Part one: Inside Story
I’ve written out the opening to this so many times, so I’m going to open with this instead. Finding work experience in publishing can be tough, and often London based which is pretty dang expensive even when they’re paying minimum wage. So I’ve decided to start this little series charting out my experiences at different publishing houses, as I try to find a permanent place in the publishing industry.
I think we should start at the beginning, with Hachette’s Inside Story back in 2016. This event was the first time I’d ever gone to any kind of publishing event, and I was beyond excited. I stayed in a grim Airbnb in Shadwell and I had to beg work for the time off, but I managed to make it to the event and it made all the trouble was totally worth it.
If you haven’t heard of Inside Story it’s a wonderful annual event that gives you a fantastic insight into publishing, and gave me the opportunity to speak to some amazing professionals from the industry. I got to work on our group’s imaginary publishing project (we decided on a horror novel based on the premise of Slenderman), and take the book from an initial concept all the way through to production and sales. My group and I then had to present our plan to the other event attendees, and I found this particularly nerve-wracking as I get pretty dang nervous standing up in front of that many people, but it was seriously fun getting to budget and plan a book release from start to finish.
They went over each role in the industry from literary agent to production in detail, it was terrific! I went in wanting to be an editor, and left wanting to do everything; I realised there were so many interesting roles in the publishing process, and I found myself drawn to every single one! I couldn’t recommend an event like this enough if you are thinking about making the publishing industry your home, it was an incredibly fun way to learn about the different roles and get some practice at pitching a book to some very important people.
You’ll also get the opportunity to sneak in some lovely publishing wine on the top of Hachette’s embankment office, it was raining when I was there but the view is still absolutely beautiful, and chat away with some of the members of Hachette’s team. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the industry, and if you’re worried about how expensive travel to London is, Hachette paid all my travel expenses in full and I was travelling from Lincoln so it was a pretty hefty bill.
All in all Inside Story was the perfect introduction to publishing, and if you’re interested in a career in publishing I’d keep an eye out for it this year! It usually takes place early in November, so keep your eyes peeled for that announcement.