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

 

 

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

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.

Faculty in the Spotlight: October 2012

Faculty in the Spotlight: Kathy Sandler

Kathy Sandler is currently working in eBooks at Scholastic, where she helped launch Storia – a free teacher-recommended eReader for PC, iPad, and Android Tablet.  Before that, she consulted at Meredith, helping to launch Parents and Fitness Magazines to iPad and Android.  She was at Hearst Magazines in publishing technology for over 20 years.

 

Kathy teaches two online classes: PUB 621 E-Books: Technology, Workflow, and Business Model – a class she proposed and developed, as well as PUB 612 Information Systems Management in Publishing.  For our blog, she shares some pointers:

 

I wanted to share my top 3 tips to students for success in class and work:

1. Learn to Write. I am embarrassed to report that last year when I gave some tips to the students in my graduate-level e-books course, a student actually asked me “What’s a topic sentence?” Don’t let that happen to you! Make sure you understand how to write a persuasive essay or e-mail. Being able to organize your thoughts in writing will help you be effective in school, work, and life.

2. Learn to Speak.  Imagine you’re in the elevator with a venture capitalist and you have 30 seconds to pitch your entrepreneurial idea to get funding.  You better be able to think on your feet and articulate your vision clearly and succinctly.  You will often find the need to speak up in meetings and class, make presentations, and network with strangers.  What you won’t believe is how many people hate public speaking.  As a matter of fact, Jerry Seinfeld said “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”  If you can get up in front of a crowd, you’ll stand out in the crowd. It may take practice if you’re shy, but it’s worth it. You can take acting, comedy, or toastmasters classes, or just practice with your friends.

3. Try Everything. I was super lucky to get two part-time paid internships the summer going into my senior year in college. One of them was at a weekly magazine and I worked there part-time during my senior year and full-time when I graduated. After that I started working in book production. When I was looking for my next job, I really wanted to see what it was like to work in radio or broadcast media, but by that time I was a bit senior and I realized I’d have to start over as an assistant without experience in that area. I wished I had done more internships in college so I could have tried that out. My advice is to get as many internships you can in different areas to see what you like while you’re young. The more you know about what business you want to be in and what cultures you thrive in, the better. Bonus: You’ll pick up lots of skills and contacts along the way!

Feel free to follow Prof. Sandler on Twitter and read her Blog!

Faculty in the Spotlight – September 2012

Professor Kerstin Vogdes Diehn is an Adjunct Professor in the Pace Publishing Department.  She teaches Desktop Publishing for the Publishing Professional at both beginner and advanced levels.  The following piece by Professor Diehn describes her history in publishing, as well as her current work in the field.

I started out like a lot of students in the publishing program. My job was as an editorial assistant for a publishing company, University Press of America. Forced to read “Chicago manual of style” cover-to-cover, I soon grew bored of finding editorial idiosyncrasies, and found myself more interested in the cover mechanicals I was asked to proof. I would look at them and think, “This is awful. I could do a better job.” At that time, I had no desktop publishing skills, no typographic training, and no real design experience, just a bunch of painting and drawing courses under my belt.

So I decided to learn. I enrolled in night classes to learn desktop publishing software (at that time, Yikes, it was the now defunct Adobe Pagemaker and much maligned Quark Xpress). After honing those skills, I started working as a desktop publisher (a job that no longer exists!) in a variety of places. Once I felt like I’d reached a certain point, I went back to school (Pratt Institute) to get a M.S. in Communication Design. It was there I learned about the finer points of composition and typography, but I always had to keep myself technologically savvy as the software was constantly evolving and computers were getting faster and faster.

After grad school I worked as a designer for Blumlein Associates, Inc., a full service design studio on Long Island. But in 2001, I decided to break out on my own and freelance. I wanted more diverse projects, more diverse clients and more opportunity to learn new skills along the way.

I now do a wide range of design projects – from printed collateral to web design to logo development and branding. I really enjoy editorial work (magazine design) and currently have a regular gig art directing a few magazines for a small publisher, Sokol Media. I also design book interiors and book covers, but with the state of publishing being what it is these days, those projects are more infrequent. I’ve had to evolve with the industry and learn ebook conversion as well – recently I converted 3 books I laid out in print into Kindle ebooks (a challenge for any designer since you can’t control the font styling, sizing, and sidebars).  While I do have my hand in the publishing industry, many of my clients are nonprofit organizations with communication needs such as UNICEF, United Methodist Women, the American Lung Association, Riverside Park Fund, and NYC Parks.

