teach accounting in 1962.

Prof. Denning:  How have you seen the program grow and change since it was first started?

Prof Rabinowitz:  We began with 24 students in the fall of 1985, passed 100 for the first time in fall 2004 and stood at 124 in fall 2011. In 1985 none of our courses were online; today all of them are online as well as taught in NYC classrooms. Our lineup of courses has been greatly expanded, with new courses being introduced each year to reflect the current makeup of the publishing industry. Our student internship availabilities have grown greatly in number and variety and many of them have led to full-time positions. Sherman Raskin, with Prof. Lian at his side, has created a unique connection with Chinese publishing companies and brought their employees to New York. Important ties to Chinese university publishing programs have also been forged and Chinese professors have been in residence in our Program.

Fortunately, there are some things that have not changed at all, among them our shared desire to have the Program do its very best for each of our students and help them to embark on a career of their choice. Barbara Egidi remains the jewel she has always been in effectively dealing with each applicant and nurturing every accepted student as needed. Our instructors have consistently shown their devotion to the Program and provided outstanding learning opportunities in or via the publishing capital of the world.

‘Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life…When you serve, you see life as a whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.’  — Rachel Naomi Remen

From his very enthusiastic response to my application to Pace University’s Publishing program many years ago, to his guidance while I took his course in accounting (and passed!), and his support as a colleague while I served as adjunct staff in the program, Professor Rabinowitz has exemplified a soul at work. I will always be grateful to him for his belief in me.

Denolyn Carroll
Deputy Managing Editor
Essence Magazine
1990 Graduate of the MS in Publishing Program

Prof. Denning:  You have worked with Professor Raskin for over 40 years, can you talk a bit about your working relationship with him and about how the two of you worked together to build this successful program?

Prof Rabinowitz:  Sherman and I, working together, have conducted over 200 information sessions over the past 27 years. We generally have a few lengthy conversations each month concerning the program and we both have an abiding love for Pace University, this Program, and for what they are capable of doing for students. It is in this spirit that we have both dedicated ourselves to this Program.

We do have differences of opinion on some matters, and heated discussions at times but these instances lead to better outcomes as we almost always come to a productive meeting of the minds. Sherman, as Program Director, has in recent years spent nearly all of his Pace time with the Program and few, if any, details escape his watchful eyes. I, as Associate Director, serve largely in a consulting capacity. We complement each other for, between us, we currently have just under 100 years of academic experience at Pace and I possess 55 years of business experience in public accounting, companies and consulting. These combinations have equipped us to function well in this very practical educational endeavor.

I have known Allan Rabinowitz for more than 30 years. He was President of Scribner Book Companies when we were planning to establish the Masters degree in Publishing. Allan assisted in establishing the first advisory board for the program back in the 80’s, a board that assisted in developing curriculum and  endowment.  For twenty eight years, Allan enjoyed teaching Financial Aspects of Publishing as well as assisting in the recruitment of students. He loves Pace, the program and teaching and to me will always be a dear friend and colleague. I congratulate him on his retirement and look forward to his continued service on the Advisory Board.

Professor Sherman Raskin
Director MS in Publishing
Pace University

Prof. Denning:  I know you are a collector of books and love everything about them.  Can you tell us a bit about your collection?

Prof. Rabinowitz:   My collection comprises in excess of 20,000 books, each of them selected by me as something I would wish to read and most probably retain. I have two good sized rooms filled with floor to ceiling bookcases, except for the window areas and doorway. There are bookcases in almost every other room including the kitchen, which houses my wife’s extensive cookbook collection, and in the garage. Some books came from the publishing companies for whom I worked but the great majority were purchased at sales in houses, garages, yards, libraries, religious institutions and schools, at auctions and at bargain prices. My workspaces at home are in book-filled rooms and I find special warmth and delight in being surrounded by them.

Prof. Denning:  As someone who has a special appreciation of the printed book, would you share your thoughts about how technology is changing the industry and about eBooks in particular?

Prof. Rabinowitz:  I have yet to read a book on an electronic device and have some doubt that I ever will have that need. I love public libraries and frequent them when I go on a lengthy vacation so I don’t have to carry many books with me. I applaud the use of technological advances in reading books, magazines, and newspapers and do believe that their use will continue to grow very quickly and create many new readers of all ages. I do not believe that printed books will disappear anytime soon for there are so many people who grew up with them and want to continue enjoying them. Then too, there are some types of books that will sell best in traditional form.

