Laura Drew

recap of MBPR’s May in-person event, Modern Marketing Methods

MBPR’s May in-person event, Modern Marketing Methods, featured a panel of marketing and publicity experts: Bryan Schmidt (Encyclopedia Britannica), Rachel Zugschwert (Lerner Publishing Group), Steve Roth (Quarto), and Mallory Hayes (Mallory Hayes Publicity). The panel discussed what has changed in book marketing in the last few years; new methods that surfaced during the pandemic and have stuck; generative AI and its place in their work; book banning; and how everyone in the publishing ecosystem can support marketing, among other topics.

Bryan Schmidt is the Sr. Director of Marketing at Britannica Education, where he leverages his nearly 20 years of experience in sales and marketing across higher education, publishing, and edtech. Bryan is passionate about exploring cutting-edge platforms, practices, and technology to transform the way his team and organization approach content creation to connect with current and future customers. He is currently focused on harnessing the power of ChatGPT and other AI tools to revolutionize the industry. Outside of work, Bryan enjoys summers by one of the many Twin Cities lakes and is a dedicated fan of the Minnesota United soccer team, which is his one true Minnesota sports love.

Rachel Zugschwert is the executive vice president of marketing at Lerner Publishing Group. Previously, she has worked in book marketing at 1517 Media, Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, and Simon & Schuster. She has a Masters in Publishing from Pace University, and delights in helping readers find the right books.

Steve Roth is a Senior Marketing Manager with Quarto, doing marketing and publicity for books on transportation, space exploration, gardening, rural living, and pop culture. Steve started with Quarto in 2011 (then known as Quayside Publishing) switching media formats after a 20+ year career in the music business. He’s lived in the Twin Cities area since 1994.

For more than ten years, Mallory Hayes has worked as a book publicist in the vibrant literary community of the Twin Cities creating and executing publicity campaigns focused on national and local media, event coordination, and influencer outreach. She’s secured national coverage at places like Marie Claire, The Washington Post, Essence, Vogue, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal. Mallory has led successful campaigns for a variety of book subjects including mind, body, spirit titles, highly-illustrated coffee table car books, adult nonfiction titles, and children and YA fiction.

Members can listen to the full panel discussion in the Resources area on MBPR website.

Recap of March 2023 Webinar: Agents Unclassified

MBPR’s March webinar, Agents: Unclassified, featured agents Eric Smith (P.S. Literary) and Jennie Goloboy (Donald Maass), alongside Mari Kesselring, a former acquiring editor and a current publishing manager (Girl Friday Productions). The panel shared insightful information about career paths, agent services, and best practices for managing relationships with (and between) authors and publishers.

Eric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary and has worked on New York Times bestselling and award-winning books. His recent novels include the YALSA Best Books for Young Readers selection Don’t Read the Comments (Inkyard Press, 2020), You Can Go Your Own Way (Inkyard Press, 2021), and the anthology Battle of the Bands (Candlewick, 2021), co-edited with award-winning author Lauren Gibaldi. His latest book, Jagged Little Pill: The Novel, was written with Alanis Morissette, Academy Award-winner Diablo Cody, and Glen Ballard, and is an adaptation of the Grammy and Tony award-winning musical.

Jennie Goloboy is a literary agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency, specializing in science fiction and fantasy, and history for a popular audience. She’s also a writer, and her most recent book, Obviously, Aliens, was published by local press, Queen of Swords. 

Mari Kesselring has more than a decade of experience in publishing. She started her career editing educational books for young people and guidebooks for early childhood educators. From 2016 to 2021, she managed the Flux and Jolly Fish Press imprints for independent publisher North Star Editions, acquiring and editing young adult and middle grade fiction. Mari has edited several award-winning books, including Before We Were BlueSurrender Your Sons, and The Art of Running Away. Currently, Mari works for Girl Friday Productions, helping authors achieve their dream of publication.

Members can listen to the full panel discussion in the Resources area on MBPR website.

Recap of January 2023 Webinar: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Hiring and Retaining Employees

MBPR is grateful to have had Andrew Williams as our keynote speaker for a webinar about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Hiring and Retaining Employees. Andrew discussed strategies for companies to foster a diverse workforce and encourage inclusivity at all levels of employment. He also spoke about ways to proactively source candidates from underrepresented communities and promote diversity in job postings.

For twenty-five years, Andrew Williams has worked at the intersections of cultural anthropology, educational equity leadership, community-based learning, and global education to advance racial justice, environmental justice, food security, and health equity in the United States and abroad. Williams has served as faculty at DePauw University, as Director of the Posse Foundation, and as Executive Director of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs. Before his arrival at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Andrew was Assistant Vice-Chancellor at the University of Minnesota Rochester providing strategic leadership for efforts to center access, equity, and public health in the university’s vision of health sciences education. As the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s first Director of DEI, Andrew leads the execution of the organization’s DEI strategy, including efforts to build an inclusive and diverse workforce, expand access to treatment services, and advance health equity.

