Wednesday, November 14, 2012


If you're reading this little publishing blog, chances are you're already a lover of literature. But as a devotee of the printed word, do you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at an independent book publishing company? How a jacket gets designed or how a manuscript becomes a book? For curious minds, there's no better way to learn the nuts and bolts of the book business than to meet the people behind the magic. That's where we step in.

If you've been following our employee spotlight series, you've already met some of the creative individuals responsible for bringing Overlook titles to the shelves of your favorite neighborhood bookstores. We've introduced editors, designers, marketers, and even our publisher Peter Mayer to highlight the ins-and-outs of the job of book production. Our series continues today as we bring to the blog associate editor Mark Krotov to shed some light on his role at Overlook.

Mark recently joined the team at 141 Wooster Street last month, following four years at Farrar, Straus and Giroux where he served as an assistant editor and helped produce the FSG Reading Series at the Russian Samovar. When he isn’t staring into his computer screen, Mark can be found watching movies or reading about movies that he'd like to watch. Welcome, Mark!

OP: Describe your job in 140 characters or less.

MK: I read books, I edit books, and I tell people about the books I’m reading and editing.

OP: What are you currently reading?

MK: At the moment I’m reading many submissions, but I’m looking forward to reading two books once I get through this (virtual) stack. The first is a history of night (!) called AT DAY’S CLOSE, by A. Roger Ekirch, and the second is a novel by the brilliant (and brilliantly bearded) Italian novelist Francesco Pacifico called THE STORY OF MY PURITY, which comes out in March.

OP: What is your favorite book that Overlook has published?

MK: I haven’t been here long, so I look forward to changing my answer to this question many times, but Raymond Loewy’s INDUSTRIAL DESIGN is amazing.

OP: If you didn’t work in publishing, what would you be doing?

MK: Perhaps I’d be a film critic, or a graduate student, or an abacus salesman—all promising, future-oriented careers with strong growth potential.

OP: What is your favorite word (Can be in any language—bonus points if there is a funny/interesting story behind it)?

MK: Favorite I’m not sure, but while “Eric” and “Cantor” are perfectly fine words on their own, somehow, when you put the former just before the latter, the combination is very repellent. 

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