Report from the Trenches: Spring Publishing Lectures

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.

Link of the Week: Publisher’s Lunch

Publisher’s Lunch is the industry’s self-proclaimed “daily essential read.” It reports on various aspects of the publishing industry everyday, providing its readers with essential content. Article topics vary, but they are all subjects of interest to the professional trade book community. Each report is a collection of pertinent stories from a multitude of websites and print media as well as original content from the makers of Publisher’s Lunch. Aside from the newsworthy information, Publisher’s Lunch also includes a job board, informing readers of various publishing job opportunities around the country. Explore the job market, or gather a couple of newsworthy tidbits on Publisher’s Lunch!

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/lunch/free/

The Value of the Internship Experience for Both Students and Employers

Professor Jane Denning, the Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach for the MS in Publishing program, recently wrote a piece for BIGMPG Marketing & Design, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin based company (http://www.bigmpg.com/), entitled The Value of the Internship Experience for Both Students and Employers. This piece was written for the BIGMPG Index: A monthly examination of the human experience.

TODAY’S INTERNS

Professor Jane Kinney-Denning has been the Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach for the MS in Publishing program at Pace University in New York for the past 12 years. Each year she places over 50 students in prestigious internships throughout the book, magazine and digital publishing industries.

Her students are required to take her internship course and complete one “for credit” internship to fulfill the requirements of their graduate degree. The internship experience is solidly grounded in the academic experience:  from securing the position – i.e., preparing resumes and cover letters and interviewing – to the writing of a graduate thesis paper in the second part of the course. Pace students have interned at such powerhouse companies and publications as: HarperCollins, Simon&Schuster, Random House, Penguin, Pearson Education, Tor Books, Writer’s House Literary Agency, Vogue, Details, Martha Stewart Living, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, GOOD Magazine, and Publishers Weekly, as well as new and innovative companies and organizations like Open Road Media, Diesel eBooks, and as bloggers for the Women’s National Book Association, to name a few.

In this piece, Professor Denning talks about the value of internships for students and the value of interns for employers. Recently Professor Denning was interviewed for an article published in the Village Voice entitled:  Unpaid Internships Aid Schools’ Bottom Lines, But Do They Flout the Law? According to Professor Denning, “The work experience is now expected by employers, leading some of my students to accept multiple internships without credit simply to build up their résumés. It’s incredibly valuable. In today’s competitive marketplace, you need a résumé that shows some experience already in the industry to even get an interview for an entry-level position.”

For this month’s BIGMPG Index, Professor Denning will discuss the value of the internship experience for both students and employers, offering up a bit of advice to both parties, for making sure they are the unique, career launching experiences that they should be.

The Value of the Internship Experience for Both Students and Employers

In a perfect world all internships would be paid and lead to employment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. While some employers do offer minimum wage or stipends to their interns, employers can legally “hire” interns without paying them as long as the experience meets the criteria laid out by the US Department of Labor.

When I first started my position at Pace over 10 years ago, internships as we know them today were not as common, and if there were these types of opportunities, they usually included a modest stipend. Today both employers and academic institutions across the country realize the incredible value of the intern and the internship experience. The expectations of employers are that students fresh out of college come equipped with resumes that include relevant work experience in the form or one or two (or three) internships.

For employers, it is a wonderful way to tap into potential employees who come with an outstanding skill set; something that is invaluable in this age of rapid technological change. Today’s college students have remarkable computer and social networking abilities, as well as strong writing and analytical skills. Due to the huge amount of applications that employers often receive for internship positions, they can cherry pick from the most prestigious universities’ best and brightest, in both the US and abroad.

For students, working as an intern can open the door for potential employment, provide excellent networking opportunities, allow them to develop a specific skill set for and knowledge about their intended career and provide them with an excellent academic experience—something that I personally think is important and essential. Building one’s resume while an undergraduate or graduate student is a very smart thing to do and a lot of companies out there are looking for qualified interns.

