5th International Conference on Publishing Industry and Publishing Education in the Digital Era | Reflections from Wuhan, China by Professor Kathy Sandler

Professor Sandler and Yin “Ling” Mengling, a China Publishing Group employee who helped Sandler explore the city.

Kathy Sandler is the Senior Manager of Content Applications and Digital Workflow Development at Penguin Random House. She is also an Adjunct Faculty member in the M.S. in Publishing Program at Pace University. She specializes in management, workflow, and publishing technology for eBooks and iPad apps and enjoys developing classes for people in the industry. She recently published an article on “Innovation in Publishing: This is not an Oxymoron!” for Publishing Research Quarterly.

By: Professor Kathy Sandler

In October 2016, I traveled with Pace to China to lecture at the 5th International Conference on Publishing Industry and Publishing Education in the Digital Era sponsored by Wuhan University and Pace University. It was a fantastic experience! Here are a few of the memories I’d like to share.

Personally, I was struck by the warmth of the people I met. It was very exciting to meet dignitaries from Phoenix Publishing & Media Group and China Publishing Group, which are among the largest publishing companies in the world. But it was heartening to meet a number of former students who were so grateful to Professor Raskin and Professor Lian for what they learned at Pace.

The opening panel of the Wuhan Conference. (Professor Raskin is the fourth speaker from the right.)
I was lucky to have a tour guide in Beijing who worked at China Publishing Group named Yin “Ling” Mengling. I spoke with her at length about some of the great opportunities available in publishing associations in New York. We also discussed a book called Designing Your Life, which I recommend people use to think about their career and life goals.

After we parted, she paid for her own overnight train to Wuhan to attend the weekend conference and take Professor Lian, Professor Raskin and me around Wuhan University. She has since started a Literary Salon speaker series for her friends and colleagues, which she said I inspired her to do. Mark Fretz, who also attended the conference as part of the delegation from Pace, spoke at the inaugural session. I am very proud of Ling and happy I was able to touch her life.

Another thing that struck me in China that I hadn’t fully appreciated before was the giant contribution that Professor Raskin and Professor Lian have made to publishing education in China. Professor Lian was actually one of the founding members of the first publishing program in China at Wuhan University and was instrumental in starting the partnership between Pace and Wuhan U. Professor Raskin has made extremely strong relationships with the major publishing companies in China and, because of this, the companies have hand-picked executives to come train at Pace every year. (And they were able to start the Confucius Institute at Pace University, where I took Chinese classes before I went.) I have a newfound respect for the hard work they have done to build such strong ties.

Dinner in China with former Pace students. 
At the conference, my talk was on innovation. I spoke about projects in the publishing industry, including grass-roots efforts, where employees at any level can test their idea and pitch it to management. I was surprised that I was asked how an employee would be reprimanded if they had an idea that failed. I explained the value of a learning organization, where failing fast (and small) is a good thing. I was happy to see that they were thinking about how this idea could be implemented in their environment, and I hope in the future that organizations encourage their employees to submit ideas.

Professor Sandler speaking at the Wuhan Conference.
While Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites are blocked in China, the country is very technologically advanced. Most people use a platform called WeChat, which is a combination of the functionality of many programs in the U.S. like texting, FaceTime/Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and many others. (WeChat was created by TenCent, a phone company.) Many restaurants have you order and pay through your phone with Alipay, which is from the e-commerce company Alibaba, which has 423 million annual active buyers and about 80 per cent market share of e-commerce in China. There are QR codes everywhere on posters, bus shelters, ads, and menus, and they are very useful in connecting quickly through WeChat and other systems. I made many new contacts and friends in China and hope to stay in touch through WeChat.

I also visited many bustling bookstores in China. It was incredible to see the multi-story homage to the books owned by Phoenix Publishing & Media Group. I also visited a few branches of the Librarie Avant-Garde, including the famous one in a former bomb shelter/parking garage that has a beatnik vibe; a rustic one in a lush park, where you could sink into a comfy chair and feel like you were in a log cabin surrounded by books; and one on the Purple Mountain that sold only poetry books with lots of little rooms to explore. I felt right at home!

It was a fascinating trip, and I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to go! It really opened my eyes to different perspectives and I learned a lot about international publishing, innovation, and myself.

 

Faculty in the Spotlight: Professor Caserto

Building Technical Skills Through Design Courses

Professor Joseph Caserto, an award-winning graphic artist, educator, and consultant, is wrapping up his first year as an adjunct professor at Pace University’s Publishing Program.

