We speak to Charlotte about working on the Oxford English Dictionary and working in academic marketing.
I’m Char, I currently work as a Marketing Executive for Oxford University Press (Academic division).
How did you get into publishing?
At a university careers event, I met someone working in the industry and was inspired. Through this person, I managed to get some work experience in an indie children’s publisher, and I was on the committee of the SYP North branch. Alongside this, I was a freelance editor for an online article site, and I was Chief Editor for my university’s newspaper. While studying for my MA, I spent time doing marketing for my family’s charity and applied for roles in marketing with OUP.
What does a typical day in your current role look like?
There is no such thing as a typical day in marketing!
I usually start the day by checking my emails and checking on the progress of any campaigns. I’ll monitor the performance of digital ads on platforms like LinkedIn, changing the budget strategy or targeting if I need to, or looking at which ad sets are using the budget most efficiently. I might spend some time designing materials, like a banner for an email, or a digital flyer for sales reps. Maybe I’ll have some tweets to schedule or copy to draft for an email campaign or digital ads. And there’s usually a meeting or two in there!
Has your attitude to reading changed since working in the publishing industry? How has it changed your reading taste or the genre of books you usually read?
I tend to read more non-fiction now. I still love fiction, and that’s the majority of what I read. But non-fiction is a relatively new thing for me that I’ve enjoyed.
It’s just good to work with like-minded people who share book recommendations, as well as having great author events to make you think outside the box.
Is there a book that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Why is that?
I actually work on OUP’s online books and products. If you count the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) as a book, then I’m proud I got to work on that! It’s just so iconic.
Where do you buy or access your books?
If I have some birthday money to spend or fancy a treat, I’ll head to Blackwell’s and spend a good few hours browsing and picking up a shelf’s worth of books. I also use worldofbooks.com to order second-hand copies, and if I’m in the city (Oxford), I’ll spend some time looking through the charity book shops, which are great!
But I also listen to lots of audiobooks, especially while out walking my dogs.
What books have you been reading in lockdown? Do these books typify your usual reading taste, or have you found yourself reading other genres and authors?
Usually, I get through 2 books a week, but in lockdown it’s been taking me around 2 weeks to get through just one. But my tastes are still pretty varied!
I’ve been enjoying Exciting Times, High Fidelity, The Opposite of Loneliness, and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons From the Crematorium. I’m currently reading The Rosie Result (sequel to the Rosie Project), which I’m loving.
What’s the best book you’ve received as a gift?
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Macksey.
What is your most beautiful book?
I’ve got a nice penguin classic edition of Dracula that I love, and a 20-year anniversary edition of Tipping the Velvet that is up there!
What is the oldest book on your shelf?
I’ve got a big volume of Shakespeare that’s around 100 years old, and a 1950s edition of Bambi.
What surprises you about your bookshelves? Is there a book that you own that you were surprised to love as much as you did?
People are often surprised that I’ve actually read all of the books on display and that they weren’t just bought for display! I was actually surprised to enjoy Stephen King. But now I love him.
Which authors or genres do you look forward to reading more of in the future?
I’ve got a big backlog of Stephen King to get through!
I also can’t wait for Sally Rooney to write some more, and I think I’d like to read more Nick Hornby.
Genre-wise, I’m starting to venture into the thriller/ horror type of books, so that’s something to look forward to.
What are the best books you've read in 2020 so far?
I enjoyed Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, After the End by Clare Mackintosh, and Bag of Bones by Stephen King.
What are your most anticipated reads for the rest of the year?
I can’t wait for Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts to be published, as well as The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce, and Sisters by Daisy Johnson.
Which books should everybody read?
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
You can find Char online on Twitter @ccrouch1996 and Instagram @jellybellychar.