My time working with both students and employers has shown me just how rewarding and valuable the experience can be for all parties. As a Professor, I love to see my students embarking upon their internships as novices and emerging at the end of the semester with the wisdom that can only come from applying all of that textbook knowledge they have worked so hard at, in the real world. From employers, I am often pleased to hear about the wonderful contributions an intern has made to an organization and how much they enjoyed mentoring and working with them. I always tell my students to look around the office at the people they are working with as many of them just might be colleagues of theirs in the not too distant future.

In order to make the internship experience a valuable one, I have some advice to offer up to both students and employers. I hope you find it helpful!

STUDENTS:

1.)  Make sure your internship (or at least one of them) is tied to an academic experience and that you receive credit for the experience. Most departments have a course in the curriculum that allow students to intern for credit and if they don’t, see if you can work with a Professor you admire to act as your advisor in an independent study course. Working with a Professor will allow you to maximize the experience and provide you with someone to turn to if you need help with any aspect of your internship (for instance, you spend most of your time getting coffee for your boss—not acceptable). In addition, your Professor will most likely require you to write some kind of paper about the experience or some aspect of the field you are interning in. If you want to keep building your resume and gain even more experience, you can always do more than one internship —they don’t all have to be tied to an academic course.

2.)  Have a great resume and write an excellent cover letter. Read internship descriptions and postings carefully and prepare your resume and cover letter accordingly. Use key words and phrases from the description—tell employers that you have what they are looking for. Be sure to take advantage of any advice and assistance you can get from your university. Go to workshops offered by your career services office, ask professors with whom you have good relationships to review your resume and cover letter and ask your friends to proof your resume. You should also have more than one version of your resume—one size does not fit all. You can have all of the basic information organized in a standard format but if you are applying for a design position for example, you might want to showcase your design skills in your actual resume (be careful to not go too overboard with this however). In addition, employers are starting to ask for more than just a resume, so look for tools and services that your university might provide (Pace provides ePortfolios for all students and faculty).

3.)  Once you secure an internship, give it your absolute best. Remember that you are an intern and there to learn—not to run the company. What this means is that your internship might start out a little slow—your employer might want to familiarize you with the office, the job, procedure and forms, your boss. Filing, photo-copying, and answering phones are all part of internships (and all entry level jobs) so do your best to maximize the experience. Take a look at the documents you are filing, take note of who is calling and act professionally at all times. While you absolutely should not be getting coffee or picking up your employers dry cleaning, don’t act like packing boxes for shipment is beneath you—it’s not. That said, you need to communicate with your employer, and they with you, throughout the experience. In your interview and initial meetings once you are hired, ask what type of projects you can expect to be working on and be proactive. If you have finished all the work they have assigned you, let them know you are available. It is also important to find out (during your interview) if they offer any “lunch and learn” type meetings for interns or any other kind of mentoring or networking opportunities.

4.)  Understand that not all, in fact very few, internships are paid. That said, it never hurts to ask in your initial interview if there might be the possibility of an hourly wage, a travel and lunch stipend or some kind of honorarium at the end of the experience. If the answer is no, be sure to focus on the internship’s benefits:  a great experience to put on your resume, a chance to network and meet key industry professionals, possibly some writing samples that are credited to you, a chance to learn about your future career from the inside and possibly entry into the company. Towards the middle of your internship, ask to meet with your supervisor to get some feedback on the work you are doing. It is also important to discuss your departure from the position (you want to do that professionally) or the possibility of staying on longer. You should also schedule a meeting with HR (if the company is big enough) to discuss possible future employment and to share your experience with them. Take full advantage of the opportunity!

