Behind Our New Obsession: Jade Chang

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My stepmom met Jade at binder con and she works for goodreads, my stepmom told her that I want to be a book publisher and I have my own book blog. So she connected us, and of course I have some questions for her. And I’m going to share them with you, but before I do let me give you some background info about Jade! She works for Goodreads as the Young Adult Newsletter editor, thats right that letter you get in your email she helps create, also shes a new writer out in the world, finally she worked at an magazine. Now here’s the Q&A!

Jade’s Chang Interview:

What college did you go to and what did you major in?
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, but I went to college all the way across the country, at Cornell in upstate New York. I majored in English Lit and minored in taking long naps on the Arts Quad whenever the sun was shining.

Why did you chose to work at GoodReads?
A lot of things that happen in life are a result of luck and circumstance! I worked with Elizabeth Khuri Chandler, one of the co-founders of Goodreads, long before she and Otis Chandler started the company. As soon as they launched, I signed up as a member! Several years later, when they were ready to expand their editorial team, Elizabeth asked if I’d be interested in a job, and of course I was.

What’s your favorite thing to edit?
One of my favorite things to do for the YA newsletter is the illustrated quote. I often work with an illustrator on these, and in that case I get to act as an art director, choosing the quote itself and pulling together a concept for the image. Here are two of my favorites:

When you edit the YA newsletter how do you decide which books go in or not?
The YA newsletter is for Goodreads members who are fans of YA books, so it’s a balance between giving readers access to authors that they’re already wildly excited about, and exposing them to new writers, new work, and new sub-genres.

Besides the YA newsletter what else do you edit at GoodReads?
Right now I also edit the Romance newsletter, although a new editor will be taking that over soon. And up until recently I also did the Quote of the Day (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes_of_the_day), which was a lot of fun!

I heard that you have a book out, what’s the name of the book and what’s it about?
Yes! It doesn’t actually come out until Fall 2016, which seems like forever! The title is The Wangs v. The World, and it’s about a Chinese-American family that has just lost their fortune. There’s a road trip across America, an older sister who’s a disgraced art world “It” girl, a middle brother who’s an aspiring standup comic, a style-obsessed younger sister, and a dad who wants nothing more than to reclaim the land that his family once owned in China.

Which do you like better: Being a magazine writer or an editor?
That’s a hard question to answer! In a lot of ways, I think being an editor is easier—you come up with ideas (which I love doing) and assign articles to writers, you get to consider an issue of a magazine as a whole, you work with great writers to make their stories even better, and then you have the satisfaction of looking at a finished issue. On the other hand, I think being a writer is both harder and more fun! The research phase of a story is really interesting—I love interviewing people and learning about all different things—but then you’re faced with the writing itself, which can often be exhausting!

What magazine did you write for and what did you write about?
I’ve written for a lot of different magazines over the years, but the one that I wrote for most consistently was Metropolis, an architecture and design magazine based in New York City. I was their West Coast Editor for several years, which meant that I searched out interesting stories from the West Coast. I wrote about all sorts of things, but they were all essentially about this: How do we create the world around us?

Do you have any advice for inspiring new editors out there?
As an editor, your job is to bring together great writers and great stories, so it’s your responsibility to be interested in everything! Professionally, it’s great to have a specialty, but you want to approach that specialty with a wide open mind, and a real familiarity with things going on in many different parts of the world.

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