Monday, March 29, 2010

how do I get into publishing? (Your Questions continued)

Casey Leigh asks, Publishing question: What does it take to break into publishing? I have at least two years office experience and at least two years reporting experience and yet I get nothing in response to my resume. I've honestly applied to at least 50-75 editorial assistant type positions. Any advice?

So a long, long time ago (almost three years ago!), I posted these basic rules for breaking into the publishing industry as a professional.

For the most part, the rules haven't changed, although we were hit really, really hard by the economic crisis, especially since we were already going through a lot of turmoil over the rise of digital media. This means that it's a little more difficult to get a job at all now. It's taking a little longer (sometimes much longer) for entry-level candidates to actually break in.

That's the bad news. There's good news, too. The good news is that although I stick to my guns that the plan above (doing an unpaid internship, working in a bookstore, networking) is a good one, I have had the opportunity over the past three years to see people make transitions from a bunch of other industries into publishing, and at every level, not just entry. I've also noticed more fluidity among departments than I had been taught to think there was. My advice during this time is to be open to opportunities even if they aren't quite what you had in mind. If you're dead-set on editorial, consider marketing or publicity or sales--or vice versa.

There are many paths to your dream, I guess is the short answer, and if you really, really want to work in publishing, keep plugging.

6 comments:

Kate Evangelista said...

It really is about putting yourself out there huh? The connections you make with the people you meet. Gosh, I'm starting to sound like a dating book. Stopping now.

Sophie Playle said...

Good advice. I know of someone who went from sales to editorial. Once you're in the company you want to work for, it is easier to switch across roles.

I've picked out a few things that helped me get into the publishing industry at my blog here: http://sophieplayleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/5-things-that-helped-me-get-job-in.html

faye said...

Raaah this post just makes me nervous. *bites nails*

clindsay said...

I second the "work in a bookstore" suggestion. I'd say that at least 80% of the sales & marketing & publicity people in publishing have some sort of bookstore retail background. I was recruited out of a bookstore by Random House.

Funluvinchick said...

Yay! I remember that post! That was the post that I found and discovered this wonderful blog! Now if only I could strategically make those 4 tips work for me on the other side of the country...

Crystal Posey said...

I love the way you answer questions. Open, honest, and encouraging. :)