Link of the Week: Literary Agents in the Digital Age

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This week on Jane Friedman’s popular book publishing blog she featured a guest post by by Sangeeta Mehta,a former acquiring editor of children’s books at Little, Brown and Simon & Schuster. Mehta interviewed Jessica Fraust, president and literary agent at BookEnds Literary Agency. Fraust also established Beyond the Page Publishing, a digital business where “authors still maintain the control provided by self-publishing, but receive editorial guidance and direction from publishing veterans.”

In the interview they discuss the effect self publishers choosing to bypass literary agents is having on agents and how an agent can assist in a debut or established writer’s self-publishing endeavors. Here is an excerpt:

SANGEETA MEHTA: The constantly shifting digital publishing climate has prompted many literary agents to launch spin-off digital businesses. Is this why you started Beyond the Page Publishing? How does Beyond the Page assist writers with self-publishing? Is it for clients of your literary agency, BookEnds, only?

JESSICA FAUST: Back in 2011 I realized how important self-publishing was becoming and was going to be for authors. I wanted to make sure I had something to offer those clients who might be interested in diving into that world, but didn’t want to do it on their own, so I launched Beyond the Page. We do all editing, and while we say we only offer copyediting, our editorial director Bill Harris is really wonderful and usually works with authors on a much deeper level, providing revision suggestions where needed and doing line edits. We also do formatting, conversion (including adding changed material and reconverting files whenever needed), uploading to all sales sites, marketing help and pitches, copyright filing, and we provide an ISBN and hire a cover designer.

We started working primarily with BookEnds authors, but have expanded well beyond just the BookEnds client list. In fact, I would say that most of the Beyond the Page authors have come from outside BookEnds.

To continue reading the interview click here.

Pace Publishing Program 30th Anniversary

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Happy 30th Anniversary to the MS in Publishing Program!

A reminiscence of Fall 1985: The First Semester of Classes in the Publishing Program:sherman raskin

September 1985 was a very special month for Pace University and Dyson College. We had just recruited 24 talented students for the Pace Publishing Program and they were all set to begin classes to prepare themselves for the world of publishing. It was the first program to make publishing more than an accidental profession. The courses were held at the Midtown Center which was then at 535 Fifth Ave.

Six courses were offered the first semester and taught by outstanding professionals and academics. Robert Carter, formerly Vice President of Marketing at Doubleday, served as Internship Director and taught Principles of Publishing; Berenice Hoffman, well respected literary agent, taught Subsidiary Rights and the Function of the Literary Agent; Allan Rabinowitz, President of Scribner Book Companies taught Financial Aspects in Publishing and Burton Leiser, Edward J. Mortola Distinguished Professor, taught Ethics in Publishing. Dr. Karla Jay, distinguished Professor of English, taught Advanced Communications.  

The first class of students consisted of mostly humanities majors who had a commitment to communication. Most were humanities majors who had a commitment to communication. All were interested in entering a business that cherished ideas and language. Barbara Egidi, Program Manager, assisted greatly in bringing in that first class and continues to assist in the recruitment process. Jonelle Carter who was then working in Graduate Admissions was also a major factor for our success in recruiting that first class. She is a graduate of the program and presently living and working in Denmark. 

Ivor Whitson Pace University Board of Trustee member and President of Centerlink Communications insisted on developing a digital component asserting that digital publishing will change the business. His insistence endured the program currency and assisted in moving us into the twenty first century and publishing today. 

In addition to teaching the finance course, Allan Rabinowitz helped gather a professional advisory board to keep the program current. Ed Fitzgerald, Director of the Literary Guild and Book the Month Club, Ed Lewis, CFO of Hearst Magazines; Frank Gatti, CFO of the New York Times, Robert Stern, Partner at Arthur Anderson, Ed Ruzinsky, Partner of Deloitte Touche; Larry Usdin CFO Ziff Davis; Joe Hanson, Publisher of Folio Magazine; Rochelle Evans, VP of Human Resources, Times Mirror Magazines; Maggie Nichols, Senior, Editor of Field and Stream Magazine were just a few prominent publishing professionals that assisted in moving the program.

Prof. Rabinowitz was also instrumental in introducing me to David Pecker, President and Publisher of American Media Inc. Mr. pecker and his wife Karen have been dedicated to publishing and publishing education developing the David Pecker Professorship and David Pecker scholarship. 

The Pace Publishing program is now thirty years old and has become internationally prestigious program. Graduates of the program come back to teach for us.

We are now at 551 Fifth Avenue, have 90 to 100 students enrolled in the program per year, offer courses online and in the classroom and have an alumni base that fully supports the Pace program and s totally dedicated to publishing education.

