Students Applaud Arthur A. Levine

 Students Applaud Arthur A. Levine’s lecture as the 2013 David Pecker Distinguished Visting Professor  


The thing I liked most about him, particularly in last night’s speech, was that he is very modest. You would never know that he has the job he does if you saw him walking down the street. Even if you do know who he is, he makes himself very personable and relatable while staying professional. I also liked how one of his pieces of advice was to have a life outside of publishing. I think it’s really important because while he stressed that it was important to stay driven, he also made it clear that his whole life wasn’t publishing.” –David Neth



Mr. Levine is amazing; he has stayed grounded throughout his whole career. My takeaway–and favorite thing about the lecture–was that he admits to his mistakes and finds time outside of the world of publishing to be a better person.  Arthur A. Levine inspires through his wit and wisdom, if only we could aspire to as much.” –Heather Allen


Natascha Morris took this Arthur Levine quote to heart: “Having second thoughts and feeling like you are struggling doesn’t mean you are not meant to be here.”


Mr. Levine is a living legend and shared a wealth of information with the audience that can’t be found online or taught in a classroom.  His personal, industry experiences were both honest and funny, and truly hit home for so many of us who are going to soon be stepping out into the workforce.” –Diana Cavallo   


I really appreciated his candidness about his ‘big mistakes’. It’s something to look back on as we go through our own careers; when we make mistakes- and we will- we can remind ourselves about the Arthur Levines who’ve been there and how far they’ve come.” –Tqwana Brown


 “For me, Mr. Levine’s lecture was a refreshing take on a dimension of publishing that we do not often think about.  The importance of instinct and networking are paramount to success in the industry.” – Miguel Cervantes


 “Recently, I have been applying for internships.  Mr. Levine’s lecture about “what should be aware of the preparation for the interviews” was very instructive.  Moreover, the two points he mentioned about “fighting for the right things, right person, right time” and “always keep learning” inspired me a lot.- Mengqi Li


Click here for a summary of Mr. Levine’s Fall 2012 David Pecker Lecture by student, Tqwana Brown!

News from Pace Students and the WNBA

 Pace University Publishing students have been lending their talent and ingenuity to the New York City chapter of the Women’s National Book Association.  The following are three articles that showcase what students have been learning from WNBA Career Panel events, positions they have acquired within the organization and how they have become involved with the United Nations through the WNBA.




WNBA Career Skills Panel Report

By Heather Allen

Heather Allen is in her second semester of the M.S. in Publishing Program at Pace University. She is the Social Media Coordinator for the WNBA-NYC, Social Media/ Marketing Intern for Touchstone

Books at Simon & Schuster, and holds a part-time editorial assistant position at Thieme Medical Publishers.


On Tuesday, a panel of six industry professionals spoke to an intimate group of publishing hopefuls. The panelists were:

  • Melissa Rosati, Co-Leadership Trainer, Pace University MS in Publishing Program
  • Alexis Bressler, Human Resources Specialist, Macmillan Publishers
  • Pauline Hsia, Literary Agent Assistant; WNBA-NYC Member, Young to Publishing Group
  • Justin Krass, Career Counselor, Pace University Career Services Center
  • Amy Saxon, Editorial Assistant at Bedford/St. Martin’s

 The night’s moderator was Andrea Baron ( WNBA-NYC Student/Young Professional Outreach Chair and Adjunct Professor, Pace University MS in Publishing Program).  Click here to read about the WNBA’s Career Panel. 



WNBA Member Monday: Meet Tqwana Brown!

Tqwana Brown, a former high school English teacher, is currently in her second semester of the M.S. in Publishing Program at Pace University. She is currently interning at a literary agency and will be taking over as Blog Intern for the WNBA-NYC Chapter.  The following is an interview about her experiences, conducted by Hannah Bennett, an alumni of the MS in Publishing Program and WNBA member.

Hannah: Congratulations on becoming the new Blog Intern for the WNBA-NYC blog!  How did you come to be involved in the world of publishing and in the WNBA?

Tqwana: Thank you! I’m very excited about this opportunity. I first heard of the organization last semester. I attended a few events, but it wasn’t until the blog editor position became available that I became an official member. Growing up, publishing wasn’t a career that anyone in my family even knew existed.  I entertained the idea briefly right after I completed undergrad (though it was magazines at the time), but nothing came of it. In fact, that’s when I first learned of Pace. After teaching high school for several years, the idea came back to me that this is where I’d rather be.

