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

734SusanKatz_0

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.

Alumni in the Spotlight

Alumni in the SpotlightRakesh Suresh is a 2012 graduate from the MS in Publishing program. He is currently employed with HCL’s Media Services vertical as an Assistant Manager. Rakesh’s role is to develop and offer focused solutions for media, publishing, and entertainment companies across the globe. His focus and desire is to take the conventional publishing world to the next level.

 

 

Professor Denning: What have you been up to since graduating from the program in 2012?

Rakesh: It’s been a great journey. I returned back to India after my graduation with a vision to take India’s publishing service sector to the next level. However, it was a little difficult to convince Indian executives to change and expand their organization’s portfolio (typical example of an innovator’s dilemma). So, I did a little introspective reflection and changed my game plan a bit. I joined Newgen Knowledgeworks as an Operations Manager, where my role was to handle a business worth about $1 million a year. As handling day-to-day operations is not my cup of tea, I had a very brief stint over there. I then joined HCL Technologies as a Presales Consultant where my role is to provide media/publishing related solutions (from both IT and business perspectives) to organizations across the globe.

Professor Denning: How do you think the program helped you towards your career, however unconventional?

Rakesh: This program changed my perspective on publishing altogether. If we limit the term ‘publishing’ to just books and magazines, we are simply missing the bigger picture here. The size of the pie is always greater than what we think! My humble opinion is, publishing isn’t limited to big corporate houses anymore. Publishing defines the dissemination of content, and it can be carried out by anyone in the world. Even a layman, who is publishing his content/views on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or a blog is a publisher today.

On that note, this program helped me to understand industry trends and the impact of the west coast (i.e. technology companies like Facebook, Twitter, Scribd, etc.) on the east coast (i.e. conventional publishing industry).

Rakesh_Suresh (2)Professor Denning: Seeing as you work in the technical end of publishing, what do you think is the up and coming trend in regards to digitization?

Rakesh: There are so many new developments: big data analytics (predictive marketing), semantic publishing, localized content owing to higher internet penetration in developing countries, XHTML or digital-first workflow, affordable CMS, CRM and DRM, customized content in e-learning and magazine industries, dynamic newsstand, technologies enabling content discoverability, value added to services through QR codes, augmented reality, near-field communication (NFC) etc., consolidation of niche products with bigger players e.g. Adobe CQ5, Adobe Experience Manager etc., the dominance of Google and Amazon in terms of advertising/display ads, content aggregation, device and distribution channels.  These are just a few trends that I can think of immediately.

The others, which are hugely discussed in almost all content related conferences, are apps, responsive websites, social media content aggregation and analytics.  I think most of the organizations have to get a better grip on these disruptive technologies.

Professor Denning: When did you discover that this path was the right path for you?

Rakesh: I did my Bachelors of Engineering in printing technology. During my undergraduate years, I felt that print books’ market share was slowly dying and hence I was curious about the role of technology in publishing. At that time, I happened to meet India’s national newspaper editor-in-chief and he advised me to pursue my career in new media, which was nascent and a hot topic seven years back. Hence, my game plan was to know/understand hardcore software development before I ventured myself into the business aspect of publishing.

The Publishing program really helped me understand the intricacies of the publishing business. My internship with Hachette Book Group and the many guest lectures I heard steered me in the right direction and paved the way for my growth.

Professor Denning: What advice do you have for other students who want to stray away from the traditional publishing path?

Rakesh: My input (not advice) to the future achievers/aspirants is not to negate the impact of technology in our daily lives. As I mentioned earlier, publishing isn’t limited to books and magazines. It’s all about content, content, and content. Content is and will be in ‘bits’ going forward! If you can have a strong foundation in technology and business, success is not far away.

The world is in dire need of content experts who not only understand the business but also enable organizations to reach their audiences at the right time and the right place through the right channel.

HCL-TechnologiesProfessor Denning: What did you write your thesis on? And what advice do you have for those about to write their thesis?

Rakesh: My thesis was entitled ‘Searching for the Perfect Methods to Forecast Recurring Demand in Trade and Academic Publishing Supply Chain.’ I think the industry is still in search of a perfect method and, I think it will always be a combination of few methods.

My advice to students: stay focused on what you are passionate about. It is great if you can challenge the status quo. Never hesitate to talk to professors about your topic and objective. In my case, they were so kind and helped me to connect with industry people like Thomas Di Mascio, Linda Bathgate, and Jason Epstein, who not only gave clarity on the topic but also shared valuable industry insights.

Professor Denning: How important is it to network, even on the digital side of publishing?

Rakesh: It helps us to understand:

  • The current reality of the industry, and test the waters before you make a decision about your career
  • Your skill gaps or your areas that need improvement
  • Redefine your game plan/strategies at the right time
  • Envision the future of the industry/business units
  • Understand how the micro-level implementation impacts the macro-level objective
  • Thinking on our own feet – It gives an opportunity to examine our own mental models
  • Learn how to land in a job, if you are interested.

Professor Denning: What kind of skills do you need to enter your line of work?

Rakesh: A blend of IT and business knowledge. Analytical thinking. A love for new technologies and an interest to learn new things around the clock. More importantly, be willing to agree that the known is a little drop, the unknown is an ocean.

Professor Denning: Considering you have a unique view of the industry, what is something important for our students to know about publishing that they may not know otherwise?

Rakesh: Most of the processes are getting automated, and they are challenging and demanding (both in terms of development and usability). Several small software applications created with a well-defined focus can bring a paradigm shift to the organization. For example: subscription and distribution of eBooks, implementation of workflow management software, a seamless editorial management system, etc.—these not only change an organization’s capability matrix but also test employees’ skills and talent.

Every organization is looking out for innovative ways to monetize its content, for which technology is acting as their sole partner. To put it in a nutshell, publishing companies are becoming more of a content service provider backed by technology.

Publishing is evolving into a newer form, which embraces faster, personalized, user-generated content, new ways of digital storytelling and content sharing etc., and seamless integration with all sorts of devices.

Professor Denning: Where do you see the publishing industry headed in the next 5, 10, 15 years?

Rakesh: I wish I could!! It is really difficult to predict the future of the publishing industry over the long term at this juncture. That said, we can be sure of one thing: publishing is going to be more dynamic than ever before.

Technology is playing a key role in defining an organization’s strategy and the rate at which it should grow. Every aspect of publishing like format definition, distribution, editing, production, monetizing the backlist, the role of print and eBooks, etc. is changing faster than we ever dreamt of. It is an optimistic sign, and I personally envision many innovative business models evolving by collaborating with technology companies in the imminent future.

