In Conversation with Marisol Fokes



Marisol Fokes is a digital marketing assistant at HarperCollins Canada. She earned her MA in Comparative Literature from King’s College London and has previously worked as a social media writer, copywriter, and editor at home and abroad before settling in her hometown, Toronto.  

What's a day in the life of Marisol Fokes look like at HarperCollins Canada?

The best thing about working at HCC is that every day is a little different! I have several large and small tasks that reoccur frequently (either weekly or monthly) related to creating, managing, and organizing content for several of our social media channels. Depending on the day I normally start with a bit of admin that includes replying to emails and interacting with our followers online, and then dedicate the rest of my day to working on whatever task is my current priority. Some days that includes taking photos or creating TikToks and other times it’s a lot of behind the scenes work to keep several plates spinning.  

How did you get into the world of publishing?

My background is in marketing (particularly in social media) but nothing ever seemed to stick. Eventually I decided to start working on my publishing certificate through Ryerson University since I’d always been intrigued by the industry, and I’d yet to find a job I didn’t tire of in a couple of months. I was just completing my first course when an opportunity to apply for a Marketing & Publicity internship with HarperCollins Canada appeared in the student portal. I decided to apply since my background was in marketing, and I was lucky enough to get an interview. The day after I interviewed they emailed me to ask if I’d be interested in applying for a permanent position as a Digital Marketing Assistant. I was thrilled and went back for two more interviews before I got the job!

What's the best part about your job?

The best part about this job is being in constant contact with other people who read and are passionate about literature. I love how book-oriented the work is because it keeps me constantly engaged. Even when the work itself is tedious, you can always get excited about the books you’re working on, and as someone who works exclusively on the digital marketing side, seeing the online excitement from readers is also very heartening. People read and buy books for all sorts of different reasons, but as far as products go, books are the best ones money can buy!

I'm sure you see so many books on a daily basis! How do you organize and prioritize what you want to read?

I’m a planner but when it comes to books I’m a mood reader. In general, I’ve accepted that I can’t and won’t read all the books I want in my lifetime (though it does fill me with existential dread). So, instead I try and prioritize reading forthcoming books from HarperCollins that appeal to me. Because of the nature of publishing there’s never a shortage of new and exciting books coming down the pipeline and early reads and reviews from staff about new manuscripts are encouraged. In-house support can make a huge difference to a book’s success and the best part about prioritizing forthcoming titles is that there’s usually a few other colleagues who want to chat about them!

What forthcoming title from HarperCollins are you most excited about this year and why?

There’s SO many titles that I’m excited about, but for now, I’m going to say The Voyage of Freydis by Tamara Goranson, on sale August 31st. It’s essentially a fictionalized account of the first and only woman to lead a Viking voyage across the Atlantic, and recently I’ve been loving feminist retellings of history!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading a forthcoming manuscript in adult fiction but unfortunately, I’m now allowed to say much more at the moment! 😉

If you were to recommend one book to my readers, what would it be and why?

Right now I would highly recommend The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner! I really enjoy forgotten histories and anything set in London, England so this was the perfect book for me. I found the story and characters very compelling, and I loved how it wove between London’s past and present. It was a quick pace and I couldn’t put it down!

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

To stay up to date on the latest releases from HarperCollins Canada, visit their website and follow them on Instagram.

If you like books, cats, and coffee, you can also follow Marisol on Instagram