Pelican Publishing Company, Inc. announced the promotion of Kathleen Calhoun Nettleton from assistant to the publisher to publisher and president, effective immediately. As protégée of the late publisher Milburn Calhoun, Nettleton is well equipped to manage all levels of the company as Pelican moves into the future while remaining true to the vision established by her father.
Nettleton worked in the sales department during high school and college. She joined Pelican full time in 1983 upon graduating from Louisiana State University with a degree in marketing. She served as promotion director from 1985 until her promotion to assistant to the publisher in November of 2008. During Nettleton’s tenure as promotion director, she instituted the company’s intern program in the promotion department. The program has since expanded to the editorial, production, and sales departments and draws applicants from around the globe. Unique to the program is the intern’s level of participation in the daily needs of the company, allowing each a maximum learning experience.
Nettleton developed and instituted many progressive programs including seasonal conferences with authors. One aspect of her new position will be a closer involvement with manuscript development. “Manuscripts are the lifeblood of the company,” stated Nettleton, who is passionate about maintaining the quality of books presented by Pelican. “A publisher has to be able to see the forest and the trees and sometimes that means embracing the new while keeping the familiar. Nowhere is that more evident than in the transition to e-books as a major component of our industry. Seeing and understanding the big picture is more important than ever before.”
Nettleton served as a board member for the Publishers Association of the South and was a member of the Smaller and Independent Publishers committee, a branch of the Association of American Publishers. She represents the company on numerous panels at industry and community events across the country including the Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival. Nettleton continues to be fascinated by the process of publishing. “I was always one to ask ‘How did that book get on the shelf?’” she said, describing herself as an organizational geek. “I look forward to integrating what I’ve learned over the years. My father was always excited about every book we publish and I feel the same.”