Professor Caserto earned a BFA with honors in Graphic Design from Pratt Institute, where he completed one of the first classes that covered the Mac as a design tool. With over 20 years of professional experience, he is currently a freelance art director and designer whose clients have included Billboard, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Marie Claire, and Vibe magazines. Caserto has taught at The City College of New York, New York University, and is a contributor to Udemy.com.

Professor Caserto currently teaches PUB 633 Desktop Publishing for the Publishing Professional in the Fall semester, a prerequisite to the second course he teaches: PUB 635 Advanced Desktop Publishing and Image Manipulation and Management in the Spring. When asked what the value of these courses are to publishing students, Professor Caserto replied:

To be marketable; Publishing professionals need to have broad skill sets and be prepared to take on projects that may be somewhat outside of their area of expertise. An editor who can do some basic Adobe Photoshop and InDesign techniques, for example resizing images and placing them in a newsletter she’s managing, will be more appealing to potential employers and clients than a candidate who only works in Microsoft Word.

Professor Caserto hopes that his students will learn to be more comfortable working with Adobe Creative Cloud applications and get to know some basic and essential foundations of design “like symbols, typography, color, imagery, and more.”

Professor Caserto said:

I expect my students to be responsible and professional as they work to understand how to use Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop to create basic graphics and layouts for publications. I provide materials that clearly define the objectives for each session and assignment, and supplement lectures with videos and resources posted on Blackboard, which students can access between sessions if they need to review or want to explore topics further.

Professor Caserto likes to ease his students into their assignments. Knowing that they are not necessarily design students, he often starts with assignments that will allow his students to get comfortable with the new techniques, such as drawing objects, resizing images, and color application. As his course progresses, the techniques start to build onto each other, allowing students to create more challenging imagery like posters, book and magazine layouts, and symbols.

One of Professor Caserto’s students, Genna Daniel, said, “I’m taking [this course] to learn more about design elements involved in making books and magazines. I am currently learning how to make magazine layouts, and this helps me expand my interest beyond just book publishing.”

Professor Caserto intends for his courses to allow students from different aspects of the publishing industry to learn about key concepts and techniques that will benefit them no matter what segment of the industry they are in. He approaches his class with a sense of ease and creates a course load that has gradual progression. By the end of his course, his students will utilize the skills they have learned over the course of the semester to create striking images and designs and learn about the daily tasks of design professionals.

Professor Caserto has shared with us some of the work that his Advanced Desktop Publishing students have created so far in the class:

Nicole Cadavid

Victoria Sanker

Meghan Harrington

Ashley Lall

How Not to Be a Networking Leech: Tips for Seeking Professional Advice

Networking is a critical skill in advancing your career. Professor Andrea Baron has worked in publishing for over 20 years, starting her career in book design, and adding experience in consumer marketing and print and digital production. She worked with some of the largest consumer magazine publishers, including Condé Nast, Time Inc., American Express Publishing , The New York Times Magazines, and Ziff-Davis. She has organized and developed digital workflows and production processes for titles such as Vogue, The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Family Circle, Fitness, and PC Magazine.

 

Faculty_Spotlight

In her 10+ years of teaching in the Publishing program, she has  been asked  lots of advice on networking and job- and internship-hunting.She has been teaching magazine publishing in the program , with the goal of giving students a thorough grounding in the field and bringing them deeper into the industry. She teaches courses in production and design, consumer marketing, and an introduction to magazine publishing.

Professor Baron has shared this article, “How Not to Be a Networking Leech: Tips for Seeking Professional Advice”, from the New York Times , which gives a terrific summary of the most effective way to go about networking .  She hopes you’ll read it and share it.

 

Here is a snippet of the article :

“So here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a networking parasite.

Make the meeting convenient. Ask for time frames that would work well, and meet at a place that is convenient for them, even if you have to drive across town. If they leave it up to you, give them three options and let them pick the one that works best.”

To read more click the link below.

How Not to Be a Networking Leech: Tips for Seeking Professional Advice

 

 

Two Great Events feat. Professor Paul Levitz

You may have taken his Comic Books or Transmedia classes, but have you ever seen Professor Levitz in action? With over 30 years at DC Comics, ending as President and Publisher, Professor Levitz truly knows his stuff. He’s even written his own mega-book, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Check out his full bio on the Faculty and Staff Spotlight page here.

