In an increasingly digital publishing industry, alums innovate and compete

By Cassidy Liz

Drama can be made out of a desk job.

Lindsey Palmer, a 2005 College graduate, is preparing for the publication of her novel “Pretty in Ink,” which is based on her seven years in the publication industry following her graduation from Penn.

“There’s an interesting story to be told about this world that’s struggling — magazines have already taken a hit with all this competition with blogs and websites,” Palmer said.

“It’s work that’s sort of fun and glamorous,” she added.

During her time in the industry, Palmer worked at publications including Glamour, Redbook and Self. She experienced the emergence of the internet age firsthand. That served as inspiration for her novel, in which the editor of the fictional Hers magazine is ousted in light of extremely poor sales. The new editor causes a stir as he plans to reroute the magazine entirely to better attract readers.

These days, it’s hard to deny the importance of digital media in publishing. Even The New York Times was heavily bolstered by its digital readership in 2012. Some 600,000 digital subscriptions raised its circulation by 40 percent when the Alliance for Audited Media included digital subscriptions in its count for the first time.

Margaret Luh, a 1990 Wharton graduate, previously worked at Thomson Reuters, The New York Times and News Corporation, which owns Fox and the Wall Street Journal, before taking on the role of global corporate strategist at Razorfish, a digital agency.

“The challenge before was finding the information. The value [in publishing] now is in curating that information and presenting it in a format that is useful and usable,” Luh said.

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