EMPLOYERS:

1.)  While the internship does not have to be tied directly to an academic experience, it is a great idea to seek out students from universities that offer programs and degrees that relate to your specific business. Students look for internships all year long – fall, spring and summer. Universities can be great feeders for you and serve as a filter in terms of the quality of the candidates you consider. Go to university webpages and look to see if they have a career services office – typically they serve the needs of the entire student population in terms of resume writing, interviewing and job boards. If you are interested in posting a position, this is a great place to start. Another way to reach out is to look at the webpage of a specific degree and see if they offer an internship course, have someone who directs an internship program or to get the name of the Chair of the department. Send out an email and inquire if they would like to place students with your company.

2.)  Write and post excellent descriptions of the positions you are looking to fill. This will help you filter candidates even before you receive any applications—for example if you need your candidate to be proficient with In-Design or Excel Spreadsheets, list that as one of your hiring criteria. Look for well written resumes and cover letters. These documents are your initial introduction to your intern and can tell you a lot about the candidate you are considering interviewing. Is it well-organized? Well written? Well designed? Does is showcase the skills and accomplishments of the candidate and does his or her skill set match your needs? Is the cover letter good? This is especially important if part of your intern’s responsibilities include writing letters and company documents.

3.)  Treat your internship with respect and remember that this is a learning opportunity (see link above to government guidelines) for the student. If possible, meet with your intern(s) on a regular basis, invite them to sit in on important meetings, talk to them about specific projects and answer questions they might have. Be a good mentor and try to fully utilize the talents that the intern has to offer. Have them assist other employees with key tasks so that they are exposed to the talents of your other employees—this is the best way to learn. Let them work independently once they develop an understanding of the procedures and goals of your company. While they are not to be used in positions that would displace regular employees, they can absolutely be of assistance on important work. Just remember that it requires you to supervise them closely and that they might make mistakes.

4.)  Most students understand that internships these days are typically unpaid. If that is the case with your company, make that clear but be sure to let the student know what they will be getting from the experience: an opportunity to network with key industry professionals, to learn a new computer program, to get their name on some piece of writing, to assist in a project that is directly related to their career goals, an opportunity to attend meetings, conferences, lunches, and direct guidance from their supervisor. If their internship is tied to an academic experience, find out if they have to write a paper about some aspect of the business and offer to serve as a source for them. If you can offer some sort of stipend for lunch or travel expenses, that is always a nice thing to do. Also be up front with them about potential employment opportunities—if that is a possibility, let them know, if you are not planning on or are not in a position to expand your staff in the near future, let them know that too. Lastly, be sure to communicate with your intern on a regular basis—they might want to stay on for a second semester or might be able to recommend one of their classmates. Lastly, embrace the chance to impact these young lives as others have yours, it is very rewarding to guide and mentor bright, aspiring students.

In closing, I am a big believer that an internship can be a rewarding experience for both students and employers. My final words of advice would be for employers to take their role in training interns and as mentors seriously and for students to give their absolute best to their employers. The benefits for all are far reaching and rewarding.

Photography provided by Stock.xchng.

Great Student Resources: Books About Publishing

There are a lot of great books about publishing – biographies, histories, analyses, and more. In order to provide students with recommendations for great resources, I have compiled a list of some of the most useful titles on the publishing industry.  There are books about digital issues, marketing, design, and other relevant subjects. The list is not limited to the book publishing industry, but also includes books about magazines. There are even a few titles about self-publishing.

The list is organized by subject and then alphabetically within that subject area. Publishers are not included, only the date of publication.

This is a list that has been compiled over the years – some new books, some old. Even the older books can have relevance because they provide historical references.

After browsing the list, you may want to post a comment about a book on the list that you liked (or didn’t), or other books you’ve found helpful. We will update the list every semester.

-Professor Soares

 

Categories:

  • Biographies
  • Children’s Books (about and biographies)
  • Design and Production
  • Digital Issues
  • Editorial
  • General Industry Overviews
  • Law and Ethics
  • Magazines
  • Marketing
  • Self-publishing

An asterisk * indicates that the title is being used for a course in the program.

