Swoon Spotlight: Jo K.
What is your title?
How long have you been in your current position?
About 9 months now.
Briefly describe your job.
I assist the trade and digital marketing teams with developing and executing the marketing plans for our upcoming titles. I also help with anything else the department might need – from organizing meetings to coordinating mailings.
What is your favorite part about your job?
So far, my favorite part of my job has been getting our Teen ARC Task Force up and running. I get to send ARCs to teen and middle grade book clubs across the country and gather reviews from readers. It’s a great opportunity get to know booksellers, and provides good insight into what readers think of our upcoming titles.
What’s your least favorite part of your job?
I would have to say scheduling meetings—everyone at MCPG is super busy, so it can be hard to find meeting times that work for everyone!
What do you think is the most common misconception about book publishing?
A lot of people assume that children’s book publishing is all teddy bears and rainbows—and yes, sometimes that is true—but that doesn’t mean we aren’t also a group of badass business people who work hard and get things done.
What made you want to be involved with Swoon Reads?
Swoon Reads is creating an amazing opportunity for aspiring authors. Also, I love a good romantic read.
What did you study in school?
Do you feel like you use your degree in your current job?
What’s the funniest way you’ve heard a friend or family describe your job?
“She makes books!” which I guess is kind of true?
If you could have any other job in book publishing for one day, what would it be? Why?
I’d love to be an A-list author and do a huge sold-out event somewhere.
What do you like most about working with books for young adults?
At that age you are feeling and experiencing so many things for the first time. I love books that capture those heightened emotions.
What does your desk and/or office look like on any given day?
On my desk right now: 1 cup of coffee, 1 can of diet Dr. Pepper, 1 bottle of water (I’m indecisive), a constantly growing to-do list, assorted ARCs and piles of paper that I pretend are in some kind of logical order, photos of my friends and family, and assorted cat paraphernalia.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I worked the front desk at a country club. You’d never guess how aggressive people can get when they are reserving tennis courts. Scary.
What’s a book you wished you worked on?
I would have loved to work on Holes by Louis Sachar.
What was the first romance you ever read? (Doesn’t have to be straight romance, could be a YA with the romance being a major plot point. Also doesn’t have to be YA at all. Adult is okay, too.)
Hmmm…probably Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty.
How did you get into book publishing?
I bombarded the parent of one of my mother’s students with e-mails until he let me come in to his office and ask him some questions about the industry. After that I continued to bombard him until he let me interview for an internship, which eventually turned into a job.
What’s your favorite genre of romance?
Realistic fiction a la The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Love Letters to the Dead.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t pay attention to what the mean girls (and boys) think; just do what makes you happy.