Cover Story: 50 Top Women in Book Publishing
Esther Margolis, President and Owner, Newmarket Publishing and Communications Co.
Margolis received the 2008 Poor Richard Award from the New York Center for Independent Publishing for outstanding contributions to independent publishing. She founded Newmarket in 1981 after 17 years at Bantam Books, where she became its first senior vice president for marketing, publicity and communications worldwide and, according to Margolis, originated many publicity techniques, such as the author tour (1966). Newmarket Press, the company’s publishing arm, is noted for books on film (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “Milk,” “Angels & Demons,” “The Shawshank Redemption”), parenting, self-help, health and business, and for helping to launch the book careers of such authors as Lynda Madaras, Suze Orman, Daphne Oz and Dr. Georgia Witkin.
- Tip: “Know your customer(s) … and be mindful that successful publishing … depends on your credibility and the relationships you build with authors, agents, booksellers, librarians, media and other industry professionals.”
Margery Mayer, Executive Vice President and President, Scholastic Education, Scholastic Inc.
Mayer oversees product development, marketing and sales for Scholastic’s Scholastic Education division. She is a pioneer in the development of research-based, educational technology programs. Under her leadership, Scholastic has developed programs such as: Read 180, a reading intervention program for adolescents; System 44, for older students who struggle with basic phonics; and the forthcoming Expert 21, which merges digital and print curricula. Mayer has been the driving force behind the growth in educational technology sales at Scholastic—from less than $40 million in fiscal year 2001 to $160 million in fiscal year 2008.
- Tip: “Innovate! Try doing things that haven’t been done before, but make sure you surround yourself with colleagues who aren’t afraid to tell you when your ideas are not as good as you think they are.”
Jeanne M. Mosure, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Disney Global Book Group, Disney Publishing Worldwide
Mosure directs all of Disney’s Global Book operations, which represent approximately 10 percent of all children’s books sold worldwide and $1.1 billion in retail revenue. Since joining DPW in 1998, she has been instrumental in creating the structure for a successful global operation, while directing the U.S. publishing programs for the Disney Book Group and its imprints, including Hyperion Books for Children, Jump at the Sun, Disney Press and Disney Editions. Mosure has led Disney Global Books to exceptional year-on-year growth. She has held sales and marketing leadership positions at Random House and U.S. Media Holdings.
- Tip: “Understand and respect your end consumer. … Enjoy and promote collaboration with talent, retailers and industry partners. Mandate business discipline while being open-minded to new ideas. … Yet, most crucial: … Surround yourself with a talented team of professionals.”
Alison Mudditt, Executive Vice President, Higher Education Group, Sage Publications
Mudditt heads the Higher Education Group’s publishing programs, covering all college, reference, journal and digital product lines. She has more than 20 years’ experience in academic publishing, beginning in 1988 at Blackwell in the United Kingdom. She also served with both Women in Publishing and the Society of Young Publishers, and as publishing director of the Behavioral Science Division at Taylor & Francis Inc. She joined Sage in 2001 and was appointed executive vice president in 2004. In 2008, she led Sage’s acquisition of CQ Press. She serves on the Executive Council of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the American Association of Publishers.
- Tip: “Never underestimate the value of relationships.”
Suzanne Murphy, Vice President, Group Publisher, Trade Publishing and Marketing, Scholastic Inc.
Murphy joined Scholastic in 2005, and has spearheaded marketing campaigns for Brian Selznick’s Caldecott Medal winner “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J. K. Rowling, and the launch of the all-new “Goosebumps Horrorland” series by R.L. Stine, among others. She was appointed group publisher in 2008, a year in which she and her editorial and marketing teams published and promoted such best-sellers as “The 39 Clues,” “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins and “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling. She is the current chair of the Children’s Book Council.
- Tip: “Always be ready to change. If something works, don’t just do it again; ask yourself, ‘how can we do it better?’ The only grand tradition in publishing … is great storytelling. If you believe that everything else is up for discussion, you’ll succeed.”
Carolyn Pittis, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing Strategy & Operations, HarperCollins Publishers
Pittis is responsible for coordinating the high-level strategic direction of HarperCollins’ online consumer marketing initiatives, including its Web sites, e-mail marketing and third-party partnership strategies. She previously held leadership positions in the company’s two major change-management initiatives, and worked in consumer sales forecasting, marketing technology, digital asset management, business development, editorial and book production during an 18-year career with the company. In all these roles, she has focused on using data and technology to drive publishing efficiency and effectiveness.
