By Annabella Costantino, Rowan Groat and Misha Manani
In the previous issue, we shared some upskilling tips from two women in publishing who run their own side hustles. For part two of this mini-series, we have testimonials from individuals who used their initiative to take their ideas to the next level. We hope by reading their experiences, you will feel inspired to bring your own creative projects to life!
Sara Roberts: MLitt Publishing Studies Graduate & Publishing Hopeful
Sara Roberts is a recent Publishing Studies graduate, aspiring to work in publicity or marketing. She interns at Ringwood Publishing as the Social Media Marketing Manager and also runs a bookstagram. Read this blog post for more advice! Why Did You Start Your Side Hustle?
“At the beginning of lockdown in January, I wanted to transition my lifestyle blog into a bookstagram, hoping to develop my social media expertise. Now, it is one of my favourite things to do because it pushes me to read more. I can set up aesthetic photographs and I love chatting with followers about shared interests.”
What Has The Bookstagram Community Taught You?
“The bookstagram community is extremely welcoming, which has helped grow my confidence on social media. As a publishing hopeful, bookstagram has given me an insight into the book community. I stay updated with publishing trends, latest releases and industry insights, which makes writing cover letters and CVs easier. Running this account, hosting competitions and regularly posting content has been demanding, but it’s solidified my passion for the industry.”
What Advice Would You Give?
“I would highly recommend starting a bookstagram if it’s something you’ve considered. You should follow lots of book accounts, comment on other reviews to initiate conversations and create a posting schedule in advance. Everyone is so friendly and there’s no judgement; be yourself and have fun!”
Nina Clapperton: Travel Podcast Producer & MA Publishing Media Graduate
Nina Clapperton is a Canadian travel writer and Oxford Brookes University MA Publishing Media graduate. Nina enjoys being a solo female traveller and sharing her experiences online. To follow her adventures, check out her Instagram, blog and podcast!
What Inspired You To Start Your Podcast?
“Tripping Up was born from my love of podcasts, research into the industry for my Master’s dissertation and working as a travel writer. I found that travel was underrepresented in podcasts – it’s not a genre on Apple Podcasts.”
What Have You Learnt From The Podcast Community?
“Creating the podcast has allowed me to network with travel writers globally, which has grown my industry connections. I didn’t expect such a welcoming community, but now I’ve worked with many fellow travel podcasters on cross-promotion. They really personify #communityovercompetition, working to share knowledge and help grow each other’s platforms.”
What Would You Say To Aspiring Podcast Creators?
“If you’re looking to get into podcasting, I recommend niching down. Find a gap in the market related to your passion. There are thousands of true crime podcasts, but many thrive because they have a specific audience. Invest in a microphone, experiment with editing on Adobe Audition and pay for a good hosting platform. If I could do it all again, I would add a co-host so I could share the fun with someone.”
Maria Oliver-Smith: Edinburgh College of Art Painting Student & Ringwood Intern
Maria Oliver-Smith is a Painting student at the Edinburgh College of Art and is currently finishing her degree. Alongside studying, she is a Ringwood Publishing intern and runs an Instagram dedicated to celebrating sportswomen in Scotland, called Business of Sports Women.
What Can You Tell Us About Your Work?
“I have written, designed, illustrated and self-published a book on the relationship between art, science and data for my final university project. In December 2020, I started interning with Ringwood Publishing, writing reader’s reports, acting as Assistant Editor and participating in online author interviews. I also created an Instagram page to close a gap in the media for supporting women’s sports in Scotland, by recalling their stories through photography and the written word.”
How Has Your Side Hustle Helped You Develop?
“My Instagram page has allowed me to engage with like-minded women and develop skills in conducting interviews, recalling personal stories and engaging with media outlets to support and enhance the profile of sportswomen.”
What Tips Can You Share?
“I believe it is crucial to realise the ways you can progress a hobby or an idea: exploring important societal issues, driving positive change and encouraging others. Whether with a book or an Instagram page, be creative, use your voice and find your community.”
Thank you for reading part two of Upskilling for a Side Hustle. For more information on these creative projects, please show your support on social media. In issue twenty-four, we will cover Administrative Upskilling Tips!