Acquisitions Editor, SLACK Incorporated
Summarize yourself and your professional experience in a few sentences.
I am from the Greater Philadelphia Area and currently reside in Philadelphia. I received my BA in English from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA in 2016, and started soon after as an Editorial Assistant on the acquisitions team of the Health Care Books and Journals department at SLACK Incorporated. I remain at SLACK today, first advancing to the role of Junior Acquisitions Editor in 2017 and then Acquisitions Editor in 2019 for books. Prior to my current company, I held roles in customer service, writing & editing, and journalism.
Please describe the main function of your organization and your current responsibilities.
SLACK Incorporated provides information and education to physicians, nurses and other health care professionals. We publish 14 peer-reviewed journals and have released over 350 medical and allied health textbooks, and are part of the larger healthcare information and education parent company, The Wyanoke Group. Personally, I work in the Health Care Books and Journals department on the acquisitions team, where we commission and acquire new book projects across 10+ specialty areas. I acquire and manage projects for our Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Orthopedics, and Nursing publishing programs.
How did you get into scholarly communications, and what was your path to your current role?
I do not have a publishing background per se–as an English major in college I just knew I loved books and the written word. My experiences prior to joining my current company, though not directly within the industry, cultivated my interest in working with people and ideas directly. This customer/client relations interest made the day-to-day content cultivation and author-focused project management of acquisitions a great fit. Though I did not know this at first. After graduation I applied to most available entry-level publishing positions in my area, and was lucky enough to be able to get an acquisitions role. The Greater Philadelphia Area is home to a great many pharmaceutical and medical giants, and so medical publishing kind of chose me rather than vice versa. But growing up with a mom who is a Nurse Practitioner, medicine has always interested me and this was an appealing aspect of my current publisher as well.
What advice would you give to people interested in a career in scholarly communications?
Be open to and learn about different aspects of the industry. Before I was exposed to the acquisitions role as an EA, I thought all of publishing was Editorial. But beyond these areas there is marketing, customer service, UX, individual & institutional sales roles, and many, many other opportunities. If you’re not sure where to begin, set up informational interviews with people from different aspects of the industry and ask them what their typical day looks like. People are often more than willing to share these insights, and you can find them in a number of places–LinkedIn, your school alumni network, or through societies like SSP.
Follow Julia on Twitter: @Julia_at_SLACK