Q&A with Publisher Tim Duggan

Get to know the newest Penguin Random House imprint! Tim Duggan Books was founded in 2014 and is committed to the highest standard of storytelling across a range of genres. Our list of books is small, select, and curated from both well-established and brand new authors, including Eric Schlosser, Timothy Snyder, Emily Barton, Michael Kinsley, Yasmine El Rashidi, and Colin Jost. The imprint is dedicated to publishing books of quality, accuracy, elegance, and vision, and to authors who take risks and tell singular stories. Read on for an interview with Tim Duggan about this exciting new imprint.  What do you look for in the books and authors that you acquire? The first thing I usually look for in a book is the voice, which hopefully has energy and confidence and personality, and not a whiff of pretension. You can usually tell from the first page whether an author’s writing feels genuine and fresh and powerful, and whether there’s a real sense of urgency there, as if the author almost had no choice but to write this book. So in that sense I’m drawn toward books that somehow feel essential, by authors who are driven by a passion that probably borders on obsession, no matter what the genre is. For an author, that’s something you can’t manufacture, and for an editor, that’s the gold standard, and it’s a big part of what I’m looking for. In what way do you think Tim Duggan books aligns with the Crown publishing group? I’ve been incredibly impressed, long before I came here, with the way Crown has been publishing its books, from marketing, publicity, and sales to art, design, and production. There’s a wide variety of imprints, all of which struck me as very focused and backed by clever campaigns and extraordinary attention to detail. My imprint is small, selective, and idiosyncratic, so I feel I have plenty of room here to pursue what I want to pursue, while tapping into the deep pool of knowledge and resources that Crown is known for. It turned out to be a really easy and natural fit.
Tim Duggan
Tim Duggan
  What has been the hardest part of launching your own imprint? Ask me in a month! Truth be told, the first year has been totally exhilarating and fun, and part of that is probably a result of the fact that I’ve been doing more acquiring and editing at this point than anything else. That will change this fall when the first books hit the market, which I’m looking forward to. So I’m not even sure that starting an imprint is the hard part – but maintaining it and keeping up the momentum surely will be. Has it always been a goal of yours to launch your own imprint, or did it come about more organically? It came about pretty organically, in that I’ve always thought that having a little imprint within a much bigger organization would be the best of both worlds, which is definitely how this feels. I wanted to have a small list with a wide range, which comes out to about ten books a year, half fiction and half nonfiction, including memoir, humor, science, and poetry. My sense is that the whole publishing marketplace, from authors and agents to critics and booksellers, has been really supportive of small imprints like this one, which helped pave the way for me and made it a little less daunting – just knowing that even though I’m on my own, there are others out there who’ve done this and done it really well. Not to mention that once I got here and saw the level of support I had from my colleagues, it actually felt a lot less like I was on my own. Check out the new books from the Tim Duggan imprint:  Learn more about the imprint here.

Penguin Random House Internships – The Inside Scoop, Part 2

For book lovers, snagging a summer internship in publishing is a very big deal. Now that it’s almost time to head back to school, we asked our interns about their experiences at Penguin Random House. 

