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!

Quote of the Week

“Trying to have the middle road has never worked in the magazine publishing business.  If you want to start a magazine and survive, find a niche that no one is serving.”


 -Samir Husni, aka “Mr. Magazine,” Director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, School of Journalism.

Press and Publicity Internship with DEPAIRE Colombine!

The Book Department of the French Embassy is accepting applications for a part-time six-month internship position, starting January 2013 or before. Internships are open to all American students, with a preference to graduate students and recent graduates with a demonstrated interest in publishing and communication.

About us:  The Book Department of the French Embassy promotes and supports French and Francophone authors on tour in theUnited States, and encourages translations and research projects through grants and residency programs. It also cosponsors special events and lectures organized by American cultural institutions in the fields of literature and the social sciences.



  • Priority will be given to candidates with experience in communication and with the ability to read French fluently.  
  • Candidates must possess excellent writing and communication skills, in particular the ability to write short, compelling prose that communicates clearly and arouses interest.
  • A thorough knowledge of diverse media outlets and relationships with media, book reviewers, magazine editors and bloggers is encouraged.
  • Candidates should also have an understanding of, and contacts in, digital media.

  Responsibilities include:

  • Publicizing French books published in translation, events inNew Yorkand authors on tour in the United States.
  • Contacting media, reviewers, magazine editors and bloggers, and developing media contacts lists
  • Writing and translating promotional materials (pitch letters, newsletters, press releases…)
  • Updating the Book Department website, blog and social network
  • The intern will work closely with the head of the Book department and her team, composed of three people: one in charge of fiction, another in charge of non fiction and a French intern.
  • Intern will be regularly in touch with different American publishers and media, and attend events organized i nNew York, such as festivals and bilingual lectures.  Though fluency is not a requirement, interns will have the opportunity to speak French with native speakers.
  • The ideal candidate will possess a high degree of creativity and an ability to balance multiple projects simultaneously.


Internship terms:

  • Internships are non-paid positions, although school credit can be arranged.
  • Candidates are required to commit to a minimum of 10 weeks for a minimum of 20 hours per week (maximum duration: 6 months).


To Apply:

  • Please send a cover letter, resume and short writing sample as well as contact information for two references by e-mail, with the subject line “French Embassy 2013 Internship.”
  • All documents should be sent in Word or PDF file format.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Due to the large volume of applications we receive, we are only able to contact those candidates selected for an interview.
  • The Cultural Services of the French Embassy admits interns of any race, age, color, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin in administration of its internship programs.
  • Applications will be received on an on-going basis.


Contact: Laurence Marie, Cultural Attaché, Head of the Book Department, French Embassy

at 972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10075.  Email: Laurence.Marie@diplomatie.gouv.fr


IN THE NEWS: Winning Scores for Casual Vacancy and Industry Debuts

Older Harry Potter fans will be happy to learn that J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel since the wizarding series, The Casual Vacancy was at the top of Publishers Weekly Bestseller List.  With a #1 Debut, Rowling’s novel beat the E.L. James Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon and Mark Owen’s No Easy Day by over 90,000 purchased copies.  Casual Vacancy generated lots of publicity, not just for its magically famous author, but for the circumstances surrounding its publication, like nondisclosure agreements.  According to a Publishers Weekly article by Louisa Ermelino, Casual Vacancy had an initial print run of 2 million copies from its Little Brown publisher. 


The following video is of JK Rowling’s recent appearance on The Daily Show, where she discussed her personal view on American politics with Jon Stewart. Click here to watch the full interview. 



Rowling’s success proves that print publishing is not being totally overpowered by e-books, despite the flux of sales statistics within the past two years.  She had the third biggest print opening of 2012, according to Nielsen BookScan and 375,000 copies in its first six days on sale in different formats.  Gabe Habash notes other authors who have seen print debut success in a Publishers Weekly article, including Charlaine Harris and Nora Roberts.  In 2011, Harris’ Deadlocked sold 77,913 copies in its first week on sale, while Roberts’s recent The Last Boyfriend release sold over 80,000 copies duringits initial release week last May.  


In terms of statistics, the publishing industry had more successful titles in 2011 than 2012, but it may go without saying that the attention this year’s releases have earned is near unparalleled.  Habash believes that the November releases of Janet Evanovich’s Notorious Nineteen, and Jeff Kinney’s The Third Wheel as two of the titles that may increase 2012’s print sales.  It is also interesting to read that Nielsen BookScan’s lists Stephen King’s new title, The Wind Through the Keyhole, had only a 59,099 print debut.  Does this number disparity signify a change in trade book trends and a new wave of bestselling-author-staples-names?  The indsutry will simply have to wait and see how the success of print runs progresses and if Rowling’s return to Number 1 is Casual or long-term.