Hannah: What are some of your goals for the WNBA-NYC blog? What most excites you about this position?

Tqwana: Getting more member participation. Not just interviews, but guest blogs  and event reports. Members should feel like this is their blog, and the best way to do that is to get them contributing more. I want to increase visibility to the organization and grow our numbers. The majority of people currently entering and working in the field are female and our numbers should reflect that. I also want to work closely with Heather (social media coordinator) to help with that.

Click here to learn about Publishing student, Tqwana Brown’s involvement in the WNBA as the new Blog Intern.




News from the UN Youth Representative CornerUNCorner  

By Diana Cavallo and Jenna Vaccaro  

(The Women’s National Book Association is a
Non-Governmental (NGO) member of the
United Nations, supporting the UN in its goals.)


 Provisional Winter/Spring 2013 NGO Briefing and Events Calendar January–June 2013

“There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
“As we commemorate International Women’s Day, we must look back on a year of shocking crimes of violence against women and girls and ask ourselves how to usher in a better future.
One young woman was gang-raped to death. Another committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have attached to the perpetrators. Young teens were shot at close range for daring to seek an education.”
Click here to read the rest of Diana and Jenna’s article.  Please go the UN website to continue reading the Secretary-General’s full message.

Report from the Trenches: Publisher Jason Epstein

Jason Epstein has led one of the most creative careers in book publishing of the past half century. In 1952, while a young editor at Doubleday, he created Anchor Books, which launched the so-called ‘paperback revolution’ and established the trade paperback format. In the following decade he became cofounder of The New York Review of Books. In the 1980s he created the Library of America, the prestigious publisher of American classics, and The Reader’s Catalog, the precursor of online bookselling. For many years, Jason Epstein was editorial director of Random House. He was the first recipient of the National Book Award for Distinguished Service to American Letters and was given the Curtis ‘inventing new kinds of publishing and editing.’ He has edited many well-known novelists, including Norman Mailer, Vladimir Nabokov, E. L. Doctorow, Philip Roth, and Gore Vidal, as well as many important writers of nonfiction.


In the piece below, Tqwana Brown, a student in Prof. Soares’ Entrepeneurship Class this spring, blogs about the guest lecture that Mr. Epstein, who is also on the Advisory Board for the MS in Publishing program, gave last week.  


With such a long and storied career in publishing, Jason Epstein has probably seen it all – or helped usher it in. So, what does the father of the Paperback Revolution think of massive changes taking place today in the industry? He calls in the “Post-Gutenberg Era”, helped along by the phenomenal success of Fifty Shades of Grey. While the books themselves may polarize readers, Mr. Epstein says they revolutionized publishing, in that E.L. James didn’t need a Big 6 publisher. Random House came along after she and her books were already established hits.

And while some conventions and mainstays of publishing may become extinct, books according to Mr. Epstein will always have an audience – even the ink and paper versions. Speaking to a class of would-be entrepreneurs, he presented a cautiously optimistic view of what’s to come in publishing.

What does he think of all the low-quality self-published stuff out there? “It’ll work itself out”, vanishing on its own, based on reader preferences.

The Amazon/DOJ agency vs. wholesale pricing model issues? That too will work itself out. He theorizes it as Amazon’s way of forcing traditional publishers into this new Era.

And what of editors, copyeditors, publicists, etc.? Those positions, he believes, will always be needed. Just in different capacities. More freelance opportunities, perhaps. Or ventures reaching out to these indie authors.  Agents too would change, becoming business managers and brand builders.

But, what does he see not surviving this digital revolution? Warehouses. With the infinite and malleable options offered by electronic space, physical warehouses – and large quantities of print books – can’t compete.

Territorial and translations rights also could no longer exist in their current states. This is something he suggests we, as newbies to publishing, should be looking into and developing. With the immediate and instant availability of digital material, Mr. Epstein sees a need for universal rights and simultaneous translations. Cooperation that he sees as a major difficulty in an industry that doesn’t want to, but has to change.

So, while some opportunities will go the way of Borders, Jason Epstein believes that there are so many still out there waiting for up and coming professionals to seize and capitalize on. After all, he didn’t invent paperbacks, just recognized a need for them and took advantage of the occasion at the right time.  And he hasn’t stopped, just find the nearest Espresso Book Machine.


Tqwana Brown is in her second semester in the MS in Publishing program.   A former high school English teacher, Tqwana is shifting gears to the publishing career track.   She is interested in working on in the editorial side of book publishing or as a Literary Agent.