- Tip: “… If you ask yourself every day, ‘How can I add more value?’ and then do this in ways that you enjoy and find meaning in, you will excel. Lead others by initiating authentic conversation about change that benefits all.”
Jamie Raab, Executive Vice President and Publisher, Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group
Raab oversees the publication of approximately 275 titles per year on Grand Central Publishing’s (formerly Warner Books) hardcover, mass market and trade paperback lists. Since joining the company in 1986, she has acquired and/or edited fiction and nonfiction titles including such New York Times best-sellers as “America (The Book)” by Jon Stewart and the writers of “The Daily Show,” “Mike’s Election Guide,” by Michael Moore, and “I Am America (And So Can You!)” by Stephen Colbert.
- Tip: “Work hard. Enjoy people. And have a deep passion for books.”
Janet Rabinowitch, Director, Indiana University Press
Rabinowitch has been director of Indiana University Press (IUP) since 2003. She joined IUP in 1975 and served in various positions, including editorial director. She has acquired and sponsored the publication of some 800 books, mainly in Slavic studies, Jewish and Holocaust studies, philosophy, and Middle East and African studies. As director, Rabinowitch has overseen the creation of the INscribe and IU Press Online Web sites to implement digital delivery of the press's journals and books.
- Tip: "Balance the big picture and the daily detail, and manage to keep on top of both."
Dominique Raccah, Founder, President and Publisher, Sourcebooks
Raccah founded Sourcebooks-the largest woman-owned trade book publisher in the country-in 1987. Today, the company has more than 70 employees and publishes over 300 new titles each year, including titles in parenting and college guides, novels (published by Sourcebooks Landmark), a new children's imprint (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky) and an expanding roster of business relationships (including U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, The History Channel, The Travel Channel and CBS). Sourcebooks has published 10 New York Times best-sellers, is a leading poetry publisher, and publishes a line of multimedia titles (Sourcebooks MediaFusion). Raccah currently serves as co-chair of the Book Industry Study Group.
- Tip: "The most important thing to remember is that you're not actually in the book publishing business. You're in the business of building authors' careers and connecting those authors to readers. Be amazing! Books change lives."
Carolyn Reidy, President and CEO, Simon & Schuster Inc.
Reidy joined Simon & Schuster in 1992 and became president and CEO in 2008. Under her supervision, Simon & Schuster has published many acclaimed works, including books by Pulitzer Prize winners David McCullough and Doris Kearns Goodwin; notable figures like Jimmy Carter and Bob Woodward; best-selling novelists Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark and Jodi Picoult; and practical advice from authorities, including Rhonda Byrne's 7-million-copy best-seller "The Secret." In 2007, she was named one of "The 50 Women to Watch" by The Wall Street Journal, and is a recipient of the Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communications.
- Tip: "Read as widely as you can to educate your taste and take every opportunity to learn all the different parts of the publishing business, not just your job."
Mary Beth Roche, Vice President and Publisher, Macmillan Audio, Macmillan
Roche began her publishing career in the Random House Publicity Department and was named vice president in 1995. She moved to Random House Audio as vice president and publishing director of Random House Audible in 1999. She was a member of the board of the Publisher's Publicity Association and served as president of that organization from 1996 to 1998. She is a member of the board of the Audio Publishers Association (APA) and served as president of the APA from 2003 to 2006.
- Tip: "I was fortunate to learn the ropes ... from some of the best people in our business. ... These early experiences influenced my strong belief in the value of taking time to mentor new talents in our industry. It can be an enriching experience for everyone."
Karen Romano, Vice President, Director of Production and Manufacturing, Adult Trade Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.
Romano is responsible for copyediting, interior design, paper purchasing and manufacturing. She began her 35-year career at Praeger Publishers, and has held positions at McGraw-Hill, Macmillan's school division and Prentice Hall. She has been a member of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) Commission for Textbook Specifications, a panel participant at Pub Tech and Bookbinders' Guild events, and judge at the Literary Marketplace Awards, and New York Book shows. She is currently a member of the AAP Paper Issues Working Group.
- Tip: "Just as in any other area in life, really listen to and be ready to learn from other people."
Marji Ross, President and Publisher, Regnery
Ross has been president and publisher of conservative publisher Regnery since 2003. She joined Regnery in 1999 as vice president and general manager, and previously worked as senior group publisher for newsletter publisher Phillips International, where she ran several business units, including investment, business and health newsletters. She currently serves on the boards of the National Conservative Campaign Fund, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and the Beth Chai Congregation. In February 2005, she was named the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute's Woman of the Year.
