Even though this blog primarily follows my literary adventures, I wanted to share what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. When I returned from the NYU Publishing Institute in NYC I packed up a UHaul and moved to Chapel Hill, NC. Though it was a whirlwind of packing and unpacking, I’m a bit more settled now and I can’t wait to show of my new digs!
I’ll start the tour with my front door. I love that it is all mine!
Door mat: Homegoods
My entryway is not very grand but I love my pew (similar), map of Paris (similar) and Kings & Queens of England print (similar).
My living room is the first thing you seen inside the front door.
Chairs and bench: Target (1, 2)
Coffee Table: Ethan Allen (1)
Candles: various (similar)
The Big Comfy Couch!
Couch: Ethan Allen* (1)
Throw: Pottery Barn (1)
Tray: Pottery Barn Outlet (similar)
This is just one of the bookshelves but my mom did such a great job arranging the books I had to show it off!
This is another one of our DIY projects — would you guess that the table is actually plywood?
Here’s the best part of the living room! I found a great DIY on pinterest and made it happen.
*Bought during closeout sale at very steep discount
The keynote speech was given by Markus Dohle of Random House. Though he is relatively new to publishing he really made all of us excited to enter the industry.* He spoke about how the industry is changing in really exciting ways – from ebooks to what comes after them. After Dohle’s speech he took a picture with us to use in future presentations.
On Tuesday we heard from several agents about their role in the book publishing process. I had no idea how important they were! So much of what I thought editors did is actually the agent’s job: first edit of the manuscript, marketing the book, convincing a publisher to take the book, etc. Later that day we had small sessions with editors where we got to review sample first draft manuscripts and discuss whether the author was right for a particular imprint. I learned that sometimes the story is more important than the writing – writing can be fixed but a story that goes nowhere cannot.
Wednesday was the first field trip day and we started with the best! Barnes and Noble at Union Square opened early just for us so that we could speak to the major buyers. Buyers at B&N are some of the last left in the industry who buy in large quantities (see demise of Borders). This means that these people make or break a book’s sales – scary! They are the real taste makers of the book world, even more than the “almighty editor.”
Children’s books started off our Thursday morning. The professionals who came to visit were so passionate about what they do and who their market is – so much more interesting than some of the previous talks! I was swept away by the idea of children’s publishing, as you’ll see in the week 2 roundup post! I also met with a Kenyon Alumni Network content on Thursday. The KCN rocks!
I spent the weekend hanging out with my cousin in Bedford, NY so I don’t have any fun pictures to show you. I promise there are lots of images for week 5!
*The program leaders (Libby and Victoria) have a bit of a contest going with us, to see how many people they can get to do book vs. magazine publishing. Markus definitely helped out Libby’s (books) case!
For three weeks I learned from the best-of-the-best in the magazine industry: Cindi Leive, David Zinczenko, Pilar Guzman, Lavinel Savu, Matt Bean, Lorin Stein, and Brandon Holley to name a few. Beginning with lectures, I got a strong foundation in the basics of all facets of magazine publishing. My skills were put to the test with a final project that required an integration of all that I learned. The assignment was to create a launch plan for a new magazine complete with mockups of the magazine, website, and feature article as well as a social media plan, profit and loss statement, marketing plan, and app concept. Every student was assigned to both a group and a role, in my case the fashion and beauty group as executive editor. My role meant that I was responsible for ensuring that everything we turned in got done on time and was grammatically correct. I was able to draw on my skills from previous internships (Winter 2010, Spring 2011) but I was definitely pushed to learn new things.
My group came up with a fashion magazine concept that we felt was unlike anything on the newsstand today — street fashion. Rather than dwelling on the runways, we wanted our readers to gather inspiration from real life. This led us to make bold artistic decisions that some advisors felt were “masculine” but we stuck to our guns and did well in the presentation competition!
Without further ado, here’s what our launch book looked like (with credit to my group’s incredible art director Shannon Coffey.
Note: Since there was no budget for these designs, we had to use images from the web for educational purposes. No copyright infringement is meant!