Speakers Bureau Intern: Sara Chuirazzi 

To be completely honest, when I found out that I would be interning with the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau this summer, I had no idea what that entailed. Even so, I packed my life into two suitcases and flew from my small Ohio town to New York City. It’s only been a month or so, but I’ve already learned so much about the business of publishing, and the speakers bureau, in particular (in addition to everything I’ve learned about city living!). Essentially, the speakers bureau represents authors in the world of paid speaking engagements–which I’ve found out is a vibrant, fast-paced industry. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a varied clientele base (libraries, corporations, schools, etc.) and large group of talented authors. Because the bureau represents the entire company, I am lucky enough to work with multiple imprints and types of literature. Not only does working in this capacity keep me up-to-date on new book releases, but I also feel well informed about current events and topics in which there is a demand for conversations, such as LGBT rights, leadership skills, and other social issues. It feels good to know that I am playing a small role in facilitating these important conversations by helping to send qualified, enthusiastic speakers into the world! This week, one of the agent directors from the speakers bureau presented at our intern lunch meeting and I was overwhelmed by how proud I felt to be part a of this close-knit, hardworking group. Beyond that, I was filled with gratitude for having the opportunity to work at a place that has such a healthy corporate culture and that places such a high value on mentoring. One of the most important things that I’ve learned in my time here is how special it is to connect with people who share your passions. How awesome is it to discuss books and writing with people all day?! What a great foundation to build a career on! I’ve also learned how important it is to get to know the people around you. It’s more than just “networking,” which young people are encouraged to do as frequently as possible. If you’re not actually interested in something, networking doesn’t work. You need to be genuinely interested in how people ended up where they are today, what they love about their jobs, and how you can create a career for yourself that is equally fulfilling. Here’s to an equally wonderful second half of my internship with Penguin Random House! Random House Publishing Group Art Intern: Arielle Pearl Arielle Pearl These past five weeks at Random House have been really educational and productive. I am interning in the Advertising/Promotions department, as well as the Art/Design department for the Random House Publishing Group imprint. Even on my first day I could tell that this was going to be a valuable experience that I would enjoy. Being an intern can be intimidating, but this is not the case at Random House. Everyone who works here is extremely humble, and friendly, and is eager to teach beginners the works of the business. It is an environment where teamwork is fostered, and the success of books is priority. In the Art department I am being supervised by Paolo Pepe, the SVP & Creative Director. I have been reading manuscripts and learning how to design book covers using Adobe Creative Suite and hand illustration. This process has been really challenging because everyone involved in the process has a very specific image of how they think the cover should look. One book that I am working on has been in the cover development process for almost a year. It has been really interesting learning about the process from such talented designers, as well seeing the selection process from the publisher’s point of view. For the art department, I’ve also been creating mechanicals using Adobe Creative Suite, and creating templates for e-books. In the Advertising and Promotions Department, I am being supervised by the Sr Director of Creative Services, Annette Melvin. For the department I have been using Adobe Creative Suite to create advertising materials for upcoming books, such as social media banners, and print ads. I’ve also been writing copy for upcoming book’s advertising campaigns.
Interns at a Networking Event

Digital Video Intern: Katie Susko 

Before I started interning at Penguin Random House, three things came to mind when I thought of book publishers: books, books, and more books. I never would have guessed that the things that I would be handling when working at a book publisher would be mobile apps and YouTube videos; and yet, here I am. And coincidentally, these two things are exactly what I want to be dealing with. An outsider may be confused as to why Penguin Random House hired an intern to report sales in the App Store, or analyze the audience retention of a video of Aziz Ansari at Book Con. But from the inside, this makes perfect sense. I am an intern for the app development and video production departments. My daily activities are centered on apps that we have created to accompany our books and brands, such as Fodor’s, Game of Thrones, and Cat in the Hat. My activities also involve our YouTube videos that promote our books, but also get people excited about reading in general. My day-to-day tasks are challenging because they are completely new to me (I’ve only had experience in editorial), but that makes my internship exciting. I never know what I’m going to do next. Aside from learning the ins and outs of a book publisher (from both my supervisors and from the amazing brown bag lunches), I now have knowledge in video production, marketing, sales, audience involvement, app design, and so much more. But in book publishing, there is always more to learn. Luckily, my supervisors and co-workers have encouraged me to get involved in as many aspects of publishing as I can while I’m in New York (we just don’t have the same opportunities back in Michigan). With this overwhelming encouragement, and inspiration from brown bag lunches, I hope to look more in depth at the art and editorial departments. I have studied these two subjects in school and would love to see how they are executed at an actual business (and then I can go back and brag to my professors). But you may be wondering: if I’ve been studying art and editorial, why are the app and video departments “exactly what I want to be dealing with”? I have always been fascinated with the way that others are able to take traditional ideas and transform and innovate as our world evolves. And that is exactly what my department is doing. Videos and mobile apps are not what you’d expect from a book publisher: and that’s why I want to be here. I am so blessed to be working with some of the most innovative and creative people I have had the pleasure to meet, and it has only added to my desire to be in the book publishing industry. For the rest of this internship, I hope to learn as much as I can about apps and videos; from the design and editing to, ultimately, the users’ interaction. I am so lucky to have this internship this summer (and the free books aren’t so bad either). Thanks to all our interns for all your hard work! You’ll be missed! 

