Rachel Barry

Rachel Barry - Marketer

Madison, NJ, USA

Like a bookish MacGyver, I make marketing magic for projects of all shapes, sizes, and budgets.

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Overview

Since 1999, I've been knee-deep in the publishing business–as an indie bookseller, an author, a VP of marketing and publicity for a trade publisher, a book festival director, a social media marketer, and an enthusiastic reader.

I spent over 15 years working at DK Publishing, makers of beautiful reference books for the whole family. My specialties? Children's non-fiction (I helped develop the marketing and shape of DK's STEAM publishing program); licensing (I helped create Star Wars Reads Day, an international geek-centric reading holiday); and non-fiction reference of all kinds (sex, history, science, food, crafts, travel). On the trade side, I also worked at Scholastic (on the launch of the Graphix line), and just worked with Penguin Young Readers on the launch and execution of The Who Was? History Bee.

I've worked with clients (both authors and indie publishers) and there's nothing I love more than coaching them through the intricacies and peculiarities of the publishing industry. It can be confusing and frustrating, but it's 100% possible to find a path forward for any book project.

On the nuts and bolts side of things, my training at Penguin Random House in the areas of copywriting, metadata, and blurb optimization are all top-notch.

The projects I love are the ones that inspire me: children's books (of all kinds), pop culture, quirky books that are hard to categorize (YES! I love a challenge), and non-fiction titles.


Non-Fiction
Children's - Non-fiction
DIY & Crafts
Education & Reference
Entertainment
Humanities & Social Sciences
Fiction
Humor & Comedy
Middle Grade
Picture Books

Awards

  • Publishers Weekly Star Watch Nominee
  • Penguin Hero Award

Work experience

President

Self-employed
May, 2017 – Present (over 3 years)

We've worked with a range of clients in the book industry including Book Industry Charitable Foundation; Penguin Young Readers; Short Stories Bookshop (Madison, NJ); and No Starch Press.

Vice President, Marketing and Publicity

DK Publishing
November, 2000 – May, 2017 (over 16 years)

Managed a team of 15 marketing, publicity, and design professionals while helping steer the direction of DK's marketing and publishing program. Never stopped opening and hauling around boxes of books–that's publishing.

Worked closely across all departments and championed our books to buyers and to consumers. Collaborated with brands from Disney to WWE to LEGO to Smithsonian to Mattel. Created and executed campaigns for a range of NYT and USA Today bestsellers.

(Note: I left DK in 2003 for just under two years to work for Penguin and then Scholastic. I was rehired as the Director of Publicity in 2005.)

Projects

Our American Dream

Helped immigration attorney and children's book author position the launch of her new book.

Fiona McEntee decided to self-publish because of the extreme timeliness of her picture book, Our American Dream. Over the course of two calls (and some email follow-up), I helped her get a clearer sense of her goals for the book and how to deliver them. We focused on leveraging her existing contacts nationally and in the Chicago area to get publicity, speaking opportunities, and sales for the book.

In a blog post up on, McEntee wrote about the experience of working with me:
In advance of our consultation, I sent Rachel the electronic version of Our American Dream as it was being printed at that time. Rachel’s advice from the get-go has truly been invaluable. She was able to assist with some key strategic marketing decisions like recommendations on the official release date for the book and figuring out how to best maximize the book’s potential platform and reach.

Rachel also provided some much-craved validation. She was the first person to see the book outside my family, my firm, and the publisher. Her supportive feedback meant so much to me and it really reassured me that we had a special message to share and she would help me share it far and wide.

Rachel also had some really creative ideas about promoting and marketing the book and based on her recommendations, I was able to secure a wonderful article on the front page of the Arts & Entertainment Supplement of the Chicago Tribune. I used this article to officially announce Our American Dream to my network of friends, colleagues, and clients.

Star Wars Reads

Helped start and build Star Wars Reads, an international celebration of books and Star Wars--now in its ninth year.

The Who Was? History Bee

I developed and executed The Who Was? History Bee marketing program for Penguin Young Readers.

The team at PYR had an idea to take their bestselling and beloved Who Was series and turn it into a nationwide classroom competition. I was tasked with researching other similar contests and developing a brand-true classroom Bee for students in grades 3-5. The scope of work also included working with a panel of teachers for input and advisement, having direct contact with the schools and teachers who signed up for the Bee, and creating communication emails (along with writing and vetting questions and contest rules and regulations). In our weekly meetings, I worked closely with the internal marketing and publicity teams and an outside publicist.

While the final Bee was thwarted by the pandemic, we had planned an extraordinary in-person event in NYC hosted by Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Patrick Kinney (Who Is? Jeff Kinney) with a $10,000 prize for the winning student. Instead, each of the top 10 finalists received a monetary prize for themselves and a COVID-related charity of their choosing.

Portfolio (4 selected works)

Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects

Jack Challoner

Supporting STEAM education initiatives and the Maker Movement, the National Parenting Publication Award-winner Maker Lab includes 28 kid-safe projects and crafts that will get young inventors' wheels turning and make science pure fun.Each step-by-step activity is appropriate for kids ages 8–12, and ranked easy, medium, or hard, with an estimated time frame for completion. Requiring only househ... read more

Supporting STEAM education initiatives and the Maker Movement, the National Parenting Publication Award-winner Maker Lab includes 28 kid-safe projects and crafts that will get young inventors' wheels turning and make science pure fun.Each step-by-step activity is appropriate for kids ages 8–12, and ranked easy, medium, or hard, with an estimated time frame for completion. Requiring only househ... read more

Our American Dream

Fiona McEntee

Immigrants come from countries far, to dream their dreams beneath American stars. Let s see who's here in this great place, a land of diversity: the United States! Our American Dream is written by Fiona McEntee, an award-winning nationally recognized immigration lawyer. As an immigrant, mom of two young children, and lawyer who fights for justice every day, Fiona wrote Our American Dream to he... read more

Immigrants come from countries far, to dream their dreams beneath American stars. Let s see who's here in this great place, a land of diversity: the United States! Our American Dream is written by Fiona McEntee, an award-winning nationally recognized immigration lawyer. As an immigrant, mom of two young children, and lawyer who fights for justice every day, Fiona wrote Our American Dream to he... read more

This Book is About You: Discover, Decode, and Express Who You Truly Are

Allison Singer, Rachel Kempster-Barry

With creative activities, quizzes, questionnaires, thought experiments, and writing and drawing prompts, This Book is About You will help you figure out and express your true self. Get ready to dig into your past, think through your present, and imagine your future as you discover what makes you special—what makes you, you.Work your way through a book full of quirky activities designed to get ... read more

With creative activities, quizzes, questionnaires, thought experiments, and writing and drawing prompts, This Book is About You will help you figure out and express your true self. Get ready to dig into your past, think through your present, and imagine your future as you discover what makes you special—what makes you, you.Work your way through a book full of quirky activities designed to get ... read more

Who Is Malala Yousafzai? (Who Was?)

Dinah Brown, Who HQ

Malala Yousafzai was a girl who loved to learn but was told that girls would no longer be allowed to go to school. She wrote a blog that called attention to what was happening in her beautiful corner of Pakistan and realized that words can bring about change. She has continued to speak out for the right of all children to have an education. In 2014 she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala Yousafzai was a girl who loved to learn but was told that girls would no longer be allowed to go to school. She wrote a blog that called attention to what was happening in her beautiful corner of Pakistan and realized that words can bring about change. She has continued to speak out for the right of all children to have an education. In 2014 she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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