Prof. Denning:  What  is your hope for the future of the MS in Publishing program?

Prof. Rabinowitz:  I feel that it has been pointed in the right direction for reasons I mentioned previously and will continue to do well. Our students have come from many parts of the U.S. and the world and will continue to do so. The internet has proven to be our best way of attracting new students during the past decade and should provide an effective draw in coming years. The new Pace dorm building on Fulton and Broadway in 2013 may be helpful where out-of-state prospects are concerned. Hopefully, the Program will continue to reflect the state of the industry, introduce new course content whenever warranted, and recruit talented faculty and Advisory Board members.

Prof. Denning:  What is your hope for the future of Pace?

Prof. Rabinowitz:   Pace has been dear to my heart since I was awarded a full tuition scholarship bearing the name of Homer St. Clair Pace in December 1953. I had an excellent undergrad experience both academically and in extracurricular activities. It was my fortune to serve as President of the Pace Alumni Association and participate in laying the cornerstone for the One Pace Plaza building. Pace has been an integral part of my life for 58+ years and has given me a wonderful life, as I hope it will do for every student.

Based upon the foregoing, I wish that Pace will continue to thrive and play a transformative role in the life of each student and a fulfilling role in the life of each faculty member and administrator.

Prof. Denning:  What do you plan to do when you retire?

Prof.  Rabinowitz:  My wife and I look forward to spending a good part of each year traveling through both the U.S. and foreign countries – including enjoying three of the coldest New York months in Hawaii. I plan to read a great many of my books and spend more time with my children and grandchildren.

Prof. Denning:  Any final thoughts or parting words for our students? Alumni? Faculty? Advisory Board?

Prof.  Rabinowitz:   I plan to continue to serve on the Advisory Board and play some part in shaping the Program for some time to come. As always, I wish everyone associated with the Program health, happiness, and the satisfaction derived from being a part of a highly worthwhile Program that builds people’s careers and success.

I wish to thank Sherman Raskin for his continued and highly valued friendship and a very special, longstanding working relationship; Prof. Kinney-Denning and Prof. Soares for the very fine work they do and for the pleasure I have taken from my contacts with them; all of my former students who now teach or have taught in the Program for the pride I have derived from being a part of their lives; and my fellow Advisory Board members for their collegiality and contributions to the Program.

I have had the good fortune of knowing Allan for years that I couldn’t begin to number. We have always enjoyed a collegial and mutually respectful relationship. Each of us having spent many years in the publishing industry as well as the accounting profession has likely enabled us to think alike and serve each other as mentor. He is a one-of-a-kind professional and always professional.

We served together for over twenty years as pro-bono consultants to The CPA Journal published by the New York State Society of CPAs and also enjoyed joining heads, hearts and minds in guiding the Society with its flagship publishing endeavor.

I have no doubt but that he will be missed in the corridors and classrooms at Pace. His students have gained mightily from his dedication to his every endeavor as well as his intellect, sense of humor, and caring.

I wish him a very long, healthy and happy “retirement” and hope that his fertile mind will continue being engaged in pleasurable activities.”

Ed Ruzinsky
Member of the MS in Publishing Advisory Board
Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group

Prof. Denning:  Thank you Allan for taking the time to do this interview and to share your insights and all of this great information about your career and the MS in Publishing program.  In closing I would just like to extend our congratulations, thank you for all that you have done, and to extend our best wishes for you and your family in your retirement.  We look forward to seeing you seeing at the fall Advisory Board meeting!

Faculty in the Spotlight – April 2012

For the next two weeks, Professor Xiao Chuan Lian and Professor Kirsten Sandberg will be coordinating a comprehensive training session for 17 publishing executives from the China South Publishing & Media Group.

The China South Publishing & Media Group (http://www.zncmjt.com/), located in Hunan Province, China, is one of the major media conglomerates in China, with 20 companies under the umbrella. Its businesses include book, magazine, and newspaper publishing, distribution, printing, and online media.

