Mentor Corner Archives: Cassie Malmo
Publicity Manager, Simon & Schuster Children’s Books (Aug. 6 2019 Issue)
What was your first job in publishing?
My first job in publishing was as a Marketing and Publicity Coordinator at Disney Publishing Worldwide. The great thing about this position was getting to have different responsibilities between Marketing and Publicity, and interacting with other departments due to these different lenses gave me a unique perspective on publishing as a whole. Publishing is such a mentorship industry, and getting to work closely with my managers on both teams helped build a strong foundation.
I think the hardest part for anyone entry level is once you have the admin responsibilities down, taking on additional work and projects while still balancing normal duties. Working closely with your manager on their projects is a great way to start taking on bigger campaigns and learn from them, and this is very important to do if you want to push yourself to move forward in your career.
What was your career path like getting to your current role?
After being a coordinator, I moved over to Random House’s children’s publicity team as an Associate Publicist, where I was later promoted to Publicist. One of the great things about moving houses is getting to learn from new people on their “style” of PR, and also getting to take on new projects. This challenges everyone to continue to learn, grow, and also get creative. From there, I then went back to Disney Publishing as a Senior Publicist to launch the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. Starting something from scratch was challenging but also fulfilling, and the mission of that imprint is so important. I am now a Publicity Manager at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, and getting to work on and help cultivate campaigns and see another perspective from our great team is really rewarding and fulfilling.
What advice would you give to those who are either just starting out or are in their first few years in publishing?
There’s always something to do, and a new thing to learn. If you don’t know, ask. The more you push yourself to take on new projects and responsibilities, the better. If you want that next promotion or level or whatever opportunity it is you are aiming for, go for it. It can be hard or uncomfortable to advocate for yourself, but push yourself to do it! That is how things happen.
What advice do you have for publicizing different age levels?
Get creative and don’t try to do the same thing for every book. Research new contacts at different outlets, and specialize your pitch for that outlet. The better you can target your pitch, for any age level, the more likely a media outlet or blogger will respond to it, because think of how many hundreds of pitches they must get in a given week.