- Tip: "Be the conductor, not a one-man band. ... Most successful female executives I know thrive on proving their competence and productivity. But as the leader of an organization, we must ... prioritize those things on which we can have the greatest impact. And then we must hire people smarter than us to do those things we are not particularly good at ... [or] are not a particularly good use of our time."
Loriana Sacilotto, Executive Vice President, Global Publishing and Strategy, Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Sacilotto joined Harlequin in 1986 in the retail marketing department and held progressively more responsible senior marketing positions, including the role of executive vice president, retail division, where she oversaw marketing, sales, public relations, research and art. In 2004, Sacilotto was appointed to executive vice president of global publishing and strategy, with a mandate to oversee the editorial team and develop a consumer-driven, editorial vision and strategy for the publisher worldwide.
- Tip: "Understand the market and your reader. Develop a vision based on what you know and reflect it in your publishing decisions-from acquisition to packaging to promotion and distribution."
Kathy Schneider, Senior Vice President, Associate Publisher for Harper, Amistad, HarperBusiness, Collins Reference, Smithsonian & Rayo imprints, HarperCollins Publishers
Schneider joined HarperCollins in 2005. She now oversees the publication of close to 200 books a year, with a focus on marketing, publicity and sales. She has recently presided over such books as Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"; Michael Crichton's "Next"; and Steve Harvey's "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man." Schneider previously was vice president and publisher of Miramax Books. She joined Talk Miramax Books as publishing director to launch the imprint in 2000, and worked with authors such as Rudy Giuliani and Madeleine Albright. Schneider also held senior-level positions at Random House, Prentice Hall and Crown Publishers. She has served on the executive committee of New York Is Book Country.
- Tip: "If you're not learning what's happening online, start today. Marketing online is becoming one of the most important ways ... to reach consumers. ... Also, we have to keep getting better at understanding what the larger population wants, ... [break] out of the New York City mindset."
Katherine Schowalter, Senior Vice President, Professional and Consumer Publishing, John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Schowalter joined Wiley 28 years ago. After holding a number of positions in production, she was promoted to acquisition editor in the professional/trade division, and then named executive publisher, with responsibility for the general interest, computer technology, architecture and culinary publishing programs. Schowalter was named senior vice president, professional and consumer publishing, in 2002, and she was responsible for the company's integration of Hungry Minds, which at that time was the largest acquisition in Wiley's history. She is responsible for a range of categories in the professional/trade division such as cooking, reference, travel, general interest, technology and architecture, including the best-selling "Dummies," "Frommer's," and "Cliffs-Notes" brands.
- Tip: "Publishing is a business of relationships-with colleagues, authors, agents, accounts and suppliers. It also ... requires good instincts and calculated risk-taking. ... You need to learn by your successes and your failures ..., learn as much as possible from your colleagues and surround yourself with a team of talented people."
Melissa Serdinsky, Vice President of Manufacturing, The Perseus Books Group
During her eight years at Perseus, Serdinsky has developed a successful digital program, and is currently wrangling the online and e-book realm with the newly formed Constellation Digital Services. Prior to joining Perseus, Serdinsky held positions at Macmillan, Stewart, Tabori & Chang and Sterling Publishing. She "caught the publishing bug" working at the original BookStop in Austin, Texas.
- Tip: "Learn the entire publishing process-from project acquisition to file creation ... to planning a publicity tour. If you don't know what goes on before a project hits your desk or where it goes after you, you are missing the point (and fun!) of publishing."
Vickie Stringer, CEO, Triple Crown Publications
"Queen of Hip-Hop Literature" Stringer is a pioneer of the hip-hop literary genre. She started Triple Crown in 2001 with the self-publishing of her debut novel, "Let That Be the Reason." Since then, Triple Crown has been featured in such media outlets as The New York Times, Newsweek, Millionaire Blueprints and Writer's Digest. As a literary agent, Stringer has brokered over $2 million in book deals and launched the careers of several novice authors. Triple Crown is currently celebrating 8 years and over 1 million copies in print.
- Tip: "... Follow your gut ... when selecting properties. And, build a brand that solidifies who you are and what you believe in."
Airié Stuart, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan
Stuart heads the U.S. division including editorial, sales, marketing, publicity, operations and distribution for all lists. She also edits books on current affairs, business and biography, and has worked with such authors as John Dean, Abe Foxman, Ilan Stavans and Walid Phares. She has previously held editorial positions at John Wiley & Sons, Simon & Schuster, Warner Books and HarperCollins.
