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Industry Insights: Top Tips Collected From The Last 99 Issues

By Molly Arabella Kirk, Gabriela Kaczmarek and Rosie Luffingham


To commemorate our 100th issue, we will be showcasing our favourite pieces of advice, plucked right from the mouths of seasoned publishing industry officials, shared across the last ninety-nine issues! In this article, we explore the importance of passion, open-mindedness and perseverance when applying for publishing roles. In other words, when job hunting in publishing, the old idiom “practice makes perfect” rings forever true.

 

  1. “Write a cover letter without looking at your previous templates. Looking with a fresh pair of eyes can help to add a sense of authenticity to your application!”

Alessia De Silva, Editorial Assistant at Penguin Audio (Issue Sixteen)

 

  1. “Quality over quantity. Don’t bulk apply to roles/departments you know you ultimately don’t want to be working in. Enthusiasm and passion can get you far.”

Avneet Bains, Publicity Trainee at Head of Zeus (Issue Twenty-seven)

 

  1. “It’s easy to miss out on opportunities if your initial scope is too narrow, so be hungry for everything.”

Millie Guille, Sales Assistant at Faber and Faber (Issue Nineteen)

 

  1. “Publishing is very hard to get into and it can be heart-breaking getting rejection after rejection, or not getting any replies back. Take a break in between each application and remind yourself you deserve that role.”

Khadija Hassan, Sales/Marketing Assistant at Sweet Cherry Publishing (Issue Twenty-five)

 

  1. “Be patient with yourself. I had so many interviews, so many internships. Eventually, hopefully, you will click with someone who sees your potential.”

Jesse Shuman, Associate Editor at Ballantine Books (Issue Eighty-two)

 

  1. “Any experience is good experience, it doesn’t just have to be in publishing!” Katie Holland, Marketing Assistant at Oxford University Press (Issue Forty-one)

 

  1. “The best lesson I learned was to not dismiss advice from ANYONE. Every person is an asset and an invaluable resource; from career consultants to marketing execs who volunteer to run local literature festivals and even your friends.”

Jennifer Shelton, Contracts Assistant at Faber and Faber (Issue Sixty-four)

 

  1. “I’d always advise people to embrace and pursue their interests, and not conform to what they believe the industry wants from them – liking books needn’t constitute the entirety of your personality.”

Oscar Janson-Smith, Agent at Gleam Features (Issue Fifty-four)

 

  1. “If you’re applying for an agency position then you should definitely know who their biggest clients are, the books they’ve published recently, and something about the specific agent the position is with.”

Liza DeBlock, Foreign Rights Executive at Mushens Entertainment (Issue Eighteen)

 

  1. “For an entry-level job, you’re not always going to be doing the most glamorous things – what’s attractive to me is when someone knows this and is happy to muck in and integrate into the team with a can-do attitude.”

Holly Harley, Commissioning Editor at Piaktus Non-Fiction (Issue Three)

 

  1. “You don’t have to wait for the perfect role. Many roles in publishing require transferable skills, so don’t be afraid to consider stepping outwards as it can become a huge step forwards!”

Jemma North, Junior Editor at Sweet Cherry Publishing (Issue Ninety-six)

 

We know that following these tips can be tricky and frustrating at times but wherever you are in the application process – just starting out, or at application number 500, interview number zero – don’t get discouraged, you’ll get there in the end!

 

Good luck with your applications! We look forward to eventually interviewing you for your unique advice one day when you make it in the industry, too.

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