Opportunities and Obstacles for Women in Book Publishing

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

business-womanLast night’s Digital Book World event, Women in Book Publishing: Career Opportunities, Challenges and Advice, supported by the Association of American Publishers’ Young To Publishing Group and Workman Publishing, sold out in just a few days but a live stream from Shindig ensured that an even bigger audience could attend virtually.

There was a cocktail party and then a panel discussion. The panel consisted of several accomplished women in book publishing:

• Megan Tingley, Hachette’s Little, Brown Books for Young Readers executive vice president and publisher
• Sara Domville, F+W Media president
• Deborah Forte, Scholastic Media president
• Angela Tribelli, HarperCollins chief marketing officer

This was “…a diverse group of executives who had different backgrounds and could share lessons from each of them. Megan Tingley came up through the editorial side; Sara Domville is from outside of New York; Deborah Forte is more in ‘media’ than books and has been for 20 years; and Angela Tribelli came from outside publishing completely before taking her current position,” said Jeremy Greenfield, Digital Book World editorial director, who moderated the event.

“It was great to see so many women near the start of their careers in attendance and hear the panelists describe their career paths, from assistant roles to the C-suite,” said Kristina Radke, Publisher Liaison at NetGalley. The evening’s conversation resonated for Radke with topics addressed in Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

Radke, covered the event for DBW on Twitter. And I’ve curated that conversation here on Storify. The recap includes not only inspiring quotes for the panel but also some articles from DBW and beyond to contextualize the discussion.

“I think a lot of the advice given last night is stuff that applies to everyone: Do good work; don’t be afraid to speak up; be bold and take risks; if you don’t ask, you don’t get; make sure to familiarize yourself with numbers, especially a P&L; and so much more,” observed Greenfield.

Tribelli and Tingley adamantly encouraged women in publishing to “take charge of the business side of things,” said Radke. This was a particularly energizing subject for those at the Women in Book Publishing event.

The gathered audience clearly had further questions for Tingley, Domville, Forte, and Tribelli. And it’s inevitable that the opportunities and obstacles professional women face will continue to be debated, discussed and, most importantly, improved in the coming days and years.

Read the full Women in Book Publishing event recap.

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