18 Cool Women in Publishing to Follow.

18 Cool Women in Publishing to Follow
post by Tolani Osan

I (like many of you!) am always on the prowl for a good book recommendation. I have a lot of favorite bookstagram accounts…. and several favorite book podcasts… but my other little secret is finding and following interesting people working in publishing. They always have the inside scoop, and besides the book recs, it’s also fun learning more about the publishing industry. In another life I think that I would have really enjoyed working in book publishing (random fun fact: my mom’s first job out of college before meeting my dad and starting the restaurant was as an assistant at Crown Publishing).

I follow a lot of influencers and get so many great recommendations from them but I also really enjoy following women with cool day jobs. An added bonus is that a lot of these women seem to have really adorable cats, too? Cats and books will always be a winning combination for me. I have to wonder if being a book lady and being a cat lady maybe go hand in hand?

18 Cool Women in Publishing to Follow

This list runs the gamut from recent grads and marketing assistants to the former executive director of the National Book Foundation. Some of these women have become bonafide bookstagrammers and others have less business-y pages, but the one unifying thing is that all of these women have pretty cool day jobs working in publishing, (and have become one of my favorite insider-y ways to discover new books!).

PS – I couldn’t have put this list together without the help of Morgan and Taylor. I started working on this piece in February (got a bit sidetracked with life/the move/etc) and asked them for their favorite follows in the publishing world… they were so helpful!

PPS – A little plug: all of MY book recommendations can be found on this page, where you can sort and filter by genre and grade.

Emma Benshoff | 18 Cool Women in Publishing to Follow

Emma Benshoff

Emma describes herself as socially liberal and fiscally irresponsible (same same). She does digital marketing at Underlined (an imprint of Penguin Random House with a focus on great YA books). I met her a few years ago working on an event for American Royals and she was just as lovely in person as she is online. Besides the books, I love her apartment, her appreciation for Stoney Clover, and the separate instagram page she started that is dedicated just to treats and candy.

Lisa Lucas | 18 Cool Women in Publishing to Follow

Lisa Lucas

Lisa Lucas is the senior vice president at Knopf Doubleday where she is the publisher of Pantheon & Schocken Books. She is also the former executive director of the National Book Foundation (and presenter of the National Book Award – casual, no big deal). She was the first Black woman to lead the National Book Foundation and during her time there she talked a lot about the importance of inclusivity in publishing and reaching young readers. She’s based in Brooklyn and I also very much enjoy following her on twitter as well.

Morgan Hoit

Morgan Hoit

Morgan Hoit works in marketing for Random House, but she’s also a friend and one of New York’s most prolific bookstagrammers over at @nycbookgirl. (She was incredibly helpful in putting together this list as well – thanks Morgan!) Morgan has incredible taste in books and I will tell you… her backdrops and bookstore photos make me really miss New York. I think you will really enjoy following her, especially if you are into literary fiction.

Tolani Osan

Tolani Osan

Tolani Osan is the Penguin Kids community manager. She posts kids stuff from time to time but from what I have observed in following her, she seems to love thrillers as much as I do (this post!). She has been a great resource for me, I’ve discovered some fantastic thrillers written by Black authors via her feed.

Lydia Hirt | 18 Cool Women in Publishing to Follow

Lydia Hirt

Lydia is a friend of mine, and also one of the most fun people I have ever met. She is a human rainbow, her instagram feed is a rainbow, and she has excellent taste in books. When she is not on an adventure or posting an adorable outfit, she is the Marketing Director of Viking Books, Riverhead Books, and Penguin Books over at Random House.

Taylor Noel

Taylor Noel

Taylor Noel, aka @books_with_taylor is a senior marketing manager for Random House. I’ve been following her for ages (she also helped me with this list!) and love her taste in books. Taylor is most passionate about literary fiction and memoirs, and is also an avid runner.

Kelsey Manning | 18 Cool Women in Publishing to Follow

Kelsey Manning

Kelsey is a self described professional book pusher and the associate director of marketing for Penguin Random House. She’s also a freelance writer though, having written pieces for Business Insider, Fast Company, Good Housekeeping, Brit + Co, Refinery29, and The Muse.

Bezi Yohannes

Bezi Yohannes

Bezi of Black Bookwyrm Reads is Digital Marketing Assistant, Penguin Young Readers at Penguin Random House. Her feed primarily focuses on Black Fantasy and Afrofuturism and she co-hosts a podcast (Dreaming in the Dark) about Black Fantasy.

Cristina Mari Arreola | 18 Cool Women in Publishing to Follow

Cristina Mari Arreola

Cristina is a Marketing Manager at Sourcebooks. Prior to that, she was the the Senior Books Editor at Bustle. She lives in New York and (this is important?) has two very cute cats.