(The gorgeous cover of our mock magazine)
(A very small part of our launch book statistics)
(The second page of a “front of book” spread)
(Sample blog post on Kirsten Dunst’s style evolution)
(The winning app concept “Pavement Pieces”)
Check out the posts I wrote during the NYU SPI Magazine Section:
Last week the Bookstore Relations Coordinator at ABA came to speak at the NYU Summer Publishing Institute. I was so moved by his presentation that I thought I would share a little bit of it here.
Declaration of IndieBound
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for individuals to denounce the corporate bands which threaten to homogenize our cities and our souls, we must celebrate the powers that make us unique and declare the causes which compel us to remain independent.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all stores are not created equal, that some are endowed by their owners, their staff, and their communities with certain incomparable heights, that among these are Personality, Purpose and Passion. The history of the present indies is a history of experiences and excitement, which we will continue to establish as we set our sights on a more unconstrained state. To prove this, let’s bring each other along and submit our own experiences to an unchained world.
We, therefore, the Kindred Spirits of IndieBound, in the name of our convictions, do publish and declare that these united minds are, and darn well ought to be, Free Thinkers and Independent Souls. That we are linked by the passions that differentiate us. That we seek out soul mates to share our excitement. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the strength of our identities, we respectively and mutually pledge to lead the way as we all declare that we are IndieBound!
Just in case you’re not familiar with IndieBound, here’s a little bit about the organization. It was created to bring together independent bookstores so that publishers would be forced to listen to their voice. These bookstores are havens for communities to talk, think, react and read. Check out their website: IndieBound
Check out all of my other NYU Summer Publishing Institute posts:
Today in lieu of a real post I thought that I would give you guys a taste of what I’ve been learning in my NYU Summer Publishing Institute. I couldn’t think of a better way to share than with a really amazing video from Random House.
(Markus Dohle and the 2012 NYU Summer Publishing Institute Participants)
The CEO of Random House, Markus Dohle, came to give the keynote address earlier last week and turned my attention to this great series of YouTube videos about publishing. Without any more introduction:
Check out my previous posts about the NYU Summer Publishing Institute:
I’m sorry this post has taken me so long to put up — I’m done with week three of the program and still haven’t published my week two recap!
The second week started with more lectures and panels. After all of this I shouldn’t get star struck but when Andrew McCarthy came in for the panel on “The Writer/Editor Relationship” I couldn’t hear myself think! (Just a refresher for those of you not up on your 80s pop culture, he was in St. Elmo’s Fire and Pretty in Pink) What he had to say about writing for travel magazines was even more interesting than his acting career — win win!
Wednesday was one of the most amazing days in the Summer Publishing Institute. We heard from the editor of The Paris Review and he was incredible. I have so much respect for the brand and it was lovely to see someone so passionate about their job! Later on Wednesday I had my manuscript evaluation workshop with Jen Murphy of AFAR. She offered great insights into how an editor manages projects and deals with difficult writers.
Friday we worked in our launch groups to develop the magazines we would present June 21st. I’ll give you a little tour of my project in a later post.
Friday night my roommates and I went to the Boat Basin Cafe for appetizers and drinks. The atmosphere was great, if a little loud, but the view was what brought us there. How gorgeous is that sunset!
There was another amazing street fair just up the block from my building so I took advantage of the amazing jewelry deals.
With the project deadline looming, my group’s Editor in Chief, Art Director and I (the Executive Editor) decided to buckle down. New York is too amazing to take time off from sightseeing so we made our way to MoMa to work in the beautiful art galleries. Along the way we stumbled into the New York Theosophical Society Library. Though it isn’t a place I had ever planned to visit, you all know I love a good library and was game to peek through the archives. After we finished there it was off to do work…and take in a little art.Unfortunately, I don’t always agree on the definition of modern art.
I mean, seriously? I don’t get it.
By Sunday night my roommates and I were in serious need of a recharge night and Grimaldi’s Pizza was just what the doctor ordered. We got three massive pizzas for the group and finished every slice!
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.