According to Professor Sandberg, “The overarching theme of the two-week program is digital transformation, specifically the transformation of business models, value chains, publishing processes, and individual roles within the industry. We have asked our guest lecturers—several of them top executives of the digital publishing units of Dow Jones, Wiley, McGraw-Hill, and Elsevier—to explain how their organizations changed to leverage digital technology and how they developed and are using new digital capabilities in all areas of the business. We will compare and contrast organizational structures and publishing strategies across the industry, and we expect to use case studies as a means of generating a meaningful dialogue between East and West publishing executives.”

It will be an interesting and thought-provoking two weeks!

 

The guests in the group and the organizations they come from are as follows:

From Hunan People’s Publishing House: Mo Yan, Editorial Director; Li Shengxiao, Deputy General Manager; Li Xiongwei, Deputy General Manager

From Hunan Literature & Art Publishing House: Chen Xinwen, Deputy General Manager; Gong Xianghai, Deputy General Manager

From Yuelu Publishing House: Yi Yanzhe, General Manager; Zeng Deming, Deputy General Manager

From Hunan Science and Technology Publishing House: Xu Wei, Deputy General Manager

From Hunan Juvenile & Children’s Publishing House: Li Fang, Editor-in-Chief of HUAHUO Magazine; Wu Shuangying, Editorial Director

From Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House: Huang Xiao, Deputy General Manager

From Hunan Electronic and Audio-Visual Publishing House: Yang Lin, General Manager

From China South Publishing & Media Group Headquarters: She Lu, Vice Director of Industrial Operation Centre; Liu Yiming, Executive Director of New Media Department; He Zhengju, Vice Director of New Media Department; Hu Changhua, Executive Director of New Media Department; Cui Can, Executive Director of Publishing Department

 

Xiao Chuan Lian is currently serving as Senior Staff Associate and an adjunct lecturer in the M.S. in Publishing Program at Pace University. Prof. Lian holds an MBA in International Business and an MS in Publishing from Pace University, and also received a Paralegal Certificate from New York University and a BA in Library Science from Wuhan University, China. He also attended the Denver Publishing Institute.  Before working and teaching at Pace University, Prof. Lian worked as the Copyright & Permission Administrator at Springer Science + Business Media. Currently, Prof. Lian is teaching two courses in the publishing program: PUB 628: Marketing Principles and Practices in Publishing, and PUB 622G: Seminar in Books and Magazines: Digital Issues in Publishing. His research interests include digital publishing, marketing, STM publishing, copyright, and the history of publishing.  Last year, Professor Lian visited Hunan Province and presented a talk on “Digital Publishing Today.”  Prof. Lian was a founding member and a professor in the Publishing Science Department, School of Information Management at Wuhan University, China.

Kirsten Sandberg specializes in emerging market publishing and organizational knowledge management and publication. She is currently senior consultant at China Europe International Business School Publishing Group based in Shanghai. A former executive editor at Harvard Business School Publishing Corp, she helped to open HBSP’s India office. Relevant to the Hunan program, she published two of the most influential books in the digital transformation of content-rich industries, both international bestsellers. The first, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy (1998), by Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian (now chief economist of Google), is considered the playbook of digital publishing strategy; and the second, Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance (1998), by Larry Downes and Chunka, was the first trade business book available in its entirety for free online, simultaneously with the hardcover edition. The Wall Street Journal selected it as one of the five best books ever on the Internet.

Alumni in the Spotlight – April 2012

Jessica Napp, a 2000 graduate of the MS in Publishing program, is currently Associate Director of Publicity at Rizzoli New York (www.rizzoliusa.com), an integral part of its parent company, the Italian communications giant RCS Media Group.  Rizzoli New York is a leader in the fields of art & architecture, interior design, photography, haute couture, gastronomy, performing arts, and gay & alternative lifestyles.  In this interview, Ms. Napp will share with us some of her thoughts on the book publishing industry today and on the role of the publicist in an industry that is constantly impacted and adapting to new technological innovations. 

Prof. Denning:  Hi Jessica and thank you for agreeing to do this interview.  It has been 12 years since you graduated from the MS in Publishing program.  Can you tell us a bit about what you have been doing and how your career has developed since then?

