* New Feature Alert! * This is a feature I wanted to start ever since we started this blog in June. After a couple months of developing it and interviewing people..here it is!
As a blog run by college aged kids, the thing most on our minds, aside from books, is what the heck we are going to do with our lives. We all joke and dream about having a job where we could read or blog all day and feel pangs of jealousy when we encounter someone who does just that. In my (Jamie's) job search, I've realized that there are so many different types of bookish jobs out there that I had never even thought about. In college I never thought I could be in the book industry because I never wanted to be an author or an editor or a publisher. I didn't think there was anything else out there. I've come to realize that there so many types of bookish jobs out there for people of varying strengths and abilities and I want to spotlight these jobs... and thus begins our new monthly feature--Bookish Jobs For Bookish People.
I knew for our first Bookish Jobs spotlight that I absolutely had to have Erica Barmash from Harper Perennial. She is ridiculously awesome and, let's be honest, as someone who studied marketing in college I pretty much want her job! :) So, give Erica a big warm welcome to The Broke and the Bookish!
Name: Erica Barmash
Job Title: Marketing Manager, Harper Perennial
How long you've been in this position: Just over a year, though I have been writing the Harper Perennial blog, the Olive Reader, for longer than that
What prior position(s) did you hold before becoming the marketing manager? Before this job, I was a copywriter/promotions manager in our advertising and promotions department for four years. Before that, I spent six months at a Catholic magazine as the assistant to the book review editor. Before that, I was a publicity assistant for a year and a half at Abrams, an art book publisher. Before that, internships.
What type of higher education or training do you have? What degree would the ideal candidate for this position hold? I have a BA in English. Before I switched jobs within HarperCollins, I was super worried that my lack of official marketing education would be a problem, but my boss learned her job from the ground up and had no problem with me doing the same (she started way back when as the assistant to our publisher, back when our publisher was the audio marketing director. Our publisher started out as the assistant to our president, back when he was the head of sales at another company. Lots of respect in our department for the concept of working your way up.) Publishing isn’t rocket science. You can learn what POS is and how to present at a sales conference, but no one can teach you how to work hard, be enthusiastic, be part of a team, and love reading. Those things are more important than degrees, at least in my experience.
That's a really great point. There really is no subsitute for hard work and passion. Describe what a typical day looks like for you: I usually get in around 8:45 or 9 and start tackling emails. I’ll usually spend the first hour or so of the day reading and responding to emails and doing email-related tasks like reading reviews bloggers have sent in, answering questions, etc. A lot of my job involves disseminating information—passing blog reviews on to editors, passing marketing plans on to sales, etc etc.
Then, around 10:30ish, if I don’t have a meeting that morning, I’ll try to tackle one of the bigger things on my to-do list. That could be anything from writing our monthly newsletter to sending out blog outreach emails to preparing my presentations for an upcoming sales conference. (See the attached photos of various to-do lists of mine for a better idea.
I almost always go to lunch around 12:30, and I almost always go with Mark Ferguson, the online marketing manager for Harper hardcovers. After lunch, it’s more emails, more meetings, more to-do lists. There’s almost no typical day, except that most days are busy, and a lot of them are fun.
What is your least favorite aspect of your job?
Every job has some boring clerical tasks, and this job is no exception. Processing invoices isn’t fun, but it’s necessary! On a more emotional level, it is really, really difficult when a book and author you love don’t get the attention they deserve.
Biggest perk of your job: free books! Knowing what cool books are on their way. Meeting and becoming friends with some of our amazing authors. Working with people who share a passion for books.
Tell us one of your best memories on the job.
I consider many of the people I work with to be practically family, and so we have a lot of great moments together, but a recent one happened when Amy Baker (my boss, our marketing director) and Mary Sasso (harper paperbacks marketing coordinator) road-tripped to the Boston Book Festival.
I'm sure it was a good time as I found out how fun you ladies are at the Brooklyn Book Fest. What do you think the biggest misconception is about your position/industry?
I think in general there’s a lot of confusion about what marketing does, partly because it varies from company to company and even imprint to imprint within companies. I’ve often been mistaken for a publicist, even by people within the industry. Outside of the industry, I think a lot of people view book publishing as being about nothing but low pay and long hours. But I think I work the same hours as anyone who cares a lot about his or her job, and while I’m not rolling in money, I’m also not poverty-stricken.
