2015 grad Katie Versluis is a sales manager at NetGalley. She works closely with authors and publishers of all shapes and sizes, helping their books reach the hands of passionate book advocates and industry professionals. We caught up with her to find out more about what she does and how Humber helped her get there.
What is your current job title and what does that mean on a daily basis?
I am a Sales Manager at NetGalley! I work with authors and publishers, both large and small, to help their books reach the hands of book advocates and industry professionals. On the day to day, this means I’m communicating with book industry folks about how to best promote their books and audiobooks on NetGalley (and in the online world in general), while also providing tech support, customer service support, and any necessary training. It also means I’m leading sales initiatives for the site, so I am the first face/email that a potential new client will talk to when they express interest in getting started!
Can you tell us about your favourite project you’ve worked on or a project that you are particularly proud of?
This past summer, we launched the audiobook program on NetGalley! It’s been so fun to experience the excitement and buzz around audiobooks as professional readers get their hands on their review copies. What I love most is how strongly librarians are reacting to audiobooks on the site. I assume audiobooks help librarians get through books faster, so they can decide which ones they want on their shelves for the upcoming seasons. I love librarians, and anything we can do to make their job better/easier is a win in my book.
How did your time at Humber help you get where you are now?
Humber absolutely helped me get my foot in the door of the publishing industry! First, it started with an internship, which I got because I hounded one of the marketing class’s guest speakers. I emailed her the moment her presentation was over, because I was so interested in both her strategies and the publishing house that she worked for in general (Second Story Press). From there, I was able to hit the ground running with all of the skills I had learned over the previous months.
I also believe that Humber’s focus on technology was a massive help in landing my current job, which I’ve been at since I left the above internship-- almost 5 years now. Since NetGalley is such a tech-focused website, it was crucial I was familiar with publishing tech jargon and online marketing in general. My tech and marketing specializations really set me up for success in my current role.
Give us a tip (or tips) for students and recent grads hoping to follow in your footsteps.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to more experienced people working in the industry for advice. While you shouldn’t expect them to do your homework for you, they could point you to a cool new job you hadn’t heard of before, or sing your praises in a meeting with their team, or just give you some helpful job interview guidance. Mentorship is a really important part of publishing, and those of us who have been here a while love to see the new batch of grads succeed.