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

Where Are They Now? Checking In On Kimberly Lew

Did you know this past┬áMay, Publishing Trendsetter turned 4? It’s an exciting milestone for us here at Trendsetter, and we thought it was time to take a look back to two of the editors who were there from the beginning. It’s been a little over a year now since Kimberly Lew has been a Trendsetter Editor, but she is very missed in this space.┬áThis week, we’ll be checking in on what’s new with Kim, and next week we’ll hear from Elisabeth Watson, the creator and former fearless leader of Publishing Trendsetter.

Kim Lew

Photo courtesy of jordanhollender.com

Describe your current job.

My current position is Marketing Coordinator for St. Martin’s Press. I assist the Marketing EVP, Jeff Dodes— funny story, I interviewed Jeff for a Publishing Trends story a couple of years ago when I had only been working with Market Partners for a few years and Jeff had only recently started working at St. Martin’s. I remembered that he gave me lots of good quotes and interesting things to think about from his experience previously working in the music business, so when I saw in the job listing that this position reported to him, I knew this would be a great opportunity. I’ve also recently started taking on my own titles to market (my first title came out this month– Cats on the Job by Lisa Rogak!) and also working on some other marketing-related projects.

How have you applied what you learned from MPI/Publishing Trends/Publishing Trendsetter in your new position?

At MPI/Publishing Trends/Publishing Trendsetter, there were a lot of professional situations where I had to tackle challenges knowing very little about the landscape going in– from writing articles to helping with consulting projects about aspects of the industry I was previously unfamiliar with. I learned how to ask the right questions and roll with the punches, and I think learning a journalistic approach to the workplace has served me really well navigating a new and big company. Also, in general, I have gotten a great overview of the publishing industry from the wealth of knowledge the partners provided, and that information is invaluable.

What have you learned since leaving?

Having worked for small companies my whole career before this job, it took a little adjusting to get used to corporate life. I was very used to being scrappy in situations and making do with very little, and it’s been very different having a lot of resources and fellow employees to get tasks done. I actually love it, but I’ve also seen that in big companies, your progress in your career is what you make of it.

What advice would you give someone trying to break into the industry?

Real talk: breaking in can be really, really hard. It took me 6 years to break into a major publishing house, after jobs where I did a significant amount of good, professional work. I’ve also interviewed with just about every publisher under the sun. The truth is that you just have to go where the opportunities are and learn as much as you can, then move on. Every step on your path will be a learning experience and you just have to take advantage of what you’re given. If you really want to work for a house, you can get in. You just have to see if it’s what you want, and it might be a little bit of a roundabout way to get there.

What has changed in the industry since you started working in it?

I think the industry is constantly changing, and as a marketer, there’s a lot of interesting free tools you can use now to help try to promote and better position your books. Whether or not it moves the needle is another question, but there are authors who build strong platforms with very little, and that’s always exciting to be a part of.

What has surprised you the most in your publishing journey?

I don’t know if anything has really surprised me. I think there are a lot of ups and downs, but it can be incredibly rewarding. Publishing people tend to be great people– smart, driven, passionate– and I feel lucky to be among them.

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  1. […] week, we took a peek at what Kimberly Lew‘s life is like after Publishing Trendsetter. This week we check in on the woman who started […]

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