Exactly one week ago, myself and my six classmates went into New York City. We drove from Plattsburgh, NY Sunday to Nyack, where one of our classmates lives. We spent the night there and went into the city early, to visit SOHO press by 10:30 a.m.
Located on Broadway and East 14th St., SOHO is a smaller press incorporation with a close-knit staff and portrayed a dream job for me. Meredith Barnes and Rudy Martinez put their job on hold and talked to us students for over an hour. It was amazing to hear their story of all the places they had been and how they worked their lives over to NYC into SOHO.
Getting insight on the company as a whole was great: meeting staff members, being in the office, hearing a bit on how a MSS becomes a book on a shelf, et cetera. But the big bonus was the free books. “Take what you want. We have plenty of copies,” they said.
I grabbed “We Saw The Night” by Jacquelyn Mitchard, which Meredith compared to John Green’s “The Fault in our Stars.” I also picked up “LIttle Wolves” by Thomas Maltman. I haven’t cracked one open yet because I’m currently reading Chuck Palahniuk’s “Snuff” and an advanced copy of Elizabeth Cohen’s “The Hypothetical Girl,” which will be released in a couple of months.
For lunch, we met with a literary agent out of Sanford J Greenburger Associates, Matthew Bialer. I would assume that not many English writing major students get the opportunity to meet with an agent for insider tips, but regardless, I am extremely appreciative of his advice on how to tweak my cover letter.
In the afternoon, we made our last stop on Fifth Ave. and Park Ave., to Other Press LLC. On the 24th floor, this office has the beautiful city view and the amazing inside work place. What I admired the most is how everyone in the office stopped what they were doing to join us in a conference room and talk to us about the company, publishing as a whole and personal book production.
What attracted me to this press is when one employee said what your job title is, is not all you do. Every person wears multiple hats and will participate in all areas of book production.
The fact that I could work somewhere where I am not constrained to my cubicle and can sit around a conference table to discuss a book cover design and then go back to my desk to read MSS is absolutely breath-taking.
Senior Editor Sulay Hernandez was magnificent and a big part in pulling together our meeting, being that she is also the professor’s editor for her new book “The Hypothetical Girl.”
Like SOHO, Other Press won over our hearts even more when they allowed us to step into an office to awe at the skyline view and more importantly, snag a few books. I picked up James Kelman’s “Moe Said She Was Quirky,” “Electrico W” by Herve Le Tellier and Kacqueline Raoul-Duval’s “Kafka in Love.” I even picked up their fall 2013 issue of all their books they have published. One that has struck me and been added to my to-read list is “Solo Pass” by Ronald De Feo and “The Elephant Keepers’ Children” by Peter Hoeg.
This trip was one of a lifetime and while we all left smiling with stacks of new books in arms, I also left newly inspired and determined to work my way up the ladder and achieve my most adored dream job, of being in the publishing business.