My Job in 5: Clarissa Pabi
- Describe your role
By day I’m a Senior Marketing Manager at Bonnier Books UK and by night I’m the Manager and Executive Producer of the award-winning books, film and pop-culture podcast and the newly launched podcast . I work with the awe-inspiring creators and hosts of Mostly Lit – Alex Reads, Raifa Rafiq and Derek Owusu – and have been working with them since 2017 when we re-launched Mostly Lit. My role is two-fold and it involves me helping to tell Mostly Lit’s story and simultaneously enabling Mostly Lit to share their passion for stories and storytellers with different audiences. It’s a multi-faceted role that involves lots of creative conversations and brainstorms with Mostly Lit that are translated into programming, operations, comms, marketing and partnerships for the podcast.
In the past year alone Mostly Lit have interviewed and produced episodes with Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, , Yrsa Daley-Ward, Inua Ellams Emma Gannon, and Nelson Mandela’s grandson Ndaba Mandela for the podcast. Alex, Raifa and Derek have created episodes on subjects ranging from The Great Gatsby, to Zora Neale Hurston, to Black Panther and Robyn Travis; and other hidden and unexpected gems, which is what we and our listeners thrive off – the discovery of a new book, story, author, and voice., Courttia Newland, Guy Gunaratne,
2. What do you like best about your role?
‘Issa Lit podcast’
‘The hosts are relatable and their enthusiasm and passion for books is contagious. Each episode gives me knowledge and insight into books I’ve never heard of let alone read. I was hooked from day one.’
There are three things that I love about working on Mostly Lit and they are all linked to the above reviews on iTunes. I love listening to Mostly Lit, I love the fact that Mostly Lit illicit such engaged reactions from listeners; and I love that I work on a podcast with an extremely passionate team who are working on Mostly Lit on the weekends, evenings and early mornings – in addition to having full time jobs. Reactions like the above inspire usbto acutalise new ideas and to create more for our audience. And I think that these reactions come from Mostly Lit enabling books to intersect with other things such as identity, pop-culture, film, TV – and the centering of different voices – allowing us to create a podcast which is truly unique and authentic which has resonated with listeners. The authentic nature of Mostly Lit is what enables us to be very audience-centric and focus on what listeners want to hear, read and watch because it’s a reflection of what we consume.
3. Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
A few months ago I created a new and the first podcast-in-residence role for Mostly Lit with Cheltenham Programme and Commissions Manager Lyndsey Fineran. The residency will see us producing a special live version of our podcast at Cheltenham Literature Festival (5th-14th October) interviewing Sir Lenny Henry Oct 14th, as well as participating in a workshop session, Turning Your Passion For Books Into Digital Content, and a very special Cheltenham Booker event. We’re also excited about the residency in that the festival is partnered with Waterstones who we worked with earlier this year on a year-long partnership which sees us creating live events and content for them. On November 3rd we are also working with the BFI on our first event, which will be very exciting.
4. What skills do you need for your role?
I think the key skills needed are creativity, originality, focus, organisation, agility, strategic thinking, an always learning mind-set, the ability to work with, listen to and communicate with a variety of different people.
5. What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
I think often in publishing people tend to think about audiences in very abstract and out-dated terms; and formats like a podcast and the digital infrastructure we’ve created through our website, social and online channels, along side our live podcast events, give us realtime feedback enabling us to connect with real audiences. Over the past year we have hosted and produced several sold out live shows at The Roundhouse Theatre, Waterstones Piccadilly, and The British Library which have allowed us to meet our audience and record live podcasts under the hashtag #MostlyLitLive creating offline experiences that stay with our audience and us.