I started teaching Desktop 1 and 2 at Pace about 5 years ago and my courses have undergone major changes during this time. When I started, we were laying out all of our initial designs in Quark! Fortunately, the Adobe suite has made it easier to integrate design and layout skills into a much more streamlined package. Indesign is changing with every version to adapt to ebook and emagazine design and it’s my job as a professor to make sure that I stay current with the software and know what enhancements are in each version. In my Desktop 1 course, we always focus on the core of the Adobe Creative Suite, learning a little Illustrator, a little Photoshop and a little Indesign. Students learn the programs by doing projects that relate to the book industry (e.g., laying out a few chapters of a book in Indesign, designing a book cover mechanical in Photoshop, and now, converting a document for EPUB format).  I try to have a cover designer come in and show his or her portfolio and explain how cover design works in house at a big publisher.

In Desktop 2, we delve deeper into the programs and learn more sophisticated technology skills.  This course focuses on the magazine side of the industry. First we hone our Photoshop skills by doing a large surrealist collage. Then, we develop a mock up magazine from cover to cover (ok, it’s only 8 pages…). Students must create the content, come up with the concept, find and edit the assets, and do all of the editorial design. Last semester, for the first time, we converted our designs into emagazines using Adobe’s new Digital Publishing Tools, which uses the “cloud” to save and organize files. As those tools continue to evolve, so will this portion of the course!

I’m continuously surprised that Desktop 1 is not a requirement course as basic knowledge of the Adobe Suite is critical these days in publishing! Some students may end up working on the production side (whether that is electronic or print), and using the Creative Suite will be part of the daily routine. However, it’s important in other areas as well as there will always be a need to make minor corrections to existing documents, and understanding how it all works allows people in any position to work more effectively with production and art departments. It’s good to take a little of the magic and mysticism out of the process!

As time and technology march on, I also think it’s important for students to keep up-to-date with some basic web development as well. Knowing the basics of HTML is important to understanding how an ebook is constructed and as many publishing elements move online, it becomes more and more critical to draw parallels and distinctions between web and print design.

I highly recommend students subscribe to several magazines to stay current on the industry. Personally I devour Wired, Print, How, and Communication Arts to keep up with design and technology. I also recommend students check out Design Observer (designobserver.com), a really great blog about design and culture. I also collect a lot of books that compile great designs (Rockport Publishers offers different books highlighting all kinds of materials). If students are looking for a good read from a funny and clever designer, I highly recommend 79 Short Essays on Design, and when being a designer seems too close to being a corporate zombie, I recommend reading How to be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul, a wonderful collection of essays by some of the most famous designers today. Finally, I would recommend everyone own a copy of the famous Philip Meggs book, History of Graphic Design, which details the origins of the written letterform and moves all the way up to groundbreaking work in the technology age.

If you want to see samples of my work, check out my site at http://www.kvdesign.net.

Faculty in the Spotlight – May 2012

Professor Jane Kinney-Denning, the Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach for the Pace Publishing program, was recently appointed the President of the New York Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association!  Professor Kinney-Denning previously worked as the Young Publishing Professional Outreach Coordinator for the WNBA-NYC, and in this role she reached out to many Pace students and alumni, helping to involve them in the organization and establish beneficial ties between Pace and the WNBA-NYC chapter.  Below is an interview with Professor Kinney-Denning that was conducted for the WNBA-NYC blog.

Member Monday:  Meet Jane Kinney-Denning!
Interview conducted by Hannah Bennett and Erica Misoshnik

Erica and Hannah: Congratulations on your appointment as the new President of the WNBA-NYC chapter! Can you tell us a bit about your involvement with the organization so far and what you are most excited about in taking on this new role?

Jane: Thank you! I am honored to have been asked and was thrilled to accept the Presidency.

The WNBA is a wonderful organization that has enriched my life in so many ways. Since becoming a member and starting to serve on the Board of Directors a few years ago, I have met some truly remarkable people and have attended and participated in a number of outstanding events that the organization has hosted.

One of the first events I attended was a National Reading Group Month panel, a WNBA annual event (in October) which was organized by Roz Reisner and Lori O’Dea, and I was hooked. The authors there were engaging, interesting, and inspiring. It was incredible to listen to authors like Julie Metz, who wrote Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal, and to hear her and the other writers there tell their stories of how their books came to be. This year’s panel was just as fascinating and included the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Julia Otsuka, who wrote the beautiful, poetic novel, The Buddha in the Attic.

