Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spotlight on Jobs in Publishing - District Sales Manager for Random House Children's Books

Several of our YA Fusion blog contributors have 2012 debut novels, and I'm learning all kinds of behind-the-scenes publishing info. from them. So I thought I'd highlight another publishing team member that we rarely hear about, an important liaison between publisher and bookstore. Introducing Dandy Conway, district sales manager for Random House Children's Books. She's based in northern California, but her territory also includes Utah and Oregon.

What led you down this career path?

I started out as a children’s bookseller during college & never in a million years thought it would lead to a wonderful career in publishing that I love and continue to be thankful for as each year passes.

I would love your job too! Describe a typical work day.

1. Walk down to my office in the basement with a large cup of coffee, check emails & do some follow up (calling in author event orders, contacting NY about author event requests, checking on orders for accounts, etc…)

2. Drive to a great locally owned bookstore to talk about new books, come up with some marketing ideas that might help my booksellers sell the book to their customers. Eat lunch in the car on the way to my next appointment.

3. Repeat #2 above.

4. Drive home

5. Check on emails/phone calls/faxes that have come in while out for the day.

6. Read-after I have dinner & put my kids to bed

What is your favorite/least favorite/most challenging part of your job?

I love driving authors around & watching them connect with their readers. It is one of the most satisfying things to see a room full of kids meeting an author after they’ve just finished a book. They are so engaged & notice things in books that totally escapes me. It reminds me that this is a REALLY cool job.

I had no idea you got to interact with authors and their readers so much - how rewarding! Share some of your favorite YA novels, including recent debuts. Go ahead and shout out about your upcoming 2012 releases.

So many favorites, but I’ll just talk about my recent favs & some new ones to come- Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Drannen, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner, You Against Me by Jenny Downham, You Are My Only by Beth Kephart, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (due 2/12). Sadly, since my reading time is very limited I find I don’t have much time for reading books outside of work. So, full disclosure - these are all RHC books.

I loved Revolution, too. Thanks for the book recommendations and the quick peek into your world!

Dandy and her colleagues have a blog about children's publishing. Check it out for more insights from these industry insiders: and go here for their Facebook page.

I don't have a giveaway for you this week, but the Apocalypsies are hosting The YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes. The fun begins Monday, January 16th, so check it out now:

How many of you set writing goals for your New Year's resolutions? To fuel your writing willpower, check out my tips at Literary Rambles on Tuesday, January 17th. Then go back again on Wednesday to enter their 2000 follower giveaway! 8 winners will choose from a great selection of books. Go here and enter by January 28th.

Happy 2012!
Kristin Lenz


Sarah Allen said...

Dang, this is a cool job.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Katie McGarry said...

Thank for the behind the scenes look!

Lisa Tapp said...

Thanks for another gllimpse into the post-pubbed world. I had no idea there were so many layers, so many people working to make your book a success. :)

Colette Ballard said...

Sounds like a very cool job! I love finding out about all aspects of the publishing world-thanks for the interview!

Kurt Hampe said...


Thanks for the post, and thanks to Dandy for answers and for doing such a necessary job. I realize promotion is very expensive, but I'm still stunned by how little entertainment companies will do to let folks know about a product. Years ago I asked an imprint to send me to tradeshows to promote our books, but they told me that that was something one of the other imprints did, so we didn't get a budget for promotion. I'm pretty sure what we really weren't supposed to do was mess with the system.

Matthew MacNish said...

Oh wow. This is so cool. What a wonderful sounding job. I'm sure there's hard work involved too, but it sounds like a lot of fun from where I sit.

Anyway, I'm a new follower here, from Casey's Tip Tuesday, and this is my favorite thing about that series: finding cool new (to me) blogs!

Jennifer Rumberger said...

Thanks for the sharing this behind the scenes publishing job. It sounds like a great job!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview Kristin and Dandy. It's interesting to learn how a publisher supports sales of their authors' books. And I would so love this job.

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this - i work at an internet company, and the sales folks are super integral.

Kim Van Sickler said...

The first publisher sales interview I've read. Sigh. Sounds like a great job. Also loved the book selections for 2012. I recognized some great authors and I'm itching to put those new books on by Goodreads "to read" list.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

What a cool idea for a post. I hope we get to hear from more behind-the-scenes people. :D

Rebecca B said...

Very cool! It's great to get to see how the many roles in book publishing work.