Inside Publishing: Matthew Blackburn, Marketing Coordinator
How did you start your career in book publishing?
I was a biology major in college. While I liked learning science, I didn’t want to work in a lab full-time. I started thinking about what I wanted to do after graduation, and that led me to book publishing. I always read a lot of books as a kid. I did two internships in book publishing and I loved them both!
How did you start working at Open Road?
I was interning here in the marketing department last fall. After three months or so, I was offered a full-time position and I gladly accepted. I’ve been here almost a year.
Wow, congrats! What’s your favorite thing about Open Road?
I like the people here a lot. It’s not everywhere you go that you can sit during lunch and talk to everyone—from the CEO to interns and everyone in between.
What does your typical day entail?
I work on all different of genres, from mystery to fantasy, and action-adventure stories and westerns. I do some publicity outreach, social media, and advertising. I also pitch and write articles for our websites FeedYourNeedToRead.com and The-Line-Up.com.
How did you start working on genre fiction?
Genre fiction is the biggest chunk of what I read. I love fantasy; that’s probably my favorite.
What are you currently reading?
Right now, I’m reading a western we published. It’s called Little Big Man. It’s pretty funny, so I’m enjoying it.
How did you find it?
I was doing research, for work, on Thomas Berger, and wanted to read something by him—for pleasure and to help me with marketing his books. So far, I’m glad that I did.
What are the most important skills for a marketer?
Having an open mind to seeing and trying new things, researching new trends, understanding when something isn’t working and trying to fix it, talking to people and learning from them.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to work in book publishing?
If you want to work in book publishing, you need to really want it. It’s not the easiest industry to get into, and people who are here are very passionate about it. You need to talk to a lot of people and learn from them. Having a passion for reading is very important. It helps with understanding how to work with books and authors better.
BONUS question: What are some of your hobbies? How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
I’m a big sports fan. I love watching basketball, and the Brooklyn Nets have been my team forever. They are pretty bad at basketball, but I keep rooting for them anyway. And I hope they win!