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

What Publishing Pros Look for in an Employee

Sometimes it’s best to get it straight from the horse’s mouth. Or in this case, from the mouths of the publishing experts at Market Partners International who have decades of experience with book-biz and with interns, assistants, and associates. Seeing their answers gathered together like this is great, even if only to see what range and variation there can be in the way supervisors see a working relationship. And now, for the pearls of wisdom themselves.

What are the top 3 things you look for in an assistant?


Kim Lew, Managing Editor of Publishing Trends


“The ability to problem solve/think on his or her feet, willingness to learn, good communication skills. Even just showing he or she can be dependable goes a long way.”


Lorraine Shanley, MPI President



Curiosity, smarts, emotional intelligence — of course!”




“I love someone who has an innate sense of what I need to know and what they can handle on their own. If I haveconfidence in that

Amy Rhodes, MPI Principal (check out this video she did for us on informational interviews)  

judgment,it allows me not to hover and yet be sure that I won’t be surprised by news I should have been privy to. 

I value independence; no fun to have someone who needs you to tell them what to do every five minutes.

I want someone who asks questions when not certain.”


We’ll be trying to gather more throughout the day and would love to hear your thoughts. Are you a supervisor with your own 3 “must-haves”? Tell us what they are! Are you an entry level person who’s learned what employers appreciate most in you?

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