March 1 – 7 is Will Eisner Week, and on Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m., Professor Levitz will be reading from his upcoming book on Will Eisner, Champion of The Graphic Novel. He will also be discussing Eisner during “Will Eisner Week.”  The event will take place at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room.

On Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m., Professor Levitz will be moderating a panel titled “Celebrating Al Jaffree.” The panel will feature Jaffee, the inventor of MAD Magazine’s Fold-In, Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions, and who started his career working for Will Eisner. MAD cartoonist Peter Kuper (SPY VS. SPY, WORLD WAR III) will be joining the panel, as well as MAD art director and Ruben Award winning cartoonist, Sam Viviano. This panel will take place in the Butler Library at Columbia University. See more information about the event here.

Check out all of the “Will Eisner Week” events here.

Faculty in the Spotlight

Professor Elena Donovan Mauer is the Deputy Editor of The Bump, where she works with top writers, OB-GYNs, pediatricians and other industry leaders to deliver high-quality fertility, pregnancy and parenting information to millions of expectant and new parents. Professor Mauer is responsible for all editorial for The Bump magazines, a large network of local pregnancy and parenting print publications. Online, she’s launched several highly popular pregnancy and parenting tools and apps, and she top-edits all new content. Before she joined The Bump, Professor Mauer was Senior Editor of iVillage Pregnancy + Parenting, where she edited news and health content.

 

She’s also been an editor at Condé Nast, Bridal Guide and Hearst magazines and has freelanced for a wide variety of magazines and websites. She’s coauthored three books on weddings and relationships. Professor Mauer is an alumna of the Pace MS in Publishing Program and holds a BA in English from The Pennsylvania State University.

 

 

Media Trends: How Magazine Editing is Changing
by Elena Mauer

I’ve been working as a magazine editor for over a decade now, since graduating from the Publishing Program in 2012, and while media is always changing, it may be now, more rapidly than ever. Here are some observations I’ve had most recently on how the magazine industry is changing from an editorial perspective that I’d love to share with you all. It’s very exciting to be a part of all of this!

A magazine isn’t just a form of media—it’s a brand.

A magazine isn’t just one “book.” It’s an Instagram account, a beauty product, an app, a trade show, an online community or a TV show, too. Magazines have always produced ancillary products but it seems like now, more than ever, the other products aren’t just extensions of the magazine, they can be equal (and in some cases, greater) parts of the multimedia experience for the reader.

Print editors are jacks-of-all-trades.

There used to be separate departments for “web editors” and “magazine editors,” but many editors now do double duty, creating content for both web and print. Magazine editors may blog, edit online stories, create content for apps, help develop online tools and work on digitizing print editions. I’ve even worked on developing branded books for The Bump. There’s less pigeonholing and more collaboration going on between mediums. Print editors who want to keep their careers on the upswing are seeking out more web and technology experience. Web can be much faster-paced than print, so for many, it’s a big change.

Editors are doing their own social media.

Editors may be asked to tweet or post status updates on behalf of their brands, and they may post from their own accounts, too. Just as they act as experts on the Today show or the local news about the topic they cover for the magazine, they’re experts on their Twitter and Instagram accounts, too. You can follow some editors to catch a behind-the-scene glimpse of photo shoots and fashion shows, or see what products they love at trade shows. They may also post links to the articles they’ve written and edited recently to drive traffic to their publication’s website or digital issue.

They’re repurposing content from print to web and vice versa.

In the past it seemed that most online content would either be web-only or that it would show up in a magazine issue first and then later be published on the publication’s website. But now, content that’s popular online can

be adapted and reused in print editions. When I plan The Bump magazine, I use a mix of existing online content and new articles. Many of the new articles eventually get published online. When using the same articles for different mediums, adaptation needs to happen. For example, a magazine article may have a headline that’s a play on words or that works alongside carefully selected artwork. But when we run it online, it needs to be more straightforward and attention getting. An article may be called “Ace the Tests” in print, and “10 Prenatal Tests You Need to Consider” online. Articles may run at different lengths, with different supplemental information, such a sidebar or product images, when they’re published in different places. Something that ran in print may need to change or have a more interactive quality or links to related content to make it work online. This can mean working with an online producer or even the website’s tech team, which is where a deep knowledge of how readers use the web can be a huge advantage.

Magazine issues have gone digital.

