New Hire at WLU Press!
There’s a new Marketing Assistant at WLU Press – it’s me, Geoff Keelan, the person writing this blog post! I am now the mostly invisible hand behind content you will see on WLU Press social media platforms.
I’m a former Canadian historian and while I have been “publishing adjacent” as an academic, it’s exciting to enter into a new industry and learn the ins and outs from the experienced staff here. I already feel as if I know more about academic publication than I learned from more than seven years on the other side of the fence – revealing how little exposure I had to publishing in grad school.
My path to WLU Press was a meandering one. I did an undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University far more years ago than I care to admit (working on campus has been a nostalgia trip). I did my M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Waterloo, where I wrote a dissertation on Québécois nationalist Henri Bourassa and his opposition to the First World War. I have a book coming out with UBC Press on the topic sometime in 2019 (a decision made long before I received this position!). After my degrees were completed, I went on to a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Western University and worked on a project studying Canada’s political culture during and after the First World War.
As my fellowship drew to a close, I sought employment outside of academia. I wanted to find a job that used the same skills I had developed in grad school. Few understood that the school experiences on my resumé were comparable to work experience. I was lucky (but after working here, not surprised) to find one in the team at WLU Press, who gave me the chance to work in an industry that is closely related to my life in higher education.
I am excited to be keeping eyes on our various social media, which include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and ensuring that we keep our followers up to date on the activities at the Press and from our authors. I also have the opportunity to help design non-book publications, graphics, and other content for the Press.
So, just as I would have done as a historian, I’m delving into a whole new literature about social media, university publishers, and the world of books in general. I was always a bibliophile, but now I get to be a paid Bibliophile. In fact, I can neither confirm nor deny that I have taken a title from the bookshelf to browse idly through during my lunch break…
Most of my job focuses on graphics and communications work, which is something that I enjoyed as an academic, but I never really had a chance to focus on it. It is a thrilling time for Canadian publishing as it confronts the ongoing digital age, much like other disciplines and industries, and to be charged with social media communications makes me feel like I am at the forefront.
Look here for more content here in the coming weeks as our blog shares insight into the daily work of our staff and the Press.