It is just so wonderful to have the opportunity to meet and listen to writers who have achieved a certain level of success and who write such amazing books. If you are a writer, or a reader, for that matter, you gain a tremendous sense of community by attending these events, and if you are working in the publishing industry, you have the opportunity to share ideas, network, and be reminded why a career in publishing is so rewarding. One can’t help but to be inspired!

I also had the privilege of interviewing Deirdre Bair, an author (and WNBA member) who has written a number of important biographies, including the National Book Award-winning biography of Samuel Beckett. I was also fortunate to have been asked to co-moderate a panel on “The Making of a Bestseller,” in November 2011, which featured Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, and her outstanding team of publishing professionals from Random House.

So, to answer your question about what I am most excited about, I would have to say, everything! I am especially looking forward to continuing to work with the amazing group of people in the NYC chapter who are so dedicated and work so hard to organize events, write and publish the monthly newsletter, update and edit the blog, handle our social networking and media presence, manage the chapter’s finances, and take care of all of the other tasks that keep the chapter vital and in good standing. In addition, I am looking forward to another year of outstanding events that promote the book, to possible collaborations with other organizations that have similar goals, and to expanding our membership. It is very exciting for me to think about what the next two years hold.

Erica and Hannah: Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you end up in New York?

Jane: Well, I am a native (and proud) Wisconsinite. I grew up in the northern part of the state (very close to Lake Superior) in a small town called Hayward, WI, which is famous for its very large fiberglass museum in the shape of a giant muskie and a really great old-fashioned candy store. My parents still live in the house on the lake that I grew up in and I travel back every summer with my family. It is a beautiful part of the country and, for me, there is nothing like lakeside living! I went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees and also spent a year studying abroad at the University of Bologna in Italy. My master’s degree in Italian Literature—a very luxurious degree, to say the least—really allowed me to pursue my love of reading, writing, and travel. I was not exactly sure what direction my career would go in with a degree like that but I knew it had to have something to do with books. I moved to Chicago once I graduated and, like many publishing careers, mine was a bit accidental: I met somebody who knew somebody, etc., and before long I was working in sales with Little, Brown and had moved to St. Louis, Missouri. I traveled all over Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, and Tennessee, selling college textbooks. It was a hard job, but I had the opportunity to scout for manuscripts and my success in doing that was what ultimately brought me to New York in 1989. One of the editors I had worked with called me up out of the blue and asked me to interview at Harper & Row (later merged into HarperCollins). I got the job, packed my suitcases, and moved to New York.

I spent the next several years acquiring textbooks for the English curriculum, from basic skills books to rhetorics, readers, and handbooks. It was a challenging job but a lot of fun; I traveled all over the country and met some remarkable people in the process. My next few jobs were still on the acquisitions side of things but I managed to merge my talents with my interests and worked primarily acquiring books for the environmental sciences. I was also doing some writing then, mainly interviews with environmentalists and activists like Leonard Peltier, Bianca Jagger, and Michael Moore, for a magazine called PLAZM that was published in Portland, Oregon. My own writing got sidelined a bit when I had my children but I am still writing and plan to continue doing those kinds of interviews as well as other kinds of writing. I also started teaching as an adjunct professor at Pace when I was an editor at HarperCollins, and 12 years ago I left my publishing job to become Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach for the Master’s in Publishing program at Pace University. I love my job because it is the perfect blend of teaching, learning, mentoring, advising, and the constant study of this dynamic, rapidly changing industry. It is simply fascinating to witness (and teach about) the impact of new technologies like the iPad, the Nook, and the Kindle on the industry. I am the thesis advisor for all of my internship students and reading their thesis papers on current topics in the industry is a revelation; I learn a great deal from my students.

I also manage the blog for the program and started writing a series of alumni interviews and faculty profiles. It has been really interesting to do this and I love having the opportunity to hone my interview skills!

Erica and Hannah: What has been your favorite part of working in publishing?