Members can listen to the full panel discussion in the Resources area on MBPR website.

Recap of November 2022 Webinar: An Introduction to Data Privacy

MBPR was pleased to welcome keynote speaker Claire Cucchi for a thorough introduction to data privacy as part of our November 2022 webinar. She guided a discussion on data privacy’s increased importance, a review of the collection and sharing of data, and steps companies can take to build and/or improve their data privacy programs.

Claire brings over 20 years of senior-level operations experience to Capstone, a leading content creator for digital solutions, children’s books, and literacy programs for school libraries, classrooms, and at-home reading. Before joining Capstone, where she currently serves as the company’s Data Privacy Administrator, Claire designed, implemented, and maintained the data privacy program for Buncee, a digital creation & communication tool for students, teachers, and administrators. There she ensured that Buncee maintained compliance with contractual obligations as well as federal, state, and international regulations. Claire continues to prioritize the protection of personal information by driving process change and privacy-driven policies, in addition to supporting practices that provide transparency, data minimization and limitation, and an individual’s right to control the use of their personal information. Claire studied International Business and Finance at American University in Washington, DC, and also served as a council member for the Eastern Suffolk BOCES School Library System.

Members can listen to the full panel discussion in the Resources area on MBPR website.



Recap of September 2022 Event: Navigating Printing and Supply Chain Challenges

To kick off our 2022–2023 season, MBPR hosted an in-person event at Open Book, our first
since spring of 2020! Our panel featured three paper and printing professionals discussing, of
course, paper, printing, supply and demand, and scheduling, and their effects on the local
publishing industry.

Elizabeth Cleveland represents the US Midwest for Friesens Corporation, a Canadian-based
book manufacturer. At the age of twelve, Elizabeth knew she wanted a career in books. She
visited her dad at work and watched as he deliberated over covers for a catalogue. It was the
coolest thing she could imagine, picking a cover for a book! She likes to think she’s continuing
her dad’s legacy by representing such a professional company as Friesens, which genuinely
understands the importance of high-quality book-making. Elizabeth is based in the Twin Cities,
where she’s lived her whole life, and has worked in various print and publishing roles.

Rachel Holscher is the director of design & digital publisher services at Bookmobile in
Northeast Minneapolis. She has been with the company for twenty-three years and oversees
design, layout, print buying, and eBook conversion and distribution. The design & digital team
works with a wide array of publishers and authors in a variety of ways, from full production and
print management to providing a few of their services on an à la carte basis. They are grateful to
partner with wonderful publishers in Minneapolis such as Graywolf Press, Coffee House Press,
Milkweed Editions, Gryphon Press, Button Poetry, and the University of Minnesota Press.

Dave Lundell is a specification representative at Anchor Paper in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and has
been with the company for more than sixteen years. His main focus is working with the design
community on solutions for packaging and printing paper projects. He also runs the sample
department at Anchor and works closely with mill reps in an effort to find the best paper for each

Members can listen to the full panel discussion in the Resources area on MBPR website.


Recap of March 2021 Event: Demystifying Metadata

In a world with a growing number of channels for book distribution, metadata is hugely influential, but it can also be confusing. MBPR’s March webinar explored metadata with someone who literally wrote the book on the subject. Margaret Harrison, co-author of Metadata Essentials, spoke on the importance of using metadata to increase discovery and conversion in an online retail environment. Harrison’s practical advice provided further insight on the best ways to optimize titles for online sale. She covered tips for consistent titling and author information, creating book descriptions designed for online retailers, and getting the most out of BISAC codes and keywords.

Check out our member resource area of the website for an audio/video presentation of the event.

Recap of January 2021 Event: Digital Content and Content Marketing in Publishing

January’s webinar featured a conversation about digital content and digital marketing in publishing. While the days of paper-only publishing are long behind most of us, the digital world is not a static space: there are always new challenges and opportunities to explore, especially as technology continues to change. This series of presentations covered how the digital shift has affected publishing strategies and practices, both before and during the pandemic, at every stage of the publishing process. Kristie Thoenen, director of digital products, and Beth Brezenoff, associate publisher, from Capstone Publishing shared their company’s history with digital products, how they have developed and marketed those products, and their response to the pandemic. Then Christine Trant, the founder of Asterism and Co., a company specializing in content marketing for book publishers, explained how publishers can use the digital tools of content marketing to build and retain a community for their product lines.

The webinar recording is available to members in the Resources area. Remember that the process for accessing recordings has changed. If you are a member and have not yet created your individual account for our new website, follow the directions on the Member Resources page to create one and get access to the recordings. If you have questions, please contact us at