Industry Innovator Spotlight Interview: Rachel Bressler of The Park Literary Group
I feel like I’ve been so lucky in my career. I graduated from art school and had no idea what I was going to be when I grew up. I joined Barnes & Noble 1992 when they were rapidly starting to expand the number of superstores. For eight of the twelve years I worked for them I had a new job every year because of the expansion. It taught me about working with people and customer service—the building blocks of management.
I worked in the home office with the buyers and learned from that. My background being varied has given me a different perspective and it has been helpful to be able to say I understand how shoppers come into a store and how they browse and what source materials they’re using to find a new book. This made me unique within a publishing house. Working at Harper, my colleagues had English degrees and had worked in editorial.
How is this background helpful in your new job?
My experience working at a publishing house has already helped in my new role here. It’s a small boutique agency with a very small, curated list of clients.
They don’t understand the publisher’s perspective and how things work inside the publishing house. I have the publishing calendar in my head. I know the next step and exactly what to expect the publisher to do. This brings a wider perspective to this office.
My job is to make everybody else’s job easier, by saying: “How can I help and what can take off your plate?” I think the best part of my new job is the ability to work with the authors so closely. In a publishing house day to day is taken up with so much. It’s been nice to step back and work with the authors really closely.