JN: Hi Jane, thank you for asking me! I can hardly believe it has been 12 years, but during that time I have had the opportunity to work for a variety of publishers and PR firms, and I can honestly say that my career is pretty well-rounded.  I have had the opportunity to work for 2 of the large trade houses (Little, Brown and Simon & Schuster), I have done stints at PR agencies specializing in book publicity (Planned TV Arts (PTA), now called Media-Connect, and McAllRow Communications), but have found my home in the illustrated world having worked for Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Welcome Books, Harry N. Abrams, and for the past 5 years, Rizzoli New York.

Every job in this industry has taught me another piece of the publishing and publicity puzzle. The successes I have had would not have been possible, in my mind, without this rich and diverse background and I am grateful for every opportunity that has come my way over the years.

Prof. Denning:  What does your job as an Associate Director of Publicity entail?  How has the job changed since you first began working at Rizzoli?

JN:  My job is multi-faceted and certainly extends beyond the realm of publicity. The biggest change from when I started is the volume of work. As we grow and become more successful, as we continue to publish the books of cultural heavy-weights, there is always more to do. As Associate Director, my primary job is to assist the Executive Director of Publicity in all aspects of running the department.

I work on many of the company’s high profiles books and authors, handling roughly 20 books a season. I have had the honor of working with Michael S. Smith (interior designer for the Obama White House); designers Martyn Lawrence-Bullard and Mary McDonald of Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators; New York Times food columnist Florence Fabricant and the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger;  Rihanna; Paula Deen’s former food stylist and culinary  editor, Libbie Summers; legendary architectural photographer Julius Shulman; and artist Will Cotton, the creative vision behind Katy Perry’s California Gurls video.  This upcoming fall I will be working with actress Diane Keaton and music sensation M.I.A. My list could go on and on.

But what I do on a daily basis varies. I design press campaigns, craft press materials, research press contacts, organize author events and tours, and pitch a wide variety of features, stories, and interviews. My publicity team and I also supply our Social Media Manager with a great deal of content for all social media platforms including Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Rizzoli website and blog.  I also write tip sheets/fact sheets for the marketing department to use at sales conference; assist in setting the budget for the department on an annual basis, as well as track all expenses; I mentor junior staff and interns; I negotiate serial rights agreements; clear photo permissions; book advertising space; submit all Rizzoli titles for awards; and oversee all reporting for the publicity department.  I also liaise with our foreign press representatives around the world to make sure they have all of the tools they need to promote Rizzoli books in their markets.

Prof. Denning:  How do you interact with the other members of the publishing team?

JN: It is important that we have good working relationships with the other departments.  I work directly with the Accounting team to make sure publicity’s vendors get paid in a timely fashion, that we are meeting our budgets, and that our bills are coded correctly. The department meets regularly with the Production team to know the status of the books coming off press, when they are due in port/customs (we primarily print overseas), and to arrange for the digital files to be returned to NY so that we may provide press with high resolution images to accompany their coverage.

Our relationship with our Editors is of the utmost importance; they are our primary source for early information on books and authors, for relaying early marketing plans and ideas that came up during the acquisition phase, and ultimately, providing us with the finished product, the book.  Publicity meets with our Editor-in-Chief weekly to update him on our progress, successes, and in some cases, road blocks.

Our relationship with the Marketing team is multi-faceted and the closest of the departmental relationships. Together we promote and sell our books to targeted audiences, giving the sales force all of the tools needed to sell Rizzoli books into the marketplace, and continue to extend the Rizzoli brand wherever possible.  Rizzoli’s sales and fulfillment are handled by Random House Publisher Services division of Random House (RHPS), giving us access to the largest and best sales force in the country, with the most up-to-date fulfillment services to support those efforts. We are in daily contact with the team at RHPS dedicated to servicing distribution clients only including trade, library/academic, and special sales.

Prof Denning:  What are some of your favorite parts of the job?

JN:  I still get a thrill from securing a fabulous media placement!  Flipping through a magazine or a newspaper, reading a blog or turning on the TV and seeing a review/feature that I negotiated is a natural high. I still catch myself grinning from ear-to-ear, eager to share with my friends and colleagues. I love the fact that each season offers something new to learn and on which to become a mini-expert.

Prof. Denning:  How does technology/social media fit into/impact your current job? Tell us a bit about Rizzoli and some of the initiatives they have taken in response to new technological developments.