At The Bump, we use a service called ISSUU to digitize our magazines and make them available on our website and on ISSUU’s site for free. Some magazines are digitizing their issues and making them available for purchase through online and app stores. Readers can view the issues on their desktop, smartphone, tablet or e-reader and often experience extras such as video content. This is desirable for advertisers, since their ads may have the ability to reach more readers. They may also be able to create a more interactive advertising experience. Digital editions are an exciting endeavor for editors to get creative in more ways than just with words and photos or illustrations, so it’s challenging in a really good way.

Professor Mauer has been teaching Magazine Writing and Editing, Editorial Principles and Practices, and Specialized Publications at Pace since 2008.

Faculty in the Spotlight

Looking for an interesting class to take for the Fall 2013 semester?  Consider PUB622H: Introduction to Supply Chain Management, taught by Professor Thomas DiMascio.   Click here to read about Prof. DiMascio’s professional and educational background.  Below is a description of PUB622H that he wrote for our blog:

 

 “Close your eyes.  You just landed a position at a GREAT publishing house.  Life is awesome.  You go to work with all the knowledge you gained here at the MS in Publishing Program at Pace University. 

You are kicking it — finding and crafting original works into masterpieces!  You turn to your colleagues and say “hey, where is the ‘publish’ button on the keyboard?”  And the response… “huh?”

 

 That’s right, works aren’t magically published.  Would you like to know about how publishers take all of their market segments and create operational supply chains to serve them?  Would you like to know how and why it is important to forecast demand before we manufacture even one copy?  How about the importance of raw material suppliers, book and magazine manufacturers, warehouses, distributors, the world economy, oh and lest we forget, the customer!  Supply chain management is all about taking all of these pieces, plus about a million more variables, and optimizing their interactions.

Let’s discuss what it takes to engage the verb “to publish.”  That’s why you are here — isn’t it?”

 

By Thomas A. Di Mascio

Faculty in the Spotlight

Faculty in the Spotlight: Prof. Paul Levitz

 

Seemed like a good idea—start the new class on Transmedia and the Future of Publishing with eight dirty words.  Okay, it’s one more than it took George Carlin, but there’s been some inflation since 1972, hasn’t there?

 

It’s educational; unlike Carlin’s selection, these are words that at least some of the students don’t have in their vocabulary.  It’s on point to the theme of the course; these are words that describe the changes that are wracking publishing and will play a role in its future.  And like any effective use of a dirty word or two, it rachets up the stakes of the conversation.

 

Eight dirty words:

 

Decentralization, Distintermediation, Fragmentation, Branding, Curation,

Gatekeepers, Transmedia and Transcreation.

 

The underlying lesson is that students working on their M.S. in Publishing in this fine twenty-first century need to think about their fundamental skills more than the fixed form which is the end product containing their work.  Skills like discovering, nurturing and shaping the work of creative people; managing the process by which work is created and made accessible to an audience; motivating and connecting an audience; and ultimately doing it all within financial disciplines that enable it to be done for the benefit of all concerned.  These skills will survive and thrive, even if the jobs they’re performed in won’t necessarily be labeled editor, production manager, publicist, or accountant (okay, odds are the accountant label will continue long after all the others, I concede).  People may choose to get their entertainment and information on screens, or even holographic glasses, rather than paper neatly bound in a printing plant, but they’ll still need us along the way.

 

So let’s look at some words rarely heard in the halls of book and magazine publishers, where the worst dirty word used to be “Returns.”  Let’s explore the forces changing around us, and avoid the textbook error long taught in M.B.A. programs down the hall: the moment when railroads decided they were in the railroad business, not the transportation business.  Welcome to the future, complete with a new set of dirty words.

Faculty in the Spotlight: Veronica Wilson

I always say to my students, “I wish I had found the publishing industry as soon as I graduated from undergraduate school at Temple University.” I came across the publishing industry when I met someone who sold advertising for Essence Magazine. At the time I was working within the corporate insurance sector at CIGNA Corporation and was just about to start my ninth year in the business. While it was an amazing experience, where I learned a great deal about the corporate world, traveled the country and worked with many Fortune 500 companies, I longed for something more dynamic, more interesting and more fun! When my friend told me what advertising sales was all about I said I knew my work experience would make me an ideal candidate for a job within this industry. She introduced me to the Associate Publisher of Essence and I was thrilled. However, the Associate Publisher did not think the transition from corporate insurance to publishing would be an easy one at first. I interviewed for a year, and was passed over twice, before I landed a job at Essence.

