How to job search in book publishing

We are delighted to announce that our new training course is now available for booking.

HOW TO JOB SEARCH IN BOOK PUBLISHING

“An incredibly helpful day, full of useful information”

Would you like to know EVERYTHING there is about job searching in book publishing?

Whether you are established in your publishing career or just starting out, this day is aimed at you.
Covering everything to do with job searching in publishing from your CV, Covering Letters, CVs, Interviews (including competency based interviews) Networking, Social Media, Recruitment Consultants, Your personal brand, Where to find jobs and lots of other snippets and valuable information you need to know.

“I thought the content was perfect and arranged really well” 

The industry is changing at a rapid rate and so is the way that employers recruit staff.
Bookcareers.com are regularly in touch with employers and recruiters across the industry and will share with you the tools that you need to help you find your own job and ways forward, so that you have the knowledge to go and get the job that you really want.

“Very helpful seminar. Having everything you need to know in one day is the best way to approach it”

WHO IS IT AIMED AT?
This is aimed at people who already have some experience of book publishing and who may be job searching for the first time in quite a while, or who have already been on a prolonged job search, although we will welcome entry level candidates who have an understanding of the book publishing industry and the jobs available.
It doesn’t matter which sector you are in, be it Trade, Academic,Educational, STM etc, the skills you will learn are applicable to all areas.

“A fantastic, informative day. I feel inspired!”

This will be taking place at regular intervals.  You can find out more information and book your place here

Are you networking in November?

Are you networking in November?  We couldn’t help but notice that within a week of our next HOW TO JOB SEARCH IN BOOK PUBLISHING, the organisations Book Machine, Byte The Book and the SYP Conference are all taking place.  So here is a great offer – usually only available to subscribers of our newsletter.

If you are attending any of the above events, then you can take £10 off the price of HOW TO JOB SEARCH IN BOOK PUBLISHING!  This is because you are probably well on your way to getting the networking part of your job search to the standard that we recommend.  Even if you are not, here is a great opportunity to come to probably the best day you can ever give yourself to help find the job that you deserve.

Just visit https://how-to-job-search-in-book-publishing.eventbrite.co.uk/?discount=November14   and use the promotional code November14 and £10 will be taken off the cost of our unique one day course.

And don’t forget, if you are unemployed and have already worked in the UK book publishing industry, then you might qualify for a sponsored place on this course.  Please email your CV to us at online@bookcareers.com, with a brief outline of your current situation and we will be in touch.

If you are not sure if this course is right for you, please email us at online@bookcareers.com, and we’ll book you in for an informal telephone/Skype chat to talk through your current career needs.

 

LinkedIn – The best tool for your publishing job search

LinkedIn [in] logo - 2 color - png

 

With over 300 million users, LinkedIn’s population compares to that of the United States. To have all these potential contacts at your fingertips is invaluable for any jobseeker. But with every social network there are golden rules and pitfalls. Here are my guidelines for making LinkedIn the best part of your publishing job search.

1. Switch off updates.
If you are already on LinkedIn and want to try several new things while updating your profile, switch off ‘updates’ so your network and current boss don’t see what you are up to until you have finished making changes. Then, when you are ready, switch updates back on. Otherwise, every time you change your job title or add skills your contacts will get an email saying ‘Congratulate… on their new job!’

Switch updates on and off by going to: Account & Settings > Privacy & Settings > Turn on/off your activity broadcasts – and uncheck the box.

2. Always use your real name and a photograph.
It is a good idea to use the same profile picture you use on other networks, such as Twitter – if it is a genuine photograph of yourself. In the rules of marketing there are seven ‘touches’ before you get a sale. You are now marketing your personal brand, so you need to create these ‘touches’ within your job search.

If you are apprehensive about putting personal information on the internet, you don’t need to put your whole CV/resumé or career history onto LinkedIn – you can be selective and only list the skills and experience that you feel are important to get you your next role. You might not add in the name of your secondary school, for instance.