Penguin Random House Internships – The Inside Scoop, Part 1

For book lovers, snagging a summer internship in publishing is a very big deal. Now that it’s almost time to head back to school, we asked our interns about their experiences at Penguin Random House.  DK Publicity Intern: Lauren Díaz Morgan After moving to New York City in hopes of beginning a career in publishing, I was overjoyed to be accepted to Penguin Random House’s Summer Internship Program. But when I found out that my summer assignment would be in Publicity with DK, a nonfiction imprint for children and adults, I grew a bit nervous. Though I had experience interning at my university press back in college, I knew nothing about publicity, and I wasn’t sure how interesting it would be to work with nonfiction titles. To my surprise and delight, I have found myself to be very happy both with my department and with DK. Lauren Morgan As a publicity intern, I am involved in reaching out to media outlets and generating interest in our books. This generally consists of brainstorming and researching outlets to which we can pitch our books; writing a press release that gives a brief summary of the book and explains why it is interesting, useful, or important; and mailing out a copy of the book along with a press release to each outlet, hoping that they will find it interesting enough to review. This can be especially fun at DK, where we publish such a wide array of titles. In one day, I can put together a press release and mailing for a book on cheese, another for a book about the Pope, and a third for a children’s sticker book. While I spend most of my time on the steps of this process, there are new tasks that pop up every day, whether they be helping to schedule an author tour or assisting with our holiday gift guide. Publicity is a new field for me, but I’ve learned so much in the past five weeks, and I’m glad to say that I’m really enjoying every day. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity with DK, and I’m eager to learn more as I continue working this summer.

Young Readers Production Intern: Denise Conejo

As an intern, working in production is like taking in the view from the top of the empire state building watching and observing the busy, bustling crowds below. I get a breadth of the publishing arc, I get to see it all happen and know the logistics of how it happens. While some may not appreciate the more business and formulaic side of publishing that production may well be it happens to fulfill my compulsive side to be neat and organized. A lot of my day to day tasks include working with excel sheets, excel sheets and some more excel sheets. They’re like the veins that keep production pumping. I help maintain sheets for estimates, royalties, trim size/page count, as well as updating statuses on SAP and Filemaker Pro for titles being reprinted. Denise Conejo And then there’s digital, one of my favorite parts of production. This really surprised me because I’ve always hated reading books from a tablet. Regardless, I found that I enjoyed the immediacy of seeing the end product. It takes about a month to see a turnaround for an e-book, while it takes 6-9 months for a printed title! My tasks with digital production include writing memos to Aptara (the company who puts together the e-books) giving specific and detailed instructions on what we want the final product to look like. Once the files are made and returned to me, I check it to make sure it is exactly what we wanted. Afterwards, I circulate it to various departments where they give the “OK” or tell us what needs to be worked on. Easy! I’ve learned so much about the process of publishing already, so for the next and last 5 weeks of my internship I can only imagine how much more I will gain from the people who make this department work so smoothly.

Thanks to all our interns for all your hard work! You’ll be missed! 

Get to know Blue Rider Press and Plume!

