Book Marketing Q&A: Melissa Milsten Builds New Partnerships for Random House

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson

Melissa Milsten, Director, Partnerships and Business Development, Random House

Melissa Milsten, Director, Partnerships and Business Development, Random House

Hear Melissa Milsten speak at the Reaching Readers Book Marketing Conference on May 28 in NYC!

PP: Why is it important for publishers to build relationships with consumer brands?

Melissa: At the Random House Publishing Group, we think that working with partners of all kinds, including consumer brands, creates the opportunity for us to share our unique audiences and also gives us the chance to put our authors in front of new consumers who will hopefully become readers. And, ultimately connecting our authors directly with fans and introducing them to potential readers is what we want to do.

What types of partnerships are you looking to build for Random House authors?

I look to build partnerships for our authors that will get their books in front of consumers in fresh and unexpected ways. This means that in addition to seeing one of our books on the shelf or in the media, you might also discover it in a brand’s newsletter, print advertising or on their packaging. I work with companies that recognize the significant value of what books and authors bring to the table and I seek out opportunities that are multi-faceted in terms of the exposure they deliver and that have the potential to be long-term in nature.

Are there certain types of books and authors that might be better suited to these kinds of strategic content partnerships?

In my experience, every partnership really comes down to what the partner wants and needs and my matching those up with the right book and author. It is not about the type of book but all about how the messaging and content fit. When it comes to our authors, partners often look for them to have the very same things that we want from them: established platforms, large social media followings and name recognition.


Melissa Milsten is Director, Partnerships and Business Development for the Random House Publishing Group. In her role she focuses on establishing long-term partnerships to expand audience for authors, increase marketing and publicity reach, and develop new revenue streams. Prior to joining Random House in 2010, Melissa served in senior marketing roles for Workman and The Taunton Press.

Melissa will speak at the Reaching Readers Book Marketing Conference on May 28 along with Jenifer Berman (VP, Marketing, National Geographic), Nina Lassam (Marketing Manager, Open Road Integrated Media) and Erin L. Cox (Business Development Director, Publishing Perspectives) about “Strategic Content Partnerships for Publishers” at 2:00 pm. The panel will discuss how forward-thinking marketers are forging partnerships with other companies in order to find new audiences and distribution channels for their marketing content.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.