 

Biographies of Publishing Greats:

*Another Life: A Memoir of Other People by Michael Korda (2000)

At Random: The Reminiscences of Bennett Cerf by Bennett Cerf and Christopher Cerf (2002)

Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom by Leonard Marcus (2000)
Nordstrom was the director of Harper’s Books for Boys and Girls from 1940 to 1973.

Lives and Letters by Robert Gottlieb (2011)

Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened By the Moon by Leonard Marcus (1999)
An editor and writer, “Brownie” wrote over 100 children’s books including Goodnight Moon, which is still in print more than 60 years later.

Maxwell Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg (2002)

The Sons of Maxwell Perkins: Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and Their Editor by Maxwell Perkins (2004)

The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Publishers, Their Editors and Authors by Al Silverman (2008)

 

Books on the Children’s Book Publishing Industry:

*From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books (revised edition) by Kathleen T. Horning (2010)

Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became An American Icon Along the Way by Leonard Marcus (2007)

Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl Klein (2011)
Klein was an assistant editor to Arthur A. Levine when he acquired the Harry Potter series. She was an integral part of the Potter series editorial team.

The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing But the Seuss: A Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel by Charles D. Cohen (2004)

 

Books on Design and Production:

Art Direction and Editorial Design by Yolanda Zappaterra (2007)

The Art of American Book Covers: 1875-1930 by Richard Minsky (2010)

Book Design by Andrew Haslam (2006)

*Book Production Procedures for Today’s Technologies (2nd Edition) by Fred Dahl (2006)

Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig by Steven Heller and Elaine Lustig Cohen (2010)

By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design by Ned Drew and Paul Sternberger (2005)

Chip Kidd: Book One: Work: 1986-2006 (Bk. 1) by Chip Kidd (2005)

Designing with Type: The Essential Guide to Typography (5th Edition) by James Craig, William Bevington, Irene Korol Scala (2006)

The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst (2004)

Front Cover: Great Book Jackets and Cover Design by Alan Powers (2006)

*Getting it Printed: How to Work With Printers and Graphic Imaging Services to Assure Quality, Stay on Schedule and Control Costs (4th Edition) by Mark Beach and Eric Kenly (2004)

Graphic Design: Now In Production by Ian Albinson (2010)

Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop by Timothy Samara (2005)

Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005 by Phil Baines (2006)

Penguin 75: Designers, Authors, Commentary (the Good, the Bad . . .), edited by Paul Buckley (2010)

Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (2nd edition) by Ellen Lupton (2010)

Turning Pages: Editorial Design for Print Media by Robert Klanten and Sven Ehmann (2010)

Understanding Color: An Introduction for Designers by Linda Holtzschu (2011)

 

Books on the Digital Revolution:

The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future by Robert Darnton (2010)

The Future of the Book edited by Geoffrey Nunberg (1996)

The Future of the Book in the Digital Age by Phil Cope and Angus Phillips (2006)

The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age by Sven Birkerts (2006)

Print is Dead: Books in Our Digital Age by Jeff Gomez (2009)

 

Books on Editorial:

The Art of Literary Publishing: Editors on Their Craft by Bill Henderson (1995)

*Book Commissioning and Acquisition by Gill Davies (2004)

Bookmaking: Editing, Design, Production (3rd edition) by Marshall Lee (2009)

*Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers by Scott Norton (2009)

*The Editor in Chief: A Management Guide for Magazine Editors (2nd edition) by Benton Rain Patterson and Coleman E.P. Patterson (2003)

*Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do, edited by Gerald Gross (1994)

 

Books on the General Trade Publishing Industry:

Book Business: Publishing Past, Present, and Future by Jason Epstein (2002)

The Book Publisher’s Handbook: The Seven Keys to Publishing Success With Six Case Studies by Eric Kampmann (2007)

The Book Publishing Industry (2nd edition) by Albert Greco (2004)