Publishing companies will have their own indigenous product development and R&D team, which will bring out innovative deliverables in conjunction with the latest technologies in real time. For example, recent research indicates that Augmented Reality (AR) apps currently generate $300 million in revenue. These apps could potentially earn $5.2 billion by 2017. In terms of print, it is going to be specialty products that can support smelling, tasting, augment reality, and offer innovative packaging to name a few. To sum it up, the focus would usher in a strategy fueled by technology, innovation, global markets, and strong ties with end users.

Thank you, Rakesh!

Interview with Paul Levitz, David Pecker Distinguished Visiting Professor for the 2014-2015 Academic Year

paullevitzIt is an honor to have Paul Levitz serving as the David Pecker Distinguished Professor for the 2014-2015 academic year.  Mr. Levitz is a comic fan, editor, writer, and executive.  He formerly was president and publisher of DC Comics and presently teaches Publishing Comics and Graphic Novels and Publishing Transmedia at Pace University.  He is currently working on a book on Will Eisner and the birth of the graphic novel for Abrams Comic Arts.

To read Professor Levitz full biography, click here.

His first lecture will take place tomorrow, Thursday, October 30, 2014 at Pace University, 163 Williams St, 18th floor, from 6-8p.m., where he will be discussing how we as publishers define our mission in an era when our own audiences are constantly connected: to each other and to the flow of raw data, old and new.

Professor Jane Denning had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Levitz as he assumes his new role.   The pair discussed what he hopes to accomplish as the David Pecker Distinguished Professor as well as some advice he has to offer to current Pace M.S. in Publishing students.

Prof. Denning:  Hi Paul, thank you for agreeing to do this interview!  Congratulations on being named the Visiting David Pecker Distinguished Professor for the 2014-2015 academic year.  What do you hope to accomplish this year at Pace?

Prof. Levitz:  Thanks, Jane.  I’d like to extend my reach to the students who aren’t able to take my two courses.  I haven’t had the courage to do online teaching, so I miss out on a fair number of the program’s students, and hopefully the lectures will be available to them.

Legion of SuperheroesProf. Denning: As the Visiting David Pecker Distinguished Professor, you are expected to give 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?

Prof. Levitz:  I don’t know if they count as pearls of wisdom, but I’m exploring the future of publishing models in my first lecture, since the world around us is changing so rapidly.  One of the points I make is that publishing has to move from a banking model to more of a venture capital approach…but to make sense out of that you probably have to listen to the whole talk.
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, what prompted you to pursue the publishing of comics and graphic novels?

Prof. Levitz: Comics is a very unusual field in its accessibility, and even more so when I was a kid.  Because of the structure of comic conventions and the zine world, I was able to get to know most of the industry’s creative people while I was in high school.  That’s not possible today, and would have been impossible in the ‘70s if I had made a similar effort in other publishing worlds that I loved, from sf to mysteries to the magazine field.

The Golden Age of DC ComicsProf. Denning:  As the President and Publisher of DC Comics for eight years you have a unique perspective on the industry, are there any recent developments/trends in the comic book industry that you’ve noticed?  Where do you think comics and graphic novels are headed given that so many beloved characters are being brought to life on the big screen (i.e. The Amazing Spider-man, Man of Steel, Thor: The Dark World)?
Prof. Levitz: The movies bring a lot of fresh capital to the comics field and its creators, but it’s much more interesting to me to watch the explosion of new subjects and genres that are being explored in graphic novels.  In Japan, the manga market is about a third of their publishing industry, compared to the 2% of ours that is comics-driven.  The wide range of subjects for manga is part of that, and I’m hopeful that as our subject range continues to increase, so will our share of publishing.

Prof. Denning:  If a student is interested in the comic book industry, what is the best way to break in?  Should they be attending Comic Con?

Prof. Levitz: Comic conventions are great places to learn about the field, and you don’t have to start with the giant shows.  Smaller events like MoCCA Fest, here in New York, or Comic Art Brooklyn, are great ways to get a taste of the avant garde of comics…and full of young people with so much in common with our students.  The energy is amazing.   And another approach is simply to hit a great comic shop, and start talking to the folks behind the counter.  Even more than indie bookstores, comic shops tend to have passionate fans of the field working there.

Prof. Denning:  As our students gear up to enter the workforce, what sort of skills should they really develop while in the 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?

World's FinestProf. Levitz: Learn all the technical skills they can: photoshop, in design, programs for e-book creation, and enough accounting for self-defense.  Use your social media time to see how publishers and authors function in that space, and think about how it can be done better—so many of our students’ first jobs are social media-related now.  Learn how publishing companies think: that’s one of the virtues of having professors who have functioned in the industry.  Develop the habits of a publishing person: don’t browse looking for books you like, stalk a bookstore for knowledge, paying attention to which companies are publishing which titles, what seems to be selling, and watch how people make their selections.   And develop networking skills: the people you meet in this program will include folks whose career paths will intertwine with yours.

Alumni in the Spotlight–Robb Pearlmann and Jessica Napp

For this month’s Alumni in the Spotlight, Jessica Napp (2000) interviews her fellow alumna and colleague, Robb Pearlman (1994). 

Robb PearlmanRobb Pearlman is the Associate Publisher of Universe Books, Calendars, and Licensing at Rizzoli New York, and is the editor of pop culture titles including The Joker: An Illustrated History of the Clown Prince of CrimeZombies on FilmThe Princess Bride: A Celebration, and Stuck on Star Trek. He is the author of Fun with Kirk and Spock (Cider Mill Press, 2014), 101 Ways to Kill a Zombie (Universe, 2013), Nerd Haiku (Lyons Press, 2012), Spoiler Alert!: Bruce Willis Is Dead and 399 More Endings from Movies, TV, Books, and Life (Lyons Press, 2010), The Q Guide to Sex and the City (Alyson, 2008), and the upcoming Game of Thrones: In Memoriam and Game of Thrones: The Starks (both Running Press, 2015), and 101 Ways to Use a Unicorn (Universe, 2015); two books for children: Leaf Dance (Little Simon, 2001), Passover is Here! (Little Simon, 2005), and the upcoming Groundhog’s Day Off (Bloomsbury, 2015); as well as two storybook engagement calendars: Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (Universe, 2011) and Disney’s Winnie the Pooh (Universe, 2011). Robb has had successful events and signings around the country including San Diego ComicCon, New York ComicCon and BookCon, the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, and book and comic book retailers in Los Angeles, New York, and New Jersey. He has performed at the Nerdnite Nerdtacular, and has had essays featured on the Los Angeles and Las Vegas CBS websites, HuffingtonPost.com, and StarTrek.com.