JN: Technology has made our jobs so much easier and efficient.  Before NetGalley came into use, Rizzoli started to use a system called Box.com, similar to a FTP site, but crashes less.  On this site we can upload e-galleys, high res press images, author photos, etc., and easily send links to members of the press.  When you work on illustrated books, having the best technology available to represent the finished product is crucial.  We are still exploring e-books and their technology, but by definition, “coffee table books” are meant to be physically produced and displayed.  When the technology gets to the point where it does justice to our books, I have no doubt that these versions will appeal to a segment of our market, i.e.: art school students with the need to zoom in on details or enhanced videos that complement our cookbooks and floral instructional guides.

In terms of social media, some of our best publicity placements/marketing outreach comes from social media. Author and social media guru Dorie Greenspan is a perfect example. When Dorie reviews a cookbook and offers a giveaway on her blog/Twitter feed, 93,000 people have read about the book, and all are fans of cooking, baking, French cuisine…and they purchase books! We will see more sales from this type of exposure than other types of press mentions, and so more and more we are making online press and marketing key components of our publicity and marketing campaigns.

Prof Denning:  Rizzoli is part of the Italian communications giant RCS Media Group.  Can you tell us what it is like working for such a large international company?

JN: RCS allows us a great deal of autonomy and is supportive of our publishing programs and retail endeavors. The New York office is small, about 50 employees. We publish original books under 4 distinct imprints, and distribute 3 imprints from our RCS family as well as distribute 2 non-RCS affiliated publishers, one from Japan and the other from Australia, in the US marketplace. We have a very global view on publishing.

The Rizzoli Bookstores on 57th Street in NYC and in Milan are world famous. Rizzoli, a marquee of the RCS empire, is associated with quality, luxury, style…and this cachet opens many doors for exciting opportunities and connections. The top names in fashion, art, and design all covet the “R” on the spines of their books. When Eataly – the brainchild of Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich – was planning their NY opening, they knew they needed a bookstore within its halls to help unify its vendors and purveyors and I am proud to say that Rizzoli was the obvious choice. Other bookstores and retail outlets respect the Rizzoli brand so much that they have asked us to set up boutiques in their spaces, and it is exciting to see Saks Fifth Avenue (NY), Fred Segal (Beverly Hills), Teatro Verde (Toronto), Books & Books (Florida), Book Passage (California) , The Gucci Museum (Florence) and Somerset House (London) aligned with the legendary “R.”

Prof. Denning:  Please tell me a bit about how your educational experience at Pace prepared you for your publishing career.

JN:  The best part of my experience at Pace was being able to learn the basics at night in class, and then apply those lessons to the real world job experience. Conversely, when a subject matter in school was troublesome, I had great resources in the office to rely on for additional guidance and advice.  The book production class was the best example of this. Early on, I never really understood printing schedules, 4 or 5 color printing and color corrections, or how some pages got bound inversely in the finished book. After seeing a book on press over at Watchtower, I had a much clearer understanding of the whole process, which led to a better understanding at the office as to why files are prepped the way that they are, why schedules are set with the buffer dates, etc. Truly a full-circle experience!

Prof. Denning:  Have you always been interested publishing?  Where did that passion come from?

JN:  My love of books started with my parents.  My mom was an English major in college and made it a point to surround me with books growing up.  She enrolled me in the summer reading program at our local library year in and year out, she took me to our local Barnes & Noble at least once a week and never said no to a book purchase, and always indulged my reading habit, from Sweet Valley High to Garfield comics to the infamous school reading lists. No book was off-limits, even those that caused some other parents to panic. We played Scrabble and Mad-Libs together and as I grew older I read books dear to her, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and the great Bard.

My father is an avid stamp collector and in the 1980’s decided to self-publish a book on his collection, going so far as to even create his own publishing company called Grounds for Divorce Publications (family joke – my parents are still together, 38 years and counting). He made me “publisher” and I got to sign all of the checks that came in as he sold them one at a time out of our basement. He was on the self-publishing bandwagon before it was even popular! All of this on the home front led to my participation in high school and college yearbook where I was a photo editor.

But I didn’t know I really wanted a career in publishing until I had an internship in college at Greenwood Press, an academic publisher, in their marketing department. My job was to read through all of the reviews that came in for the hardcover, highlight them, and type them up for the editors to use on the paperback reprints.  After that, I was to go online and research organizations in which to promote the books, and in 1996, this was not as easy as it is today. The office had 1 internet connection, a dial-up modem, and each department had access to that one machine for one hour each day.  I found the process fascinating and began looking into graduate programs that would allow me to learn more about the business and help me get a job. And I found Pace.

