Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 8/24-8/28

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Scribd has changed its subscription service to give subscribers unlimited access to rotating audiobooks.

Amazon’s ebook deal with NYC public schools has been postponed it was noted that visually impaired readers might have trouble with the design.

As a result of recent controversies, the Hugo Awards were forced to give no awards in five of its categories.

A Japanese bookshop chain bought 90% of the first print run of Haruki Murakami’s next essay collection in an effort to rival major online retailers.

The Author Solutions case ended with a settlement this week, a little over two years after the case was first filed.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 8/17-8/21

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

The New York Times has revamped their middle grade and young adult bestseller lists.

HarperCollins announced they are shutting down Authonomy, their online community for writers.

OverDrive is developing a program that will quickly turn PDFs into EPUB files.

A site that allows writers to raise funds for their books, Pubslush, was due to shut down this week, but was purchased at the last minute by Colborne Communications. customers will soon be able to get free ebooks from Simon & Schuster.

Dress for Publishing Success: Men’s Edition

Editor’s note: This is the second post in our two-part series of what to wear at your publishing job. Here’s the ladies edition.

I have the kind of parents who insisted I always, always wear a dress shirt, slacks, and nice shoes for everything. School pictures, choir performances, church, family gatherings—you name the occasion and I was most likely over dressed. But while I wasn’t always a fan of button-down shirts and dress pants—mostly because I was certain I looked like the biggest nerd possible—I’m rather glad my parents forced me to “dress up” so often because it’s given me a better sense of how and when to don a nicer outfit, because sometimes my Loch Ness monster T-shirt and Converse sneakers just don’t cut it.

Now, I’m not a fashion expert, but I can say that from my own personal experience the publishing industry is rather casual and there doesn’t seem to be a uniform dress code, which is great because really, who wants to throw on a suit every day? I sure don’t, but that doesn’t mean you should be lazy with your outfit choices. You’ve probably heard the whole “dress for the career you want” spiel, which is pretty sound advice. Always look your best. For me, that means a slim-fit solid colored dress shirt from H&M or Topshop, paired with slim-fit black or gray dress pants/chinos, and, most importantly, a vest. I am a sucker for a great vest and I encourage more guys to wear them. They particularly look great with jeans, which are also acceptable in the bookish office environment, especially dark washes. I always make sure to match my belt to my shoes, and sometimes I’ll throw a skinny tie on for good measure.

You might have noticed I mentioned “slim-fit” a few times, and this next bit is the most important style tip I can share: know your fit. Most men wear shirts that are too big for them or pants that bunch too much at the ankle/shoe. A clean fit will not only help you feel more comfortable in your clothes, but it’ll also make you look more comfortable, confident, and put-together. It pays off to spend a little extra to go to the tailor. And if you’re like me and buy clothes from lower-end places, the tailoring cost will seem like nothing.

It’s also important your style reflects who you are as a person. Don’t be afraid to be creative, especially since we work in an industry built on creativity. I’ve been trying to branch out into wearing more prints, which, so far, includes polka-dotted shirts and one floral-ish shirt. Who knows, maybe I’ll try stripes next! *GASP*

Last, but not least, simply know when to dress nicer and when it’s okay to be more casual. For instance, I tend to dress more formally in the beginning of the week because we have most of our meetings then, and by the end of the week, I’m in my skinny jeans (I refuse to believe they’re on their way out…). It really comes down to common sense. You’re not going to wear jeans and an untucked shirt to a company-wide meeting are you? Nope! (I hope you wouldn’t do that…)

In short, be comfortable, be smart, and be professional. And don’t wear shorts.


Top 5 Publishing News Stories 8/10-8/14

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt acquired ebook and tech assets from MeeGenius, an ebook subscription service for children.

Pearson will sell their stake in the Economist Group, publisher of The Economist magazine.

Harlequin audiobooks are now available in libraries.

Cengage, Pearson, and McGraw-Hill filed a suit against textbook reseller Information Recyclers.

Family Christian Stores to remain open after being bought by FC Acquisitions.

A Trendsetter Roundtable: Muse by Jonathan Galassi

American publishing has a lot of history. There are stories of “the greats” who started started the big publishers and bookstores. There are tales of editing beloved authors. There’s also gossip. Muse, by Jonthan Galassi (Knopf, 2015), hits on all of these important points in publishing’s history in his fictional book about a young editor rising through the ranks in New York City publishing. Galassi approaches this topic from experience, he’s the publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and a published poet. So he’s seen the industry from both sides. Muse is his first novel, and Trendsetter editors Sam and Jen read it to see what rang true about trying to make it in publishing and what didn’t. And we tried to warn readers when they were coming, but there are a few spoilers in the roundtable.

museSamantha: To give some context, Muse is about a young editor trying to hack it in NYC publishing when he gets the chance of a lifetime mid-career and things get – well, tense. Do you think that’s a good summary?

