This article is part of an ongoing series profiling participants in PubTechConnect, a series of events about the intersection of publishing and innovation, presented by PW and The NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Publishing. "Book Lovers on the Internet: Connecting with Readers in Digital Ways" will be held June 12 from 6:30p.m to 9:00 p.m. at the NYU Kimmel Center Center for University Life.
With every digital publishing innovation comes a new challenge: finding, connecting with, and engaging readers in new ways.
At PubTechConnect, we're bringing together five pioneering thought leaders from the world of publishing—editors and authors, book store owners and social media strategists from The New York Times, Bustle, Epic Reads, Books Are Magic, and Electric Literature—for the panel "Book Lovers on the Internet: Connecting with Readers in Digital Ways."
Sponsored by the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Publishing and Publishers Weekly, this panel will explore how leading-edge companies are creating new narratives around book coverage, engaging readers, and fostering literary communities online. Attendees will learn about the role of book clubs (digital and real-life), virtual author tours, innovative online events, newsletters, and social media in enriching the discussion about great reads and new voices.
The panel—which will be moderated by M.J. Franklin, a social editor at The New York Times, who previously worked at Mashable as an assistant editor and host of the MashReads podcast—is comprised of:
Jane K. Lee: The senior manager of content and community at Epic Reads, HarperCollins’ young adult reading community, Lee manages brand activity, leads social media strategy, and develops content. At last year's PubTech Connect, she stressed how important it is that influencers engage in authentic ways with users, even if there are fewer of them. In other words: quality of engagement matters more than the quantity of followers.
Cristina Arreola: The senior books editor at Bustle and a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Arreola served as a judge for the 2018 PEN America Open Book Award and is slated to speak at this year's Brooklyn Book Festival
Emma Straub: The New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers, Straub, with her husband, owns Books Are Magic, an independent bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y. In an interview with Mashable, Straub—whose bookstore hosts events seven days a week—described the literary Internet this way: "It's just like that corner of the library you could always go to find your friends and make them go outside and smoke cigarettes with you. Exactly like that. Only minus the cigarettes. And being outside."
Jess Zimmerman: The editor-in-chief of Electric Literature and a freelance writer, Zimmerman has written for Hazlitt, the New Republic, the Guardian, the Washington Post, Eater, Slate, and the Cut. Her first book, Basic Witches, co-written with Jaya Saxena, was published in August 2017. Her next book, an essay collection, is forthcoming from Beacon. “There’s a tendency to think of literature as an academic enterprise,” Zimmerman said in an Electric Literature piece from 2017, "but storytelling is deeply embedded in the human experience. Literature should feel vital—vital as in important, but also vital as in alive.”
Immediately following the discussion, please join us for wine and refreshments. This program is also part of the NYUSPS Media Talk series on important topics in publishing.