Things The Team Wished They Knew When They Started Out
Is there something you wish you knew when you first joined the publishing hopefuls community that you know now and could share with other hopefuls who are just starting their journey?
Charlotte Comrie: Don’t be afraid to try out different roles, not everyone wants to be an editor! I fell in love with typesetting and a year ago I didn’t even know what that was.
Charlotte Brook: No matter how disheartening it may feel sometimes, don’t give up! There are so many ways to get noticed without experience; join The Post, start a bookstagram, apply for mentoring schemes. It will all pay off in the end!
Hannah Moore: Don’t worry if you feel out of your depth in the publishing community. Everyone is in the same boat and will more than likely feel the same as you or have had similar feelings to you and will be there to help you find your feet!
Mitch Collett: Take up every opportunity you can and meet other people! As scary as it is, networking has allowed me many opportunities to meet people within the industry for advice and experience.
Annabella Costantino: Everyone’s journey into publishing is different, so give yourself the creative freedom to try new things and develop skills that align with your interests. Make the most out of online platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Most importantly: find what makes you love this industry, and run with it!
Madeleine McManus: Always be open to learning something new from a different department – keep asking questions about what interests you and you never know where it will take you. Some people have been in the industry for years and might forget how little people know when entering a new role but these are the people with the most unique knowledge. Luckily the people in the publishing industry are very helpful and won’t mind answering any and all questions. Also, be prepared to use a lot of acronyms you never knew existed!
Pippa Newton: Don’t overestimate everyone else in the world; no one else knows what they’re doing either! Just do what makes you happy, throw yourself out there and see what happens. My current job is working on websites and writing digital content for a charity, which was something I’d never even thought about doing, but as I got stuck in with online courses and communities who love reading and writing like I do, I found a new passion and I love it! So try stuff out, give different departments or industries a go and don’t stress that other people are doing things differently.
Laura Vogel: Be open-minded! There are so many options besides editorial and trade publishing, and so many routes into the industry. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different roles and to look for opportunities in companies that you wouldn’t necessarily have considered first – there are many publishers beyond the Big Five and many publishing-related jobs in parallel industries that are great options to consider to gain and develop some experience. Also, keep in mind that publishing is very much a collaborative and people-oriented industry. So, don’t be afraid to connect with people, be true to yourself, and let your personality shine through!
Jill Çakmak: You do not necessarily fit best for the role you learned for! There are so many tasks in publishing, be open to something new and try to adapt your known skills to new challenges! It will reward you with your potential dream position you probably haven’t considered before.
Leah Bird: Don’t limit yourself to one dream role that you have imagined or saw on Twitter. Read through job descriptions for any entry-level role that comes up and you might be surprised to find that your skill-set matches the position perfectly or that it aligns really well with what you enjoy! Keep an open mind at every stage and you’ll get there eventually.
Hannah Collins: Despite the rejection that you might experience when applying for jobs within the publishing industry, there will be a position out there that matches with your experience and aligns with your ethos! Sometimes all it takes is getting to the interview stage so you can really demonstrate who you are as a professional and an individual. Also looking outside of London for jobs can be really beneficial!
Sophie Dickinson: Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get any internships, even after months of applying, and especially with big publishing houses! Remember that there are thousands of people all in the same boat as you, looking to enter the industry, and the most popular internships aren’t always going to be the immediate ticket to success – there’s lots of other paths to take too, such as LDN Apprenticeships and enquiring at independent publishers.
Shaniah Shields: Always remember to network. Utilise social media and connect with publishing hopefuls and professionals on LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s a great way to share experiences and to gain an insight into what it’s like working in the industry. You’ll find your dream role one day and it will be worth all the applications!
Tasneem Hafiz: Always ask questions – don’t be afraid and don’t apologise for it, it’s all a learning experience.
Shannon Wibberley: Always be confident in your skills and abilities, don’t doubt yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others who have more experience, your experience is just as valuable and everyone starts somewhere. Never be afraid to ask for opportunities even if they seem small, things won’t be handed to you. Things take time but you will get to where you want to be!