Jane: Well, as I mentioned in response to the previous question, I have worked in publishing as an editor, writer and most recently as a professor at Pace. What all three professions have in common is the written word, whether it be found in books or magazines. As an editor, I love the process of getting to know authors, understanding their passions and goals for writing their book(s) and working with them to help make their ideas into a published book. The writing process is so interesting and such a unique journey for whoever is embarking upon it. It was always so rewarding to hold the published book in my hands at the end of the process and to share in the author’s sense of accomplishment and joy. As a writer, I love being able to communicate ideas, passion, and information and to tell a good story. I have primarily done interviews and plan to continue in that vein. I love doing interviews with people who are making a difference in the world—I get to know them and get to help them share their stories and experiences. And, there is the personal journey that I go through during the writing process, just like any writer. There is a remarkable sense of accomplishment when one finishes a piece. As a professor, I love working with students and other publishing professionals. Since the industry is constantly changing, I am always learning. I accomplish this in many ways: by reading, interacting with other professors in the program and other industry professionals, and by attending interesting panels, seminars, and conferences. I really can’t imagine working in any other industry. Publishing is such a rich profession and one can go in so many different directions with his or her career. In this time of great change, I see only opportunity in terms of a publishing career.

Erica and Hannah: You have been involved with the WNBA as the Young Publishing Professional Outreach Coordinator. What were some of the highlights of this experience? What was the most rewarding aspect of this position?

Jane: Yes, I took on this responsibility a couple of years ago. It dovetailed nicely with my position at Pace and was a wonderful opportunity for me to involve our students and make them aware of the wonderful things the WNBA does and has to offer. The WNBA also benefited in terms of membership because our students are interested in networking and in being more involved in the industry they have chosen for their careers. These students became aware of the organization at Pace, but many are now working in the industry and in a position to spread the word about the WNBA to their colleagues. I also talked to everyone I could about the organization—be it an alum of the program or someone I met commuting or at other publishing-related events. My successor (to be named shortly) will be working to expand our reach even further—to other publishing programs in the city as well as to young professionals working at the many publishing companies in New York. I believe that this position on the Board of Directors is a critical one to the health of our chapter (or any chapter for that matter). Already some of the young professionals who have joined the organization are making significant contributions.

Erica and Hannah: Do you have any advice for young publishing professionals who are just starting in the business?

Jane: Well, as I mentioned earlier, I think this is a time of great opportunity—for a lot of reasons. The first being how quickly technology is changing and impacting all aspects of the business. What this means is that the industry needs people with good skill sets: computer and social networking skills coupled with good writing and communication skills. You need to be open to change, willing to learn new things, and flexible in the workplace. If a new social media site like Pinterest becomes wildly popular and you are working to promote an author, you need to see if a site like this might be of use to you and then figure out how to maximize its potential for your author. I am also a big believer in education, both formal and informal. Keep yourself current. Take classes if you need to learn new skills, attend seminars, panels, and conferences and join organizations like the WNBA where you will have the opportunity to meet like-minded people. Also check job boards regularly, even if you are not looking at the moment; there are so many new positions out there now that did not exist a few years ago. This will help you keep abreast of what kind of people publishers are looking to hire and give you a sense of where you stand in terms of your own skills. Lastly, enjoy what you do and read a lot of books!

Erica and Hannah: What are some of the initiatives that you hope to launch in your upcoming term?

Jane: At the moment, my main goal is to keep the wonderful momentum that the organization currently has going. Valerie Tomaselli, the current Acting President of the NY Chapter and soon to be National President, is a hard act to follow! She is so dedicated, organized, smart, and focused. She has guided the organization through some rough waters with a sense of calm and clarity that is truly admirable. I am very happy that she is my friend and that I will be able to turn to her for advice when I need it!

This past year was particularly exciting and the events were outstanding. I recently had lunch with a good friend of mine who is involved with another organization and he commented on how interesting and unique our programing is, from author panels, to bookstore crawls, to open mics, to panels on current trends in publishing, to neighborhood lunches. I could not agree more and hope that the coming year will bring more of the same. I am really looking forward to working with all of the talented people in the NY chapter—they have so many great ideas and are so skillful at organizing and promoting our events. I also hope to be able to bring more of my professional and personal contacts into the organization as members, panelists, and moderators, or as committee chairs and board members. In addition, I would like to see our social media presence and publicity efforts continue to grow as the chapter grows. The women doing this now are doing a phenomenal job and I am looking forward to seeing what they do as we continue to move forward.

Erica and Hannah: What are you currently reading?

Jane: Well, in my opinion I never get to read enough! That said, I do have a really, really long commute to New York (two hours each way), so I try to take advantage of it by filling that time with books. I also have three children (10, 12 and 13) who are avid readers and keep me current with what their current favorites are and I love that. My daughter will spend a whole Saturday curled up with a book and I often find my son under his covers with his Nook—he was the first in our family to read The Hunger Games series and was so passionate about it that we all read it. My youngest is an independent reader but we still like reading together at night. I will miss doing that someday!