- Tip: "Succeeding in book publishing [is] about three things: One is being able to stick with it. Of the group of editorial assistants at my first job at HarperCollins, 75 percent of them dropped off. The second thing is loving the books. ... The last is to be open to different realms of the business."
Nan Talese,Senior Vice President, Doubleday, and Publisher and Editorial Director of Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, Random House Inc.
Talese began her publishing career at Random House, and later joined Simon & Schuster as an editor, beginning editorial relationships with such authors as Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Barry Unsworth and Thomas Keneally, all winners of the Booker Prize. She joined Houghton Mifflin in 1981, eventually becoming editor-in-chief and publisher, and began her association with Pat Conroy as editor of his novel, "The Prince of Tides." She joined Doubleday in 1988, and two years later introduced her author-oriented imprint Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, publishing critically acclaimed and best-selling authors such as Pat Conroy, Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Thomas Cahill, Barry Unsworth and Thomas Keneally.
- Tip: "Read deeply and widely to discover what you love, expect a long apprenticeship to understand the business, and know that publishing is a vocation, not just a job."
Nita Taublib, Executive Vice President, Publisher, Editor in Chief, Bantam Dell, Random House Inc.
Taublib is responsible for the adult hardcover and mass market publishing program from acquisition to scheduling, to packaging and production. Prior to joining Bantam Dell, she worked at Macmillan, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, and WH Smith as advertising, promotion and publicity director.
Lynn Terhune, POD & USR Administrator, John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Terhune has over 18 years of production, manufacturing and estimating experience in the industry. Over the past 12 years, she has led the Wiley charge to keep books in print through digital printing. She joined Wiley in 1995, and in 2003, led the launch of the Wiley POD Program, which now includes over 10,000 titles and has grown to become a multimillion-dollar revenue generator. She is the co-author of Wiley's internal customer-care resource guide, "Print on Demand for Dummies" and is working with the Book Industry Study Group on "POD for Dummies" for the industry. Terhune began her publishing career at Cliggott Publishing, and held production positions at the American Bible Society and Longmeadow Press, Waldenbooks' proprietary publishing company.
- Tip: "Invest wisely in technology to help deliver your product to your customer whenever and wherever they need it. No matter the size of your list, manage your inventory wisely through the advances in print delivery."
Maja Thomas, Senior Vice President, Hachette Digital, Hachette Book Group
Thomas, who is also chair of Hachette Livre's International Board for Digital Issues, works across divisions on digital strategy, investment and the pursuit of new digital publishing businesses, models and formats. Hachette Digital is the publisher of many best-selling e-books and audio books, including the "Twilight Saga" e-books, James Patterson's "Daniel X" graphic novel iPhone application, and original audio recordings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermons and speeches. Thomas edited the New York Times best-seller, "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" by David Sedaris, and is also a Grammy award-winning audio producer and director.
- Tip: "Ask everyone what they read and listen to, how they consume books, and why they like different formats. The answers are often surprising and revealing, and they can protect you from the false assumption that your experience with books is universal."
Megan Tingley, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Hachette Book Group
Tingley has published New York Times best-sellers including "The Twilight Saga" by Stephenie Meyer and "The Mysterious Benedict Society" by Trenton Lee Stewart, as well as the National Book Award finalists "Luna" by Julie Anne Peters and "Harlem Stomp! A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance" by Laban Carrick Hill, among others. Tingley began her publishing career at Little, Brown in 1987 and was the first children's book editor to win the Tony Godwin Award for promising young editors in 1993. She is also the recipient of the Time Warner Andrew Heiskell Award in honor of work creating libraries and reading programs in family homeless shelters.
- Tip: "Be proactive. You can't just wait for great manuscripts to be submitted to you-you have to go after authors, come up with your own book ideas, and make the books happen on your own."
Kate Douglas Torrey, Director, University of North Carolina Press
Douglas Torrey has been director of the University of North Carolina Press since 1992. She currently represents university presses on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Publishers and is a past president of the Association of American University Presses.
- Tip: "Be prepared, be clear, be generous."
Malle Vallik, Director of Digital Content and Interactivity, Internet and Digital Division, Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Vallik's focus is on establishing Harlequin as a leader in digital publishing for women. Her responsibilities include e-books, downloadable audio and other digital content, along with continuing to build Harlequin's strong relationship with its consumer via social media, including eHarlequin.com's community.
- Tip: "Your passion has to be books, and you should take every opportunity to learn every aspect of book publishing ... . Volunteer for projects, and don't be afraid to fail and learn. ... Learn [about] your customer and keep him/her front of mind when making decisions about what and how to sell to him/her. Be excited about what you can accomplish every day."
