Despite its challenges, this week has been such an amazing introduction to life in New York and to the publishing industry. It all started bright and early Sunday when I moved into my dorm. Having never lived in NYC I had no idea what to expect but I lucked out with a 3rd Avenue address and gorgeous windows to boot!
Shortly after settling in, my flat mates and I went out to explore the street fair on 3rd Ave. Filled with delicious food and cute accessories it was like a welcoming party!
After all of the excitement we called it a night since the morning promised the start of new classes. The NYU SPI (summer publishing institute) generally runs from 8am – 5pm but the first day it went until 8pm! The introduction was overwhelming, especially since we heard from David Zinczenko (EIC Men’s Health), Cindi Leive (EIC Glamour), Pilar Guzman (EIC Martha Stewart Living) and others. They assured us that the magazine industry is going strong but that the focus is shifting to a brand-based model.
(Here’s my flat mates and I in the front row!)
Day two was equally overwhelming! Part of the program assignment is to develop a launch plan for a new magazine and we dove right in! I’ve been assigned to the Beauty/Fashion magazine category which for many people is a really integral part of daily life. I never realized how flooded the market was! We presented our ideas for a magazine launch to the program directors and got their feedback. After our meetings we heard from Brandon Holley (EIC Lucky)! Lucky has been one of my favorite mags for a really long time so hearing from the EIC was like a dream come true.
(This is where my classes are – The Woolworth Building)
Day three we heard more about the digital aspects of publishing. I hadn’t really considered the way that brand extensions affect the main magazine brand. I found it a little harder to understand only because I know nothing about developing those types of technology but it was great to get a taste!
For a complete change of pace, Day Four was spent at Book Expo America (BEA). This year was the first time that the expo was open to the public. Special passes for “Power Readers” were given out through indie bookstores and other avenues. Some of these people rushed around only for the galleys (free advanced copies) and didn’t care to make connections with the publishers. Many of the publishers wanted to make sales and the Power Readers distracted from this goal. I managed to snag a few galleys so I will do a post on my “Book Haul” later this week.
It was back to magazine publishing topics for Day Five with information about the technological aspects of publishing. Most of this was so far over my head that I had trouble understanding it but I think the information that I did glean was really beneficial. Later that night my roommates and I headed out for our first weekend in NYC. We tried to stay close to home so Tonic East was the perfect choice. Hanging out with everyone from SPI outside of the classroom was a lot of fun! I’m sure that our level of comfort with each other will show in our final projects.
Sunday brunch, the essential NYC experience was amazing! The Bluebell Cafe is right down the street and the food was great.