I have been working at NYRB for a couple weeks now, and so my responsibilities have broadened a little bit. Within the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on different projects with different sections of the press, including editing, comics, and marketing. I worked for the first time with the Comics section of the press; I had to read a manuscript of a comic / graphic novel which no one in the press had read yet, and write a reader’s report, explaining the plot of the graphic novel and whether I thought it would be a good fit for NYRC. (It wasn’t). This was a lot of fun, especially because this is close to the kind of work I could see myself doing in the future for other publishing houses (I love reading manuscripts!).
One of the new small projects coming up is a newsletter that the marketers want to update. I was given a poster of old Greenwich Village on which was marked about thirty locations all around the West Village where famous writers and writer’s haunts used to be, and was asked to compile a folder of pictures of these places in order to create a kind of “walking tour” to put online. It was pretty hard to find most of these pictures (especially as most of them were pretty nondescript buildings) on Wikimedia Commons, so I grabbed my phone and ran around the village, taking the pictures myself!
Another project I was tasked with included taking a bunch of artsy photographs of books for an Instagram week; an Instagram account called “bibliofeed” contacted NYRB and asked us if we would be interested in submitting posts for a week (so seven posts in all), and so I helped choose the books we wanted to feature, and then took photographs of them around the neighborhood too. This wasn’t too hard, as I had written the copy for the summer ad sale a few days earlier, and proofed all the final versions of it.
I’ve loved learning about how much thought goes into the sales side of this particular publishing house. NYRB faces a unique challenge, as other publishing houses present more contemporary work by authors that people are often more familiar with; NYRB publishes a lot of older, classic or lesser-known works, so marketing is more difficult in some ways.