Susan Weinberg, Publisher, PublicAffairs, Perseus Books Group
Weinberg joined Perseus in 2005. Last year, PublicAffairs had four New York Times best-sellers and three New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Authors published by PublicAffairs include Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, author of "Banker to the Poor and Creating A World Without Poverty," and Scott McClellan, author of the No. 1 New York Times best-seller "What Happened." Weinberg came to Perseus from HarperCollins Publishers, where, prior to leading the HarperCollins imprint, she directed the Harper Perennial trade paperback program. She published many New York Times best-sellers and critically acclaimed books, including: "Chain of Command" by Seymour Hersh, "Crimes Against Nature" by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and "Everything Is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer.
- Tip: "Publish books for which you have a genuine enthusiasm and vision; avoid publishing just what you think 'they' want to read, whoever 'they' are."
- Association of American Publishers
- Atria Books
- Bantam Dell
- Beyond Words
- Chronicle Books
- Clarkson Potter
- CQ Press
- Crown Publishing Group
- Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
- Evangelical Christian Publishers Association
- Forest Stewardship Council
- Hachette Book Group
- Harper Perennial
- Holtzbrinck Publishers
- John Wiley & Sons
- National Academies Press
- Palgrave Macmillan
- Prentice Hall
- Publishing Executive
- Random House Inc.
- Sage Publications
- Scholastic Education
- Scholastic Inc.
- Simon and Schuster Inc.
- The Book Industry Study Group
- The History Channel
- The New York Times
- The Perseus Books Group
- The Wall Street Journal
- U.S. News And World Report
- University of Chicago Press
- Warner Books Group
- Wolters Kluwer
- Abe Foxman
- Airié Stuart
- Alison Mudditt
- Anne Lamott
- Barbara Kingsolver
- Barry Unsworth
- Bob Woodward
- Broadway Books
- Candace Bushnell
- Carolyn Pittis
- Carolyn Reidy
- Carrie Kania
- Clarkson Potter
- Creating A World
- Dav Pilkey
- David McCullough
- David R. Godine
- David Sedaris
- Dean Koontz
- Dita Von Teese
- Donna Hayes
- Doris Kearns Goodwin
- E. L. Doctorow
- E. Lieberman
- Ellen Archer
- Ellen W. Faran
- Ellie Berger
- Esther Margolis
- Florrie Binford Kichler
- Francine Colaneri
- Georgia Witkin
- Gina Centrello
- Gwenyth Jones
- Harold Bloom
- Ian Baldwin
- Ian McEwan
- J.K. Rowling
- James McBride
- James Patterson
- Jamie Raab
- Janet Rabinowitch
- Jeanne M. Mosure
- Jenny Frost
- Jimmy Carter
- Jodi Picoult
- John Dean
- John Irving
- Jon Stewart
- Jonathan Kellerman
- Jonathan Safran Foer
- Judith Curr
- Julie Anne Peters
- Julie Grau
- Junot Diaz
- Justin Taylor
- Karen Romano
- Karen Schowalter
- Kate Douglas Torrey
- Kathie Lee Gifford
- Kathy Griffin
- Khaled Hosseini
- Laban Carrick Hill
- Leslie Hulse
- Linda J. Hanger
- Loriana Sacilotto
- Lydia Peelle
- Lynda Madaras
- Lynn Terhune
- Madeleine Albright
- Malle Vallik
- Margaret Atwood
- Margery Mayer
- Marji Ross
- Martin Luther King
- Mary Beth Roche
- Mary Higgins Clark
- Maureen “Moe” Girkins
- Megan Tingley
- Melissa Serdinsky
- Michael Crichton
- Michael Joseph
- Michael Moore
- Mitch Albom
- Muhammad Yunus
- Nan Talese
- Neil Strauss
- Nina D. Hoffman
- Nita Taublib
- Norman Bridwell
- Pat Conroy
- R.L. Stine
- Rhonda Byrne
- Robert F. Kennedy
- Rudy Giuliani
- Scott McClellan
- Sebastian Horsley
- Seymour Hersh
- Shirley MacLaine
- Simon Van Booy
- Stephen Colbert
- Stephen Hawking
- Stephen King
- Stephenie Meyer
- Steve Harvey
- Susan Fleming
- Susan Weinberg
- Suzanne Collins
- Suzanne Murphy
- Suze Orman
- Sylvia Hecimovich
- T.D. Jakes
- Tony O’Neill
- Vickie Stringer
- Virginia Woolf