“The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense.”
– Tom Clancy, author of The Hunt for Red October.
By Natanya Housman and Hannah Bennett
In recent weeks, the Pace University Publishing Program has presented two lectures for the benefit of publishing students, faculty, and staff. The first, presented at the end of March, was the David Pecker Distinguished Visiting Professor Lecture, featuring Michael Healy. The second, presented in April, was the Eliot DeYoung Schein Lecture, featuring Neil De Young. Both speakers drew on their multifaceted publishing backgrounds to extend their opinions on this time of dramatic change.
Michael Healy presently serves as the Executive Director of the Copyright Clearance Center. He assists in expanding market presence and refining business models to accommodate Backlist Rights. Formerly, Mr. Healy served as the Executive Director of the Book Rights Registry. For the last three years, Mr. Healy has been the David Pecker Distinguished Visiting Professor of Publishing.
Mr. Healy’s speech on March 29th, entitled Global, Mobile, and Personal: the Future of Publishing in Hazardous Times, was a broad discussion of the challenges and opportunities he sees in the future of the publishing industry. In his analysis of the industry, Mr. Healy posed a series of questions, each of which highlighted a specific challenge for publishing professionals. What is the future value of publishers? Does DRM help to reduce piracy? If consumers only care about content and not brands, where does that leave the publishing industry? These questions prompted audience members to evaluate their own potential roles in the industry, and the value publishers will have going forward. Despite this inherent uncertainty, Mr. Healy’s final position was that now is a great time to enter the industry, and especially to start one’s own company. He believes that the world has opened for new players, innovative and creative thinkers, and a new approach to publishing.
Neil De Young is the Director of Digital Media for Hachette Book Group, USA. His responsibilities at Hachette include digital business development and strategy, eBook development, and website product management. Mr. De Young reviews and assesses new business opportunities for Hachette, including contract negotiations and profit and loss assessment. Prior to his position at Hachette, Mr. De Young held various positions at Scholastic, Inc.
Mr. De Young’s speech on April 11, entitled Disintermediation in the Digital Age: What Publishers Will Need to Do to Stay Relevant, discussed the digital transformation of the industry. He did so through a series of parables. In one parable, recounting the tale of a complacent pheasant and an opportunistic fox, Mr. De Young stressed the dangers of a lack of competition. He later discussed the issue of competition in more detail when, speaking for himself and not Hachette, he answered an audience question regarding the agency model and the current litigation with the Department of Justice. The government’s lawsuit poses questions about how to maintain healthy competition in the emerging ebook market – questions that professionals, like Neil De Young, must answer. Other questions that must be answered are ebook pricing, DRM management, piracy, and disintermediation, which will require real innovation from Mr. De Young and his colleagues. Based on his informative and thoughtful lecture, Mr. De Young is certainly up for the challenge.
These lectures, held every year, are unique opportunities for students to gain firsthand insight from brilliant publishing professionals. They provide information that students cannot learn from the pages of a textbook. Both inspiring and thought-provoking, these lectures encourage students to think creatively about the future of publishing and their places within the industry.
By Melanie Mitzman
By now you have received an email from the Publishing Department inviting you to sign up for an attendance badge. As a current student, I can say I probably delete those emails as quickly as the next person.
But you shouldn’t do that.
The primary reason those emails go unread in my Inbox is that I already attend as an employee of Vanguard Press, an imprint of The Perseus Books Group. I am assigned to a booth in which I must stay for a majority of my time, occasionally excusing myself for a quick $20 sandwich in the Javits cafeteria. Because of this, I miss most of what goes on at BEA, which I know from word of mouth is extraordinary.
This is exactly why you shouldn’t miss it. Take advantage of the fact that you get to attend as a student who can experience the full extent of what BEA has to offer.
In addition to the beauty of being surrounded by people who work every day in publishing and thereby share your immense passion for books, you have an opportunity for an inside peek at some of your favorite companies and imprints, as well as some of which you’ve never heard. I would encourage you to spend some time in the booths that fall into both categories. You may discover that the employees at the imprint you love are putting off weird vibes or that you don’t much like their interactions, which is important to know before you start stalking their offices after graduation. Alternately, you may find that at the lesser-known imprints there are cool people or that you’ve actually read some of their books without realizing it.
There are also so many events going on that you could easily fill your schedule for a few weeks if BEA lasted that long. There are author signings, author breakfasts, author stages, as well as panels about industry topics, which are always important to stay up-to-date for interviews with potential employers. There is so much going on for those three days I can’t even list them here, but instead would encourage you to peruse the BEA website, which is constantly updated as new events are confirmed: http://bookexpoamerica.com/Home/.
The bottom line is that Pace is providing you with a unique opportunity that not everyone has. It may seem overwhelming at first to hike out to the Javits and be surrounded by thousands of people. But now is the time to experience it.
So if I couldn’t convince you with the aforementioned reasons, you should know that, at the very least, you’ll come away with a lot of free books, which is something no true book lover can turn down.
If you are a publishing student and interested in using one of the department-provided free BEA passes, please contact Hannah Bennett at email@example.com.
If you are a student taking classes at the Midtown Center or an online student, chances are that you have heard from or met with Ms. Barbara Egidi, the Program Manager for the M.S. in Publishing program.
Ms. Egidi, who began working at Pace over 40 years ago and who holds two degrees from Pace, an A.A.S. in General Business and a B.S. in Office Information Systems, works diligently to keep meticulous records for all of the students in the program.
She is also the “go to” person if students have any questions about their course schedules, course planning, course substitutions, status in the program, graduation questions, and just about anything else our graduate students might need help with. “I enjoy working closely with students, assisting and advising them through the many ups and downs they face while trying to pursue their graduate degree. It is most fulfilling being a part of the process and being there when our students finally complete their degree.” Ms. Egidi says she often feels like a “mother hen who is not only very protective of her flock but also very proud of them too.”
When asked what advice she would offer to new students entering the program, Ms. Egidi replied, “I would like to remind them to always use their worksheet that they are given when they enter the program. They should be completing it every semester as they continue to enroll in courses. By doing so, they will always be aware of their status in the program and will be assured of graduating on time. Students who do not have a publishing background should enroll in our strong internship program. Not only is it an asset on one’s resume but an internship may open a door to a full-time publishing position. I always like to remind students to network with other students, the faculty, guest lecturers, and the M.S. in Publishing Advisory Board. And I cannot stress enough that if a student is running into difficulty in a course that they should contact their professor immediately. Faculty are always willing to work with students.”
Ms. Egidi is also an invaluable resource for the M.S. in Publishing Faculty and the other staff members in the program. If a Professor has a question about a particular student, a particular procedure, or simply needs someone to talk to, Ms. Egidi is there for them.
One of the most remarkable things about Ms. Egidi is her ability to give each and every student her utmost care and attention – nothing falls through the cracks under her care and guidance. Many students have benefitted from her wise advice and kindness, and she is a wonderful colleague and friend to those who work with her.
The best way to reach out to Ms. Egidi is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org – 7 days a week!