In these times when readers are responding to our books “more than ever,” when our authors—including Richard Blanco, Imani Perry, Robin DiAngelo, Dina Gilio-Whitaker, and Bettina Love—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.
To wrap up 2019, we introduce you to our business operations assistant, Isabel Tehan!
What drew you to publishing, Isabel? How did you find your way to Beacon?
Like many people who work at Beacon, I have always loved books and reading, and I studied English as my major in college. Though my mother worked as an editor for a number of years, I did not consider a job in publishing for myself until later in school. I was worried that a lack of publishing-specific internships might make it more difficult to get a job in this industry but figured it was worth a shot! I found the listing for my position at Beacon during one of many frantic late-night job searches as a second-semester senior. As I looked further into the job, I realized Beacon published several books I had already read and found meaningful. I was lucky that timing worked out for me to begin at Beacon right after graduation.
What’s your advice to someone interested in entering the publishing field?
Be open to roles outside of departments that don’t immediately jump to mind when thinking about publishing. Since Beacon is a small press, I am able to learn about what people in other departments do on a day-to-day basis.
What other departments does your department interact with? And how?
I work with the sales department regularly by helping to fulfill orders from different organizations and individuals. I enjoy this part of my job, because it is fascinating to see the different groups and people who are buying our books.
What are you reading right now?
I’m behind the times on this but I’m finally reading Educated by Tara Westover. I love memoirs and reading about others’ real-life experiences, and this is a really incredible story. I’m also strongly considering rereading the Twilight saga if I can manage to find my old copies anywhere.
Hobbies outside of work?
When it’s not freezing outside and dark at 4 p.m., I love most outdoor activities, especially any that bring me close to the beach. This winter, though, I am working on getting more advanced with my knitting. I’m hoping to make myself a sweater before it’s too warm outside to wear it.
Favorite thing about Boston?
Walking/running/biking along the Charles never gets old. I love the views from the Cambridge side of the river. In general, I love a waterfront view. The one down the street from the Beacon office in the Seaport is pretty great, too!
About Isabel Tehan
Isabel Tehan earned a BA in English Literature and Spanish Language from the College of the Holy Cross. Before joining Beacon in June 2019, she worked as a research assistant at the Digital Transgender Archive and served as the Editorial Intern at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.