There is a lot of information about you already accessible on the internet; far better that you control your information and your brand than let others do so for you.

3. Choose your job title carefully.
Write a job title that closely matches the role or work you wantto do, not the role you may already have. This is because Human Resources departments and headhunters search for people by job title.

When I look through LinkedIn I see nothing but ‘Publishing Professionals’. What is a Publishing Professional? How many HR Managers do you think are searching for candidates using the job title ‘Publishing Professional? I can tell you now: zero.

So choose a job title that is relevant to the work you are looking for or which closely matches the new role that you seek. For example Editor, Editorial Manager, Editorial Director, Marketing and Editorial Freelance, Marketing Executive/Manager.

Your job title on LinkedIn is the best way to attract the right people to your profile. For instance, since I included the words ‘Career Guidance Strategist’ in my personal LinkedIn profile, I have had approaches from colleges and universities. When I added in the words Commissioning Editor, I had approaches from publishers. You don’t need to stick to only one job title; you can have several words and phrases up to around 120 characters.

4. Keep your profile relevant and add in your skills.
One of LinkedIn’s more recent profile sections is ‘skills’ and you should list all the skills that you have and that you want to use in a new role.

The skills option seems completely flooded with unquantified skills at the moment such as ‘publishing’ – which could mean anything. How the skills option develops or is used, or if it brings any real benefits, is yet to be seen: it could simply be a feature to let others ‘touch’ your profile and so you ‘touch’ theirs.

Always make it a personal policy to only endorse others who you personally know and are willing to endorse.

5. Ask others for recommendations.
Recommendations are testimonials or references written by others about good work or projects you have done.

You do not have to recommend in return, although some of your contacts may expect it. A recommendation gives your profile weight, as it shows that others are willing to commit to public a testimonial or reference saying that you have been good at your job. Don’t be afraid to ask others for recommendations – and, equally, don’t be upset if they refuse or ignore your request.

6. Connect with other people you know.
One of the most frequent questions I am asked is ‘who should I connect with?’
Start with current and former colleagues, but again only connect with people that you want to. Don’t feel obliged to accept every connection request and don’t connect with people that you don’t know.

Before you connect with someone, read their profile and under ‘Additional Info’ there may be an item which says ‘Advice for connecting with…’ See if there are any requirements that they have asked for when connecting – for instance, my profile says: ‘Please state the reason for requesting contact or indicate how I know you in your ‘Invitation to Connect’ request. If you do not use your real name on LinkedIn, please don’t expect me to connect. Don’t forget there is a bookcareers.com group on LinkedIn which you are welcome to join’.

It is really important to connect only to those who you know or are really happy to connect to because, unless you have ‘hidden’ your connections, they can then see who you are connected to, and other people may take these as endorsements. It also means that in LinkedIn searches they appear connected to you, and therefore others may feel they need to connect with them too.

7.  Personalize your messages.
Always send a personal non-standard connection request unless you have already agreed with someone to connect on LinkedIn (although you might still want to remind them of your conversation).

In the UK, LinkedIn standard messages simply state:
‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.’
Where it would be much better to send:
‘Further to our conversation (or email or meeting or interview) I would like to connect with you on LinkedIn’.

If you want to connect with people that you don’t know personally, a more detailed message is best. For example if you are looking for an editorial role and you want to connect with a publishing recruitment consultant, you might want to send a message such as:
‘I am currently looking for a role within Trade Editorial, I’ve registered on your website, but would now personally like to connect with you on LinkedIn’.

Sending a personal message with a connection request should make all the difference, but don’t be surprised if people don’t connect with you or it takes them weeks before they accept your connection request; some people only add connections on a periodic basis.

8. Join relevant LinkedIn Groups.
There are thousands of publishing related groups on LinkedIn, and all groups have a page for Job Vacancies (unless the group owner has disabled this function).

