Industry Insights: Chloë Rose
Chloë Rose joined Penguin Random House in 2018 and is now Publicity Manager for Penguin Random House Audio. With Emma Stokes, Events and Marketing Manager for LHRC Pubs, she runs PubInterns – a project that champions accessibility in publishing and campaigns against unpaid internships. Here, Chloë gives us her advice for starting out in the industry.
How did PubInterns come about?
It all started in February 2016. Emma noticed that there wasn’t really a place where publishing hopefuls could find jobs and internships or talk about cover letters and CVs, whilst also feeling able to share their experiences openly and honestly with others who related to them. She started PubInterns to build that community; I joined a few months afterwards and four years later, here we are!
PubInterns offers advice on cover letters, CVs and much more. With Covid-19, finding employment in publishing is even more difficult than usual. Do you have any tips for finding jobs and making your application stand out during this period?
Read the job description carefully. It's never been more important to tailor your cover letters to each specific company and to make sure that your cover letter is the best it can be. To stand out, you have to prove why you're the best candidate for the job, so you simply cannot afford to send in a weak, template-style, hurried cover letter.
If you’re looking to expand your skill set, I would also recommend taking courses in InDesign and Photoshop, looking at The Publishing Training Centre and reading The Squiggly Career by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis.
Speaking of applications and cover letters, how do I decide which strand or area of publishing is for me?
Don’t commit to one idea off the bat. You might think editorial is for you, but in reality, you might love sales! Think about what you like to do in your free time or any societies or hobbies that you may have enjoyed in the past. This may give you an idea of which path to take. Personally, I have always loved talking to people. Before I was even considering the publishing industry, I had been a Publicity Officer for a university society and was confident that publicity was a natural fit for me. It’s also possible to transfer between different areas of publishing later on, be it from publicity to editorial, fiction to non-fiction, etc. I was so sure that I wanted to work in fiction, but after four years in the industry, I’m still learning. Your first job does not have to define your career.
Do you think unpaid work experience (not internships) still has a place in the publishing industry?
No. Next question?
What are other ways, aside from internships or work experience, that can help publishing hopefuls get a foot in the door?
Office experience and teaching yourself software. Most entry-level jobs require a lot of admin, so it’s important to demonstrate that you are familiar with office environments, can answer the phone and know how to use Microsoft Word. It's not enough to “love books.” At the end of the day, as I always say, it's integral to remember that the publishing industry is an industry. It's a business, and you have to demonstrate how you can contribute to the business.
Hachette just announced that they will be opening offices outside of London. Do you think this will encourage other publishers to do the same?
Yes, definitely. This is not a new thing for the industry, and I don't believe it's a question of will they but when will they.
Lastly, a little bonus question. What are you reading at the moment?
I'm reading Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld – she's an incredible writer and I find Hillary Clinton fascinating.