Complete this sentence. This job is not for you if.. you can’t do a million things at once!
What advice do you have for people who are interested in being a marketing manager for a publishing company?
Read as much as you can.
And now for a fun question. Childhood dream job?
Published novelist. (I’ve got the novelist part down, now just need to get to the published part.)
I'll be reading your novel once it's published for sure! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. As someone who so very much wants a job doing marketing for the book world, it's really awesome to know that passion and hard work is rewarded!
GREAT feature! Thank you to Erica for giving insight to her bookish job, and how she got there. I look forward to reading more of these spotlights!ReplyDelete
Great blog, i would love to recive free books, cant wait to read more blogs, xxReplyDelete
This feature is AMAZING, Jamie!! I love it and it really puts things into perspective for those who wish to pursue this career path. I almost want to change my major now...ReplyDelete
I LOVE THIS. Please do more of this! I would love to get a job in publishing. I have a degree in Spanish, so I kind of thought it was unlikely, but this is pretty encouraging. Also, Erica Barmash is always awesome!ReplyDelete
This is such a great idea. LOVE.ReplyDelete
Great idea for a feature! I will follow this because I love to know more about the publishing industry.ReplyDelete
I actually have been on email-terms with Erica if I remember well, at least, I recognise her name so it's nice to read about her job.
Nice job, Erica!
LOVE this feature! I think it's great you are featuring these amazing people that are involved in the industry we all love. Kudos to you guys :)ReplyDelete
This is a great idea!ReplyDelete
This feature is such a fantastic idea! I can't wait to read about other bookish jobs! It's always been my dream to work in a field having to do with books. I want to own my own bookstore someday, so maybe you'll find someone to interview in that field so I can see what I have to do! Great interview as well!ReplyDelete
This sounds like my kind of job! Although I want nothing more than to be a published author, I would be happy working in the publishing industry in any way I can, even if that means fetching an agent her/his morning coffee.ReplyDelete
Great feature! I'm really looking forward to more!ReplyDelete
Awesome feature! Definitely going to look forward to this. :]ReplyDelete
I love Erica and have been reading her Olive Reader blog for some time. I've also listened to her on Blog Talk Radio, she really does rock. What a great idea for a feature. I look forward to more.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I always wonder what is 'out there' in the book world of jobs.ReplyDelete
This sounds interesting to do :)
I LOVE this new feature! It makes me wish for my own bookish job :) Thank so much for sharing this, and I can't wait to see the next one!ReplyDelete
Thank you for this new feature! It's great to see some of the book-related jobs people have. I'd love to get some ideas of what my English degree can do.ReplyDelete
I love this feature! I've never really thought about bookish jobs either, but you make an excellent point! There are more bookish jobs out there that are not author, publisher, editor and ones that book lovers might enjoy.ReplyDelete
Great idea and post!
Wonderful post...and truly gives a new look at the Marketing role. *jots down on dream job list* Thanks guys...and of course, happy reading! ^_^ReplyDelete
great feature!love love love it!ReplyDelete
Echoing everyone's sentiment here - this is a really great feature idea! It's very hard for anyone external to the industry to get a sense of what publishing houses are really like and how they're structured. Looking forward to seeing more.ReplyDelete
This is everything I could have hoped for in a new feature. WONDERFUL. Thanks jamie!!ReplyDelete
Love this feature and Erica! She's such a fantastic addition to the book blogging world as well as publishing. I loved all her comments, especially about hard work and how important it is.ReplyDelete
Keep up the features! I'm sure there are quite a few people out there who can benefit from it!
This is such a great feature. I cannot wait to read more!ReplyDelete
This is a great feature and very helpful!ReplyDelete
Oh I'm so excited about this feature! A wonderful interview and post. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Fun new feature! Really interesting to learn more about the job :) I'm a middle school librarian so I get to work with books AND students. It's fun to see how others work with books!ReplyDelete
What an awesome feature - so useful!! Thanks for sharing this. :-)ReplyDelete
What an awesome feature - so useful!! Thanks for sharing this. :-)ReplyDelete
Super helpful feature, thanks so much!ReplyDelete
Love this feature! I'm taking notes :P Thank you!ReplyDelete
What a interesting feature-- can't wait to learn more.ReplyDelete
I've never felt a calling to be an author, publisher or editor either but a bookish related job would be super cool!
