Describe your role
I’m part of a creative team that plans and executes the marketing and publicity campaigns for Penguin General, a division of Penguin Random house that is comprised of the imprints Viking, hamish hamilton, fig tree, Portfolio, and Penguin Ireland.
What do you like best about your role?
You get to meet and work with wonderful people. But also the variety: on a given day I could be designing a poster, or editing a video, or helping an author catch a train. Sometimes I even send emails!
What great new titles are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on the paperback of debut fiction super-smash Elizabeth Is Missing, which is a very exciting one to work on. Next year the books I’m really excited about include Paul Murray’s new novel The Mark and the Void, and Antony Beevor’s follow-up to the bestselling Stalingrad, Ardennes 1944. Also, I can’t wait to work on Elvis Costello’s autobiography as I’m a big fan.
What do you think is the most important aspect of communications in the digital age?
If you’re talking specifically about marketing, I think the key is not to forget who your audience is and what their motivations are for staring at their screens at any given moment. It’s easy in digital marketing in particular to fall in love with your own fancy idea, but if you get caught up in the intricacies of what cool platforms and tech you can play with you risk losing sight of what makes your authors, books, or whatever it is you’re working on interesting to people in the first place. Also, you shouldn’t underestimate your audience’s intelligence and their willingness to venture down some esoteric avenues with you in what is an increasingly fractured cultural landscape – going too broad is more likely to alienate people than ever. Otherwise, the most important aspect of communications in the digital age is probably knowing what all the emojis mean and when you should deploy them.
What advice would you give those looking to work in the industry?
No matter how your job applications may or may not go, keep yourself busy and interested – go to book events, write a blog, read everything you can get your hands on, get work experience and talk to people in the industry. I don’t know anyone in publishing who isn’t incredibly passionate about their work, so if you’re not in love with books to the point of irritating everyone else around you then it probably isn’t for you.
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