Q&A with Caroline Priday

Caroline Priday, Head of Office Europe and European Director of Publicity at Princeton University Press

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What does your role as European Director of Publicity entail?

My team and I are responsible for the promotion of Princeton titles in Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia. This includes print and broadcast media coverage, organising author tours, pitching to literary festivals, social media coverage and pretty much anything else you can think of. Publicity is so much more than just sending out books to review editors now – you really need to be marketing the author and not just the book.

What was your route into publishing?

I started as a secretary at OUP back in the days when people still used typewriters and took shorthand – I worked in the Academic Marketing Department. My first boss was Susan Boyd (wife of William Boyd if that means anything to any of you young things – I remember him getting his first short story on Radio 4!)

How would someone impress you at an interview?

By not wearing black! It is really vital to have some interests that are outside your basic academic qualifications – everyone has A* and a 2.1. I want to know what you are passionate about. I also want to know that you have done your research into the company. Another important thing is to think about what you can bring to us and not what we can give you!

In an alternative universe, if you weren’t working in publishing, what industry would you be working in instead?

When I was younger I was interested in art conservation but I wasn’t really artistic enough for that and it probably pays even worse than publishing so I suspect I had a lucky escape!