Great idea and great interview! If only I had read it 20 years ago. :-DReplyDelete
Awesome feature, & a great idea! I, too, studied marketing in uni (I'm a recent graduate) so this was an excellent insight into the world of publishing. Thank you!ReplyDelete
I love this new feature! I'd love to have a job like Erica's or something else in editing or publishing. It sounds perfect for me. I hope to get an assistant job after I graduate and work my way up. That's the plan anyway. Fingers crossed!ReplyDelete
this is a great feature! I really enjoyed reading the interview.ReplyDelete
looking forward to more XD
Hey jamie. this is a great series! I love it, and think you did such a fantastic job with it.ReplyDelete
Props to our girl Erica for participating and being the first! This makes me want to be in publishing oh so much more badly!
Keep up the great work!
Really enjoyed this feature. Publishing seems both fascinating and so rarefied. It was great to learn more about Erica and her job. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Great feature! And I love hearing more about publishing from an insider. Erica's got my dream job!ReplyDelete
This is an excellent feature! Erica - sounds like you have a fascinating job....I am jealous!ReplyDelete
I really like this feature idea! You're right that there are so many jobs within the area of publishing/bookishness that you never really think about when you're majoring in college or deciding on a career. It'd be great to get some insight into what these jobs entail! Thanks :DReplyDelete
So great to read about Erica and her awesome job (which she's pretty amazing at from my point of view). Thanks for this feature.ReplyDelete
Very useful new feature! I was an editorial assistant at a publisher for about a year before I decided it was not the right job for me and moved over to marketing. Nice to see other jobs in publishing (other than author or editor) highlighted.ReplyDelete
hey everyone! thanks for all your amazing comments! I love my job, and I'm glad other people seem to think it's cool, too. And if anyone ever has any questions about working in publishing, just hit me up on twitter (@ericabrooke or @harperperennial) and I'm happy to answer them!ReplyDelete
You have to love what you do in publishing because few us get rich. I love my job too and can't imagine a life outside of the publishing world.ReplyDelete
Awesome new feature and very helpful! =)ReplyDelete
Great feature (and great name, BTW)! You might be surprised by what's available out there when you love books. I'm still doing crazy stuff in niche areas of business.ReplyDelete
I write YA Fiction now for a living, but I also freelance for a marketing company and have done the following (all as work where I got paid or made money):
-podcast interviews with business leaders
-edited podcasts, then published them in written form for professionals
-created marketing materials for start-up and growing corporations
-ran a weekly training newsletter in an industry I was new to, but had a passion for
-created and published indie comic books (which I now write novels for)
-created a kids podcast show where I had to write and develop the show and do all the effects, commercials and voices
-personally ran a message board for a company
-personally ran 20+ blogs simultaneously
-created and developed a social media personality based on a fictitious gnome character
-helping create and publish marketing/training materials
-illustrate children's books, manuals, provide custom art for newsletters, etc.
-created a choose-your-own-ending book/game/app
-created a card game based on my books
...and the list goes on. The weirdest one I think I ever had was a company that hired me because I loved to read and loved computers. They drove me out into the Utah desert (no joke), gave me money, a stack of manuals half as tall as I was and a brand new Mac (that I got to keep). They rented me a hotel room and said I could go home as soon as I read all the manuals, learned the programs and wrote them a detailed report of which ones their company should utilize and why.
Didn't get to see my wife or kids for almost 90 days.
With so many changes in the publishing industry, roles can be created based on need and your personal creativity. Look forward to seeing more of these!
Thanks very nice blog!ReplyDelete
My web page ... children education shows Gauteng
I've so thankful for this feature! I'm a high school student, trying to look into my options and although I know I want it to involve writing, I've had no idea what my options are! This is really, really awesome!ReplyDelete
Ah! I really need to read more from this blog series. I've wanted to get into the industry for a while, and publishing looks both challenging and exciting. Plus, free books?!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for this! I graduated in May with my B.A. in English, and have had a horrible time finding a job because of my choice of degree. It's my dream to work in publishing and reading this made me feel inspired. :)ReplyDelete
Awesome, I would love to be able to publish my own work, or even work as a publicist. Anything near books would do. I had always thought it was a bit far-fetched for me, so I considered being an English teacher instead. Reading this makes me feel like I can actually achieve something I really want. Now I'm pumped and so excited! hahaReplyDelete