One of my favorite genres is biography, and right now I am reading Walter Issacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. I bought it as soon as it came out because, as Isaacson puts it, Jobs is viewed by so many as “The ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination,” and because Apple completely changed the landscape of publishing forever. Jobs, like all of us, was an incredibly flawed human being, but I can’t help but admire his candidness and believe that his story is, as Issacson states, “. . .both instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership and values.”

I have also been reading a lot of contemporary fiction lately. One of my favorite books is a novel by the South Korean writer Kyung-Sook Shin, Please Look After Mom. Oh, what can I say about this book? That every woman should read it? That every man should read it? Maybe it moved me so because of where I am in my own life or because the theme of motherhood is universal no matter what the culture is. Or perhaps because it is so relevant to think about how modern society is impacting our familial relationships. It is a tragic story about an elderly woman who gets separated from her husband as they are getting on a subway in Seoul to go and visit their children, and the feelings of the woman’s family as they unsuccessfully search for her. As the author stated in a recent interview, “It’s the mother who goes missing, but that’s a metaphor. It doesn’t have to be the mom who disappears; it could be anything precious to us that has been lost, as we’ve moved from a traditional society to a modern society.” I could not put this book down and cried when I read the last sentence of the last chapter. I have not been so moved by a book in a long time. A beautiful, sad, moving story.

I also just finished a wonderful book about Hurricane Katrina and a small town in Mississippi called Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward. It won the 2011 National Book Award, and reading it, I can see why. It, as many reviewers state, has the aura of a classic about it. The story is so removed from my own life but really transported me to the lives the characters are living. It is a remarkable book that reminds us of how tragic Katrina was and about how prevalent poverty is in our country. In spite of all of that, one of the things you walk away with from this book is the power of family loyalty and the strength of the human spirit.

Recently I found a book of short stories by Margaret Drabble called A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman. I had not read any of her writing before and have to admit I bought it because of the title. I have not been disappointed and am so pleased to have discovered her. She is a magnificent storyteller and I can’t wait to read more of her work. Other books sitting on my desk are Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, which I bought after reading an interview with Susan Larson, the WNBA New Orleans Chapter President and chairperson of the jury that nominates the finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She spoke so eloquently about the book that I could not resist getting it! I also have The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman, and Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout, waiting for my summer vacation!

Erica and Hannah: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Let’s do a follow-up interview next year, not only to get your feedback on your first year as Chapter President, but to reassess the advances in technology within the publishing industry.

Faculty in the Spotlight – April 2012

Pace University Adjunct Professor of Publishing, Paul Levitz, entered the comics industry in 1971 as Editor/Publisher of The Comic Reader, the first mass-circulation fanzine devoted to comics news.  He continued to publish TCR for three years, winning two consecutive annual Comic Art Fan Awards for Best Fanzine.  He received Comic-con International’s Inkpot Award in 2002, the prestigious Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award in 2008, and the Comics Industry Appreciation Award from ComicsPro (the trade association of comic shop retailers) in 2010.  Levitz also serves on the board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Professor Levitz is primarily known for his work for DC Comics, where he has written most of their classic characters including the Justice Society, Superman in both comics and the newspaper strip, and acclaimed runs on The Legion of Super-Heroes.  Readers of The Buyers’ Guide voted his Legion: The Great Darkness Saga one of the 20 best comic stories of the last century, and visitors to the site comicbookresources.com selected the same story as #11 of the Top 100 Comic Book Stories of All Time.  DC Comics has issued a new hardcover edition of Legion: The Great Darkness Saga in 2010, which made the New York Times’ Graphic Books BestSeller List, as did his recent Legion of Super-Heroes: The Choice.

Cumulatively, Professor Levitz has written over 300 stories with sales of over 25 million copies and translations into over 20 languages.  As a DC staffer from 1973, Levitz was an Assistant Editor, the company’s youngest editor ever, and in a series of business capacities, became Executive Vice President & Publisher in 1989 and then served as President & Publisher from 2002-2009.  He continues as a Contributing Editor, but is now concentrating on his writing.

His current writing projects include Taschen’s 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, published for the 2010 holiday season.  This book won the comics industry’s Oscar, the Eisner Award, as well as the United Kingdom’s prestigious Eagle Award and Germany’s Peng Award.

During the Fall 2012 semester, Prof. Levitz will be teaching PUB 615, Comics & Graphic Novels.  During the Spring 2013 semester he will be teaching a new course, PUB 619, The Future of Publishing: Transmedia, and he hopes to see many of the Pace M.S. in Publishing students in one or both of these classes.

