In these times when readers are responding to our books “more than ever,” when our authors—including Cornel West, Anita Hill, Robin DiAngelo, Charlene Carruthers, Howard Bryant, and Christopher Emdin—are appearing in the media, their ideas going viral on social media, their voices being heard on so many platforms, we thought it might be good to take a break to focus on some of the staff who work hard to find, shape, edit, produce, and promote those works. Our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books” introduces to you a member of our staff and gives you a behind-the-scenes look, department by department, at what goes on at our office.
For the month of December and to close 2018, we introduce you to our business operations assistant, Claire Desroches!
What drew you to publishing, Claire? How did you find your way to Beacon?
I studied English and Religious Studies in college but didn’t know what I wanted for my career. I fell into hospitality management for several years after graduating. I loved working for the boutique hotel I managed but was ready for a change. Despite my best efforts to avoid any and all math courses in school, I realized while working that I enjoyed and wanted to expand on the accounting and business administration skills I had acquired. Working in the business department for Beacon Press felt tailor-made to my interests.
What other departments does your department collaborate with? And how?
A lot of my responsibilities sit at the intersections of the business, production, and sales departments, but one of the things I love about being at Beacon is that it’s a small, collaborative team. As a person who is new to publishing, it’s great to be exposed to every department. I’m trying to soak up as much as I can.
What helps you focus when you’re at work?
I can’t operate without my daily to-do list. The last thing I do every day at work is write out my list for the next day. It’s how I get back on track after a distraction, and it helps me prioritize my time.
What’s your advice to someone interested in entering the publishing field?
Do it! It took me a while to land here, and I’ve only been here for a short while, but working for Beacon has been very rewarding.
I have so many favorite podcasts. I like everything from Gimlet Media, namely Heayweight and Reply All. Personal Best by CBC is guaranteed to brighten your day. Swindled is a great podcast about white collar crime. My Brother, My Brother and Me is perfect if you, like me, enjoy laughing uncontrollably in public.
Best vacation destination?
My favorite place to go is my parents’ house on Lake Arrowhead in Waterboro, Maine. Maine is so beautiful, and we spend as much time up there together in the summer as we can. It also helps that I get to stay for free.
Favorite thing about Boston?
The Boston Public Library. I worked in Copley Square since I was in college, and I miss being so close to it every day. I am working on finding a new favorite place in the Seaport!
About Claire Desroches
Claire Desroches joined Beacon Press in 2018 after several years of managing a small boutique hotel. She graduated from Northeastern University, where she earned a dual major in English and Religious Studies.