We are delighted to let you know that a new edition of INSIDE BOOK PUBLISHING by Giles Clark and Angus Phillips is now available.
Fully updated, this book is a comprehensive walk-through of the whole publishing process and the industry around it. If you wanted to know exactly how book publishing works, including all the digital changes and influences, then do take a read.
It is a standard text book for any publishing course and we highly recommend it to all clients who are thinking about entering book publishing. In fact, if you have been in the industry for many years, it could also serve as a useful handbook for updating your publishing knowledge.
There is also a chapter on job hunting in book publishing, of which we had an advance read, and it was spot on.
You can purchase a copy by clicking the link below. In line with our ethical policy we are now using The Hive affiliate network for all future book purchases.
Whether you like it or not, there is a drinking culture in book publishing. You cannot go to a publishing event without the compulsory glass of warm white wine being served. Quite a few of us on twitter talk about ending the day with ‘a large gin and tonic’ and I’ve worked for numerous companies where it was custom at the end of the day – or on completion of a successful project – to go to the pub or celebrate with alcohol in the office. Both London and the Frankfurt Book Fairs are drink-fuelled events, where often the best deals are concluded in the bar, or at a boozy dinner.
The days of the traditional alcohol-led publishing lunch may be all but over, but you cannot deny that when you work in book publishing, there are numerous opportunities to drink alcohol throughout your career.
But what if you don’t drink, either for religious reasons, health reasons or personal choice, where does that leave you?
I’ve been to several publishing parties over the past few months where the welcoming drinks were restricted to white or red wine. When my guest asked for water they were looked upon disdainfully.
If you are someone who doesn’t drink, and work at an office where the working day often ends with an alcoholic beverage, do you feel excluded because of it? Does it affect your career path because you are not seen as ‘one of the team’?
Perhaps you’re someone who wishes to cut back on drinking but finds it impossible to do so because of the drinking culture around you. When you’ve tried to say no, has your boss still pushed a drink into your hand saying ‘go on…just the one’? Or maybe, even worse, you’ve made a clear decision not to drink but someone has slipped Vodka into your orange juice to help you ‘lighten up’.
Is one of the factors holding book publishing back in the equality and diversity stakes the fact that those who don’t drink for religious reasons find themselves unable to pursue particular careers? Would you employ a publicity assistant or publicist who refused to be at an event where alcohol was being served, or agreed to attend but refused to hand out drinks or help clear up glasses afterwards?
Alcohol has always been a part of book publishing. I’m not asking that it stop; only that we are more accommodating and considerate towards those that don’t drink, rather than exclude them.
Are you a non-drinker in a book publishing career? Has alcohol affected your career choices? Or are you someone that drinks who finds it difficult to relate to those that don’t? The drinking culture in book publishing is the elephant in the room. Maybe it’s time to have an open discussion about it.
Bedford based design agency, emc design launches their first graduate scheme for want
to be editorial designers. It offers a starting salary of £16,000.
emc design is one of the leading UK agencies dedicated to the publishing industry and
has been steadily growing over the past few years. The company has always had the
ethos of bringing in design graduates with the aim of training them in-house, on live jobs
from day one. Their culture is to nurture and develop already very talented designers
who have been taught the fundamental basics of good design at undergraduate level,
including typography, information design, layout skills and concept development. They
look for people who have the enthusiasm and potential to become the very best editorial
designers. They train and develop their designers in a proven scheme in the technical
and creative side of the job – teasing out an in-depth understanding of how form and
function balances when designing for the educational publishing markets.
They are committed to ensuring that they continue to grow the company to provide long-term
career opportunities for all their staff.
If you are interested in more information, please take a look at
http://www.emcdesign.org.uk/about/graduates.html and download
the graduate information pack. Applications close on 30th June 2014.
Mike Cryer, Managing Director, says of the scheme:
“We are very pleased that we are in a position to offer opportunities to graphic design
graduates in an interesting area of design. Taking on graduates and training and
developing them has been the best means of recruiting good designers for us. Getting
good creative people is essential to our plans for growth.”
“We work for the top UK educational publishers producing books and digital components
just within the publishing industry. So our expertise is in editorial design. This is a niche
area and often not recognised as the most glamorous area of design, however, it can
be the most challenging and rewarding. Young designers that join us generally say
they cannot believe how much they learn when they come here and what a friendly,
supportive atmosphere it is to work in.”
The Publishers Association are continuing a campaign to promote the changing world and workforce in publishing with a new PA Youtube Channel.
The first films are a series with the title Working in Publishing: A World of Content Creation and Delivery made up of interviews with young people working in the industry and demonstrating what an exciting business publishing is.
This looks a very exciting project and we look forward to seeing how it builds in the forthcoming months.
Here are our top tips if you are job searching and going to the London Book Fair (LBF).
1. Don’t expect to find a job at the London Book Fair. If you are coming it is to seek information, look around and keep up with developments. Be prepared to potentially make contacts and network. Our tips for networking will help.