Jennifer: Yeah, I think that’s accurate.

Samantha: We wanted to read this as young ladies in publishing because it’s about a young person in publishing written by a publishing vet. It seemed like the perfect book for us to devour and dish on.

Jennifer: We did the devouring, let’s get to the dishing. Sam, what did you like about the novel?

Samantha: Man. I have to admit this wasn’t my favorite of the books we’ve read together. I felt like it wasn’t written for me, which is fine of course, but then I couldn’t answer the question of who it was written for! Did you like it? Do you have an “ideal reader” in mind for this book?

Jennifer: I wasn’t a huge fan either, for that exact reason! I felt like the ideal reader was someone who understood the references Galassi was making to real people, so mostly other publishing vets. Every new name felt like another nod to something going over my head. And boy, were there a lot of names!

Samantha: Yes! There were a lot of people to keep track of, although that is very true of publishing. I think you’re right about the intended reader being a publishing vet, although I saw lots of glowing reviews online from people who did not appear to be folks in publishing, so maybe we’re just missing something. Galassi is also a published poet, and I will say I loved the poetry he wrote as Ida Perkins in the book. He’s clearly very skilled with verse.

Jennifer: The poetry was probably my favorite part, as well as the code he created for Ida’s husband, A.O.

Samantha:  Everything did feel very real in the realm of the publishing world that he created.

Jennifer: I think everything felt real at the core, but also a bit dramatized into a stereotype.

Samantha: I’ll agree with that. The main character, Paul, is a young man who loves reading, particularly the works of famed poet Ida Perkins, and then works his way up into publishing, befriending along the way two very famous publishers who don’t get along. It’s kind of a bootstraps rise through the ranks, which I think doesn’t really happen that often anymore in publishing.

Jennifer: He starts with a little networking help in the beginning, via a local bookstore owner and a college professor.

Samantha: But again, that’s still kind of an idealist, bootstrappy kind of thing, at least to me.

Jennifer: That’s true. And I think his bootstrap attitude was definitely important to the plot, because it’s what leads him to a meeting with his favorite author.

Samantha: Yeah. I guess what made that an issue for me is I don’t know anyone who’s moved through publishing that way, personally. Earlier when I said everything felt real, I meant more along the lines of the rivalries, lunches, the way staffs operate, but Paul’s entry and continued journey through publishing feels almost impossible – at least now. I don’t know anyone’s who career trajectory was like that in this industry. There’s so much more struggle to get in, even if you know people, and figuring out what house and department you like, that kind of thing. I’m sure there are people that start at Penguin as an editorial assistant, and then just steadily move onward in the same imprint and department, but I don’t know anyone like that.

Jennifer:  I think the biggest issue for me in the end was the plot. *Warning, spoilers ahead.* I just can’t believe that Ida would give Paul her manuscript after one meeting with him, especially one that is obviously so personal and precious to her.

Samantha: The end started getting so convenient so fast! People that Paul was worried about offending dying left and right, little recourse for having to make a hugely difficult choice. Again, this wasn’t my favorite book we’ve read together. What rang true for you in this book?

Jennifer: I agree with your feeling of his description of how the industry works as the truest part of the book. Not really Paul’s career trajectory, as you said, but other aspects. What’s sticking out in my mind right now is his description of Frankfurt Book Fair, which I haven’t attended personally but I have heard a lot about. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 8/3-8/7

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know. partnered with Android Auto to bring audiobooks to cars using an Android Auto platform.

The new Dr. Seuss sold 200,000 copies in its first week, becoming the fastest-selling picturebook in Random House Children’s history.

A bookstore in Michigan is offering refunds for Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, after misrepresenting its contents.

Barnes & Noble Education separated from its parent company this week when its managers rung the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

RR Donnelly announced plans to split into three independent, publicly traded companies.

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 7/27-7/31

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Amazon struck a huge deal with New York City’s Department of Education to make an ebook marketplace for textbooks.

Literary magazine, PANK, announced that it is folding at the end of 2015.

Several European countries are in an uproar over the Value Added Tax placed on ebooks.

Amazon wants their own airspace to fly drones.

South Carolina’s book festival, which had been in operation since 1997, has been canceled indefinitely.

Dress for Publishing Success: Ladies Edition

Let me start by saying that I am by no means a fashion expert or publishing industry dress code guru. In fact, when I sat down to write this article, I dug through my closet and noticed that I have a penchant toward sundresses, cat sweaters, and animal print blouses. Zooey Deschanel is probably my spirit animal and I look like a librarian or a Sunday school teacher on most days. So, I guess I’d be more suited to write an article titled “How to Dress like a Librarian,” but librarians work with books and so do people who work in book publishing. I suppose it’s one in the same.