The Making of a Young Adult Bestseller – From Acquisition to Reader

On Wednesday, November 14, at the Wix Lounge, the NYC chapter of the WNBA ( hosted an incredible panel entitled, The Making of a YA bestseller: From Acquisition to Market. Those of us lucky enough to be in attendance were treated to amazing insights on publishing from some of the industry’s biggest names, including:

  • Jenny Bent – Literary Agent, The Bent Agency
  • Susan Katz – President and Publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books
  • Hannah Moskowitz – YA Author; Gone, Gone, Gone; Zombie Tag; Teeth
  • Joy Peskin – Editorial Director, Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
  • Marisa Russell – Publicity Manager, Penguin Young Readers Group

After our own Professor Denning, the President of the NYC Chapter of the WNBA,  introduced the panelists, the night’s moderator, Betsy Bird – Youth Materials Specialist for the New York Public Library – opened the discussion with the question we all wished had an easy answer: how do you know that one manuscript will be a hit?

Across the board, the number one answer was: you don’t. But, all of the panelists agreed that you have to trust your gut instinct on the manuscripts you want to acquire. Jenny Bent added that she looks for “great writing, a phenomenal idea, dynamic characters, real relationships, pacing, and appeal to the audience.”  Joy Peskin echoed this sentiment, adding that she chooses manuscripts based on how they make her feel, if she loves it, and if it pulls her in. By far my favorite answer of the night came from Susan Katz, who joked that “if we could pick bestsellers, there’d be a lot more bestsellers.” Later in the night she would comment that “success isn’t an accident”. Books like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight all had something “special, fresh, and compelling.”

All of the panelists also agreed that editor enthusiasm cannot be overlooked. This is something we’ve been hearing all semester from professors and guest speakers. An excited editor will be an author’s in-house advocate, will fight for that manuscript, and authors should trust them through the entire process.

The conversation then moved on to marketing and publicity, with Marisa Russell stating that the process usually starts nine months ahead of publication, first by identifying the “hook”, and applying it to various types of media (print, TV, online, radio). The overall goal being to drive sales. From YA, Marisa looks to magazines like Seventeen and Teen Vogue. But, she also recognizes the growing adult audience, so she targets Entertainment Weekly readers as well. She also stressed the importance of author talks, sharing a story of The Girl of Fire and Thorns author Rae Carson, whose pageant background and charisma makes her even more appealing. Susan Katz also shared a story about Seven Wonders author Peter Lerangis, and how his acting background and outgoing personality helped to expand his five city tour to 15 cities.

Jenny Bent agreed that authors need to be able to connect with fans in some way. The conversation then moved immediately to self-marketing and social media. Author Hannah Moskowitz, who is still in college and only 21 years old, stated that she uses social media more to “cement” her audience, not expand it. While Marisa added that social media can be the best way to ensure an author’s book gets attention, it may not be appropriate for all authors. Both she and Joy indicated the importance of finding an author’s strength in expanding the marketing plan. Joy expressed that this is especially important when marketing to teens. She suggests that authors be authentic and “write the book that is personal to them.” That person can be “powerful to connect to youth, librarians, and book sellers.”

The topic of self-published authors, with a built-in fan-base was briefly discussed. Susan shared the story of Eric Litwin and illustrator James Dean’s success with the Pete the Cat series. Prior to being acquired by HarperCollins, they’d already sold an incredible 10,000 units from their cars, at festivals, and through adorable YouTube videos.

Betsy’s next question was about the books the panelists were excited about. For Joy Peskin, it’s Crewel by Gennifer Albin. We were even given some Crewel swag, in the form of a Crewel World purple bracelet, part of the book’s marketing plan. She gave praise to both the author and editor, and has high hopes for bestseller status for the trilogy. Susan Katz is looking forward to the next book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy – though no amount of cajoling could get her to let the third book’s title slip out. Jenny Bent is excited about Splintered by A.G. Howard, who already has a strong following on GoodReads.

The night ended with a few questions from the audience, which was comprised of students, authors, and industry professionals. When asked for advice about breaking into publishing, everyone stressed the importance of internships. Jenny added that taking publishing courses was helpful. And Joy indicated that establishing and maintaining relationships is invaluable. Authors were given advice on the importance of titles, jacket art, and having an agent.

Written by Tqwana Brown, a graduate student in the MS in Publishing program at Pace.