Search for the groups that are most relevant to you but, if you are new to LinkedIn, make sure you have at least two connections – otherwise you will be flagged up to the group owner as a potential spammer. When joining a group, do check the group rules or protocols. For instance, the Bookcareers group on LinkedIn does not allow book or blog promotional posts and those who post find their posts quickly removed.

To ensure that your inbox isn’t flooded with emails from the groups you join on LinkedIn, do make sure that you set your email digests for each group according to your personal requirements. From some groups you might want to receive daily updates, another group you might want a weekly update, and some groups you might want no email updates from at all.

One of the best ways to get yourself ‘noticed’ on LinkedIn is to ask an appropriate question or post an interesting link you may have seen in to the ‘Discussions’ area. But, before you do, make sure you’ve monitored the group for a week or so, to see what others are posting and how you may contribute.

Find the bookcareers.com LinkedIn group at: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1807670
Find the Publishing Talk LinkedIn group at: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2514139

9. Update your status.
Like Twitter and Facebook you can now update your status on your LinkedIn profile. You can make this public, visible to everyone on LinkedIn, or just to your contacts.

Remember though this is not Twitter; some people make the same status updates that you would find on Twitter but you have a different, more professional, audience on LinkedIn and sending all your tweets to LinkedIn is not appropriate.

10. Choose companies to follow.
You can follow companies on LinkedIn, so choose publishers and recruiters who you want to work for now, or aspire to work for in the future. The publishers who have pages on LinkedIn very often have their own career pages which are regularly updated with new vacancies.

If you’d like to know more about boosting your job search, why not attend our one day course
How to Job Search in Book Publishing

This article appears in the October 2014 edition of Publishing Talk Magazine, which is available as a free download for a limited time.

(c) Suzanne Collier 2014  

New grant scheme for entry level graduates

The Book Trade Charity (BTBS), as part of its closer collaboration with the Matthew Hodder Charitable Trust (MHCT), announced the first phase of a new pilot project aimed at encouraging talented younger people into the book trade though a programme of grants.

The initial phase will help those who are unable to get a foot into the industry where financial pressure means that they are unable to pay for travel, subsistence, overnight accommodation or even suitable clothing for interviews.  The scheme is available for under 30’s, who are resident in the UK, applying for a job in the UK Book Trade, primarily but not exclusively in publishing, who can demonstrate a financial need.

Grants of up to £1,000 will be available quickly to those eligible for the scheme.

The grants programme will then extend to cover support for appropriate internships later in the year.

BTBS will welcome applications either by the applicants or from companies, trade bodies or others acting on behalf of the applicant.  Further information and guidelines can be found at http://www.btbs.org/?p=560  or by emailing info@btbs.org

Quote from David Hicks – Chief Executive, BTBS:

“The Book Trade Charity traces its roots back to 1837 and Victorian philanthropy, but we are keen to support the trade in ways which are relevant today.  This particular programme recognises that it is difficult for young people to get a foot on the ladder in today’s rapidly-changing industry and we will be delighted if our assistance can help overcome some basis obstacles.”

Quote from Tom Biggs-Davison, Chairman MHCT:

“This innovative project being launched by BTBS deserves support from the trade and we are delighted that the close relationship between MHCT and BTBS will enable this pilot programme to get off the ground; we are sure it will be to the benefit of many young people, and to the trade itself.”

Inside Book Publishing (5th Edition)

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.

 

Does the drinking culture in book publishing affect your career?

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.

New Graduate Scheme for Editorial Designers

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.”

Publishing Careers YouTube Channel

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.

How to use the London Book Fair if you are looking for a job

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:-

  1. Look how busy they are.  This could be an indication of how well they are doing at the moment.
  2. Notice how many staff are on the stand.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Check out the competitors of the publishers that you want to work for.  What are they doing differently? Is it better?
  7. 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.

How to network in book publishing

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. Choose your moment. Exchange business cards at the appropriate moment. This is unlikely to be when you first say hello.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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’.
  10. 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.