Swoon Spotlight: Jen G.
What is your official title?
Briefly describe your job.
I assist the Vice President of Children’s Sales and the National Account managers (Sales Reps) with presentations, sample mailings, sales reports, and other fun stuff.
How long have you been in your current position?
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I work with the BEST people ever and am never at a loss for a good book recommendation (seriously, these folks are great readers!)
What’s your least favorite part of your job?
Making mock-ups/samples of books.
Name some common misconceptions about book publishing.
That the only job positions in publishing are in Editorial or as a writer.
If you could have any other job in book publishing for one day, what would it be?
I would love to work in Ad/Promo. They come up with all the coolest swag, and gorgeous ads for the MacKids books.
Funniest way you’ve heard a friend or family member describe your job?
“She works in the Flatiron building!” (My mom is super impressed)
What did you study in school?
English Major, Film Minor (Business in the front, party in the back).
Do you use your degree in your current job?
Absolutely! I even took a Children’s Literature class where read Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK. And of course learning how to write clearly and effectively is always handy (again, English Major!)
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
In direct sales- selling kitchen knives. Don’t worry, it’s not as creepy as it sounds.
How did you get into publishing?
After I graduated all I knew is that I wanted to work with books. I got a job at a bookstore and eventually realized I wanted to work on the publishing side of things. Cut to 5 years (and a few internships) later and I got my job here at Macmillan. Between the sales experience and the my B.A. in English working in Sales at a publisher has been a perfect fit.
What made you want to be involved with Swoon Reads?
I loved the idea of the online community for readers and writers alike, and I specifically got involved when I started helping with the Swoon Read social media.
What do you like most about working with books for young adults?
The community of Young Adult readers is one of the most powerful I’ve ever seen. Whenever I worry that people are not reading enough books, I’m heartened by this fan base that is consuming (and consumed by) books.
What’s your favorite genre of romance?
I usually go for contemporary. YA wasn’t really a thing when I was in High School, and so when I was a teenager I got really into “chick lit”. To this day I will read ANYTHING That Sophie Kinsella comes out with. And the same goes for Helen Fielding (but what as she doing killing off Mark Darcy??? *smh*). However, my mom is a HUGE historical romance fan (loves THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL, anything by Diana Gabaldon, etc…) so I really need to read some books in that genre. They sound super swoony.
What’s the first romance you ever read?
My best friend growing up basically loved everything that had to do with love (she had her first boyfriend when were in kindergarten). So for presents she would buy me romance novels in this line of books for pre-teens. I can’t remember the names of the books, but I remember one was basically a rip-off of the movie “Sabrina”… but with teenagers. Of course I loved it.
What does your desk look like on any given day?
Immaculate in the morning, train wreck in the afternoon, and then tidy again when I leave. Lots of books around at all times. I like to work with everything I need out and all around my desk, but would feel horrible leaving it that way at the end of the day.
What’s a book you wish you’d worked on?
I have a friend who works at Random House and I’m SUPER jealous of their awesome WE WERE LIARS campaign. It would have been fun to work on that book.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Give up on trying to be tan. Sunscreen is your friend.