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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Upskilling Tips for the Christmas Period

By Sukhpreet Chana, Misha Manani and Joe Pilbrow

We welcome you to our festive article for publishing hopefuls on how to make the most of the Christmas holidays. Publishing is a competitive industry and many people share similar goals, so why not make this Christmas a productive one? We have a variety of ideas to keep you occupied, from staying updated on events and socials to developing your skills in a new-found hobby connected to publishing.

Ways to Get Experience

  • Enquire at your local bookshop: You can pop into your favourite bookshop to see if they are hiring seasonal booksellers. Working in a bookshop can help you develop consumer skills and learn more about the industry to help you pursue your publishing career.

  • Join a writing/book club: There are many writing/book clubs, often held in bookshops or local communities, that you can join for free to boost your writing skills or share your favourite reads. This is a great way to meet fellow book lovers.

  • Sign up with temping agencies: This is a good way to earn income and gain experience. It can also help you get your foot in the door to expand your knowledge and develop your confidence in the industry – it could even lead to a permanent role.

  • Volunteer at libraries: Visit your local library or browse online to find a role that suits you. This can be anything from shelving books to hosting Christmas story hour to help kids get into the festive spirit. If you have a passion for books, start looking for opportunities now.

Develop Your Skills

  • Start a blog: This is a fun and free way to develop your writing skills and show off your love for books. A personal book blog is great to mention on your CV as well as at interviews. There’s no easier way to show enthusiasm for and interest in the industry. Try Wix, WordPress or even LinkedIn.

  • Keep reading: Christmas is always a busy time of year, so remember to take breaks from all the hustle and bustle by reading. You could develop your writing skills at the same time by writing reviews or summaries of the books you’ve read.

  • Work on your digital skills: A lot of publishing jobs require a basic knowledge of certain digital platforms or IT systems. Sign up to Canva and practice by making your own designs, or watch tutorials on more advanced Excel functions.

  • Learn a new language: Jobs in sales and rights often involve communicating with people from all over the world. Give yourself the gift of a basic knowledge of another language. It could help you stand out from the crowd when applying for entry-level roles.

Top Tips

  • Visit bookshops during this period: There are always Christmas table displays, robust commercial strategies and special sales on at this time of year. It’s important to know what is selling well or what bookshops are promoting more as the year ends. Go to independent (Goldsboro Books) and chain bookshops (Waterstones) to see the differences.

  • Work on job applications: Write/edit your CVs and cover letters for different roles and departments you are interested in. Think about your transferable skills and experiences. Also, consider the companies/imprints you would love to work for and why. The volume of jobs in the months of November and December is lower than the rest of the year, so use this time.

  • Analyse book campaigns on social media: Whether you want to work in sales, editorial, publicity etc, you should know how to connect with different audiences. Look at publisher’s feeds on Instagram, X (Twitter) and TikTok to see how books are marketed.

  • Attend end-of-year networking events: If you already work in publishing, you might be invited to some end-of-year events, especially company Christmas parties. If you are looking to get into the industry, check the Society of Young Publishers, Publishing Hopefuls and the Assistants in Publishing WhatsApp group to look out for events.

Thank you for reading issue eighty-six! Join us again for issue eighty-seven where we will cover the Upskilling Tips for the New Year.


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