Guest Lecturer on Online Marketing!

When: Tuesday, October 25th, 6:00PM

Where: M.S. in Publishing Lab – Room 806

Professor Bachiman has arranged for Leith El-Hassan, the Ad Council’s Vice President of Media Marketing & Distribution Services, to conduct a lecture on the principles and practices of online marketing. The Ad Council is a non-profit organization that issues public service announcements on behalf of other establishments, including non-profits and government agencies.

El-Hassan intends to focus on how the media uses different websites to access specific information and how they gear the sites and sections of each site towards the media’s individual needs. Based on research, data mining, surveys, and direct feedback, he is able to ascertain user’s needs.

The lecture is open to all interested students. If you plan on attending, please notify Professor Bachiman by October 23; her e-mail is jbachiman@pace.edu.

A Report from the Trenches: Volunteering at the Brooklyn Book Festival

Brooklyn’s Borough Hall hosted a fantastic event for Publishing on Sunday – the Brooklyn Book Festival.  But for the wind, which persisted in blowing bookmarks across tables, it was a beautiful day for over 160 vendors to congregate in the name of books.  Authors, publishers, and literary groups lined the sidewalks with booths dedicated to selling, promoting, or just talking about books.  I attended as a volunteer for the Women’s National Book Association, a non-profit organization of women (and some men) who work with and value books. It was one of many organizations there to promote reading and publishing.

The vendors in attendance were diverse, including everything from the Jane Austen Society to Harper Perennial to independent publishers advertising a single book.  Some of my personal favorites included the McSweeney’s booth (a publisher of books and literary journals, founded by Dave Eggers), and Joseph Koch’s Avalanche of Wonder (whose booth included an array of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture paraphernalia).  The vendors were eager to talk about their projects, and everywhere you turned there were people discussing their new favorite publications.

The other main feature of the festival was a wide selection of events.  These events included workshops, readings from authors, book signings, and discussions on topics affecting the literary world.  The events were popular, and the line for tickets reached farther and farther back as the day progressed, into the crowd of book lovers and food vendors.  For students of publishing, this festival is a glimpse of what is happening now in publishing, from the smallest independents to the most famous authors.  I would highly suggest taking a walk to Borough Hall next year, and spending a few hours with the books.

WNBA-NYC Member Volunteers & Authors Needed!

WNBA Logo

When: Sunday, September 18th, 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Where: Brooklyn Book Festival

The Women’s National Book Association – New York City Chapter is going to the 2011 Brooklyn Book Festival! Volunteers are needed to man the booth and help represent the WNBA. We’ll be promoting this year’s (pretty awesome) lineup of events, including National Reading Group Month and Great Group Reads. We’re also hoping to sign up new members!

Promote your book titles at the fair as well! While we are not selling any books this year, WNBA-NYC members are invited to promote their books with on-hand giveaways, such as bookmarks, postcards, etc. Just bring your promotional items to the festival for display and giveaway at the booth.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Linda Epstein at: programs@wnba-nyc.org, with the following subject line: BBF2011.

Pace Students, Alumni, and Faculty at New York’s Biggest Publishing Events!

BEA/IPBA/Banner

May was an exciting month for anybody in the publishing industry, and Pace University students were on the front lines experiencing the best of the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) and the BEA (BookExpo America). The IBPA was held on the 22nd through the 23rd at the cavernous Javits Center in Manhattan. Terry Nathan, the Executive Director at the IBPA, graciously invited both students and faculty to attend free-of-charge. Speakers at the event included Pace professors and advisory board members, including Michael Healy (Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group), Cevin Breyerman (Associate Publisher at Publisher’s Weekly), and Jennifer Weltz (Vice President of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency).

Also at the Javits Center, the BEA was held from the 24th through the 26th, and as the beating heart of the publishing industry, was abuzz with energy. Many students attended as guests of the program, and still others were working booths for different publishers they either worked for or interned at. The talks were riveting and relevant, and events catered to every interest. I myself attended a Tor author panel where authors like John Scalzi and Vernor Vinge spoke candidly about their work. Celebrities abounded, doing signings or just perusing the booths themselves. Michael Moore, Florence Henderson, and even Kevin Sorbo.