Jessica Kapp

 

Jessica Napp is currently Associate Director of Publicity at Rizzoli New York, 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.  She is also the VP of Communications for the Women’s National Book Associaton (WNBA) NYC Chapter and the PR and Marketing rep to Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, NY. To read a complete interview with Jessica, click here.

 

In a galaxy far, far away, two Pace MS Publishing alums happened to meet on the job and for the last seven years they have been working together in harmony!

When I started working at Rizzoli in 2007 it was a surreal experience. On the one hand, I knew a handful of people from previous jobs, so in some ways, those early transitional days were super easy because at least 5 people knew my name. On the other, I was the stereotypical new kid, needing to learn a whole new crop of names and faces. And in that mix was Robb!  I had heard of Robb before, but somehow we had yet to meet. I worked with his partner at Abrams, we had both worked at S&S, but in different divisions, and now, here we stood in the halls of Rizzoli, circling and bantering, and realizing we had one more connection (other than good taste in people) – The MS in Publishing program at Pace!

Our working relationship over the years has evolved into a friendship like no other, so I am proud to have had the opportunity to interview Robb for this blog.  Now, mind you, if you can’t keep up with Robb, don’t read the post. Synapses will be firing on all levels and not laughing is not an option.

Jessica:  Hi Robb, and thank you for agreeing to do this interview. It has been 20 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?

Robb: Hi Jessica, it’s my pleasure, and thanks so much for reminding me how old I am. I can’t believe it’s been that long! After graduating from Pace, I worked in the subsidiary rights departments for Disney/Hyperion and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. I decided to transition to the editorial side of things, and moved to Rizzoli as a senior editor. I’m now the Associate Publisher of Universe Books, Calendars, and Licensing. I acquire and edit pop culture, entertainment, and children’s books such as Zombies on Film, The Princess Bride: A Celebration, The Bow Tie Book, Miroslav Sasek’s This is The World, and The Joker: An Illustrated History of the Crown Prince of Crime; I direct our calendar program, which publishes calendars based on television and movie properties like Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Family Guy, Downton Abbey, Clueless, and Dirty Dancing, institutions like MoMA, The National Gallery of Art, Amnesty International, The Library of Congress, and artists including Masha D’yans, Lotta Jansdotter, Rob Ryan, and Vermeer. I’m very lucky that my geeky personal interests serve me well in my professional life!

Fun with Kirk and SpockJessica: Please tell me a bit about how your educational experience at Pace prepared you for your publishing career.

Pace gave me a working knowledge of all of the different departments and functions that make up a publishing company. As if my inability to do simple arithmetic wasn’t enough, I knew, thanks to my accounting class, that I would be completely ill suited to working in finance.  Anywhere. In any capacity whatsoever. My first publishing job was in the subsidiary rights department, and I know I would never have known what a subsidiary right was without the class I took at Pace. It’s funny, so many people—even those working in publishing—don’t understand what the department does, but subsidiary rights are a huge moneymaking revenue stream for any company. Working in that department also gave me access to every other department, both inside the company and in my licensees. I was able to work with the editorial, sales, and marketing teams at the home and school book clubs and fairs, large print and audio publishers, and scouts and producers at studios and production companies. While at Simon & Schuster, I was the brand manager for Raggedy Ann, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys, and I was able to reach back to my legal and financial classes at Pace when negotiating licensing contracts. Pace gave me the multi-faceted groundwork upon which I could build my career (and my calculator gave me the ability to calculate royalty percentages.)

101 Ways to Kill a ZombieJessica: Have you always been interested publishing? Where did that passion come from?

Robb: I have. Even when I was young, maybe six or seven, I was interested in the idea of publishing- how books came to be in the library or bookstore, how the words got on the pages, the pages into the book, the books onto the shelves. I could spend hours in the bookstore or library, just surrounding myself with piles of books and thumbing through them all. One of the first books I tried to take out of the library was, coincidentally, a Hardy Boys book.  I was tripped up by the word “motorcycle,” so my mom and the librarian steered me toward the more age-appropriate early readers. I was very fortunate to have parents who valued reading and education, so I was never without easy access to a book.  Plus, as an only child, it was a great way for me to entertain myself on rainy days or, thanks to my debilitating allergies and hatred of playgrounds, a delightful summer’s day. I wrote my first book in fourth or fifth grade—it was called “Herbie” and was about a blueberry or a Smurf knockoff of some sort.  I wrote and illustrated it, and, with my aunt’s help, bound it into a hardcover book. I still have it on my bookshelf next to my other books. Unlike some of today’s bestsellers, the binding has held even after all this time! One of the best gifts I ever received was an electric typewriter. It weighed about a million pounds and had a tendency to overheat and melt the ribbon. The vibrating keys would often make my fingers numb, but it was entre into the world of writing something for myself.

Robb Pearlman at ComicCon

Jessica: What do you think are the essential skills current students need to leave the program with in order to succeed in the industry?

Robb: Given that publishing a book is a collaborative endeavor, one of the most important skills is to listen and appreciate what other people have to say. Now that’s not to say that other people are right all the time—they’re not—but no department or person works alone, and without cooperation and open discussion nothing’s going to happen. And if something does happen, it’s not going to work as well as you think it would. I think it’s invaluable to understand, at least minimally, what other departments do, and the reasons they do them. With the exception of sociopaths, your colleagues are going to want each and every book to succeed. I think Pace’s ability to provide insight into all aspects of the publishing process is an invaluable tool to understanding other perspectives on the process. In order to thrive, you have to be able to adapt to the changes in the industry and the world. Holding on to the past, and resenting the present state of affairs, whether it’s ebooks or lack of retailers or trends in reading, is self-defeating. Things are changing every day, and if you don’t allow yourself to continue to learn, try new things, and new ways of doing things, you’re going to dig yourself into such a rut the young whippersnappers tweeting and posting and blogging are going to leave you behind and you’ll be archived along with the fax machines and word processors.

Spoiler AlertJessica: In addition to your day job as Associate Publisher, you are also an author.  Tell us about the books you have written and what it is like to be on both sides of the industry.