Prof Denning:  What do you think the future holds for book publishers? Specifically the Publicist…how has technology changed the role of the publicist?

JN:  The publicist has always done more than the job title suggests, but in this social media age, I think a publicist needs to be a web marketer and a voice for those unsure of how to navigate the ever-changing media landscape. A Facebook review by an influencer is just as key as a review in the New York Times these days. With so many competing outlets, the big hit is no longer all it takes to make a book, you need critical mass. The web makes niche marketing and publicity that much easier than in years past, and having a specialty, while always appreciated and valuable, is even more critical in my mind.

Prof. Denning:  What initiatives has Rizzoli taken in terms of eBooks?

JN:  We have experimented some and have 5 books on the iTunes bookstore, but we are waiting for technology to improve even more before we take a larger step into this area.

Prof. Denning:  Would you like to speculate on the future of eBooks? Books in general?

JN:  I think e-books will appeal to a certain audience always, and some genres lend themselves more to the format than others. I applaud the ways in which children’s books can be adapted for this new platform, especially in their use for the children with learning disabilities, including Autism. E-Books can engage disabled children, help them learn and communicate in ways that mainstream children do, hence closing some of the gap of misunderstanding and isolation that can exist.  For all the advantages an e-book allows, it still cannot replace the feel, the smell, of a printed book, the free advertising the book jacket affords.  A book can get wet poolside and still be useful, an e-book reader or tablet cannot.  I grew up with rotary phones, TVs with rabbit ears, typewriters, and microfilm. I did not have a cell phone or email until I was in college.  I will always love the printed book, but do look forward to the advancements on the horizon.

Prof. Denning:  What do you think are the essential skills our students need to leave the program with in order to succeed in the industry? For those looking to survive and thrive in this industry?

JN: Be a professional student, and I do not mean that with its usual negative connotations. The more you are willing to learn and practice new things, the better the publishing professional you will become. Take a professional development class, offer to work on a project outside of your comfort zone – the more you are willing to understand the bigger picture and help with all aspects of the creative and selling process, the more in demand you will be. But, do have a concentration, an area of expertise will never fail you, as long as you admit it may have to be modified in 2, 5, or 10 years.

Prof. Denning:  What were some of the highlights of your graduate experience?

JN: My internship while at Pace was in the special sales department of Oxford University Press. Back in 1998, Amazon was a special sales account…oh, how times have changed! It was my first corporate job, complete with workplace politics, expectations.  Being a sales rep for 8 months was an invaluable experience; I had to work closely with the warehouse and customer service, all valuable skills that I still use today. But I wasn’t a fan of chasing the purchase order and when I realized that a sales rep basically has the same conversation as a publicist, but asks for time and talent instead, I knew I needed to change my focus and get a job in publicity!

Prof. Denning:  What advice would you give to students who still have to write their graduate thesis papers?

JN: This could be the very last paper you ever write in an academic setting, so go out with a bang! You have chosen a career in publishing, so in many ways this should be the easiest paper you have ever written.  Hopefully you will have had some real world experience to bring to the pages, and let your voice be heard.  Since the invention of moveable type, the world has been shaped by those with a voice and the willingness to use that voice. While the landscape may continue to migrate from paper to screen, people still want a voice educating them, entertaining them, and informing them. The world may be smaller and faster these days, but human nature is still the same.  We are curious and the written word, in whatever format, is still the great equalizer. Be eager, be willing to learn, be willing to go the extra step, be willing to make a mistake, but always be yourself.

Prof Denning: What can students entering the field do to set themselves apart from other applicants?  Do you look for anything specific on a resume or in an interview?

JN: As for what I look for in potential intern candidates and new hires, I like to see well-roundedness, natural curiosity, a love of books, and someone who is not afraid to put in their dues.

Prof. Denning:  How have you been involved in the program since graduating?

JN: In 2005 I had the opportunity to be a guest lecturer in Melissa Rosati’s marketing class.  Dating back to my days at  Abrams, I have always been in charge of hiring interns and since then have always reached out to Pace, my way of giving back to the program that gave me my start.  Over the years I think I have had 6-8 Pace interns.