The company where I currently work, ABC-CLIO, purchased the license to produce Greenwood/Praeger/Libraries Unlimited titles in late 2008. Although I was part of the company that made the purchase, the company that had a smaller list purchased the company that was much larger. As such, the production/manufacturing department that I managed shifted to a completely different model of production throughput. That was my wake-up call to start networking as much as possible. The first and most important piece in the networking puzzle was to get accepted to the Masters in Publishing Science Program at Pace University.
- LinkedIn: I had a profile on this website since the early 2000s, but never really used it until one of my staff friended me. When I looked at the number of friends that she had, I started to realize the power of this networking tool. I started to join publishing related groups whenever I found them on the LinkedIn site. When there was no group in the Denver area for publishing professionals, I formed the Denver Publishing Professionals (DPP). This group currently has over 300 members. When LinkedIn hit 100 million users I received a thank you e-mail from the founders as I was among the first 360K users who signed up in 2002.
- I retained my membership in Bookbinders Guild of NY. I still stay in contact with many of the people I worked with in NY in the first 20 years of my career, and I nurture those contacts and stay in touch with them often since they are my friends. I will be meeting with some of my friends and sales reps in 8-weeks when I am back in Manhattan for graduation.
- I was asked to be on the Board of Directors for PubWest in November 2009. I am in my second year as a board member and I have met many professionals within the Western Publishing community that should help me immensely now and in the future.
- I was asked to give a presentation at CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Association) on the new direction of publishing in the digital age. I included process, careers and content formats in my presentation.
- I sought out and pitched myself to Joyce Meskis and Jill Smith, who are the Executive Directors of the Denver Publishing Institute. I wanted to get on the docket of speakers for their summer session as a digital print lecturer. I was successful at getting the Directors to give me a chance, and I am on the docket with some really high-powered Publishing Pros. This was a coup that I am still ecstatic about since the other speakers are extremely influential within the publishing community.
I’ve learned that keeping the network you have is a job all in and of itself. The one thing you must keep in mind: Be the Expert. Get some visibility that sets you apart from the herd. This visibility will give added clout when you are job-hunting. The ultimate job for me would be a Vice-President of Publishing Operations either with my current employment situation or a new forward-looking company.