Next in the “Introducing AMACOM” series is Sales & Marketing Assistant Janine Barlow.
I gained experience in publishing through plenty of internships over the course of my college career (and a little bit beyond). These ranged from publicity internships with Random House Publishing Group and Monteiro & Company to literary agency internships with Dunham Literary and the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. I couldn’t possibly have developed such a strong foundation in publishing without all of those work experiences and my most recent job before joining AMACOM–working front desk at a dental office. No better job for learning how to help all manner of people than that!
What are some of your responsibilities as Sales & Marketing Assistant?
I assist the sales, marketing, and publicity directors, helping to promote our books to everyone ranging from booksellers to consumers to those in the media. In publicity, I’m responsible for some of my own books, which includes writing press materials for them and creating review lists to get copies to the right editors and reviewers. In marketing I deeply enjoy titling meetings (brainstorming titles and subtitles for upcoming books) for the sheer creative insight and team spirit, and in sales I’m looking forward to helping to plan our next sales conference and to present a book or two to our sales reps there.
What are the big challenges you face in your job?
Wiring my brain for the varying timelines of publishing has been an entertaining new challenge. In an afternoon I might brainstorm titles for a book on our summer 2016 list, then work on a galley letter for something pubbing in January 2016, and then coordinate an interview with an author of a book out next week. Fortunately, I have a fairly organized mind, so I’m starting to be able to summon up a mental calendar of all our books.
What AMACOM book are you most excited about right now?
All of my friends and family know I won’t stop talking about We Are Market Basket. Even though the details of the movement somehow missed me as they occurred, reading the book has absorbed me in them so thoroughly. The story of the Demoulas family (and, of course, the extended Market Basket family) alone is captivating enough, but the authors’ insights into why Market Basket worked so well as a company have me wishing I could gather up some of my old sociology classmates to discuss the book.
What else have you been reading recently?
I’m about to finish the fourth and final book of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, The Story of the Lost Child. I love the books themselves and the way they’ve brought discussion of female friendship in literature to the fore in the literary crowd. Over the past few months my favorite read has been Heidi Julavits’s The Folded Clock. While in the thick of it I attended the panel discussion she produced at Housing Works about time in literature and now feel like a full-blown fan. I hadn’t previously reached real fan status about anyone other than maybe Faulkner or Salinger so this is a momentous occasion for me.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a Sales & Marketing Assistant at AMACOM?
I might have gone back to school and become a dentist, but I have small fingers, so when it comes to deftness and precision…I’m better on the page.