#91 Book Publisher Lisa Sharkey On Hot Topics, and Her Harper (Collins) Influence 

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Book Publisher, Lisa Sharkey


I first met publishing powerhouse Lisa Sharkey when I was the chair for the 2017 ASJA Conference, and asked her to present a session there, because I knew she started out her career as a journalist and news person — a fantastic background for anyone in the media.

I was thrilled when she accepted, and presented a session on the then-new Facebook Live, which received rave reviews. She was (and is) an early adopter and at the time had a very successful  daily Facebook Live program for authors at HarperCollins.

Lisa is a brilliant and creative businessperson with an eye on the zeitgeist, and the reason so many of the books HarperCollins publishes go on to become bestsellers. Now, her great work and savvy business presence has gone to the next level with the launch of a new imprint at HarperCollins called Harper Influence, which is helmed by Lisa. The announcement for her new imprint was made after we taped, but based on our conversation you could see the impact and influence that Lisa has and will continue to have on book publishing.

In This Episode:

  • The evolution of social media and publishing [5:09]
  • Partnering with your publisher [6:11]
  • Lisa’s thoughts discoverability and TikTok for authors [10:06]
  • Backlists: The backbone of publishing [13:15]
  • How Lisa approaches publishing from a news and journalism background [20:33]
  • How Lisa stays on top of trends as an early adapter [23:02]
  • The power of networking [26:33]
  • AI’s influence on publishing and how Lisa uses it [33:46]
  • Lisa’s acquisitions and how she comes up with new ideas for books [34:21]
  • How to get on Lisa’s radar [38:17]

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About Lisa Sharkey

Lisa Sharkey is the SVP and Publisher of the newly inaugurated HarperCollins imprint, Harper Influence, where her team acquires high profile non-fiction spanning popular culture, from general lifestyle and entertainment to stories of survival and inspiration. Whether in the fields of science, medicine, nature, music, lifestyle, spirituality, cooking, design, or news-driven narratives, the defining theme of her books surrounds cultural impact and relevance. Sharkey has overseen the acquisition and publication of more than seventy-five New York Times Bestsellers, including multiple number one bestsellers.

Prior to her publishing career, Sharkey was President of Al Roker Entertainment, Senior Producer of Good Morning America and worked at various network news organizations from CBS to PBS and KingWorld’s Inside Edition. She executive produced the documentary Profiles in Courage: A Kennedy Legacy, hosted by Caroline Kennedy.

A two-time Emmy Award winner, Sharkey is also the recipient of Peabody and Dupont Awards for her work as part of the ABC News team during 9/11. Sharkey is also a member of various groups and organizations including: the New York regional cabinet for Washington University in St. Louis, and the advisory board for NABU.org.

Sharkey also spearheads the annual Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture, honoring her late mother Mona Sherman, bringing high-profile speakers to the Berkshires in Massachusetts at no cost to the community. For the past eleven years, Sharkey has been a mentor for American Corporate Partners helping veterans transition out of the military and into civilian jobs. She is also a certified Yoga instructor. 

Connect with Lisa

Wash U Distinguished Alumni Award Introduction Video

Wash U Distinguished Alumni Award Acceptance Speech

Estelle mentions Lisa Sharkey in Episode #90 Estelle’s Edge on the U.S. Book Show 2024 

Episode mentioning Harris Faulkner: Episode #41 Harris Faukner and How Faith Still Moves Mountains 

Other Episodes with Publishers

Episode #36 with Zibby Owens of Zibby Books and Zibby Media

Episode #69 with Georgia Hughes of New World Library

Episode #72 with Diane Windsor of Motina Books

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