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

Book Jobs Not by the Book: Maris Kreizman, Publishing Community Manager at Kickstarter

Maris KreizmanMaris Kreizman is a Publishing Community Manager at Kickstarter. She was previously the Editorial Director of Digital Content for Barnes & Noble/NOOK and a book editor at Free Press/Simon & Schuster and Counterpoint/Basic Books. She’s also the creator of Slaughterhouse 90210, a blog and soon-to-be book (Flatiron Books, 2015) that celebrates the intersection of her two great loves–literature and TV.

What was your first exposure to book business and what were the most important things you gained from it?

I was a member of the last of class of the Radcliffe Publishing Course (now the Columbia Publishing Course). I called it Book Camp–it was a lovely bubble in which I and my classmates learned about the publishing industry from some of its most compelling leaders, while living in a dorm and not having to do any of the grunt work that would imminently follow in our early careers. Radcliffe is where I learned the professional value of unabashed enthusiasm. Loving to read books and talking about them with other people who love books is still my primary motivation.

How do you explain your current job to people?

I help people make great publishing projects on Kickstarter.  This can mean lots of different things: helping authors gain funds to self-publish books, helping traditionally published authors to do extensive book tours or raise the funds to research their next book. It could also mean helping a literary magazine launch its annual season, or a reading series to get off the ground.

In what ways did your previous jobs or internships prepare you for what you do currently?

I’ve had lots of different experiences in the publishing industry—I was an editor, I worked at two retailers, and I’m an author. Along the way I’ve worked with and befriended lots of smart people who have seen the industry from many sides. As I try to educate the publishing community about Kickstarter and to think of the myriad ways people who love books can use it, it’s so helpful to run ideas by the authors and literary agents and editors and booksellers I know. Some of my best leads and best ideas have been generated by having casual chats with friends.

What value has this job brought to the way you think about book business as a whole and your own relationship to books?

Working at Kickstarter has made me feel more optimistic about the future of publishing than I’ve ever felt. There are so many different ways we can continue to innovate within the industry (and outside of it!) even as we remain focused on bringing great books to readers.

How have your many different roles in publishing, including author, shaped your relationship with the industry as a whole?

 I’ve learned that almost nothing is as dire as publishing-related headlines on Twitter make it sound. I’ve met many talented people working in all aspects of publishing. I believe that even though the industry is flawed, there are enough smart, passionate people who care about books to keep us going.

In your recent Buzzfeed essay, you speak about living in NYC and working in publishing necessitating a certain lifestyle, what about this lifestyle do you wish you had known before moving and starting out in publishing?

I wish I could’ve told college-age me that there are many different ways to feel fulfilled. I certainly don’t work in the book industry for the money. I may never own a home or a car (hell, I might never have my own washer/dryer), but I love what I do every day. I might not have the traditional trappings of success, but that’s OK. I have wonderful friends and a really fun job and my bookshelf is fantastic.

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