Robb: I’ve written 10 books so far, with (hopefully) three or four more on the way in 2015 and 2016.  I write pop culture books, like Fun with Kirk and Spock Kirk-Spock, which mashes up the classic Dick and Jane books and the crew of the Enterprise, 101 Ways to Kill a Zombie, 101 Uses for a Unicorn, Nerd Haiku, and Spoiler Alert, in which I give away the endings to books, movies, television shows, and life.  Editing and writing are two different skills, and it’s fun for me to use both parts of my brain. It’s a great privilege to be able to be on both sides of the publishing equation, and I don’t take it lightly. I know what editors go through every day, so I try to make the process as smooth for them as possible. I make sure my editor understands that I know what the process is, how important deadlines are, and that I know what they’re going through.  I do my best not to get too “authory” on them- meaning I’ll try to keep my demands to appear on Good Morning America and at the top of the New York Times bestseller list to a minimum. You think I’m kidding, but these are things authors have said to me. That and “I’m sure Oprah would give a blurb for this if you would just ask her.” I think I’ve done pretty well on that front—to my count I’ve only had one unpleasant discussion (and my editor and I were on the same side of that discussion), but you’d have to ask my editors about that.

Thanks, Robb!  I appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. Can we go to ComicCon already? 

Student Spotlight: Kimberly Richardson

Kimberly Richardson is the intern for Linda Epstein at the Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency, and is currently a graduate student in the MS Publishing program at Pace University. You can follow Kimberly on Twitter @kimberly_ann688 and expect to see her monthly blog posts on the Blabbermouth Blog “Dish from the Literary Agent Intern.”  Read her post on the Blabbermouth Blog!

 

Kimberly Richardson
Kimberly Richardson

Hi all! I’m Kimberly and currently a graduate student in the MS Publishing program at Pace University. I got my BA in English from Queens College and live on Long Island. Having been born and raised in upstate New York, I was inexplicably drawn to the City and at 18 made the move down. Since moving here I have experienced the beauty of the beaches and the enthralling, gritty factor of the City.

I worked at a funeral home while getting my BA and really enjoyed being able to help people. While there, I decided I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Having an English degree and failing to grab a job as an editorial assistant (or any publishing industry assistant for that matter) I knew I had to take a plunge; one that would help me in making connections and be a more appealing employee in the career I was seeking. So I applied to Pace and now I’m pursuing a dream I didn’t even know I had. I love the program and am even more excited about the people I am meeting and the opportunities that are unfolding. I didn’t realize this program would open so many doors and give me confidence in deciding where I want my degree to take me.

Deciding on this path shouldn’t have been as hard as I made it for the simple fact that I have always loved books. I began really reading with the American Girl series in third grade and I remember being captivated by how the story unfolded on the pages. Before that I hadn’t really grasped the power words could have on a person or their imagination. Throughout middle school and high school I read anything I could get my hands on and read a lot of fantasy, sci-fi and crime thriller (think Michael Crichton, Thomas Harris, J.K. Rowling). The books during those years, especially Harry Potter, defined the kind of reader I was becoming. Books helped shape the way I thought and felt and my imagination. Today, I still find nothing more satisfying than finishing a book I’ve been able to connect with and continuing to read books that influence who I am.

As any good student, I love reading, writing, and learning. I always say that if I could go to school for the rest of my life without becoming broke I would. For me, education and reading go hand in hand. I am looking forward to this internship with Linda, this next semester of school, and all the wonderful people I’m going to meet while continuing on this path!

Interview with the New WNBA UN Youth Rep, Dena Mekawi

WNBA blog: Dena Mekawi is a 23 year old living in Staten Island, New York. She is currently completing a Masters degree in publishing at Pace University.

Congratulations on becoming the UN Youth Representative. Why did you want to take on the position? What are some of your goals as UN Youth Rep.?

The reason I wanted to take on the UN youth representative position was to be a part of the change. You are able to work on projects that enhance human development, spread the word on women’s rights, empower youths through literacy & special events. The opportunities are endless, and to be able to work on them and be an influence on others is truly a blessing.

You’re also getting a Master’s degree in publishing at Pace University. How is that experience preparing you for working in the industry?

I decided to pursue my masters a few months after I graduated college. I believe the more you know, the more you’re worth.  I can’t begin to say how much this program has given me many opportunities, as well as preparing me for the real world.

Tell us about being in the Miss Arab USA pageant and how that has influenced your career choices.

While I was never a pageant-seeking girl, this one grabbed my attention because of its intended mission.  That was the main reason that encouraged me to share my experiences with the public, the hope that others would relate to me. I knew no matter the outcome, that I would leave a mark by doing so- and I did.  Growing up, I faced discrimination and stereotypes, unfortunately. The challenges that I endured of feeling left out, was unbearable.  I hated going to school, trying to fit into the “norms” of the way everyone dressed, spoke, or even looked. Today I am proud and wouldn’t want any kids growing up experiencing such misconceptions about any culture. With the tools we have today, I know we can overcome these stereotypes.

What are your career goals once you’ve completed your degree?

I want to work for a magazine publisher and later run my own PR agency. I hope to be an icon to many and a role model to those who can relate.  I always dream big, and never limit myself.

What is your favorite word? Why?

My favorite word would have to be serendipity.  It’s one of those words that sounds fun and has a deep meaning- the idea of happy accidents, or unexpected circumstances that change our life for the better. Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking back.” Sometimes at the moment, you can’t understand why certain things are happening, but with patience and time they start making sense.

What are you currently reading? Any great recommendations for our members?

I currently reading Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. So far so good; it offers insight into gender dynamics and the universal struggle to achieve both independence and meaningful relationships. I think many of us can relate to this!

Pace University NYC Fall 2013 Job & Internship Fair

This Thursday, October 3rd, from 2:00-5:00 pm, Pace University is holding its Fall Job & Internship Fair at 1 Pace Plaza. There will be over one hundred employers–all searching for qualified candidates. If you are an MS in Publishing student, this is a great opportunity to showcase your excellent publishing skills, as many companies will be looking for candidates with the skills you have. Dress professionally, bring copies of your resume, and be prepared to broadcast your skills! Registration for this event is completely free, and both current students and Pace alumni are welcome.

The following companies are looking for Publishing students:

  • CBS Local Digital Media Group (looking for Local Commerce [various roles], Interns [various positions], Account Coordinators, and Ad Operations)
  • RosettaBooks (looking for Production Intern and Marketing Intern)
  • TheStreet, Inc. (looking for Product Specialist, Product Marketing Associate, Graphic Designer, and Editor)

 

Helpful links:

Fair Directory

Registration

Contact Pace University Career Services with any questions/concerns.

 

Good luck and we hope to see you there!

