Mentor Corner: Brooke Shearouse
Associate Director of Publicity, Scholastic
What was your first job in publishing?
My first job in publishing was as the trade publicity intern for Scholastic back in the summer of 2013, between my junior and senior years of college. Prior to my internship, I had no clue that book publishing and specifically publicity was a possible option for me—I had envisioned myself going into corporate communications as that’s the career path on which my public relations program in college had focused. I’m so grateful that my internship showed me a viable and clear career path!
What was your career path like getting to your current role?
I kept in touch with my Scholastic colleagues from my internship, and it just so happened that as I was graduating, a publicity assistant position was opening in the department. I landed the trade publicity assistant role and eventually worked my way to publicist. Scholastic provided me with a great foundation for my career, as I learned the ins and outs of the publishing industry as well as publicity. I then set off to Abrams Children’s Books as a senior publicist and publicity manager, where I was able to be nimble in a smaller (but incredibly mighty!) publicity department. Then I had the opportunity to return to Scholastic as the associate director of publicity—a full circle moment! As I approach 10 years since my internship at Scholastic first began, it’s wild to look back at my career and see the opportunities that Scholastic brings me.
What advice would you give to those who are either just starting out or are in their first few years in publishing?
Reach out to those around you! Whether that’s joining in-house mentorship programs, joining industry organizations like the Publishers Publicity Association’s planning committee, or cold reaching out to people on LinkedIn for a call, I highly encourage people starting out to listen and learn from others and see where you can thrive in publishing. In my experience, people are always happy to share more about their roles, day-to-day activities, and passions in and outside of the industry. This can really help shape how you want to grow your career and also understand more about how publishing functions. You might know everything there is to know about your role, but if you don’t know how other departments function or how the business runs, you could be holding yourself back. Plus, you can make some new friends along the way!
What have been some highlights of your career so far?
I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing authors and illustrators over the years as well as some truly fantastic colleagues. The milestones like booking a big morning talk show piece or coordinating a large-scale, ticketed tour are memorable, but I also love the seemingly small things that I’ve been lucky to experience. Things like going to San Diego Comic-Con and book-talking a graphic novel I’m obsessed with, or having dinner with an author after a long event when we’re both basically delirious, or bonding with coworkers in the office about which bands are overrated—these are all the things that bring me joy when I think back on my career.