Tag Archives: Meet the Press

Meet the Press: Katie Cross Gibson, Direct Promotions and Exhibits Manager

Welcome to the first installment of our Meet the Press blog series! To read the series introduction from last week, click on the Meet the Press picture below.

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Name: Katie Cross Gibson
Position: Direct Promotions and Exhibits Manager
Hometown: Science Hill, KY
Alma mater(s); major(s), minor(s): University of Kentucky; B.A. in English, Psychology minor
Social media: @KRC_Gee on Twitter

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Tell us a little bit about what you do at the press.

I handle exhibits. In short, this means that whenever we go to conferences, meetings, and fairs to display or sell books, I register for our booth and ensure that we bring the proper titles and materials (banners, tables, bookends, etc.). On the direct promotions side, I create ads, oversee the production of catalogs, coordinate mailings, and assist with social media and newsletters.

Additionally, I help manage our internship program and the interns’ participation in the Social Media Smackdown competition, and I’ll often lend a hand in carrying out special events. One of my favorite aspects of this position is the variety of it—I always have numerous irons in the fire, and I’m always learning new things.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

I’d probably have to say 2009’s What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets, an anthology edited by Jeff Worley. If you’re not familiar with Kentucky’s poetry scene, this book will introduce you to some of the big names. There are a handful of poems and a short bio for each poet featured, so it gives you a good sense of each person’s style. I actually won my personal copy in a giveaway at a hometown senior send-off before I matriculated to UK!

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you dream about having a certain career as an adult?

I spent most of my formative years aspiring to be a teacher. When I was very young, I did have the vaguest idea of the trade publishing industry—I thought it was the hip career path to follow if you lived in a “faraway” place like New York City. One of my closest friends and I fantasized we’d grow up to work on a magazine like American Girl, and we’d make-believe sharing an apartment in NYC and commuting to our office on Vespas.

As a girl living in a small town in southeastern/southcentral Kentucky, working in publishing didn’t seem like it could become my own reality until over a decade later. During my college years, I was fortunate enough that a peer mentor mentioned her own internship at UPK. I wound up interning here twice and gained experience in marketing and acquisitions. I owe a lot to those who took the time to offer their advice and experience, and so part of my own mission is to give back—to help others realize that their dream is attainable and that working in scholarly publishing is a path they can pursue, too.

If you were tasked with being a tour guide to someone who had never visited Kentucky before, where in the state would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

Oh, this is a toughie, so I’ll keep it to Lexington! Perhaps we’d go to POPS Resale, ALL of the local bookstores, the UK Art Museum, Charlie Brown’s, the Carnegie Center for a reading, Coffea for a skillet fudge latte, the KY for KY Fun Mall, Street Scene, and SQecial Media—not necessarily in that order.

What’s your favorite word?

Bless (as in a shortened version of “bless their heart”)

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

Palatino Linotype—it’s like a more sophisticated but easier-going version of Times New Roman.Palatino Linotype

What’s something most people don’t know about you or a random factoid about yourself that you would like to share?

I am a first-generation college graduate from (the outskirts of) Appalachia who writes poetry.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

I recently finished Becoming Unbecoming by Una, and I’d certainly recommend it. It chronicles Una’s life as an English girl growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and it masterfully weaves the story of the Yorkshire Ripper into what’s happening to Una. I think it adds a lot to the current conversations surrounding sexual harassment, assault, and rape and how they affect (and have been affecting) women, girls, and society. The illustrations can be so quietly moving and complement the story so wonderfully.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Because I can’t choose just one, here are a handful of dynamic duos: Sheila and Margaux from How Should a Person Be?, Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane from Daria, and Willow Rosenberg and Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Do you have a personal motto?

I do indeed, and as I am somewhat of a Beatlemaniac, it’s a couple of lines from “Hey Jude” that particularly resonate: “For well you know that it’s a fool / who plays it cool / by making his world / a little colder.”

 

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Meet the Press

We’ve been working a long time to cultivate our mysterious persona (since 1943!), but sometimes being mysterious isn’t all that great. People we meet often have questions about who we are and what we do.

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Most folks are familiar with the “Big Five” publishers, and they do great work. But there are more than 120 university presses in America (not to mention Europe, Australia, China, Canada, and the UK) publishing ~12,000 books a year!

The main difference between our press and a publisher like one of the Big Five is that our books must all be peer-reviewed before they can be published. University press books are sent to scholars and peer-reviewers across the globe to be vetted before they are approved for publication. Even books like The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book were reviewed by experts in the field. This process ensures that our published books remain of the highest quality and helps us maintain a clear and focused mission.

University presses, as a whole, are instrumental to the expansion of knowledge and scholarship. From scholarly monographs and journals, to partnerships with universities, libraries, historical societies, and others, university presses ensure the continued development of research, ideas, and understanding. Below are a few more reasons why university presses matter. For more information, visit www.aupresses.org.

  • University Presses make available to the broader public the full range and value of research generated by university faculty.
  • University Press books and journals present the basic research and analysis that is drawn upon by policymakers, opinion leaders, and authors of works for the general public.
  • University Presses help to preserve the distinctiveness of local cultures through publication of works on the states and regions where they are based.
  • University Presses encourage cultural expression by publishing works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction and books on contemporary art and photography.
  • University Presses, through the peer review process, test the validity and soundness of scholarship and thus maintain high standards for academic publication.
  • University Presses add to the richness of undergraduate and graduate education by publishing most of the non-textbook and supplementary material used by instructors.
  • University Presses extend the reach and influence of their parent institutions, making evident their commitment to knowledge and ideas.
  • University Presses help connect the university to the surrounding community by publishing books of local interest and hosting events for local authors.
  • University Presses provide advice and opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in publishing.

from “The Value of University Presses,” compiled by the
Association of University Presses (AUPresses)

We want to demystify the machinations of our university press and reach out to our community and friends, old and new. In the weeks ahead, we’ll introduce our staff, feature our process, and of course, highlight our books along the way. We couldn’t do what we love without the support of our readers and fans, so don’t be shy! We’re always delighted to answer any questions anyone might have about UPK, who we are, and what we do.