Once I made the transition in Ad Sales I knew that I had found an industry that I could work in for the rest of my life. I was given the business category since I came from corporate insurance, so I had accounts like Citibank, Solomon Smith Barney, New York Life, America Online, and more. Based on the success I had with this category they decided to give me more business within different categories, until I was promoted to manage the biggest accounts in the business, such as L’Oreal Paris, Lancome, Maybelline, Estee Lauder, Clinique and more. The business was ever changing and I was always moving around to meet with my accounts and talk about their new launches and how our audience would fit with their various brands. And the magazine editorial was also changing so we always had something new cooking to talk about.
Now I had been out of college a good ten years at this point. And I felt I would have been further ahead in my publishing career if I had started right after undergraduate school. I had this sense that I needed to catch up somehow with where I thought I should be at this point in my life, as if I had actually chosen this industry right out of college. That is when I started looking around at M.S. in Publishing Programs. I knew that this type of Masters would round my background out so that I would learn all the different disciplines that make up a magazine, from production, to editing, to marketing and more. I graduated from Pace in 2003 and knew that now I had the full knowledge to aspire to higher levels at Essence and in my career in general.

Essence was about to go into a joint venture with Time Inc. at the time and that made me very happy as now I would be inside one of the largest publishing houses in the world and would learn even more. I went from being a sales representative to being sales management, as I was promoted to Northeast Ad Director, where I had a sales staff that reported into me directly. Things continued to go well at Essence and within Time Inc. I was promoted again to National Ad Director, where I oversaw all advertising sales across the country at Essence and took part in strategic decision making alongside the Publisher and Associate Publisher of Marketing. I came into my ninth year at Essence, and decided that nine years was enough time at one magazine and now was the time to venture out to another publishing house to see what more I could learn. I moved on to Conde Nast where I was the Associate Publisher for two magazines, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. The bridal category was a brand new experience and very different from working for a women’s beauty/fashion/lifestyle magazine. I found it to be too small of a niche market, so I made the decision to go back to the category that I loved most, beauty/fashion.

Opportunities within the magazine world were far and few at the time, as the print industry began to shrink and numerous titles were closing due to the emergence of digital. When they say knowing another language is an asset that is not an understatement in anyway. Growing up half Chilean, I always had the Spanish language in my home life, so my next move would turn out to be within the U.S. Hispanic category at Meredith Corporation. Meredith is known for some of the largest, and oldest, magazines in the country, such as Better Homes & Garden, Parents, Ladies Home Journal, More, Fitness and others, and the Hispanic population is booming, as we all know from the 2000 Census. Here I serve as the Associate Publisher of four titles, Siempre Mujer (Always a Woman) a beauty/fashion title, Ser Padres (the Spanish version of Parents Magazine), Espera (Expecting) and Bebe (Baby), all parenthood titles. These are some of the largest Spanish language magazines in the country and now I can say I have expanded my experience to include the parenthood category, as well as the women’s beauty/fashion category. I also have the privilege of overseeing their digital properties, which gives me great exposure to this ever growing sector of publishing.

I have been teaching at Pace as an Adjunct Lecturer since 2008. I teach Ad Sales and Business Communications, both on-line. When teaching Ad Sales, I ask my students to look at many different magazines and I ask them to pick the title they could see themselves working with the most and we discuss what we like and dislike about the magazine and the advertising. We also include the web in some of the class since digital is such a large part of the advertising sales world now (and in the future). We go through a lot of exercises in which we review the ad sales discipline from many different angles including the salesperson, the publisher, the client and the ad agency. We also look at research, circulation, marketing, editorial and production, as ad sales touches each one of these areas in different ways.


In my Business Communications course I have to take a different approach. Because business communication is a tool used daily across all industries, I work with a textbook that addresses the generic principals of business communication. I then introduce different publishing scenarios that might occur in the real work environment to the class. Students address the various situations as if they had to deal with the matter at hand in writing. One week we may be addressing an angry magazine subscriber because they were offended by a magazine cover, and the next week we might be asking someone to support a publishing concept we found on kickstarter.com. It’s really a class about how to approach, think through, and address, different business scenarios (and in our case publishing specifically) which can occur, both positive and negative.

As an alumnus of Pace University, and as an adjunct lecturer here, I truly believe that education is the key to success and that our M.S. in Publishing Program provides a well-rounded perspective on this ever changing and increasingly important industry. I am so glad to see the program, and the graduating classes, grow in size with each passing year.