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Author Archives: Liz Janetschek

In Orbit: The Joys of Working in a Satellite Office

Common wisdom generally states that, short of becoming a Rockette or a ticket-taker at the Empire State Building, there are few careers likely to place you in New York faster than publishing. While it’s true that almost everyone with weight to throw around the global book industry has a foothold in the City That Never Sleeps, it’s also important to note that, even in the past, a sizable portion of the publishing houses housed in New York were and are satellite offices of publishing corporations headquartered elsewhere: Hachette is headquartered […]

Profiles in Publishing: Sir Allen Lane

Name: Sir Allen Lane Birthdate/Place: September 21, 1902. Bristol, England. Publishers Associated With: Penguin Books Claim to Fame: Sir Allen began his career at publishing company Bodley Head as an apprentice to his uncle, founder John Lane. After John Lane’s death, Allen changed his last name to Lane to retain control of the company– the original Lane had no children. Sir Allen conceived of paperback editions when he was traveling home from a meeting with Agatha Christie and he found himself on a train platform, stuck with nothing to read. […]

5 Reasons You Might Want to Get into Academic Publishing

My aspirations in publishing almost always come up when discussing life after college. The world I may be soon working in–according to friends of my parents and neighbors I run into in the supermarket–is incredibly glamorous. My excitable hairstylist asked me last week, “When will you get to meet the lady who writes Harry Potter?!” For most, the world of publishing is represented almost wholly by the goings-on of the trade sector, so it’s not hard to see why I figured I’d inevitably want to end up inking big fiction […]

Profiles in Publishing: The Harper Brothers

James and John Harper, the two eldest Harper brothers, founded J & J Harper in 1817. They were joined by their two younger brothers, Joseph Wesley and Fletcher, in the mid-1820s. The house’s name was subsequently changed to Harper & Brothers. Their breakthrough title was Maria Monk’s Awful Disclosures, which detailed the sexual exploitation of a Catholic nun. After the success of this (admittedly, pretty dark) book, the oldest and the youngest Harper finished out their careers extremely differently. Name: Fletcher Harper  Birthdate/place: January 31, 1806, Newton, NY Publisher Associated With: […]

Profiles in Publishing: Bennett Cerf

Name: Bennett Cerf Birthdate/Place: May 25, 1898, New York, NY Publisher Associated With: Random House Claim to Fame: Cerf began his literary career by being named the vice president of publishing firm Boni & Liveright. He and his business partner, Donald Klopfer, purchased a Boni & Liveright imprint called the Modern Library in 1925. They increased the imprint’s popularity, and then began publishing their own books, selected at ‘random’, in 1927–hence the name, “Random House“. Random House eventually became a parent company of the Modern Library. Cerf and Random House worked with […]

Profiles in Publishing: Liz Calder

  Name: Liz Calder Birthdate/Place: January 20, 1938, London Publisher Associated With: Bloomsbury Claim to Fame: While she began her literary career at Cape, Liz Calder felt bigger things calling by the mid-1980s. She cofounded Bloomsbury, which remains one of the most successful independent publishing houses. And this remarkable woman seems to have quite the Midas touch when it comes to literature: she picked up the Harry Potter series, as well as edited Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981), Anita Brookner’s Hotel du Lac (1984), Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient (1992) and Margaret Atwood’s The Blind […]

Internviews: The End of the Road for Liz Janetschek

  Liz, our fantastic fall intern, bid us farewell last week. Like all our interns, we know she’s bound for great things. But before riding off into that promising professional sunset, we asked her to reflect a bit on what she’s gained (or uncovered) in the course of a not-quite-traditional publishing internship. Here’s what she had to say:     What specific tasks or projects completed across the semester do you feel were most valuable to your professional development? Writing online articles and managing our blog helped me professionally so […]

5 Top Publishing News Stories of the Week, 12/10-12/14

Every week we recommend 5 links to publishing news that the young professional should read to feel more informed and 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 has released their list of 2012′s bestselling books…3 guesses as to who’s first? Barnes & Noble announced the closing of Tikatok, as well as a plan to close approximately 15 brick-and-mortar stores by April 2013. HarperCollins […]

Book-Jobs Not by the Book: Rachel Fershleiser of Tumblr

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Rachel Fershleiser is the young book professional every young book professional dreams to be. Ten years into the publishing industry, Rachel has toiled for two of the big six, worked in the fabled land of bookstores, landed on the Times bestseller list, and (for now) settled into the ever-growing, ever-changing world of literary social media. Responsible for literary and non-profit outreach at Tumblr, Rachel chatted about how the advent of social media is affecting the world of literature. *** PT: What was your first job in the book business and what were the most […]

Profiles in Publishing: Sylvia Beach

Name: Sylvia Beach Birthdate/Place: March 14, 1887, Baltimore, Maryland Bookseller /Publisher Associated With: Shakespeare and Company Claim to Fame: American-born, Sylvia Beach first arrived in Paris at age 15, after her father Sylvester’s appointment as the assistant minister of the American Church in Paris. She moved back to America at age 18, but was unable to resist the pull of Europe, and soon moved back. Here, she discovered (her future partner) Adrienne Monnier’s bookstore, Maison des Amis des Livres. Inspired, Beach wanted to bring a branch of Monnier’s bookstore to New […]