Report from the Trenches: A Visit to Publishers Weekly

The door to the offices of Publishers Weekly is unassuming, so much so that you could almost miss it.  However, as members of Professor Soares’ General Interest Books class discovered last Thursday, the office itself is a book lover’s haven.  When Professor Soares offered the chance to see the inner workings of the PW offices, several of us jumped at the chance, and were well rewarded for taking the bus ride down to 23rd street.

When we entered the office, we were instantly met by Publisher and Vice President, Cevin Bryerman.  The welcome was warm, and they provided us with a selection of snacks and past PW issues.  Cevin Bryerman and the PW Owner, George Slowik Jr., then introduced us to the bible of the publishing industry.  They gave us an overview of the long history of PW and the brand name that they represent.  PW strives to provide members of the publishing industry with current news and reviews on over 8,000 books per year. 

As well as offering us a grand introduction to the company, both men provided us with valuable advice.  Their main point – do what you love.  They encouraged us to intern and explore our options while we are still students, and reminded us that you never know where you’ll end up.  Full of advice, cheese, and crackers, we then explored the office that was anything but unassuming.

The office was warm, friendly, and smaller than we expected.  With a full-time staff of about 20 people, the office’s main inhabitants were shelves and shelves of books.  The atmosphere was casual, but the work ethic was not.  Despite their busy schedules and pressing deadlines, each member of the staff took the time to share a few words with us.

By the end of our visit, we all wanted to work at PW.  For a publication that is so essential to the publishing industry, so friendly and inviting, and so current and forward-thinking, who wouldn’t want to work there?

– Hannah Bennett and Natanya Housman