In the piece below, Professor Levitz shares a few of his thoughts on the skills publishing professionals need in an era where media is rapidly changing and converging.

If you told me when I first sat down at an Assistant Editor’s desk that I’d be trading in my typewriter, rubber cement and rubdown Letraset for a computer more powerful than the multi-million one that filled the publishing company’s basement, I would have accused you of escaping from one of the science fiction comics I wrote.  So I hesitate to predict what technologies the current Pace Publishing students will end up commanding.  But I am convinced that the core competencies of managing creative people and processes will remain vital to our society, and as media change and converge, the need for publishing skills will continue.  With that in mind, the new PUB 619, The Future of Publishing: Transmedia, was shaped to give students an overview of how to think about managing content as it travels across different forms.

Part of the joy of my years running DC Comics was looking at my calendar, and seeing my day move from discussions with writers and artists to directors, animators, video game creators, television showrunners, and even people experimenting in media forms that didn’t really exist (yet).  It’s an experience that will be shared by more people in the future, as media collide, converge, and become increasingly reliant on each other.  With numberless channels to choose from, and all of our centuries of creativity becoming available in the cloud, brands and curators become more important, not less, and many future guides through this confusing time may come from our halls.

So let’s look backward, and examine how and why Baum’s OZ lived on in forms as varied as THE WIZ and WICKED, and whether losing Kansas helped its survival; consider the commonalities of POKEMON, Harry Potter, and…oh…perhaps the ADDAMS FAMILY, to deduce the qualities that enable properties to prosper across media; talk about our roles working with talent in the varied structures that unique forms demand; and imagine together what the future might be like.

There’s got to be a certain pleasure in a class where the instructor comes in admitting he not only doesn’t know all the answers, he’s not sure what the questions are going to be, right?”

Faculty in the Spotlight – April 2012

Professor David Delano is an adjunct professor who has been teaching the Book Production and Design course in the Pace Publishing program since 2002.  For the past five years, Professor Delano has also been a Senior Account Executive for Toppan Printing Company, America.  Based in Tokyo, Toppan Printing Company is the largest printer in the world, and Professor Delano works with US publishers to create, produce, and deliver all sorts of high-end gift and illustrated books to the US market.  His current publishing accounts are Random House, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, and many others.

With years spent in production, design, managing editorial, and operations management for book publishing companies like Harper & Row and Random House, Professor Delano’s career has been diverse and wide-ranging. He spent much of that time innovating and implementing desktop publishing, electronic files, digital prepress, and FTP sites, and wore a variety of different hats along the way: everything from book production assistant to VP of Global accounts, and every stop in between! Professor Delano has also contributed his time and expertise to several organizations, including Bookbuilders West and the Book Industry Guild, serving on boards, committees, and even as a judge for the NY Book Show.

Professor Delano teaches the required Book Production and Design course online in the Fall semester and in the classroom during the Spring semester.  According to Professor Delano, the biggest change to the course over the last 10 years has been expanding the vision of the class beyond mere production.  Only three sessions are devoted to print, paper, and binding — the basics of book production.  The balance of the classes cover how the production department interacts with all the other departments, how publishing decisions get made, and who makes those decisions and why.  “I view my students as the publishers of the future,” he explained, “and try to give them the tools they need to make sure that their company’s intellectual assets are viable into the next century.”

It’s clear that book production has undergone some incredible changes over the last decade, and Professor Delano has been on the cutting edge of understanding those changes and what they mean for the publishing industry.  According to Professor Delano, “Content is still king, only the delivery devices are changing.  The presentation of ideas and images still has to happen, and the principles of visual design will continue to be a critical element of how those ideas and images get to market.  The book is not dying, but the book market is developing other channels.”

Along with the knowledge and experience that he has to impart, one of Professor Delano’s biggest gifts to his students is his enthusiasm for what he teaches.  Of all the aspects of the business in which he has worked, Professor Delano says, “what I teach is my favorite part.  How and where it all comes together: production and design.  Where the 0s meet the –s, the files meet the server, the ink meets the paper, and the eye meets the idea.  And from a global perspective, too.  In my day job, I work with US publishers to find ways to make beautiful books all over the world.”  Students are incredibly fortunate to have Professor Delano, whose expertise is second only to his enthusiasm, energy, and passion for what he teaches.

Faculty in the Spotlight – April 2012

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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