What is your current job title and some of your responsibilities?
I’m currently an Editorial Assistant at Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. We publish a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and I’m fortunate to work on books by franchise authors like Nicholas Sparks and Harlan Coben, as well as debut authors. I report to the Publisher and Editor-and-Chief.
For the Publisher, I am the point person for digital, trade paperback, and mass market initiatives, including metadata and administrative editorial work (think P&Ls and cover briefs). For the Editor-in-Chief, my responsibilities are a bit wider in scope. In addition to full-time admin support, I read and provide feedback on most (if not all) of the EIC’s submissions and focus on tasks that relate to frontlist acquisitions (think drafting copy, writing reading group guides, liaising with authors, etc.).
How did the classes you took during your time in the program prepare you to work in the industry?
I entered the program knowing I wanted to work in Editorial, although I wasn’t 100% certain if I wanted to work at a magazine or at a book publishing house. To that end, I made sure to take classes like “Professional Editing” and “Editorial Principles and Practices” with Professor Holt. I also took electives that focused on the future of publishing, like Transmedia with Professor Levitz, which helped expand my idea of what publishing is as an industry and as a fundamental concept. It never hurts to be forward thinking!
What were some of the highlights during your graduate experience?
I was a Graduate Assistant for my first year of the program, and I really enjoyed working on the M.S. in Publishing blog. In addition to making great friends (and, now, amazing professional contacts), I enjoyed working on my thesis with Professor Romanello. It was a great opportunity to drill-down on a topic that really interested me, which just happened to be the depiction of women as witches in historical and contemporary publications—and how these published materials influenced, and continue to influence, societal conversations on gender and power. The #MeToo movement had just taken off when I started writing, so there was a plethora of real-time content to sort through.
Did you have an internship? If so, what was it and how did it prepare you for your current position?
I completed three internships while I was a Pace student. The first was at Radius Book Group, a hybrid publishing company on Park Ave. The second and third were at literary agencies in the city: McIntosh & Otis and Folio Literary Management. The RBG internship really helped me hone my organizational skills—at one point, as an intern, I was the only person assisting the imprint’s Editorial Director, so I learned to juggle a number of tasks very quickly! My other two internships were helpful in that I got a lot of practice screening submissions and writing reader’s reports—something that is fundamental to the job I have now.
What advice do you have for current students in the program?
Do everything you can to impress your professors and the people you intern with while you’re a student. Making a positive impression on my professors and managers was instrumental when it came to getting a job after I graduated. Most interviews are secured via recommendation or word-of-mouth, not HR portals. Without the support of the agent I worked for at Folio, for example, I don’t believe I would have the job I have now.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 5-10 years?
In 5-10 years, I’m hoping to be an Editor who acquires narrative nonfiction and women’s fiction across a broad spectrum. Fingers crossed!
What are your favorite aspects of the publishing industry?
This will not at all surprise you, but I love being surrounded by books all day every day, especially novels. I have friends in other industries who dread going to work every day; I, happily, feel quite the opposite.
What are you reading right now? Either for work or for pleasure.
Day-to-day, I’m usually reading manuscripts and proposals that haven’t been published yet—the life of an Editorial Assistant! I did, however, finish a literary suspense novel over the weekend called The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao. It has an incredible, painterly cover—and a great twist at the end.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I cannot stress enough how important it is to make connections while in the program with your classmates and professors, especially your Internship I and II professor. Publishing is all about favors and who you know—a heartfelt recommendation goes a long way.