How to Start a Career in Publishing

Books are as popular as ever. Physical books are still sold in large quantities, while digital editions are an even bigger product. The publishing industry is working overtime. This means that you can break into the industry right now. However, you’ll be up against the competition as others think of this as their dream job, too. Here are some tips that should help you get into the business:

Freelance Beginnings

You don’t even need to work for a publishing company directly. Nowadays, there is so much content that copywriting or proofreading is for freelancers. If you’re interested in this sort of work, your LinkedIn profile can be a big help. Looking at job boards should connect you to a company looking for freelancers. The great thing about this is that if you’re impressive enough, they might hire you full-time.

Make a Personal Appearance

You’ve heard it all on many job-hunting sites, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it: There is nothing like a personal appearance. This is important. Book publishing is still surprisingly strict when it comes to hiring practices. If you impress the person talking to you, they might throw a job or two your way.

Start Small

There are dozens of small and independent publishers out there. If you’re starting, it is easier to get into these companies. For one, they tend to receive fewer job applications than big publishers. Their needs are also less strict, and they can accept those who are a bit short of experience but are willing to learn.

Do Your Research

reading a book

Publishing can be surprisingly complicated. This is why you will want to do some research into the publishers and industry. It is not just people reading books and deciding that they are worth publishing. For example, some publishers focus on a particular type of book or have several imprints that have a theme running through them. Knowing that a publisher is primarily known for releasing memoirs and non-fiction can help you narrow down which publishers you want to work with.

It also helps if you have an idea of the industry in general. Knowing what’s hot on the bestseller lists doesn’t hurt and makes you look like someone who has put thought into their application.

Be Flexible

The main job that many aim for in publishing is to be an editor. However, this is not feasible. It helps that there are various departments in a publishing company. If you’re an excellent speaker and have a gift for being heard, then joining the publicity department might be your choice. There are dozens of jobs out there in publishing that will allow you to get your foot in.

In the end, you should remember that starting a career in publishing is just as demanding as in any industry. With the tips above, you’ve got a bit of an advantage, but that might not be enough. You must sharpen your skills and bring your best foot forward so that you can have your dream job.

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