All jokes aside, when I decided that I wanted to work in book publishing, I researched publishing house dress codes, but noticed that there were very few articles or blog posts about dressing for this particular industry.  There were plenty of articles about dressing for a law firm or Wall Street, and even more articles for making an impression at your Cosmo interview, but none for book publishing.

Reality check: book publishing is creative because words are artistic (the Met and MoMA staff may disagree with me on this one), but it’s not “deck yourself in designer labels and feathers” creative—that’s too, well, Vogue. So, while you may not want to show up to work in sequins and Chanel, you probably don’t want to show up in a full pantsuit either.

After interning at a literary agency and working at a small publishing house for over a year, I’ve made some astute observations about dressing the part of a badass book publishing woman. Here are a few tips and suggestions:

Read More »

Top 5 Publishing News Stories 7/20-7/24

number_5_orangeEvery week we recommend 5 publishing news stories that young book professionals should read to feel more connected to what’s going on in the industry. There are only 5, so even if you weren’t able to read a thing all week, these should help keep you in the know.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt signed agency deal with Amazon, Apple, and Google, stabilizing its ebook prices on most retail websites.

Rizzoli Bookstore will open in its new New York City location on Monday.

HarperCollins launched its Agency Portal, to make royalty statements, U.S. sales data and anti-piracy information easily accessible to agents of HC authors.

The ebook soundtrack company Booktrack raised an additional $5 million in funding.

Diversion Books’ EverAfter Romance imprint now has a print program for its self-published authors.

Columbia Publishing Course 2015 Super-Grad

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on our parent site, Publishing Trends.

It’s that time again! This year’s Columbia Publishing Course (formerly the Radcliffe Publishing Course) Graduates are an impressive bunch. As is our yearly tradition, we’ve culled the most remarkable and curious tidbits from the students’ biography to create one supernaturally talented candidate. With the exception of some connecting phrases, the words are the students’ own.


This year’s Typical Columbia Publishing Course Grad, let’s call her Genevieve, was born an accidental Canadian on her sister’s seventh birthday. She was named after a British girl who believed herself to be a dog. She grew up in a small town in Hometown, USA, but spent most of her youth pretending to be in Middle Earth, slaying orcs in live action role-playing games. Her first break in publishing came at the age of ten when she won a caption contest in Nickelodeon magazine. Genevieve has been playing guitar in various rock and heavy metal bands since she was eleven years old, and has been collecting theatre posters and Playbills since the age of 12.

In college, she was known as the opera-singing rugby player. Genevieve spent her days attending Jamaica Kincaid’s and Mary Gaitskill’s fiction workshops. During semesters abroad, she studied Jonathan Swift’s manuscripts at the Bodleian Library to determine if marks were commas or blotches, and excavated plague skeletons in Ireland. She published a study on the linguistics of college dating and cofounded an organization modeled after TED Talks. Her April Fools’ Day article “Nutella To Be Discontinued By The End Of 2015, Hearts Break Worldwide” captivated readers and grossed over one million views. To prove her commitment to paper, she once refused to download known doorstopper The Luminaries and instead carried it with her, in brick form, in a backpack around India.

After graduation, she became stage manager for a film production company and manager of the drummer-themed app launched by Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Genevieve, a woman of many talents, has also been a miniature train conductor, a beekeeper, and has sold books at Garrison Keillor’s bookstore. She tackled Mount Kilimanjaro and a 500-mile hike across Spain and was once evacuated from Beirut when the government there collapsed. At the White House, she analyzed constituent mail addressed to the president.

An equal opportunity reader, Genevieve is just as likely to pick up a Janet Evanovich novel as the latest Kazuo Ishiguro. She has a voracious appetite for food, and is a Yelp Elite. She keeps a word/phrase notebook as well as a “lookbook” full of aesthetic inspiration. She is fluent in Spanish, confident in Chinese, and prone to buying purses based on whether or not she can fit a book in them. Currently, she is learning to bind books and hopes to have a homemade collection of her own writing one day.

Genevieve ended six months backpacking around the Americas to attend the Columbia Publishing Course. She hopes to pursue a career in book publishing so she can give back to the literary community that has been like a second family to her over the years. She wants to edit heartbreaking works of staggering genius, to borrow a phrase from Dave Eggers.


To find out more about seeing participants’ resumes (or to read the real biographies) please contact Columbia Publishing Course Assistant Director, Stephanie Chan at (212) 854-9775 or swc37 at Columbia dot edu.

New York’s other major summer publishing course, New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute, celebrated its 37th year this summer. To learn more about NYU’s eligible grads or about the program, contact Executive Director Andrea Chambers at (212) 992-3226 or andrea.chambers at nyu dot edu.