In my ongoing series of talking with publishing insiders I’m happy to welcome Sally Glover. Sally is marketing director at Lynne Rienner Publishers – http://www.rienner.com/ I met Sally through a subrights deal years ago when I licensed many of their military history titles for the Stackpole Military History Series. I love her insight and upbeat attitude. Oh, and for those unfamiliar with Lynne Rienner, the publisher has been going strong for 26 years as an independent publisher and is known for its cutting-edge, high quality scholarly and academic books and journals in the social sciences.
1. Sally, why did you choose publishing for a career?
I was eavesdropping on a conversation between a fellow college student and a publishing veteran, and thought, “hey, that sounds interesting.” I went on to attend the Denver Publishing Institute and have enjoyed fourteen years in an industry that is never dull. Every day there is a new author, a new subject, a new market.
2. What’s the future look like for book publishing?
This is an exciting time to be in book publishing. None of us really know how popular ebooks will become or if and when they’ll supersede print, but one thing is for sure: we need to be keyed into what customers want, when they want it, and how they want it delivered. The market hasn’t shifted yet, but I’m confident that if and when it does, it could be a tremendous opportunity for growth—as long as we are the ones making the business decisions. We can’t continue to relinquish control to the Amazons and Googles of the world. Their motivations and skills are very different from those of writers and publishers. Books, in whatever form, have tremendous value. Content must be paid for and it is our responsibility to ensure that it is. If the creative process isn’t funded, it won’t thrive.
3. What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Publishing is in flux, or at least it thinks it is, so you will meet some uneasy people, but don’t let that discourage you. Your generation is the one best equipped to see the forest through the trees, and point us in the right direction. Editing, marketing, and selling what writers and artists create is valuable, not to mention very satisfying.
4. What author or publishing insider living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Neil Gaiman because he can tell an amazing story. And Jaron Lanier, because his cautionary tale in You Are Not a Gadget is important reading not only for writers and publishers, but for society.
5. If stranded on a desert island without the cast of Lost (or the S.S. Minnow,) what five books would you want to have with you?
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The River Midnight by Lilian Nattel
The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett
Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
6. Why do books matter?
Because they educate, enlighten, and entertain.