-Sherman Raskin

It has been 30 years since Professor Sherman Raskin founded the program in 1985. The publishing industry was more than slightly different back then. Today students are repeatedly reminded that the industry is in a state of change, but do we know how much it’s changed in the last 30 years?

Let’s go back in time:

1983: The era of desktop publishing began with the first inexpensive laser printers and computers

1994: For the first time in history, chain bookstores outsold independent stores, signaling what many fear to be the death of smaller booksellers at the hands of superstores

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1995: Amazon went online as a bookstore selling physical books

1996: Traditional newspapers launched online versions for the Internet

1996: Jacobson and Comiskey patented E-Ink technology.

1997: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is published in the U.K. It came to the U.S. in 1998 as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and becomes a blockbuster bestseller.   As of May 2015, the books in the series have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling book series in history.

1998: Google was founded and it vastly improved information retrieval in the Internet

1999: Self-publishing took off after Blogger was founded. People began to write on free blogs online.

2004: Facebook was launched and social media was changed forever.

2005: YouTube went online and video sharing on the Internet became mainstream

2005-2006: The rise of news and information blogs.

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2006: Twitter debuted and gave a new meaning to short form publishing while becoming a popular source for breaking news and information outside of traditional media.

2007: iPhone launched and mobile phones started to become an important medium for web consumption.

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2007: Amazon released Kindle and soon E-Ink readers began to gain traction.

2010: Apple announced the iPad, the first commercially profitable tablet computer. EBooks became more popular that ever before.

2011: For the first time, eBooks out sold printed books at Amazon.

Sources: http://www.adweek.com/galleycat/timeline-a-brief-history-of-publishing/80154

http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0154485.html

 

 

 

 

 

The Women Writing about the Environment Event

Women Writing about the Environment: Strong Voices Impacting Change Event

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On Wednesday, November 11, 2015, the WNBA-NYC chapter partnered with Pace University’s Dyson College to present the panel titled “Women Writing about the Environment: Strong Voices Impacting Change.” Andrew RevkinSenior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace University, moderated the panel that consisted of five strong-voiced women who each spoke about their environmental passions and the ways in which their art explains these passions to the world. The panel featured Marina Zurkow, Eve Andree Laramee, Amy King, Melanie Dupuis, and Irene O’Garden, all artists and writers with the strong wills of scientists. The science world needs more women like these five to speak fervently about environmental crises, and certainly there are. As Andrew Revkin joked, many have claimed the lack of women in science issue as a “Manthropocene,” cleverly playing off the word of “anthropocene,” the time period that began when human activities began to hugely impact the global environment. With women like those who spoke at this panel, we can rest assured that a “Manthropocene” is farther off.

The first half of the night consisted of each artist showcasing their favorite works and what these works meant to them. Marina ZurkowProfessor in the Interactive Technology Program (ITP) at NYU, led the panel with a taste of her own visual work. Through simple yet beautiful animations, Marina invites viewers to watch their own environmental impacts unfold.

To continue reading and to learn more about what happened at the event click here.

Interview with Susan Katz, the David Pecker Distinguished Visiting Professor

Interview with Susan Katz, David Pecker Distinguished Visiting Professor
for the 2015-2016 Academic Year

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It is an honor to have Susan Katz serving as the David Pecker Distinguished Professor for the 2015-2016 academic year. Ms. Katz joined Harper & Row in 1987 as President and Publisher of the College Division and as a member of the Executive Committee. In 1996, Katz made the transition from educational to trade publishing and became President of the HarperCollins Children’s Division, which is the position she held for 19 years until her retirement this past September.

During her tenure, Katz tripled the revenues of the division and had published more NEW YORK TIMES children’s bestsellers than any other publisher. She had the honor of working with such authors and illustrators such as Eric Carle, Kiera Cass, Neil Gaiman, Robin Preiss Glasser, Daniel Handler, Kevin Henkes, Kadir Nelson, Jane O’Connor, Lauren Oliver, Veronica Roth, Maurice Sendak, Sara Shepard, and Shel Silverstein.

Katz was a member of the Advisory Board of First Book and a member of the Children’s Book Council. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Boston University and a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Jane O’Connor and one of her books Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth

Her first lecture will take place on Thursday, October 29th, 2015 at Pace University, 163 Williams St, 18th floor, from 6-8pm, where she will be discussing her experiences in Children’s Books Publishing as well as what goes into the making of a bestselling book with two of her colleagues, Jane OConnor, the author of the Fancy Nancy picture book series, as well as her editor, Margaret Anastas, Professor Jane Denning had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Katz as she assumes her new role at Pace. The pair discussed what she hopes to accomplish as the David Pecker Distinguished Professor as well as some advice she has to offer to current Pace M.S. in Publishing students.