Megan Tripp

Megan Tripp

Megan Tripp of @booksandblazers is a Social Media Associate for Penguin Random House. She is a great resource but especially if you are looking to read more books by queer authors. Besides the books, I love her taste in clothing (lots of blazers, naturally), and her cat.

Katherine Morgan

Katherine Morgan

Katherine is a Portland based writer and author, and a bookseller at Powells (the most legendary/amazing bookstore in the world if you ask me) and I love her instagram (she has two, follow her personal account here) loads of great book recommendations AND a gorgeous cat named Ramona. Do you sense a theme here? I love following these bookish ladies and their cats.Giselle Gonzalez

Giselle Gonzalez

Giselle is a publicity assistant at Tor/Forge books. She always seems to be somewhere fabulous – I love following her adventures. I was thrilled to see that she also has an incredible blog documenting her travels (and favorite books). She seems to read primarily thrillers, romance, and sci-fi.

Anabel Jiminez

Anabel Jiminez

Anabel is the Social Media/Digital Marketing Associate for Gallery Books. She reads a wonderful range of authors (it was via her that I learned that both Colson Whitehead and Casey McQuiston have new books out). I’d say we have very similar taste in books… everything she features seems to be either something I’ve read or want to read!

Daniela Ayuso

Daniela Ayuso

Daniela is currently the Assistant Marketing Manager on the Audience Development team for the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Her focus is on work on social strategy and reporting, inclusive outreach campaigns, and partnerships and influencer relationships. She’s also a talented photographer and has a separate bookstagram page; @readingthemenu.

Andrea Morales

Andrea Morales

Andrea, aka @nastymuchachitareads is a Junior Contract Associate at Macmillan, which means she works on and negotiates book agreements! (I am probably glamorizing it but that sounds like such an interesting job to me!!). She is the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants and has made it her mission to boost the visibility of Central American writers and literature.

Ebony Ladelle | 18 Cool Women in Publishing to Follow

Ebony Ladelle

Ebony is the Marketing Director of Brand Publishing at Penguin Random House. She has a fantastic instagram page and an email newsletter too (Coloring Books – a curated list of multicultural books that are worth reading). I like that she describes herself as the “undisputed Mom Friend of any group.” I can relate.

Nicole Counts

Nicole Counts

Nicole Counts is a Senior Editor at One World, an imprint of Random House. She is also a freelance writer, a member of POC in publishing, and on the advisory board of Well-Read Black Girl. She is based in Brooklyn.

Heather Boaz

Heather Boaz

Fun fact about Heather: she has two opera degrees (how cool!) but now works in publishing. Heather is the is the Executive Assistant to The Publisher at Little, Brown and Company. She reads mostly contemporary fiction and non-fiction, loves yoga, and lives in Manhattan. I really enjoy following her and cracked up at her bio headline: “Will make the hang, but read 100 books a year.” That’s the goal!

Where do you get your book recommendations?

Leave a Comment


  1. Pat Schwab says 7.28.21

    Grace, I thought this site was fun https://www.literature-map.com/janet+evanovich.

  2. Cara says 7.28.21

    I love when you do posts like this one and the art one!! It’s so fun to be introduced to people/artists/publishers I wouldn’t have other wise come in contact with!

  3. Heather says 7.28.21

    I love this so much! Can’t wait to follow all of these women. I love how many different sides of the industry you showcased!

    I am with you in thinking it would be fun to work in publishing… growing up I always said that I wanted to be an author, but never really thought about all the other possibilities that are reading/writing adjacent. Makes me think about what might have been!

  4. mary says 7.28.21

    Such cool women with inspiring careers and knowledge to share! I find that the more I read, the more I become interested in the publishing industry, in book sales, in literary prizes, the whole business behind-the-scenes. I look forward to following along and learning more about what to read next.

  5. Christine Evans says 7.28.21

    Love this list! I am also a (not really) cool woman in publishing. I write children’s books and love the bookstagram community. @ChristineNEvans on IG

  6. Vanessa says 7.29.21

    I absolutely loved this post! Thank you so much for spreading the word about all these wonderful women in publishing. I’ve added so many of them to my IG feed now, thanks to you 🙂

  7. Ife Oshun says 7.29.21

    This is an AWESOME article and so well-timed. Love seeing a spotlight on these ladies and their unique talents and POVs. Thanks for this!

  8. Polly Rittenberg says 8.16.21

    Thank you so much for sharing this list! My mother is a literary agent with her own agency and I always love hearing about other awesome ladies in publishing. Bravo, Grace!