Meet the UQP team: Louise Cornegé, Marketing & Publicity Manager
How long have you been in your role?
I started at UQP last October but I’ve been working in marketing and publicity roles in publishing for seventeen years.
What drew to you to marketing and publicity?
My first role in the industry was in rights and export sales but, after taking a break to travel overseas, Christine Farmer, then Publicity Director at HarperCollins, offered me a role as Publicity Coordinator. That’s when I really came into my own. I loved the interaction with authors and the variety that publicity offered me.
How did you get into publishing?
When I finished university I was a little bit lost to be honest. I’d studied communications and found myself working at a music store and then a local newspaper, but I hadn’t really found a work home. I’d always been a bibliophile so about a year after finishing uni I started researching book publishing and signed up to the trade newsletter (then called the Blue News because it was printed on blue paper!) and applied for every entry level job going. I remember I applied for a Design Assistant role at HarperCollins and while I didn’t get that job the person who interviewed me recommended me for a vacant Rights Assistant role there.
What does an average day look like for you?
When you work at a small independent publisher you can make an impact across so many areas of the business. I manage a team of four and I love brainstorming with them on how to get more coverage for our books and assisting them to increase their skills base and experience. They do the same for me! But no day is average, especially post Covid-19. Some of the tasks I’ve worked on this week have included a trade announcement about a new acquisition, writing media releases for forthcoming titles, liaising with journalists to set up interviews, pitching our titles for retail Christmas catalogues, plus pitching our authors for literary festivals next year.
What’s the best part about your job?
Working closely with authors to connect them with readers. I particularly enjoy working with writers over multiple books, providing them with the support they need to build their careers over the long-term.
And the worst?
Never feeling like my job is finished.
Most memorable day in publishing?
Visiting publishers in New York as part of a Copyright Agency Cultural Fund Fellowship in 2017 was memorable and invigorating. I was part of the organising committee for Thomas Keneally’s 50th anniversary gala in 2014 and that was a wonderful night. And I’ve spent many a memorable evening talking about books and ideas with authors and colleagues over the years, making lifelong connections.
What are you working on at the moment?
We are still busy promoting our autumn new releases but I’m also getting into the nitty gritty of events, media and advertising for our spring new releases and thinking about how to get our 2021 titles noticed.
What advice would you give someone wanting to work in publishing?
Spend time in bookshops. Be open to different roles within the industry. Don’t assume you need to be an extrovert to thrive in marketing and publicity.
What do you like to read for pleasure?
I enjoy promoting fiction and non-fiction equally but for holidays I love a big stack of transporting novels to get stuck into. I’m making my way through the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist at the moment. I just finished Jacqueline Woodson’s Red at the Bone and am now reading How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee. I have a five-year-old son and love reading picture books to him every night. Plus I collect books on fashion history and classic Hollywood films and movie stars.