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, Daina Ramey Berry, and Kali Nicole Gross—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 May, we introduce you to our editorial assistant, Alison Rodriguez!
What drew you to publishing, Alison? How did you find your way to Beacon?
Like many people in publishing, I’ve just always loved reading and have always been interested in the entire book publishing process. I had my first internship in publishing when I studied abroad in college. That solidified my interest, and it became what I actively wanted to pursue. While that internship was in children’s editorial, I also worked as a publicity and editorial intern at PublicAffairs and was able to learn a lot more about the different sides of publishing, specifically in serious nonfiction. This led me to Beacon when I noticed an opening for an editorial assistant position last fall and applied. The timing ended up working out perfectly for me to start right after I finished school in January.
How much of what you learned in college have you found vital to your work?
I know a lot of publishing consists of English majors, but I actually majored in journalism. I think it has helped me in anything I have to write, including any type of copy that needs to be clear and concise. Also, the importance of deadlines has been drilled into me in all my courses, which helps me prioritize certain tasks and manage my time at work—even if they are self-made deadlines that I make for myself throughout the day!
What upcoming projects are you excited about?
I’m excited about Ace by Angela Chen coming out in the fall. It was the first full manuscript I read when I started at Beacon, and I think it will be an important resource that everyone can learn something from. I’m also excited for What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon. I also learned a lot from this book, and I think it will spark a lot of important conversations that are long overdue.
What helps you focus when you’re at work?
I like to listen to music whenever I really need to focus and get something done. I’ve also found that taking a break by either walking outside at lunch or even just getting up from my desk to get coffee at the office can really help whenever I’ve been staring at something for too long.
What are you reading right now?
I just started reading Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I’m also reading We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and listening to Normal People by Sally Rooney on audio. Enjoying all three so far!
Favorite book ever?
It really always changes, but one of them is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I bought this book in the UK and read it on my plane ride home. It had me laughing and crying and always reminds me of that trip!
About Alison Rodriguez
Alison Rodriguez joined Beacon Press in January 2020 after graduating from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a focus in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Prior to joining Beacon, Alison interned at Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster UK.