Halimah Marcus is the Co-Editor of Electric Literature, a digital publisher based out of Brooklyn, New York, and its weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading. In addition to her editorial work, Halimah is also an author. Her writing has appeared in One Story, Philadelphia Noir, Sports Illustrated, and elsewhere. She has a Masters in Fine Art in Fiction from Brooklyn College.
What was your first exposure to book business and what were the most important things you gained from it?
My first “job” in publishing was interning at Electric Literature, where I am now editor, though I suppose my entree into the world of books was back when I worked at the Free Library of Philadelphia, coordinating fundraising dinners as part of the library’s author series. But then I was cordoned off in an office while authors and donors dined in the rare books department. Now I’m grateful to be able to actually interact with writers, rather than just imagining the glamorous things they must be saying down the hall.
How do you explain your current job to people?
I’m co-editor of Electric Literature, and indie publisher based in Brooklyn, and co-founder of our weekly digital magazine, Recommended Reading. Since 2009, our goal has to amplify the power of storytelling with digital innovation. We were the first literary magazine to publish simultaneously to all platforms (print and digital), the first with an iPhone app, the first to launch a YouTube channel, the first to serialized fiction on twitter, and now, with Recommended Reading, the first to use Tumblr as a publishing platform. My favorite aspect of my job is working directly with writers, but because we’re such a small organization, being an editor also means being the accountant, customer support, fundraiser, and developer. When my friends ask me questions like, can’t “they” give you the day off, I say, There is no they! It’s is only us! Read More