In a new online series called “Meet BenBella,” you’ll get to know members of the BenBella team better through a series of questions about publishing and beyond. Up first, Senior Director of Publishing and Deputy Publisher Adrienne Lang.
What are some of your duties as Deputy Publisher?
This is always a long, boring speech that my family and friends ignore so they can continue telling their friends that I’m a book editor. Short answer: a bit of everything. I’m the person you go to if you need an answer to a question no one knows. It doesn’t mean I always know the answer either, but I find a way to figure it out. But the most important things I do include making sure our books are for sale, giving our distributor and subsidiary rights agents the tools to make sure the books sell to their full
potential and working with all of our departments to make sure they have the information they need to function effectively.
What made you decide you wanted to get into book publishing?
The volatility of journalism and a lifelong love affair with books. I do mean lifelong–you don’t get a lot of TV time when you’re the youngest of four. My brothers never let me watch what I wanted to and also picked on me and smelled and stuff, so I’d hole up in my room and read. I guess I have them to thank–or at least that’s what they would tell you.
What’s your favorite thing about working in the publishing industry?
The chance to learn about everything under the sun and get paid for it. It’s my job to read fascinating things from brilliant people.
How has the increased prominence of ebooks affected the way you do your job?
When I came on in 2007, ebooks were really starting to gain traction. I think they’re such a great format for many readers and publishers alike. It gives me extra opportunities to promote our titles on the retailer sites and make them widely available–both in the US and in other markets.
Most unforgettable BenBella experience so far?
BenBella has given me a lot of cool experiences, and it’s hard to choose. I suppose the first “is this real life” moment is when I went to the condo of football player Terrell Owens. Soon after, I accompanied him to a local elementary school, where he read his book “Little T Learns to Share” and then to the Cowboys pro shop to sign it. I attempted to talk to him one time that whole day. I’m a little more cool around famous people now.
Most unique thing on your desk or in your office?
A piggy bank of a horned lizard wearing a cowboy hat and a members-only jacket and my papers.
What are you currently reading?
Reading: “Counting by 7s”–really unique middle-grade story that I want to read before passing on to my niece. Listening to: “The Luckiest Girl Alive.”
Favorite reading spot?
Seasonally: Going to TCU football games. All year-round: Traveling and trying local restaurants and craft beers.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
“I Hope No One Just Heard Me Carry on a Conversation with My Dog: Stories of Adulting in the New Millennium.” It would probably have an all-text cover because of the title length. Maybe a little iconic terrier to punch it up.
Thanks, Adrienne! You can also follow along with this series on Instagram, @benbellabooks.