2. Exhibitors. Unless they are recruitment consultants or training providers they are unlikely to be at the LBF for you; Exhibitors are there to buy and sell and do deals. A publishers’ output for the next few years may rely on the business they do at the fair, so bear this in mind if someone is curt with you if you are asking questions. Likewise if you are going from stand to stand trying to pitch your unpublished novel to a publisher at the LBF.
3. Do not go around handing in your CV. There is probably no one on the stand who is from HR and even if someone does accept your CV it is unlikely to make it back to the office. Much better to check their website afterwards and see if they accept speculative applications, before emailing your CV to the office instead.
4. Do go through the list of exhibitors (search by category, rather than alphabetically is useful) and make a note of which stands you want to see. Check out the floorplan too so you don’t walk endlessly for miles – we have been asked to point out that you should WEAR, FLAT, COMFORTABLE SHOES!
5. Do look at the stands of the exhibitors that you want to see, noting the following:-
- Look how busy they are. This could be an indication of how well they are doing at the moment.
- Notice how many staff are on the stand.
- Look at the stand design and layout. Is it good or bad? Would you do anything differently? These are always useful discussions for future sales and marketing staff to have at job interviews.
- What book or series are they promoting at the moment? Look at the walls and the sides of the stand. What are their lead titles? Again, excellent points to discuss at an interview.
- If they have catalogues or brochures to give out and you are up to carrying stuff, then take one. (Check they are free; and bear in mind that the copies of books on the stands are not for retail sale – this is a trade only fair). Although you can view publishers’ catalogues on line, taking a hard copy to an interview speaks volumes.
- Check out the competitors of the publishers that you want to work for. What are they doing differently? Is it better?
- Make some notes so you don’t forget what you have seen!
6. Do go and look around all areas of the exhibition, so that you are informed of new developments and opportunities.
7. Do go and visit the recruitment consultants if they have stands, especially if they have had your CV for a while and you haven’t been put forward for anything. Putting a face to a name is a great way to remind them that you exist.
8. Seminars. There are lots of free seminars going on throughout the fair (over 270!). Here are our favourites:-
How to Get Into Publishing
How to Get Ahead in Publishing
Introduction to Publishing
The War for Talent
The Changing Face of Publishing
Making Change Happen
A Spectrum of Experience
Futureproof Your Career
9. Parties. Towards the end of the day you will notice a number of standing setting up for drinks parties. If you are fortunate enough to be invited don’t get drunk and use our tips on networking to see you through the event. Networking events include Book Machine and Byte the Book.
10. Follow up! If you’ve made any useful contacts at the fair, don’t waste the opportunity and follow up promptly.
If the concept of ‘networking’ fills you with horror, here is our survival guide…
When you’re next at a publishing event or conference imagine that, if you put your hand on the shoulder of the person next to you, you would have a connection to all the people they know; and likewise they would have access to all your connections. If everyone put their hand on the shoulder of the person next to them, the chances are you’d have most of the publishing industry covered.
What does it mean – this networking business? It simply means that if someone in the room has a question or problem there will most likely be someone in the room who will either be able to answer it or they will know someone who can. It is a bit like ‘phone a friend’ on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ Imagine having that kind of network or support system at your fingertips and being able to call on it? That is why people say it isn’t what you know, but who you know that is important.
If you are thinking this is all a bit like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, then you are right. But as social networks have evolved, more emphasis is being placed on the power of face to face networks – particularly as so many people I know on Facebook are either leaving or de-friending people they don’t really know in real life.
Book publishing relies on connections and networking, from the beginning to the other end of the spectrum where directors are socializing and sharing information with the directors of other publishing companies. Unlike almost any other industry, publishing is one where we find ourselves regularly talking to, socializing or sharing information with our competitors. Now these connections weren’t made when someone became a director, they were probably made very early on in respective careers. For example, the majority of editorial, sales, rights and managing directors I know now, I knew when they’d just joined publishing and were assistant level or very junior. Obviously, during that time I have nurtured friendships and professional relationships, and during that time I have asked favours of them, and they have asked favours of me. Now all of this didn’t happen by accident – you have to work at it.
How do you introduce yourself to a complete stranger? Do you pitch in with your ‘Elevator Speech’ (i.e. what you might say if you got in the elevator on the ground floor with the managing director and you were both going to the 15th, and he or she asked you what you did. What would you say?) Far better to introduce yourself and latch on to something that you may have already seen or heard today.
Here are my top ten tips to get you started:
- Don’t pitch. When you introduce yourself don’t go straight into your elevator pitch, ask a question about something related to the event. E.g. what did you think of that last presentation? Isn’t this a lovely venue, I haven’t been here before, have you? Hello, have you been to one of these events before? I don’t think we’ve met before, I’m (insert your name) and offer your hand to shake.
- Stay focused. Engage yourself fully in the conversation; don’t keep looking over the person’s shoulder for the next interesting person who comes in the room.
- Make eye contact and smile. Everyone is nervous when first making contact, but making eye contact and smiling will help calm your nerves as well as theirs.
- Be memorable. When asked about yourself, aim to say something they will remember about you. For example, if you are an author’s conference and everyone is an author, how will they remember you? What are you an author of? What genres do you specialise in?
