Swoon Spotlight: Ellen C.
As part of our ongoing effort to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of publishing, we are bringing you: Swoon Spotlight! This week we are featuring Ellen C., a Swoon Reads staff member who has volunteered her time, energy, and enthusiasm to the imprint—while still being amazing at her regular job!
What is your official title?
Digital Marketing Associate.
Briefly describe your job?
I create and execute digital campaigns for picture books, middle-grade, and YA titles across all MCPG imprints. I run several Tumblr and Facebook accounts for various brands and series at MacKids (including the Swoon Reads Facebook page!), and work with the other members of the digital team to develop comprehensive social media and email marketing strategies.
How long have you been in your current position?
I’ve been at MCPG for about 2 years.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love writing social media copy, particularly for teen titles and brands. I get to be silly and use a lot of puns, which I love. Plus, I’m a total fangirl at heart, so it’s great to interact with readers who love the same books!
What’s your least favorite part of your job?
Don’t get me wrong. Google Analytics are amazing. But sifting through reports can be exhausting…
If you could have any other job in book publishing for one day, what would it be?
I think it would be fun to work in editorial. They get to work so closely with our authors and really dig into the books we publish in their earliest iterations.
Common misconceptions about book publishing.
People often assume that, because I work in publishing, I am also a writer. I’m not. I am in awe of all our authors because I could never in a million years do what they do.
Funniest way you’ve heard a friend or family member describe your job?
My roommate often tells people that my job “is the internet.”
What did you study in school?
I was an English major.
Do you use your degree in your current job?
Definitely! The close-reading and critical thinking skills I developed as an English major help me come up with creative campaign ideas.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
When I was 18, I spent a summer working at a Bath & Body Works. Part of my job was giving strangers complementary hand massages. It was weird and uncomfortable for everyone involved.
How did you get into publishing?
I’ve always loved books and reading, particularly children’s and young adult literature. So I knew from a pretty young age that I wanted to work in the industry. I attended the Columbia Publishing Course after I graduated from college. The program really gave me a taste of the type of tasks an entry-level position would entail. From there, it was a lot of informational interviewing, shameless networking, and luck that landed me my first gig in the publishing industry.
What’s your favorite genre of romance?
Fantasy. If there are dragons or witches, I’m totally in.
What’s the first romance you ever read?
Pride & Prejudice
What made you want to be involved with Swoon Reads?
I think that if Jean Feiwel told me to jump off a bridge, I’d give it serious consideration. KIDDING! (Kind of). When Jean presented the concept of Swoon Reads to us, her passion and enthusiasm for the project was infectious! I loved the idea of getting in on the ground floor of a project.
What do you like most about working with books for young adults?
I love that working with YA, and especially with the Swoon Reads community, allows me to inject my personality into my work — whether it’s putting pictures of Ryan Gosling all over the Facebook page, writing punny captions for infographics, or baking cookies for the Swoon Says blog!
What does your desk look like on any given day?
Organized chaos. I always have a lot of folders and papers on my desk. My system makes sense to me. But I’m sure it confuses by-passers. Oh, and there is almost always a mug of tea.
What’s a book you wish you’d worked on?
It would have been AMAZING to work on any of the Harry Potter books. They were such a game-changer for the industry!
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Relax! Cut yourself some slack and goof off more! I would probably also advise myself to go vegetarian at an earlier age.