The Business of Books: How the International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read by Andre Schiffrin (2001)

The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control by Ted Striphas (2011)

The Making of a Bestseller: Success Stories from Authors and the Editors, Agents, and Booksellers Behind Them by Brian Hill and Dee Power (2005)

Merchants of Culture by John B. Thompson (2010)

*Publishing for Profit by Thomas Woll (2006)

So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance by Gabriel Zaid (2003)

*Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (1994)

 

Books on the Legal Aspects and Ethics of Publishing:

The Copyright Handbook: What Every Writer Needs to Know by Stephen Fishman J.D. (2011)

The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers by Lloyd J. Jassin and Steve C. Schecter (1998)

E-Publishing and Digital Libraries: Legal and Organizational Issues (Premier Reference Source) by Ioannis Iglezakis, Tatiana-Eleni Synodinou, and Sarantos Kapidakis (2010)

Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off by Richard Stim (2010)

How To Fix Copyright by William Patry (2012)
Patry is the Senior Copyright Counsel for Google

*The Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard A. Posner (2007)

*Major Principles of Media Law (2011 Edition) by Wayne Overbeck and Genelle Belmas (2011)

Negotiating a Book Contract: A Guide for Authors, Agents and Lawyers by Mark Levine  (2009)

The Writer’s Legal Guide: An Authors Guild Desk Reference by Tad Crawford and Kay Murray (2002)

 

Books on Magazines:

The Best American Magazine Writing 2011, edited by The American Society of Magazine Editors

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011, edited by Mary Roach and Tim Folger

The Best American Sports Writing 2011, edited by Jane Leavy and Glenn Stout

The Best American Travel Writing 2011, edited by Sloane Crosley and Jason Wilson

Feature and Magazine Writing: Action, Angle and Anecdotes by David E. Sumner and Holly G. Miller (2009)

*The Layers of Magazine Editing by Michael Robert Evans (2004)

The Magazine from Cover to Cover by Sammye Johnson (2006)

*Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry by David E. Sumner and Shirrel Rhoades (2006)

Magazines (Media Industries) by Shirrel Rhoades and David E. Sumner (2006)

 

Books on Marketing and Sales:

*Advertising & IMC: Principles and Practice (9th Edition) (Advertising: Principles and Practice) by Sandra Moriarty, Nancy D Mitchell, and William D. Wells (2011)

*The Complete Guide to Book Marketing by David Cole (2004)

*Guerrilla Social Media Marketing: 100+ Weapons to Grow Your Online Influence, Attract Customers, and Drive Profits by Jay Conrad Levinson and Shane Gibson (2010)

*How to Make Real Money Selling Books: A Complete Guide to the Book Publishers’ World of Special Sales by Brian Jud (2009)

How to Market Books: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Profit and Exploiting All Channels to Market (4th edition) by Alison Baverstock (2008)

*The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott (2010)

1001 Ways to Market Your Books (1001 Ways to Market Your Books: For Authors and Publishers) by John Kremer (2006)

*Principles of Marketing by John F. Tanner and Mary Anne Raymond (2010)

*Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption by Laura Miller (2007)

 

Books on Self-Publishing and Starting Your Own Business:

Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing, or How to Publish Your Books with Print on Demand and Online Book Marketing on Amazon.com by Aaron Shephard (2007)

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier (2010)

Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book by Dan Poynter (2007)

The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, Fourth Edition – Everything You Need to Know About the Costs, Contracts, and Process of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine (2011)

*How to Start a Magazine: And Publish It Profitably by James B. Kobak (2002)

How to Start and Run A Small Book Publishing Company: A Small Business Guide to Self-Publishing and Independent Publishing by Peter Hupalo (2002)

Publish Your First Magazine: A Practical Guide For Wannabe Publishers by Lorraine Phillips (2009)

Start Your Own Self-Publishing Business by Entrepreneur Press (2003)

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living by Peter Bowerman (2006)