- Listen. Talk but don’t talk too much. When you’re talking, you are only hearing things you already know; when you’re listening, you are hearing things you may not already know.
- Choose your moment. Exchange business cards at the appropriate moment. This is unlikely to be when you first say hello.
- Circulate. Give yourself a target to meet and talk to at least six new people at every event. If you stand in a huddle with the people you already know, you are unlikely to make any new contacts.
- Follow up! Email the person within the next three days and say how good it was to meet them. If appropriate, add them to your LinkedIn network and follow them on Twitter.
- Make it personal – nothing is worse than sending ‘round robin’ or template emails, where it is obvious that you have sent the email to everyone but changed their name. This particularly applies to LinkedIn- make sure you are personalising your connection requests, not sending the standard ‘I would like to add you to my network’.
- Stay in touch. Don’t lose people from your network, keep in touch with maybe an occasional email when you hear they have had good or bad news (been published, promoted, or made redundant) or if you are going to the same event again – ask if they are going too. Make sure you are in contact aside from when you need their support, advice or connections – please don’t be one of these people who only gets in touch with others when they need something.
UPDATE: CONGRATULATIONS TO Zarina who tweets as @canadian_turtle for coming up with the best suggestion – How to job search in book publishing.
Bookcareers.com will shortly be launching a one-day course on how to job search in publishing. It will combine all the expertise from their Job Club in one day and is aimed mainly at people who already have work history in publishing, rather than those who are just graduating (although new graduates will be welcome), and we are asking for your help in choosing an appropriate name.
It will cover everything from CVs, Covering Letters, Interviews, Networking, to Social Media, Recruitment Consultants, Where to find jobs and lots of other snippets and valuable information you need to know.
The working title is ‘Job Club in a Day’ and other suggestions have included ‘How to Propel Your Publishing Career’ or ‘Everything you needed to know about finding a job in publishing’ or ‘Job Search Boot Camp’
So please get thinking! If you like one of the suggestions we’ve already mentioned and wish to modify it, please do so.
Closing date 7.00 pm 10th March 2014.
Terms and conditions
*Prize consists of place on the course only; you will be responsible for your own travel expenses. Sandwich lunch and refreshments will be provided.
You must have the right to work in the UK to accept the free place.
There is no cash value; this prize is not transferable.
bookcareers.com will have unreserved rights to use the name generated without any further cash payment, royalty or claim for the title.
The Society of Young Publishers have relaunched their Mentoring Scheme. Intended to help young SYP members to build contacts and advance in their chosen field, the scheme will feature successful, dynamic representatives from five different areas of publishing. In a departure from traditional one-on-one mentoring arrangements, each will mentor 5–10 young professionals in their own area of expertise over five group sessions, meeting in London roughly every 2 months for the remainder of the year.
A fantastic and experienced group of publishing professionals, across design and brand management, marketing and publicity, sales, editorial, and author representation, will mentor throughout the scheme.
Confirmed mentors include: Auriol Bishop, Creative Director at Hodder (design and brand management); Sophia Blackwell, Marketing Manager at Bloomsbury (marketing and publicity); Chrissy Charalambides, Key Account Manager at Penguin Random House (sales); Hellie Ogden, Agent at Janklow & Nesbitt (author representation); Max Porter, Senior Editor at Granta (editorial skills); and Mark Richards, Editorial Director at John Murray Press (editorial skills).
SYP members under the age of 30, who have been working in publishing for between one and five years, will be able to apply for the scheme by emailing a CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 March 2014.
Applying for the Scheme
More information on the mentor scheme and how to apply will be available on the SYP’s website, thesyp.org.uk/mentor-scheme.
This really is a big thank you
for adding your details to our Salary Survey and circulating the questionnaire to others. So if you contributed, emailed, tweeted, facebooked, or cajoled publishing colleagues and friends, then please give yourself a huge round of applause.
What happens next?
Your work has ended and ours really begins. First of all we have to tidy up all the literal responses, the questions which said ‘other, please state’ and aim to batch them together for analysis. By doing this we very often see which responses are actually from people who didn’t qualify for the survey (e.g. freelancers, those not employed by UK publishers or literary agents) which we remove. During a survey we may remove up to 50 spoiled or erroneous responses.
Then we start analysing the data, which often throws up more anomalies, and aim to do a first data run by the end of January 2014. Then we verify the data, looking for other inconsistencies. If you supplied your email address this is where we might contact you for clarification of answers, before running the data for the second time, hopefully by the end of February 2014.
Usually by the time we’ve got to the third data run, Suzanne is pulling her hair out, has aged 50 years over night, and is swearing that we will never, ever, do another salary survey again. (This is Suzanne’s 9th Salary Survey, so have no fear, this doesn’t last and there will be another). Particularly if we are now well into March 2014. We hope to publish the results and final report some time during March or April, but as this depends very much on the process of analysis we are not yet able to name a final date at this point. In the meantime we will aim to keep you updated with our progress via our twitter account @bookcareers.
Thank you again for all your help. This survey would not be possible without your contribution.