My Job in 5: Brett Cohen

My Job in 5: Brett Cohen

Describe your role
Jack of all trades. Marketing and sales. Finance and operations. Acquisitions and production. Strategy and analysis. Quirk has a great staff and I get to work with all of them.

What do you like best about your role?
By choice, Quirk publishes only 25 new titles a year across a variety of categories and age groups. We pride ourselves on our ability to give each book the quality attention it deserves. As president, I’m involved in all aspects of the project’s delivery to the reader—from acquisition and cover design through to the marketing and sales plan. I really enjoy the ability to work with our staff and our authors to drive each book’s success.

Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
Quirk is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. So, right now, we are very focused on launching our BookPop! initiative as a way of bringing the party to our readers and retail partners. BookPop! is a retail event celebrating books and pop culture. It’s a unique opportunity to engage readers with programming, author visits, original content and fun swag— in real life and online as well.

What skills do you need for your role?
Know when to say “no”. By staying true to our priorities, mission and brand promise, we are able to deliver a top-quality reading experience to our customers. Sometimes that means turning down a strong book proposal because it’s not aligned with our brand. Sometimes that means abandoning an initiative because it’s no longer yielding the right results. Or it could mean passing on a short-term gain for a longer-term benefit.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Work for a company that publishes books you would read in your spare time. You may not have that flexibility when you start out. You may have to accept a position just to get your feet wet. But know where your dream job is, and keep going after it. Passion for the books makes the work a lot easier.