Maleri Sevier is a graduate student at the NYU-SCPS Center for Publishing. She attended the six week Summer Publishing Institute in June/July 2011 and is now pursuing a Master of Science in Publishing: Digital and Print Media. I was connected with Maleri due to my own interest in publishing graduate work, but I thought her perspective as a fresh voice in the field would be of interest to many currently trying to navigate the capricious publishing domain.
1. What drew you to the MS in Publishing program at NYU?
The initial draw of the NYU Publishing program was that it actually existed. I was fairly certain that I wanted to pursue a degree in publishing because it seemed like the best way to merge my degrees–English Literature and Finance–in a way that I found fulfilling. There are very few publishing programs in the U.S., and with the publishing industry centered in New York City, it seemed like the ideal place to learn about publishing.
2. How do you feel the publishing program is preparing you for a future in such a rapidly changing field?
The NYU publishing program is really on top of updating its courses to stay aligned with the changing industry. For example, I am in an interactive media class in which my professor has said that the content he is teaching this year is entirely different from last year’s content. I think that Andrea Chambers, the program director, does a wonderful job of making sure the content her students are learning is up-to-date and relevant. Most of the classes I am in require that we read news about the publishing industry outside of class, and we discuss recent developments and changes during class. I think this type of discussion is very stimulating and forces us to confront the reality of the changing industry and challenges us to find new and innovative ways to share published materials.
3. Describe the greatest insight the Summer Publishing Institute gave you into the future of digital publishing.
I think the greatest insight about the future of digital publishing that the Summer Publishing Institute gave to me is that digital publishing is not going to be the end of the print publishing industry–it will just change it. I am a strong advocate for print publishing, as it is my preference to hold and read a physical product. After hearing from the many industry professionals who visited SPI, I have more comfort in the fact that the print industry won’t be diminished entirely. Digital publishing really just expands the ways that readers interact with content–it doesn’t usurp print publishing.
4. What piece of advice about digital publishing do you think is most important for literary presses and magazines?
I think one of the most important things to keep in mind when publishing digitally is to make sure you are posting on a regular basis. If you find people who enjoy the content you are producing, they are going to want to come back for more. It is important to meet that demand and to keep the voice of your content consistent and compelling.
5. What platform are you reading on? What do you like or dislike about it, and how do you see your reading habits changing in the future?
Right now I am reading good old-fashioned books. I don’t have a Kindle or a Nook or an iPad or a Kobo, but I have been considering buying some type of e-reader. I’m not sure at this point if I want something multi-functional or if I want just a dedicated e-reader. I’m sure I’ll eventually have some type of e-reader, just for the convenience and ease of use, but for right now I am content with lugging around books in my purse! I’m also waiting for the day when publishing houses decide to include a digital copy in all of their print copies so that I can buy both together and switch between the two as needed. I also really see the benefit of using an e-reader for news reading, which is something I do mostly online.