Speaking of Mr. Sorbo, one of our students, Sarah Heinrich, had this to say about her experience at the BEA (from her blog at Realcity):

The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center rises up in front of the Hudson River like a shiny black Oz. Getting there takes just as long as Dorothy’s trip down the yellow brick road, too — unless you happen to live in Hell’s Kitchen, you’ll cross through construction, train tracks and countless scaffolding as you make your way from a West Side train. My first trip to the glass palace was for Book Expo America, North America’s largest confluence of book industry professionals (and freeloading graduate students like my classmates and me). Most of my publishing passion is reserved for magazines, so I entered the Expo with the goal of enjoying myself for a few brief hours rather than networking. While waiting in the lobby to receive my pass, I studied the tan face and highlighted long hair of a man standing next to me who struck me as captivatingly familiar. He glanced at me suspiciously, but I couldn’t look away. I was unable to place him until I found his name — Kevin Sorbo — in a BEA newsletter (turns out he was a featured author) and looked him up. I know him as Frank Atwood from a few episodes of The OC, but apparently he’s recognized in geekier realms (no judgment) as Hercules from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. After staring down Mr. Sorbo, I was rushed into the main hall of Javits where women in pantsuits and men holding promotional materials buzzed like honey bees in a hive.

Promoters hawked book galleys and reusable tote bags from giant cardboard boxes and book reps quietly made deals at tiny café tables. I immediately knew I was out of place. I had no please-hire-me pleas with which to approach anyone, nor did I have any book proposals to shamelessly jam into the bags of passersby. I sought out Realcity’s own Justin Levine, whom I met for the first time there as he waited to receive an autograph from Mindy Kaling. We spoke for a minute, but he was bubbling with anticipation over meeting Mindy. I left him to enjoy the meet-and-greet bliss. Despite all of the excitement around me, I couldn’t help but feel exhausted within a short amount of time. The crowd, the rush, the confusing floor map — the BEA was like New York City itself, except cluttered with books and enclosed in glass. Frankly, freaking out Hercules was the best part of the day.

Sarah will continue to write for Realcity, an “online magazine dedicated to exploring the numerous realities that make up city life,” all summer.

WNBA at the Strand: An Interview with Award-Winning Biographer Deirdre Bair

It was truly my pleasure to introduce all who attended the Strand Underground event, April 7, to Dr. Deirdre Bair, the award-winning, critically-acclaimed biographer of some of the twentieth century’s most important voices. Although I have always known Dr. Bair was an important biographer, the research I did before I interviewed her at the Strand Book Store impressed upon me just how important her work is and how lasting and impactful it will continue to be.  Her dedication to the craft of biography and to honestly and truthfully present the lives of her important cultural and literary subjects is a gift for the layperson and scholar alike.

Dr. Bair won the National Book Award for Samuel Beckett: A Biography. While still a graduate student she decided that there needed to be a comprehensive study made of the Irish avant-garde writer, poet, and dramatist, Samuel Beckett, so she wrote him a letter to ask if he would agree to meet with her. It was a very brave step for an unpublished biographer, especially given Beckett’s reputation for guarding his privacy. But Beckett responded by saying that he would “neither help nor hinder” her, and offered to introduce her to his friends; his enemies, he assured her, “you will find soon enough.” It was the beginning of a long process that produced a biography that in Beckett’s own words “got it right.”

Dr. Bair also regaled us with an account of the time she spent with the subject of her second biography, Simone De Beauvoir, the influential French existentialist philosopher, feminist and writer. The stories of her weekly meetings and conversations with De Beauvoir were fascinating to the audience, and shed some very interesting light on the personality and world of the woman who wrote the infamous, The Second Sex.

Anais Nin, whom Dr. Bair refers to as a “major-minor” writer, came next.  Perhaps best remembered for her diaries and erotic literature, Nin left behind box upon box of voluminous diaries which had been rewritten and edited many times. Getting a glimpse into the work and writing-process of the complicated double-life that Nin lived was spellbinding.

Dr. Bair’s next subject was Carl Jung, one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century and the founder of Analytical Psychology. The Jung biography won the Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. How writing this book came to be was also a fascinating story and learning that Dr. Bair had to learn German before writing it is a true testament to her dedication to the art and craft of writing biography!

Dr. Bair’s latest biography (which will be published this fall by Random House) is about Saul Steinberg, the Romanian-born American cartoonist and illustrator best known for his work in The New Yorker. For the New York audience, this subject was particularly interesting and we are all looking forward to its publication.

It was a wonderful, thought-provoking evening and the iconic Strand Underground, with its superb staff of book-lovers, was the perfect venue for this event.