We’re thrilled to welcome Liz Janetschek as this season’s intern. We think every peek into the mind of an aspiring book professional contributes to a fuller and more interesting portrait of what the industry will next become-so we pounce on our interns’ minds every chance we get. Read more about Liz on the About page, and keep an eye out for her unique spin as she helps helm this ship in the months to come.
Trendsetter: What aspects of Publishing Trends and MPI interest you most as you enter the internship?
Liz: I, like most everyone in the world of publishing, am anxious to see the transition into a digital-focused industry. I think that being with Publishing Trends, Publishing Trendsetter, and MPI as they, too, work to grow and expand their horizons digitally (through their blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) will give me a unique opportunity to see how many different areas of publishing transition to a new kind of media.
T: What “skill-sets” or areas of your knowledge would you most like to broaden with this internship?
L: Becoming much, much more tech savvy is number one on my checklist! I’d also like to become more familiar with the industry as a whole–my only prior experience in publishing is interning in the editorial department of a tiny independent book publisher. While that was amazing in its own way, I am definitely ready to branch out and see what the industry has to offer in more than simply an editorial sense.
T: What kind of value do you think might be unique to a non-traditional book-business internship? (as opposed to an internship with a traditional publisher or agent)
L: Just the sheer amount of connections and different contacts that MPI/Publishing Trends/Publishing Trendsetter has is staggering. As opposed to working at a single publisher or agent, which, understandably, would focus much more on internal affairs and that singular company, MPI/Publishing Trends/Publishing Trendsetter has a pulse on the entire industry of publishing, making my experience much broader than one I would have with a traditional publisher or agent.
T: What do you tell people who (after you say that you want to work in publishing) make comments like “aren’t traditional publishers pretty much obsolete?” or “Isn’t the book dead?”
L: In one of my Intro to Publishing classes at Hofstra University, my class was discussing Borders declaring bankruptcy and how it looked like we had all just pretty much declared a major in hopelessness and despair. My professor, Dr. Alexander Burke, had been a past president of McGraw Hill for 27 years. He told us, “many things have once threatened the existence of the book. The book was ‘dead’ when ballroom dancing became popular, the book was ‘dead’ when radio was first introduced, and the book was most certainly ‘dead’ when television came onto the scene. But the book has adapted, and the book has lasted.” I think that the industry is in a position of major change right now, but that certainly does not mean that publishers and books are irrelevant. It means that this is a great time to be in publishing, as those my age entering the industry get to witness a dramatic rethinking of how books are made, marketed, and purchased.