Introducing AMACOM… Irene

Picture of Irene

Irene was unfairly blamed for ruining the Northeast’s last weekend in August.

Next in the “Introducing AMACOM” series is Publicity Director Irene Majuk. Irene has extensive experience in business publishing, and is an AMACOM veteran.

What were you doing before you joined AMACOM?

I joined AMACOM about 20 years ago, and before that I was publicity manager at John Wiley & Sons also promoting business books. My non-business book experience included two years at New American Library (NAL) working on various genre books and paperback reprints. While at NAL I was introduced to the works of Stephen King and and became a huge fan. My favorite story as a publicist at NAL was when I was assigned to work on the paperback reprint of Thinner by Richard Bachman. After reading the book, I thought to myself, ok this guy isn’t just imitating King’s writing style, he’s channeling King. I brought up my concern with my boss saying that Bachman is King’s doppelganger or he is Stephen King. Long story short, a persistent Washington D.C. bookstore clerk, Steve Brown, did some snooping around and discovered that Bachman was in fact Stephen King. And the author photo on the book jacket was in fact Richard Manuel, the insurance agent of Kirby McCauley, King’s literary agent.

What are some of your responsibilities as Publicity Director?

We publish about 30 books each season (AMACOM has two publishing seasons). Based on conversations with the sales director and the VP of sales and marketing, I develop the publicity plans for each book. For an important book with high sales potential and broad consumer appeal, the publicity plans might include an extensive outreach to the print media, national and regional radio interviews, national TV placements, as well as online coverage, including pitching bloggers, websites, webcasts, and podcasts. Social media plays an important role in promoting our books, as well as helping to brand AMACOM. Fortunately I have a very talented, hardworking publicity team (shout out to Kama Timbrell and Alice Northover) who make my job infinitely easier.

What are the big challenges you face in your job?

The biggest challenge is staying current with the rapidly changing social media landscape, and finding the time to provide new content for Facebook, LinkedIn, LibraryThing, Twitter, Foursquare, Netgalley, and AMACOM’s blog. I have to say though as challenging and frustrating it might be learning a new social media service or tool (what exactly is a hootlet again???), I love the challenge.

What book are you really excited about right now?

Right now I’m working on The 11 Laws of Likability by Michelle Tillis Lederman. I admit that I am networking-challenged and the book has excellent advice that I’m eager to apply. At home I just started reading The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough. I’m also an avid reader of historical murder mysteries set in England and I’m a big fan of Anne Perry, C.S. Harris, and C.J. Hansom.  I’m presently reading Ashley Gardner’s books featuring Captain Lacey set in Regency England.

What book do you want everyone to discover?

I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, and horror books. My favorite books from these genres are:

What would you be doing if you weren’t in publicity?

If I had the money and no need to work? A world traveler writing travel books.

Final Words?

Buy and read lots of books.

Thank you Irene!

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15 responses to “Introducing AMACOM… Irene

  1. What a funny story about Stephen King! Didn’t realize you are an investigative personality, but then I should know since you are the best PR specialist in the biz. No one does better press kits – no one!

  2. Check out Irene Majuk’s new blog for Amacom Books. The best PR specialist in the biz. No one does better press kits – no one!

  3. Barry Richardson

    Irene and I talk about many things–dogs and politics and Star Trek and life in general. We don’t talk too much about books, but I know she’s an outstanding publicist.

  4. Thanks for the shout out Irene – your work shows how much you live and breath books.

  5. Irene is one of my publicity idols! As a freelance publicity writer who’s had the pleasure of working with Irene for many years, I can attest to how passionate she is about books and how devoted she is to exploring social media and taking full advantage of its book publicity potential. Thanks, Irene, for making working on business books so rewarding and, yes, fun!

  6. Irene has adapted to the ever-changing media world and continues to be a trailblazer in the field of business book publicity. I love working with her and her team, and of course, sharing shih tzu stories.

  7. Matthew Shuchman

    Time and Again by Jack Finney is in my top 10 books that I have ever read. His short stories are also very good. Jack Finney also wrote the book “The Body Snatchers” that became the famous horror movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

  8. Irene it’s nice to put a face to your name. 20 years and still in love with books, now that’s impressive!! You are fantastic to work with.

  9. I love this blog Irene. The world of book publicity is certainly changing and I am glad we are traveling this road together.

  10. Work has its challenges, that’s for sure, but it’s so much better when you like and appreciate the others you work with. Irene, you are one of those people who can make it a joy. And I agree with Fauzia: The world of book publicity and media keeps changing at hyper speed. So glad we’re all on the path together.

  11. Lisa Berkowitz

    Irene is a lean, mean, business publishing publicity machine, and sharing her perspective on the industry is a welcome addition to the ongoing conversation on where we are and where we’re going in the wild and woolly digital world. I’ve know Irene for over 25 years, and she is a consummate professional and a gem to work with. Go Irene go!!

  12. Cecilia Quintero

    I too have been following her work for almost 30 years and I never fail to learn something new from her. Her interests, broad range of knowledge on
    a variety of subjects make her a versatile publicist and fascinating dinner companion. I am looking forward to seeing more of her work in the Social Media space when I am not reading books for pleasure or my book club ….also a pleasure. Well done Irene!

  13. Gail Rentsch

    Irene is a publicity pro whose enthusiasm for getting it right never flags. Go girl.

  14. I have had the pleasure to work on many of the projects that Irene stewards over the years as a radio publicity maven with Krupp Kommunications. I have to say that I really enjoy the books that Irene works with at Amacom, they are bookable on the radio and hosts come back thanking us for such great content. Had a very good time working on The 11 Laws of Likability – author Michelle Tillis Lederman is indeed very “likable” and her message was well received nationally and locally on the airwaves. Brava Irene and keep up the good work – !
    Christianna
    “CC”

  15. Pingback: AMACOM Reads: Our Staff’s Summer 2016 Round-up! | AMACOM Books Blog

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