Exclusive Interview: Jane Friedman, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers, Offers Insights On Motivation, Mentors and More
FRIEDMAN: What motivates me is almost exactly what motivated me almost 40 years ago when I entered the business, which is to publish the best books. To acquire the best books (the best talent) and then to see those books through their publication process and then bring those books to the public in the best marketing way possible.
I wake up in the morning and the first thing I want to see is what book is reviewed in many papers. The next thing I want to see is a report on where our authors are appearing in the media, and of course I am aware of where the books are actually displayed on site. For me it’s really the publishing of good books, of lasting books that keeps me motivated.
EXTRA: What advice do you have for other female publishing executives?
FRIEDMAN: The advice that I give to women is the same advice that I give to men, which is because today I think there is much more equality. You just have to be the best at what you do, and you have to be very focused and very driven and ambitious.
I think that women today, in publishing in particular, are no longer relegated to one area of publishing. It used to be that women were in the rights area and in publicity, and now of course women are all over—they are editors … they are in business, they are in finance. So I think that the advice is [to] be focused, be driven and be the best that you can be.
Editor’s note: For more information on Jane Friedman and HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, read the cover story, “The View From the Top,” in the May issue of Book Business magazine mailing next week. In this issue, HarperCollins’ top executives let you ‘Browse Inside’ the company’s success and digital evolution. The story offers a look at one of the largest book publishers worldwide and a pioneer on the digital frontier.