On March 7th, Marymount Manhattan College held its second annual, Women in Leadership Series: Women in Publishing Workshop. The event was organized The Pace MS in Publishing program’s Internship Professor, Jennifer Romanello, as a way for students to hear from and network with women in leadership positions across the publishing industry. The event catered to those already working in the industry and those looking to learn more about how to start their career.
The first speaker was Carol Fitzgerald, Founder and President of The Book Report Network (TBRN), a group of websites which have been connecting authors and readers since 1996. Fitzgerald also discussed how she got her start in publishing, how she ended up working for Conde Nast for 17 years, how the industry has changed since getting her start, and how other women in leadership roles helped her throughout her career.
The panel that followed focused on women working in Children’s Book Publishing, featuring Dominique Cimina, Ann Dye, Tracy van Straaten, and was moderated by Susannah Greenburg. Greenburg asked each of the panelists questions about their careers and the unique ways they each found their jobs in Children’s Book Publishing.
Keynote speaker, Karen Torres, VP, Director of the Field Sales and Account Marketing at Hachette Book Group, was the next to speak about her career and how she got where she is today. A large portion of her speech was discussing her passion for and the importance of indie bookstores and what they are doing for publishing in today’s market. Torres’ perspective comes from her role at Hachette, which involves her overseeing the field sales force which sells to indie bookstores. She also serves on the New England Independent Booksellers Association Board of Directors and is a member of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Board of Directors.
The next speaker was Gayley Avery, Vice President of Marketing and Publishing at DK, a division of Penguin Books. Avery presented a powerpoint, showcasing the major points in her career and life and explaining how she was inspired to pursue publishing. Her background, coming from a creative family and as a dance major, gave her a unique perspective into book publishing. She stressed how important it is to make connections and find people who understand your goals because they will be the people who will help you accomplish them.
The final panel of the day featured Pace MS in Publishing Alumna, April Flores, Tara Hart, Jessica Napp, Clare McGlade Perret, Drucilla Shultz. Each of them discussed the Pace Publishing Program and how it had improved their knowledge about the industry and prepared them for the careers they have today. From the connections that last a lifetime to the extremely useful curriculum and opportunities to intern at amazing publishers, the program gave them an advantage before they even began their careers.
At the end of the day-long event, students had the opportunity to chat and network with all of the speakers. Many had the chance to ask more personalized questions to help them as they pursue their own careers in publishing.