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Episode 24: Editor Ardi Alspach of Sterling Publishing

Ardi Alspach, an editor at Sterling Publishing, talks with us about her multi-directional career. She has the unique experience of having attended both NYU and the Denver Publishing Institute, worked in both publicity and editorial, and moved from a career in teaching to book publishing mid-career. Turns out that’s possible, even in NYC. Take that, Younger.

We also introduce you to our new intern, Amanda! She’s a senior at Portland State and is psyched to help us map the publishing frontier, if we do say so ourselves.

Ardi Alspach is a writer, children’s book editor, amateur pool player, and fine artist living with her very own miniature house panther named Merlin down on the Jersey shore. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ardyceelaine. She also has a new blog, Genre Diary, where she reviews mystery, thriller, horror, true crime, sci-fi, and fantasy. That includes podcasts (yay!).

Ardi and house panther Merlin

Minute by Minute

5:20—

Ardi started out working in publicity for a science-fiction and fantasy publisher, and later went on to work for Sterling Publishing. Although her work sometimes took her away from specific genres, Ardi never lost her passion for sci-fi and fantasy. She worked some networking magic, and began contributing to SF Signal. Now, she writes for the Barnes and Noble sci-fi/fantasy blog, and runs her own blog.

9:00—

Ardi went to the University of Denver Publishing Institute straight out of undergrad. This was pre-Facebook, and was entirely focused on print publishing.

11:46—

Ardi faced her fears of the big city and went on to study at New York University’s Publishing Institute. She says New Yorkers aren’t rude, just in a hurry.

16:54—

Indie bookstores are growing! Print books are not dead! (This is what we’re sayiiiing!!)

18:17—

Ardi was a fellow library kid! Corinne gets very excited about this.

23:22—

Everyone gushes about how awesome it is to be a writing tutor. Also, Ardi’s passion for helping people learn to write shaped what she does today. She says: “I feel that I am where I’m supposed to be.” (That’s pretty awesome).

30:33—

We talk about the consolidation of marketing and publicity. Balance and communication are key!

33:30—

Sci-fi/fantasy genre is becoming more mainstream, especially for a younger audience. Graphic novels used to be banned during reading time in elementary
schools. Inconclusive as to whether or not this is still the case. Hopefully not. Graphic novels are books too!

37:20—

A look into the world of (ametuer) competitive pool playing. Ardi has been playing competitively for two years, and her team needs jackets. Fashion designers and screenprinters, where you at?

40:04—

Meet Merlin, the giant house panther

49:04—

Our new intern Amanda talks about how she founded a literary magazine IN HIGH SCHOOL!

60:00—

Amanda talks about getting “lost” at theMicrocosm Publishing storefront.

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