 

 

Alumni in the Spotlight: September 2013

Alumni in the Spotlight Interviews

 

Pace University MS in Publishing Alumni and students at Oxford University Press

 

Oxford University Press (OUP) has an incredibly diverse publishing program and is the largest University Press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and its worldwide publishing furthers the University’s objectives of excellence in scholarship, research, and education.

OUP publishes in many countries, in more than 40 languages, and in a variety of formats–print and digital. Their products cover an extremely broad academic and educational spectrum and they aim to make their content available to their users in whichever format suits their needs. OUP publishes for all audiences–from pre-school to secondary level schoolchildren; students to academics; general readers to researchers; individuals to institutions.

OUP currently publishes over 6,000 titles a year worldwide, in a variety of format and their range includes dictionaries, English language teaching materials, children’s books, journals, scholarly monographs, printed music, higher education textbooks, and schoolbooks.  Many of these titles are created specifically for local markets and are published by OUP’s regional publishing branches. OUP sells more than 110 million units each year, and most of those sales are outside the UK.

A number of Pace MS in Publishing alumnae and students are currently working and interning at OUP and they all graciously agreed to talk to us about their experiences in publishing, their academic studies at Pace and their work at OUP.  It is a remarkable group and we hope you enjoy and learn from what they have to say!

For a bit of background, here is a brief history of the Press:

OUP History

A Brief History of Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press has a rich history which can be traced back to the earliest days of printing.

The first book was printed in Oxford in 1478, just two years after Caxton set up the first printing press in England. The University was involved with several printers in Oxford over the next century, although there was no formal university press.

In 1586 the University of Oxford’s right to print books was recognized in a decree from the Star Chamber. This was enhanced in the Great Charter secured by Archbishop Laud from King Charles I, which entitled the University to print ‘all manner of books’.

Delegates were first appointed by the University to oversee this process in 1633. Minutes of their deliberations are recorded dating back to 1668. The structure of Oxford University Press (OUP) as it exists today began to develop in a recognizable form from that time.

The University also established its right to print the King James Authorized Version of the Bible in the seventeenth century. This Bible Privilege formed the basis of OUP’s publishing activities throughout the next two centuries.

From the late 1800s OUP began to expand significantly, opening the first overseas OUP office in New York in 1896. Other international branches followed, including Canada (1904), Australia (1908), India (1912), Southern Africa (1914).

Today OUP has offices in 50 countries, and is the largest university press in the world and  currently publishes over 6,000 titles a year worldwide, in a variety of formats.

OUP’s  range includes dictionaries, English language teaching materials, children’s books, journals, scholarly monographs, printed music, higher education textbooks, and schoolbooks.  Oup sells more than 110 million units each year, and most of those sales are outside of the UK.

To learn  more about Oxford University Press today. check out the video below:

OUP Video

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret Harrison is the Ebook Global Supply Chain Manager at Oxford University Press in New York. Ms. Harrison graduated from the MS in Publishing program in 2012 and received the Dyson College Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year Award as well as the Publishing Award.  Prior to her position at OUP, Ms. Harrison was the  Manager of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships at Vook and was also Publisher Relations Specialist at OverDrive, Inc.

 

Prof Denning:   Thank you Margaret for agreeing to be interviewed for our blog.  It is very exciting to have such a strong contingent of Pace graduates at OUP and we are especially proud of your accomplishments.

Could you tell us a bit about what is you do at Oxford University Press?

Margaret:  Hello! I am the Ebook Global Supply Chain Manager and I’ve been at OUP about two years.

My job is constantly changing! I was hired in June 2011 to found the Ebook Global Supply Chain office, and we are now a transatlantic team of 3 overseeing ebook operations for the global academic business, including conversion, distribution and process. (Rachel Menth, another alumna of the MS in Publishing Program, actually works on my team!) Currently I do a fair bit of project management and lead business process improvement for ebook work. Every day I have at least three to five problems that require solving. And I work with colleagues across numerous departments, US and UK. I love visiting our Oxford office and collaborating with my UK colleagues.

Since I started at OUP, we have launched the UK’s ebook business, converted more than 4,000 US and UK EPUBs, distributed more than 10,000 ebooks, launched international partnerships with Kobo, Google, and others, documented for the first time global ebook processes for the press, and led an ebook data reconciliation project to clean up more than 30,000 ebook records in our systems. . I have an amazing team that’s worked very hard to achieve these milestones.

Prof. Denning:  How did you end up at Oxford?

Oxford was a client of mine when I worked at OverDrive, and I remembered that their ebook program had been just taking off when I worked with them during 2009 and 2010. It seemed like an ideal time to join in 2011 — still plenty of new ground to cover.

Professor Denning:   What advice would you give to a Pace student hoping to begin a career in  publishing? What advice would you offer someone who is interested in working at Oxford?

Margaret:  Networking has literally led to every job I’ve ever had, from the time I was 16. It is so important to “build it before you need it” as the saying goes. Spend some time on your LinkedIn profile and think about how to optimize your profile for your audience so you stand out. Include a link to a copy of your Pace thesis. Ask your professors to post a recommendation. Then network with everyone you can think of –: your dentist, your grandma’s neighbor, the local barkeep. You just never know when you might make that meaningful connection.

Professor Denning:  How would you describe the work environment at Oxford?

Margaret:  I am inspired and challenged on a daily basis by my Oxford colleagues. I love it! It’s an eclectic group who are very passionate about their interests, which usually include at least one academic vertical. Many colleagues are aspiring academics, or former (or current) professors or writers. It’s a creative office full of people who love their work and love the people with whom they collaborate.

Because we’re a nonprofit and affiliated with the university, our work is mission-driven: we publish scholarly and educational work that we think will benefit society. It makes for a de-corporatized culture.

It’s also worth mentioning that because we are a global academic business, it’s a culture that relies heavily on email due to the time differences. That required a bit of adjustment for me!

Professor Denning:  Have you ever worked with an intern who was also from the MS in Publishing program at Pace?

Margaret:  No, but I did recommended two fellow Pace graduates for jobs at OUP — and they are now colleagues of mine!

Professor Denning:  How do you feel that the MS in Publishing program prepared you for a career in the publishing industry?

Margaret:  I started the program with experience on the digital side but very little knowledge of how a traditional publishing house works. Through Pace I learned a lot about production through Prof. Delano’s course, and also about marketing and business plans from Prof. Soares. My goal was to eventually work for a traditional publisher, and thanks to Pace I was able to achieve that. I also have to highlight my relationship with Prof. Soares, which has continued beyond my education at Pace. Manuela’s mentorship and insight has been invaluable to me. In fact, she convinced me to pursue this opportunity at OUP, and I’m so glad I did.

