My Job in 5: Jess Stenson

My Job in 5: Jess Stenson

Describe your role
I look after our UK trade accounts with Waterstones, Foyles and Blackwells, as well as independent bookshops. Working closely with our sales and marketing executive, I also help to create campaigns around our titles. I’m responsible for gaining press coverage, managing our social media platforms, connecting with bloggers and YouTubers, and organising events.

What do you like best about your role?
The most exciting part of working in publicity for me is working with press teams from TV and radio, this often leads to some really exciting opportunities. It’s also great to get out and about—whether it’s meeting journalists, booksellers or school librarians. We do lots of events with local schools and it’s wonderful to see children interacting with our titles, pointing out which bits they connect with most. Likewise, meeting buyers and hearing about trends they are loving and great campaigns they have seen is always inspiring.

Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
This year we’re extending our classics range with Anne of Green Gables and Sherlock Holmes. I’m busy building campaigns around these titles, as well as our other series, which include Danny Dingle’s Fantastic Finds and Hopeless Heroes. We have also just signed an exciting new project, but that’s a secret for now...

What skills do you need for your role?
A lot of my job involves building and maintaining relationships with a range of people, from buyers to authors. This means that being friendly, approachable and confident is really important. When it comes to creating a campaign, being creative is key and, with so much going on, it’s also necessary to be on top of your organisation game.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Networking is just as important as people say, even if it’s to help you learn more about the industry rather than find you a job. Social media is an excellent tool for staying commercially aware, finding publishers, discovering events and joining helpful discussions using the hashtag
#WorkInPublishing.