How a Lifelong Love of Books Led to a Publicity Job

Publishing Advice

Name: Caroline Nitz
Current Title: Publicity Assistant at Henry Holt & Company, an imprint of Macmillan
Hometown: Northfield, MN
Graduated from: St. Olaf College, 2011
Where you currently work and live: I live and work in Manhattan.

Your Path to Publishing:

Like many in publishing, I was an English major without the slightest idea what to do with it. I knew I didn’t want to teach so I just decided to bury myself in books and figure out the rest later. It wasn’t until late in my junior year of college that it finally occurred to me that I could be a part of the industry that produced the books and magazines I’d been devouring all my life. What better way to spend my time, I thought, than surrounded by words and people who love them as much as I do?

I took to Google and discovered the summer publishing programs at NYU and Columbia. I applied to both for the summer after graduation, got into NYU, and quickly accepted. Three days after tossing my cap in the air, I hopped on a plane bound for New York.

NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute was a challenging, eye-opening, and educational six weeks. I gained a basic understanding of both magazine and book publishing, met some wonderful people, and laid a foundation on which to build my career. I wasn’t able to find a job in New York at the end of the program but I found an editorial internship at a magazine publisher in Minneapolis almost immediately after returning home. Four months later, I had some published clips, a byline in Minnesota Bride, an offer to stay on as a freelancer, and a nagging urge to get back to New York City.

A few months later, I had a serendipitous offer from a childhood friend: a one month sublet near Columbia University while she did a research trip for grad school, giving me the opportunity to job hunt in New York City for a solid thirty-some days. From there, it was a whirlwind. An alumni event led to a handful of connections in the publishing industry, which led to an interview, and then a job offer. Never underestimate the power of networking!

What does your typical day look like?

Every day is different. It’s a mixture of sending books to reviewers and producers, writing press releases, compiling mailing lists, tracking media coverage, and brainstorming for future publicity campaigns. We’re planning for books that don’t come out for months at the same time that campaigns are in full swing, so it’s important to be able to juggle!

Connect with her:

LinkedIn is easiest.

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