Prof. Denning: What was the topic of your Graduate Thesis paper and can you tell us about what you think the value of writing it is for students?

Margaret:  I wrote my thesis on the international standard text code (ISTC), a new work-level identifier used in the publishing supply chain. Publishers now use many different ISBNs to identify products derived from a work, and the feedback from publishers and vendors alike is that it’s become unruly to keep track of them all. Several of the industry’s standards organizations came up with the concept of a standardized work-level identifier to be used in addition to an ISBN. From my research I concluded that this standardized identifier is not actually necessary and is far too complex to be centralized – in fact many publishers have created their own proprietary work-level identifiers, which seems to work just as well.

Thanks to guidance from Prof. Soares, my thesis was published last summer in Publishing Research Quarterly. I also now sit on the identifier committee for the Book Industry Study Group.

Mine is an experience which demonstrates how the graduate thesis paper can be professionally enriching. For those students seeking career opportunities, the thesis paper is a chance to garner expertise on a chosen topic and also create a great network of publishing contacts through your interviews.

Prof. Denning:  Are you involved in the MS in Publishing program in any way today?

Margaret:  Yes! Earlier this year I gave several guest lectures in the Pace University China-U.S. Publishing Program. This was a great opportunity to share recent successes in our ebook program at OUP as part of a continuing education initiative.

One day I hope to teach in the MS in Publishing Program, teaching students about digital workflows (and especially encouraging young women to pursue technology tracks in publishing).

Professor Denning:  Anything else or any advice you would like to give to current students and alumni?

Margaret: I am always happy to connect with current students or alumni. Find me on LinkedIn or contact me by email:  margaret.h.harrison@gmail.com .

 

Melanie Mitzman is the Assistant Marketing Manager for Economics, Finance, and Business at Oxford University Press.  She graduated from the MS in Publishing program in 2012. Ms. Mitzman has worked as the Publishing Manager at Vanguard Press of Perseus Books Groups , a Marketing Manager at Triumph Learning and as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Inc. Magazine.

 

Prof. Denning: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for our blog Melanie.  It is great to have a chance to talk to you about your career and your studies at Pace.  Can you tell us what your job title at Oxford University Press, and how long have you been working there?

Prof. Denning:  How did you hear about the job at Oxford?

Melanie:  I am Assistant Marketing Manager in the Academic/Trade Division, working on Economics, Business, and Finance titles. I’ve been at OUP since September 2012.

Prof. Denning:  Please describe a bit about what your job entails.

Melanie:   I work on marketing each title through conferences, social media, and review lists, and some titles receive more detailed attention than others depending on the profile. I serve as the primary marketing point of contact for authors when they’re in need of materials for events, etc, and I also liase with several departments both in the NY and UK office.

Prof. Denning:  Were you working before Oxford University Press?

Melanie:   I received extensive publishing experience at my last job with Vanguard Press (now defunct), where I was serving in a role that covered everything from editorial to marketing to publicity. It was like publishing boot camp!

Prof. Denning:  What advice would you give to a Pace student hoping to begin a career in book or magazine publishing? What advice would you offer someone who is interested in working at Oxford?

Melanie:  You have to truly love publishing in order to commit yourself to it, due to the difficult work and often low pay. Being at the right company and/or finding a mentor (or two) at a job can vastly improve that experience and make a huge difference in how you view your work. And always pay it forward. After a few years in the business, it can be easy to forget what it was like when you first started, but it’s always good to remember those roots by helping the newest members of the publishing world.

Prof Denning:  How would you describe the work environment at Oxford?

Melanie:  It’s a truly global working experience. Everyone is very friendly and helpful, especially when it comes to finding the right person to reach out to in each unique situation. It’s a nice combination of individual and team work, and working in such an expansive company has been a great way to improve my skills at working with lots of different people.

Prof. Denning:  How do you feel that the MS in Publishing program prepared you for a career in the publishing industry?

Melanie:   I feel the Publishing program at Pace juxtaposed nicely to my in-office, on-the-fly learning experience. It really allowed me to slow down and examine the publishing business as a whole. I think it’s really easy to get caught in the day-to-day in publishing, so the program offered insight into different areas of the business I maybe hadn’t encountered yet, but also allowed me to look at how my daily tasks impact the business overall.

Prof. Denning: What was the topic of your Graduate Thesis paper and can you tell us about what you think the value of writing it is for students?

Melanie: I wrote about independent bookstores and what innovative steps some of the top performing ones are taking to survive in the marketing. I think the value is really delving into an area of publishing that you really wouldn’t normally be able to do during your everyday work, particularly when if it’s something you’re interested in learning about but don’t necessarily work with directly. I also think there is general value in the discipline it takes to work on this project for so many months, which is potentially something students will have to do in their jobs.

Prof. Denning:  Are you involved in the MS in Publishing program in any way today?  (advisory board, guest lecturer, etc.)

Melanie:  Yes, I am currently working with Professor Soares in her Graduate Seminar course to help facilitate Blackboard discussions, and I also am currently the only graduate of the Pace Publishing program to sit on the advisory board. I’ve also spoken to Professor Soares’ General Interest Books class and hope to do so again.

Professor Denning:  Anything else or any advice you would like to give to current students and alumni?

Melanie: I would really recommend meeting, making friends with, and working with as many people as possible in your classes. These are the people you will continue to run into throughout your career, either in the office or social networking events, and you will almost certainly grow together and possibly look to each other for references or job opportunities. These are your friends, but they are also great assets for your career development.

 

Brianna Marron is the Editorial Assistant at Oxford University Press.  She graduated from the MS in Publishing program in 2011 and received her Bachelors of Arts in English and Creative Writing, with honors, from Southern Connecticut University.  She worked with the New Haven Review as an Assistant Editor for five years, and interned in the Editorial Department of St Martin’s Press and in Product Development at Scholastic.

 

Prof. Denning:  What is your job title at Oxford University Press, and how long have you been working there?

Brianna:  My current position at Oxford, since June 11, 2012, is an Editorial Assistant for Social Work, under Senior Editor, Dana Bliss.

Prof. Denning:  Please describe a bit about what your job entails.

