Wednesday, 17 January 2018

MY PUBLISHING LIFE with Harriet Stiles

Welcome to my latest MY PUBLISHING LIFE feature, an interview with a literary agent, publisher, publicist or editor about their publishing career to date. Some serious questions, and some just for fun!

Today I'm delighted to welcome 


Marketing and Author Relations Manager
Amazon Publishing UK

What and when was your first job in publishing?
I got my start in the publishing industry here at Amazon Publishing after spending several years in the Amazon marketing team. Combining my marketing experience with my love of books seemed like the perfect fit! In my role as Marketing and Author Relations Manager, I’m able to work closely with our Thomas & Mercer and 47 North authors, supporting them from acquisition through to publication and beyond. My role is designed to assist authors every step of the way as at Amazon Publishing, our title promotions are ongoing. I feel privileged to have a role which focuses 100% on our authors. 

How long have you been working in your current job/role?
I joined the Amazon UK publishing team in 2015. 

Which books have you worked on recently/are you working on?
I’m currently engrossed in some brilliantly nail-biting thrillers coming out this year such as Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell and The Retreat by Mark Edwards. Mark and I had a great meeting recently – it’s wonderful to sit down with an author and talk through plans for their book, discussing the different ideas we have for promoting it. A proper working lunch! 

Which qualifications/life skills/experience have helped you get to where you are today?
During my studies at Edinburgh, I devoured the Classics which cemented my love of literature and reading. Being at university is a good way to learn how to prioritise, manage workload and meet deadlines – definitely helpful in my job!  Living abroad in Italy as part of my degree also helped in building confidence talking to new people. Meeting authors for the first time can be daunting but luckily all those I’ve worked with at Amazon Publishing have been lovely. 

How do you relax after a busy working day?
I love a good yoga class! Dynamic or relaxing, depending on my mood. 

What was the last book you read for pleasure?
I have to read a lot of manuscripts but they don’t really feel like work! The most recent book I’ve read which wasn’t published by Amazon Publishing was Brat Farrar , a 1940s crime novel by Josephine Tey. It’s fascinating to see how crime fiction has evolved over the last 70 years. I was particularly interested as I work with a lot of crime writers. 

Describe your job in 15 words or less...

My #1 priority is to ensure that our authors are happy and have the best possible publishing experience. 

What have been the highlights of your publishing life so far
It’s always a thrill when an author I’ve been working with reaches some kind of milestone. Mark Edwards, for example, has just hit the 2 million mark which is hugely exciting. Acquiring talented new authors is wonderful too – I can’t give any details right now but watch this space! 

If you could try out any other job for one day (with no limits on money, travel etc.), what would you choose?
I’ve actually just returned from a 3-month sabbatical. I travelled to South East Asia which was incredible. I’m lucky that Amazon Publishing offers opportunities for employees such as sabbaticals – it’s one of the perks of working here. I’d love to accompany an author on a research trip for a new book – that would definitely be combining business with pleasure. 

If your publishing life was a book, what would the title be?

The Amazon Publishing team move fast once a business decision is made and I’m constantly challenged and learning new things. Because of these factors, I’d say Girl on an Express Train!

Thanks so much for taking part, HARRIET!

Look out for more MY PUBLISHING LIFE features coming soon.

Click here to read more MY PUBLISHING LIFE features.

If any literary agents, publishers, publicists or editors would like to take part, please contact me through my blog or Twitter for the full list of questions.

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