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

Five Years Strong! Looking Back at Trendsetter

We can hardly believe it ourselves, but on May 20th, Publishing Trendsetter celebrated its 5th year. While Jen and I have not been here from the start, I can safely say that we’re very proud of all that Trendsetter has accomplished, and what it will continue to achieve. We want to take a moment to thank all of our past interns and contributors from across the globe. Trendsetter coverage has taken many forms throughout these 5 years, but we believe that it’s all useful to our readers. Today, we look back to see what each Trendsetter editor – of past and present – treasures most about working on this site.

Elisabeth Watson, founder emeritus:

What I remember most fondly from my wonderful years working for Trendsetter is actually that first week after we launched in 2011, from roughly Friday, May 20th to Friday May 27th. This week, (as was our intention), also coincided with BEA 2011, my first BEA ever. I’d been working pretty feverishly on building the website, recruiting bloggers, queuing content, interviewing interns, etc. for the previous 4 months and was was quite nervous about our launch on May 20th. But what I remember most keenly about that week is loading up with Trendsetter logo stickers, press releases, and my newly minted business cards, getting on the crosstown bus to go to Javits, and feeling so energized and empowered. What starting and steering Trendsetter did for me was push me to talk to more people and ask more questions and have more conversations at that first BEA than I would ever have otherwise done.

In that first week at BEA I had the opportunity to meet my peers from out of state who had signed up to blog for Trendsetter (several of whom remain good friends!). I felt empowered to start conversations with more senior professionals; I attended a range of panels and listened in a more focused and engaged way than I might have done otherwise. That first week was so formative in making me the kind of publishing professional I am today, and so much of that is due to the way Publishing Trendsetter compelled me to engage with a wider community of people than I would otherwise have dared to do. I only hope Trendsetter has served as a conversation starter for many, many others in as powerful a way as it did for me, both in that first week and ever since!


Kimberly Lew, former editor:

I got to write about a few things that were close to my heart for Trendsetter, from talking about booksellers to explaining how theatre publishers are going digital. Of all the things I’ve worked on, however, my favorite article I wrote (and the series it was connected to) was writing about second jobs in publishing, a.k.a. what to do when you want to move beyond entry level. It took me over 6 years to break into a publishing house position, but sometimes you fight so hard for one thing that it’s hard to figure out what to do once you get it. I liked that the people we surveyed and talked to for this article let us know that there’s always room for growth and exploration and that beginning a career does not mean counting out other opportunities and paths.


Samantha Howard, current editor:

I have more than one favorite Trendsetter memory so I’ll keep them short enough so that it looks like one Trendsetter memory. I’m cheating, but who’s going to stop me?

  1. When I first started here I was bursting with all kinds of impossible ideas, one of them being interviewing Jane Friedman about how to market yourself in the publishing job market. She actually accepted and it was one of the first interviews I had on the site, and it’s all still relevant today!
  2. I convinced Kim that making a listicle of the end of the year listicles was a good idea, and no one has suggested I should stop so I keep doing it each year.
  3. The long tail of Trendsetter always makes me proud.  We always have folks coming to the site and commenting on how a piece from a few years ago about the publishing scene in Boston was really helpful to them. Even if I had absolutely nothing to do with the piece, it makes me proud to be a part of a site dedicated to helping young people find the right opportunities for themselves in publishing.

Jennifer Donovan, current editor:

The amazing thing about writing for Trendsetter is that it lets me explore everything I’ve ever wanted to know about books and publishing and then I get to turn that information into articles to share with all of our readers. My favorite article that I’ve worked on so far is probably The Beginner’s Guide to Publishers Beyond the Big 5: Adult Fiction Publishers You Might Not Know. This was the first article that Sam let me go full Chart Queen on and I had a lot of fun researching and learning all about the smaller presses. Beyond the fun that I had working on it, I feel like this article is useful to anyone in need of a quick guide on where to start looking for their first job in publishing “beyond the big 5.”

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