Brianna:  My job requires me to have four arms, and an increased tolerance for caffeine, but I wouldn’t trade it.  My day-to-day tasks include constant contact with authors to ensure they are writing their manuscripts, and to help shepherd the entire process for them.  Some of the basic tasks I perform include identifying and evaluating print and online publishing and distribution opportunities, analyzing competition, conducting market research, and basically being the liaison between the author and all departments: production, marketing, publicity, sales, design, and so forth.  Some of the more creative and fun tasks I get to do are creating concepts for covers and researching images, writing cover copy, and writing book descriptions that feed onto our website and other booksellers’ websites, like Amazon.

Prof. Denning: Were you an intern at Oxford University Press before you became a full-time employee?  If not, did you have previous publishing experience?

Brianna:  I was not an intern at Oxford; however, I had interned with Scholastic and Thomas Dunne Books, a division of Saint Martin’s Press.  I also worked with the New Haven Review under the publisher, Bennett Lovett-Graff for a five year stretch.

Prof. Denning:  What advice would you give to a Pace student hoping to begin a career in book or magazine publishing? What advice would you offer someone who is interested in working at Oxford?

Brianna:  Be ready for anything at any time.  It’s publishing, you might come in one day and everyone in the office is wearing rooster costumes.  Be ready for that.  Be change-adaptive, innovative, grow a few more arms, listen, and communicate.

Prof. Denning:  How would you describe the work environment at Oxford?

Brianna: As long as you’re not drinking the office coffee, you’ll survive here for life! Seriously, considering the workload and multi-tasking requirements, the environment is relaxed and my manager understands that I am limited to only two arms. A lot of prioritizing, project managing, and adapting occurs on a daily basis; as long as you are ‘on your mettle’, so to speak, you will fit in at Oxford.

Prof. Denning:  How do you feel that the MS in Publishing program prepared you for a career in the publishing industry?

Brianna:  By the time I completed my undergraduate studies, I was armed with a buttressed editorial and writing background; but lucky for me, graduation was timed perfectly with the U.S. Economic Crisis.  So, I combined this armor with the only other talent I had: about three-million hours’ worth of film-watching, and I did a lot of freelance film-reviewing.  Realizing a year had passed and I was mostly just freelancing, I decided not to join what the NY Times likes to refer to as my “go-nowhere” generation, so my resolve was going back to school, and I entered the Master of Science program at Pace during that early-20s, post-college, what-do-I-do-now, period of my life.  From the get-go, the instructors were all helpful and really wanted to know why I was in their class, and they really listened and helped me strengthen the skills I already had, and combine them with the skills I needed to work in the type of publishing environment I wanted; they really tried to cater their classes to the reasons each student had for being there.  And the program is also designed for those students who don’t really know what area in publishing they want to pursue, as you will learn about all the various aspects of publishing.  Again, I wouldn’t trade my job, but the publishing industry is changing so rapidly, that some days, I really just want to go back to Pace to learn it all again, because the moment you think you understand publishing is the moment the industry transmutes to the changing century.

Prof. Denning: What was the topic of your Graduate Thesis paper and can you tell us about what you think the value of writing it is for students?

Brianna:  I wrote my graduate thesis during the cusp of the digital revolution, which a lot of the world thought would be the print apocalypse; so my thesis focused on digital aspects of publishing, and the ways the industry already used digital entities, and the ways publishing would be transforming to digital. I weighed out the pros/cons in several countenances, including environmental effects, and the effects on children, and more.  Writing my thesis and just writing in general, is an amazing way to become an expert on a topic.  Through months of slumping over books at the library and surfing through the infinite amount of information on the internet, I ended up learning so much about the topic—and coming away knowing more information than I could even fit into my thesis.

Reading and writing are equally very important – they come second to breathing. This is how we learn, and how we share what we know, and how you grow to become a competent member of society.  You represent yourself to the world through communication; how you write is how you tell the rest of the world who you are, and reading strengthens your writing—and I am grateful that I am able to have a career that utilizes both of these skills every day.  Honestly, even the mornings when I’d rather throw my alarm against the wall than come to work, I still come because I love my job.  It might sound so unwarrantedly sentimental, but it’s really a great feeling to have a job where you care about the work you do and the outcome you, or your product, has on someone—and when you are writing a book, or publishing a book, and sending out new information into the world, you are helping to educate someone—and an educated person can truly make the world a better place.

Prof. Denning:  Are you involved in the MS in Publishing program in any way today?

Brianna:  Not officially but  I do try to attend the lectures when I can.  The speakers are always topical and even though I only got my Masters in 2011, so much has changed even since then.  It helps to attend as many events outside of work as I can to stay on top of the current industry events.

Professor Denning:  Anything else or any advice you would like to give to current students and alumni?

Brianna: Stay informed.  Read the news, read everything, attend different types of lectures, take advantage of being in NYC where culture thrives all around; this is where ideas for books generate.  To grow in a publishing career, it is not enough to come to work, type in data, read manuscripts, and go through the general motions.  You need to have a genuine interest in your surroundings—the people around you, the community around you, the problems, the luxuries—take time to notice the undetected world around you; this is where books are born, and this is the foundation of your career.

 

 

Maria Garguilo is an Editorial Intern at Oxford University Press and began her graduate studies at Pace in the fall of 2012.  She received her undergraduate education in English and Japanese at the University at Albany. She will be graduating from the Pace program in December, and is excited to start her career in the publishing industry.

 

Prof. Denning:  What is your internship title at Oxford University Press, and how long have you been working there?

Maria:  My internship title is Editorial Intern, and I work for the AmELT (American English Language Teaching) team. I have been working at OUP for since the first week of June and am staying on for the fall semester.

Prof. Denning:  Please describe a bit about what your internship entails.

Maria:  I do a lot of different tasks at my internship, including doing research. One example of a research project I had was to find scholarly articles from educational journals that provided relevant information on a language learning skill that is highlighted in a new textbook that OUP AmELT is working on. I compiled a list of resources, and wrote a summary of the main points in those articles. I also worked with an author to research frequently used vocabulary words in the TOEFL test. Most of my day is spent on checking the Learning Management System (LMS) that accompany many of the textbooks. I make sure that the online component is working correctly, and log errors if there are any. That means I go through the online courses as if I were a student, checking the content as well as the functionality. I also had a chance to draft a script for a video they are shooting for one of the textbook series, which was a lot of fun!

Prof. Denning:  Do you have previous publishing experience?

Maria:  Yes, I worked as an Editorial Intern for Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group  for the imprints Roaring Brook Press and First Second Books for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Prof. Denning:  What advice would you give to a Pace student hoping to attain an internship in book or magazine publishing? What advice would you offer someone who is interested interning at Oxford?