About Blue Rider Press and Plume: Blue Rider Press was launched in January 2011 and publishes an eclectic mix of hardcover fiction and nonfiction titles, reflecting President and Publisher David Rosenthal’s wide range of interests, including suspense fiction, popular biography, literary novels, humor, music, and contemporary politics. Plume was founded in 1970 and is today recognized as one of the pre-eminent trade paperback imprints, publishing a range of emerging voices in both fiction and nonfiction, with an extensive backlist. In January 2015, the editorial and marketing leadership for Blue Rider and Plume was unified under one group. Our content: We publish a range of authors including musicians (Neil Young, Elvis Costello), journalists (Mark Leibovich), humorists (Ben Schott, Annabelle Gurwich, Chris Cerf and Henry Beard), sports figures (Stuart Scott, Mike Tyson), political figures (Gary Hart, James Carville, Mary Matalin), TV personalities (James Cramer, Bill Maher) as well as commercial fiction (David Mark, MA Lawson), literary writers (Leanne Shapton, Marisa Silver, Stephen Dobyns) and artists (Extreme Coloring). IMG_5031 We love working with our authors to explore digital platforms and help readers connect with the books they love. Fashion maven Amanda Brooks shared behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram while writing Always Pack A Party Dress, and Mamrie Hart kept her YouTube followers updated on You Deserve A Drink throughout publication. Jewel has already starting tweeting about her upcoming memoir Never Broken, and we created a Tumblr for Anna North’s novel The Life and Death of Sophie Stark updated with exclusive content and updates during her book launch. What it’s like to work at Blue Rider/Plume: There’s no such thing as a “typical” Blue Rider Press author. We publish authors with a wide range of backgrounds—from household names (like Neil Young!) to first-time novelists. One of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on, The Knife by Ross Ritchell, was one such debut. It is a fantastic novel that I was personally a huge fan of—and it was amazing to see the literary community rally behind it as well, reviewers and readers alike. When the Chicago Tribune called The Knife a “literary masterpiece,” it was music to my ears! –Wesley Salazar, Marketing Coordinator My favorite part of working at Blue Rider is the variety of books. In recent months, I’ve worked on illustrated short stories, a music memoir, a literary novel, and a collection of humor essays – with such a range of titles, every one of my campaigns is unique. It’s an exciting, fun, and creative place to work, with some of the best authors and colleagues around! – Eliza Rosenberry, Senior Publicist You know what’s invigorating? Saying yes. Yes to mold-breaking, yes to new ideas, yes to beauty, yes to boldness. Blue Rider/Plume looks for books that derive energy from the friction between the expected and the unexpected. – Becky Cole, Senior Editor Learn more about Blue Rider Press and Plume!

Get to Know Fodor’s

Ever wonder about the people who work on an imprint or book… or in another department altogether? What exactly do they do? Behind the Scenes posts shed light on Penguin Random House’s inner workings. You’ll meet departments and staff members and learn how they contribute to the books you love.

About Fodor’s Travel

Fodor’s is the oldest guide book company in America.  Our award-winning guidebooks, website, eBooks, and mobile apps provide today’s traveler with up-to-the-minute information to over 7,500 worldwide destinations. Our vast team of global correspondents offers highly curated, expert advice on how to travel smarter, from the best arts and culture offerings, to tips and strategies for an authentic and immersive experience, and the right hotels and restaurants for every taste and budget.  At Fodor’s Travel, our editors travel relentlessly to share the world’s best experiences with you. In 2014, they visited 110 countries and all 50 U.S. states. And our worldwide team of over 700 travel writers bring you the latest, most accurate coverage, and like trusted companions, reveal local treasures and everything you need to know before you arrive. Fodor’s offers the assurance of our expertise, the guarantee of selectivity, and the choice details that truly define a destination. It’s like having a friend wherever you travel.

 Our Content

We’re particularly proud of the Fodor’s Go List, which features the 25 can’t-miss spots that we think should be on every traveler’s radar for the year. Be sure to check out our trip ideas and blog content, too! 

See awards won by Fodor’s here

What it’s like to work at Fodor’s

“My adventure bucket list has grown exponentially – and it’s no hardship coming to work every morning to photos of unspoiled beaches and scenic vistas. It’s like being in a whirlwind of wanderlust. Everywhere you turn someone is planning a trip somewhere. We know what we’re talking about because we’ve experienced it firsthand. ” – Emily Davis

“I love the insider knowledge! Working with the Fodor’s editors, who are constantly traveling and exploring, I get a first look at all the best places to stay, eat, and visit.” – Heather Dalton

Fodor’s Year in Review (click image to see full size)

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Visit us at Fodors.com!