Prof. Denning: Hi Susan and thank you for agreeing to do this interview! Congratulations on being named the Visiting David Pecker Distinguished Professor for the 2015-2016 academic year. Can you tell us a bit about what you hope to accomplish this year at Pace?

Susan Katz: Thank you. I am very excited to have the opportunity to share some of my experiences with students here at Pace. I have always enjoyed hearing an “insider’s view’ of any profession that interests me because it becomes less mysterious and yet more interesting the more I learn. I hope students will find the information as well as my stories and anecdotes useful and entertaining in equal measure. 

Prof. Denning: As the Visiting Professor, you will be giving two lectures throughout the course of the year. What do you want students to take away from these lectures? Any pearls of wisdom you can impart for us now?

Susan Katz: I have asked colleagues to join me during both lectures. I am sharing case studies which I think will be exciting to hear because in both cases the books turned into major bestsellers. I want students to get a feel for “what it takes” to make a book into a major success. I’ve asked two of my colleagues to join me because they were key contributors to creating the successes.

Prof. Denning: Many of our students here at Pace have varied interests within the world of publishing. When you were first starting out in the industry, did you know that you wanted to end up working with Childrens books?

Susan Katz: Many folks call publishing the “accidental profession.” I didn’t start out with an interest in publishing, which I will be happy to explain at the first lecture. I did start out with a passion for reading, and a love of children’s books. I never thought I would be lucky enough to have the opportunity to work in the world of children’s books, which came midway through my career.

Prof. Denning: If a student is interested in the childrens book industry (or any other aspect of publishing) what is the best way for them to break in?

Susan Katz: Start with an internship or an entry level position. Make sure you use all of the resources at Pace to make your first connections. Attend Industry events. Talk to bookstore staff. Build relationships. More advice to come.

Prof. Denning: As our students gear up to enter the workforce, what sort of skills should they develop while in the MS in Publishing program so they can embark upon a successful career in publishing, whether in editorial, marketing, sales, or production or any other aspect of the business?

Susan Katz: It’s important to learn as much about the field as possible. So much information is available on line! Read the relevant business publications and research the publishers by visiting their websites. Bone up on the industry by reading newspaper articles in the area of publishing that interests you. Be sure to study the challenges the industry is facing so that you are prepared to focus on the thriving areas.

Prof. Denning: Can you tell us a bit about our lecture that will take place on Thursday, Oct. 29th ?

Susan Katz: As I metioned earlier, Jane O’Connor, the author of the Fancy Nancy picture book series, as well as her editor, Margaret Anastas, will be joining me. I thought it would be interesting to break the session into two parts. First, I’d like each of us to talk a bit about our careers, our experiences and how we got to the place we are today, and then I thought we would explain the picture book market and each describe our specific experiences in creating this fantastic picture book franchise that has sold over 30 million copies and is still selling today.

Prof. Denning: Thank you Susan!  We are really looking forward to your lecture.

“30 under 30” – Folio: salutes young magazine professionals

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ABaron-Pic-207x300“30 under 30” – Folio: salutes young magazine professionals
By Andrea Baron

As part of the Folio: 2015 trade show for magazine professionals, thirty young people in the industry were honored for their outstanding contributions to their companies and the industry.  The show, held Oct. 19-21 in New York City, is the largest annual trade event for the magazine publishing industry. For three days publishers from all over the U.S. meet and discuss issues affecting the magazine industry in the areas of content, revenue, marketing, digital editions, social media, etc.  Attendees represent a wide variety of publishers: consumer, business, custom, association, and regional magazines, in print and digital formats. (Pace publishing students were given the opportunity to volunteer some time and attend the show sessions.)

The “30 under 30” honorees were feted at a luncheon on Oct. 21st.  Their accomplishments ranged from launching new titles, directing and increasing digital and social media presence, growing online audiences, managing digital and cross-platform transitions, to outstanding editing, design and reporting on breaking news.

The audience enthusiastically responded to the young professionals as they were introduced and their accomplishments were noted.  Several of the group, including Polly Mosendz, a reporter for Newsweek who did important investigative reporting on several national and international stories, and is one of the most trafficked reporters at the magazine, commented that she “didn’t know if I could do the job”, but praised the confidence of those who hired them and gave them the opportunity to show what they could accomplish.

I agree with one of the young women in the group who thanked the Folio: organization and audience for taking the important step of recognizing the unique and important contributions that young professionals are making to the industry. For the full list of their accomplishments, see the Folio: article http://www.foliomag.com/events/folio-30-30-awards-luncheon/