Swoon Spotlight: Kelly M.
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 Kelly M., 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?
Associate Manager of Advertising and Promotion
Briefly describe your job?
My department creates trade and consumer print ads, online ads, and promotional items for all of MCPG’s major titles. I write copy, conceptualize projects, gather art, and work with a designer to coordinate production. We also coordinate the seasonal catalog and create sell sheets, and we’re always researching new advertising and promotional opportunities.
How long have you been in your current position?
Just a few months in my new role, but with this team for about 2.5 years
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I’m convinced the people I work with are some of the best people in the world, and my department is always working on something fun. I get a chance to put both my organizational skills and creativity to use every day, and I’m always encouraged to come up with fresh new ideas. (The amazing books don’t hurt, either.)
What’s your least favorite part of your job?
Waiting for answers. But it comes with the territory!
Common misconceptions about book publishing.
I think very few people realize how many people it takes to successfully publish a book.
If you could have any other job in book publishing for one day, what would it be?
If I had stronger design skills, I think that side of things could be a blast.
Funniest way you’ve heard a friend or family member describe your job?
I always get a laugh when my little brother tells people I’m a “book publisher.” Maybe in my dreams…
What did you study in school?
English and Gender Studies.
Do you use your degree in your current job?
In a roundabout way? Every day.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Depending on what you mean by weird, I suppose this one. I mean, I don’t know many others who have been required to research pictures of Ryan Gosling or develop a “fierce” cupcake recipe as part of their career.
How did you get into publishing?
Honestly, I thought “I think that might be fun,” and then I did not stop bothering people with questions and asking advice till I finally landed the gig.
What made you want to be involved with Swoon Reads?
Anyone with even a vague interest in YA books would have to be crazy NOT to want to be involved in the next big thing Jean Feiwel has up her sleeve.
What do you like most about working with books for young adults?
The books I read as a young adult had such a huge impact on me and the way I see the world. The idea that I’m now part of a behind-the-scenes team with the power to directly shape the way other young people see the world is amazing.
What’s your favorite genre of romance?
What’s the first romance you ever read?
Nothing specific is coming to mind—only teenage years filled with an abundance of Sarah Dessen novels.
What does your desk look like on any given day?
My desk is jam packed with promo items—from tote bags and bookmarks to nail polish and combs. I try to keep it an “organized chaos.”
What’s a book you wish you’d worked on?
I’m lucky to get to be working on Speak a bit now, and that feels extremely surreal since that book was such a taking off point for my wanting to work with YA lit. Lately, I’m also realizing how amazing it would have been to work on the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Keep working for it, and it’ll work out.