Maria:  One piece of advice I would give is to talk to your professors and peers that may know of openings that may not be posted to the public yet. I learned about the OUP internship from the Pace Publishing blog, so I would also advise students to check that frequently. It not only posts interesting activities related to publishing in the city, but also posts great job/internship opportunities. I also recommend spending time on the cover letters that you send out; don’t just change the company name and title of the position you’re applying for. Make the cover letter personal, and also relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Prof. Denning:  How would you describe the work environment at Oxford?

Maria:  OUP has one of the friendliest and most comfortable work environments I’ve ever experienced. Everyone is so welcoming and inclusive. Most people knew my name within the first week; I wasn’t just “the editorial intern.” I also take part in many of the meetings, which really makes me feel a part of the team. Something else I have felt within my department at OUP is that everybody is dedicated to their jobs. They sincerely care about what they do, and it shows.

Prof. Denning:  How do you feel that the MS in Publishing program has been working to prepare you for a career in the publishing industry?

Maria:  Pace has helped to prepare me for a career in the publishing industry by making the industry tangible in many ways, including having professors who have firsthand publishing experience. In many of the classes I’ve taken, the industry stories that professors sometimes share with us are just as interesting and useful as the course material they’re teaching. Another way Pace makes the industry tangible is by making internship opportunities readily available and really encouraging students to take those opportunities. Lastly, Pace offers students the opportunity to take part in industry meetings, conferences, etc. My first month at Pace, I attended the Book Industry Study Group Annual Meeting. I didn’t understand a lot of what was going on, but just being there, and being surrounded by industry professionals was inspiring. And I know that many students took advantage of going to BEA this summer (I was traveling and couldn’t attend). These are events that I would not have access to without Pace, and I feel grateful that I’m a part of a program where the faculty cares about giving students all the tools they need to succeed in the future.

Professor Denning:  Anything else or any advice you would like to give to current students and alumni?

Maria: As I touched on a bit before, I would take advantage of the resources that are available at Pace, including professors and fellow students. I think it’s important to create relationships with the people in the program because these are people that you may (and probably will) encounter in the workplace in the future.
Prof. Denning: What was the topic of your Graduate Thesis paper and can you tell us about what you think the value of writing it is for students?

Maria: The topic of my Graduate Thesis paper was how the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon came to be. It wasn’t an analysis of the books’ content, but the process of how an unknown author who wrote fan fiction ended up becoming Publishers Weekly Person of the Year in 2012. I wrote a thesis as an undergraduate at University at Albany, too, and I think in both cases the value of writing a thesis is feeling like you are a bit of an expert on a certain topic. Although the research and writing can feel overwhelming at times, when it is complete, it is a great source of pride, and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Maybe more importantly, your thesis is a great writing sample that you can show to future employers to show that you can not only write, but also conduct research and organize it in a coherent way.

 

Thank you ladies for your insightful and informative interviews!

Internship at Springer Publishing

SPRINGER PUBLISHING COMPANY

DEMOS PUBLISHING

Springer Publishing Company and its sister companies Demos Medical Publishing and Demos Health seek an intern to work through the fall in our fast-paced marketing department. We are an independent academic publisher with a growing books, journals, and digital publishing program.

Duties will include:
• Plan social media posts on Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter; as well as monitor the performance of Springer Publishing Company, Demos Medical, and Demos Health across all social media platforms
• Help edit videos (basic editing) and upload to YouTube
• Draft, review, and post blog entries
• Assist in pay-per-click advertising efforts
• Provide help with web maintenance
• Aid in list-building
• General office assistance

This internship is ideal for a college student interested in pursuing a career in professional and scholarly publishing. While gaining work experience and contributing directly to our efforts, the intern will benefit from substantive experience and on-going mentoring from our staff. Duration of internship: September-December, 9am-5pm (days of week flexible and to be agreed upon). Stipend to be paid.

Looking for:

•Current college student or recent graduate
•Self-starter with creativity and attention to detail
•Excellent written and verbal communication skills
•Must be a team-player who can work with others
•A strong interest in marketing
•Good computer skills, including Outlook, Excel, and Word
•The ideal candidate will be smart, versatile, and comfortable in a fairly fluid role

Please contact Professor Denning if you are interested in applying.

Jobs of the Week

Sports Illustrated

Position: Associate Web Producer
Type: Full Time
Location: NYC
Responsibilities include:

  • Editing original content, writing headlines and teases for stories and section fronts, as well as producing articles and photo galleries.
  • Section management including planning content around the sports calendar, assisting the site producer in coordinating news coverage on SI.com’s front page, and maintaining connective tissue to the night time staff.
  • Working with writers on breaking news stories
  • Monitoring social streams and curating live feeds

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following:

    • Strong news judgment and the ability to make quick and accurate decisions
    • Ability to assemble multiple components of a story and place it contextually across the site
    • Solid editing and writing skills
    • A broad knowledge of sports
    • Good organizational skills and the ability to multitask
    • Familiarity with the production of multimedia elements including non-linear video editing, Photoshop, animated GIFs, podcasts and polls
    • Experience in social media preferred, including a working knowledge of Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram
    • Familiarity with content management systems, Word Press blogging tools and HTML is ideal
    • At least one year previous experience in a print or online newsroom

This job was originally posted on Ed2010. Click for more info.

 

ESPN the Magazine

Position: Photo Assistant
Type: Part-time
Location: Connecticut

As a Photo Assistant you will assist in magazine photo research, web imagery, maintaining photo archives and more, while learning all the ins and outs of the magazine/web world. ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 50 business entities. Headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut, ESPN is 80% owned by ABC, Inc. (a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company), and 20% by the Hearst Corporation.

ESPN was founded by Bill Rasmussen and launched on September 7, 1979. Now with over 6,500 employees, each year ESPN televises more than 5,100 live and/or original hours of sports programming. The company’s mission is to serve sports fans.  Anytime.  Anywhere.

Responsibilities
•Researching images for the magazine and the web
•Assisting photo editors in a variety of ways, including production, mailings, photo trafficking and special projects
•Maintaining photo archives
•Work on multiple projects and communicate clearly

Basic Qualifications
• Typically, the assistant or researcher is a recent college graduate with some professional experience, perhaps as an intern for a magazine or newspaper

• Knowledge of web photography work
• Working knowledge of the Mac platform
• Photography research skills
• Strong attention to detail and organizational skills
• Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and handle complex projects under tight deadlines
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team
• Good understanding of permissions, including photo copyrights

Preferred Qualifications
• Working knowledge of OSX is a plus
• Bachelor’s degree is preferred

 This job was originally posted on Ed2010.  Click for more info.