Anna Cunnane is Senior Data Executive at Abrams & Chronicle Books. She graduated with a Distinction from the MA in Publishing at UCL in 2013 and was Chair of the Society of Young Publishers from 2015-2016. She was the recipient of a Bookseller Rising Stars Award in 2016 and an LBF Trailblazer Award in 2018. She is interested in the intersection between publishing and digital technologies.
What was the last book you read?
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murukami.
What’s next on your reading list?
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster – based on a recommendation.
Which writer would you have loved to have met and why?
I still want to meet Judith Kerr. I’m holding out hope. I would have loved to have met Doris Lessing before she died. I read The Golden Notebook when I was 17 and it’s still my favourite novel.
What TV series are you obsessing over right now?
It’s not a series but Nanette by Hannah Gadsby is incredible and everyone should see it.
Tell us what you do in 20 words.
I use ONIX for books to create and manage our metadata and disseminate it – hopefully on time and in full!
What do you like about your job?
When I find a way to make things work better. There’s so much that metadata can affect and it’s untapped in publishing generally. I also like to build things and learn to use new systems.
What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out in publishing today?
Be flexible. I don’t think you need to know what you want to do in 5 years because that job probably doesn’t exist yet.
Which is your favourite bookshop or e-bookstore and why?
The Strand Bookstore in New York. Think towering stacks of books; dusty ladders and staff that glare at you over the pages of their book.
Which great novel have you tried to read but failed?
I’ve never been able to get through more than a few pages of Catch 22.
What is the silliest thing you have on your desk?
A Baba Yaga (a famous witch of the East) that my friend gave me from a Gingerbread House one Christmas. She’s a useful person to have around.
Nominations for our 2019 Trailblazer Awards will open shortly.