Work in Publishing Week: My Favourite Posts

Hello! So I managed to read some and watch some of the absolutely fabulous content that appeared this Work in Publishing Week, and I really wanted to have somewhere to store these helpful posts. Obviously I’d like to shout out the Publishers Association who shared so many interesting things, but also The Publishing Post whose newsletter has become an entry level essential read.

As Always before we get to everyone else’s fabulous posts, here’s some links to mine:

Work Experience Diaries:
Inside Story | Vintage | Seren | University Wales Press 
First Month Publishing Update | Three Month Publishing Update
Six Month Publishing Update | One Year Publishing Update 
When to Quit: Publishing Update | Two Years in Publishing 
Publishing Editions: 
Publishing Skills | Dealing with Rejection
Remote Interviews | SYP Podcast ft. Me | Making a Sideways Move
Imposter Syndrome | Q&A video with Me

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Making a Sideways Move: Publishing Edition

Hello, welcome back to a publishing post written by me! Today we’re going to talk about sideways moves and why they’re not always a bad thing. This topic has been on my mind for a little while, as I recently made a sideways move of my own into a new team within the academic department at OUP. It wasn’t really a willing move, due to a company restructure, but as a person who was leaving their old role due to feeling stagnant and unable to grow it was welcome news.

I was going to make this post about the differences between my old role and my new one, and I’ll still be doing that, but I wanted to first touch on why this isn’t always a bad career move. A Sideways move definitely doesn’t come with as much kudos as a promotion, I didn’t get to make a cute Twitter bio change to tell the world, but what I did do was make a positive change that is definitely going to benefit my career. So here’s why I think my sideways career move was one of the best decisions for me, and hopefully, it’ll give you some food for thought when considering your own career path.

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Remote Interviews: Publishing Edition

I’ve tackled quite a few remote interviews in my time and they can feel pretty strange, an interview can be nerve-wracking enough without having to rely on technology. Interviews through a computer screen are the new normal for most of us, and before COVID I had only tackled one myself for the role I currently work in. It was a weird experience, our camera’s both cut out about ten minutes in and we we’re both stuck talking to a black computer screen. It’s worth mentioning that for quite a few hiring managers this is new too, and most of my interviews have opened with a conversation about how strange it is to not be meeting face to face!

My hope with this post is not to give you tips to help you land that sweet new role, as there are definitely people doing that better than I ever could, but instead I’m going to tell you how I prep for an interview with a camera instead of a human.

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Two Years in Publishing

So if you’ve followed along with these publishing posts about my little career journey you’ll know that I posted one called When to Quit two months ago, it was a difficult but important update, and I don’t normally do this but you should consider reading it before this one. It’s been an undeniably weird time and my plans were all but crushed because of it, but I was incredibly lucky that the ability to work from home wildly changed my circumstances and allowed me to stick around.

This does mean that I’ve given up my flat in Oxford, and am currently living and working back in Wales which has been a little strange! But I wanted to throw together some cute pictures of a few of my adventures in Oxford:

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Dealing With Rejection: Publishing Edition

Getting that first big break into the industry can feel a lot like climbing Mount Everest, it’s harsh, cold, and if I’m honest kind of isolating. It took me a year to get my Marketing Assistant role at Oxford University Press, after doggedly pursuing a role in trade unsuccessfully, and the relief and excitement I felt when I got the role was immense. Finally it was over, no more spending hours crafting the perfect cover letter with no response from publishers, the door had cracked open for me and I’d slipped through.

This post is partially influenced by this thread on twitter in which, if you don’t fancy clicking on the link, Linked In revealed the amount of “applications” for this Editorial role at Penguin Random House. People reacted really strongly to the thread, and honestly it was shocking to see that nearly 1500 applicants had applied. It’s worth mentioning that this likely reflects the amount of people who have clicked the link and not the amount of applicants, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that there would be at least 500 applications for one job. It’s horrible to see numbers when it comes to applications and it’s definitely unnecessary information that can make you feel like crap, but I still think it’s an important to acknowledge it. If you are applying for a role in publishing, especially in editorial, you’ll always be competing. This role, at Cornerstone, is a dream role for many people and so when applying for one of the big five you should expect competition to be stiff. It’s like applying to Vogue, Nintendo, or Disney, the jobs are always going to be popular and oversubscribed so it’s often perseverance that makes the difference here.

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When to Quit: A Publishing Update

I started writing this publishing update back in November when I made the decision that I would be leaving my job and Oxford with it. I had to decide whether or not to renew my tenancy, and with the minimal career prospects available to me at the time, I made the choice to search for something new in a different city. This Friday (3rd of July) was actually supposed to be my leaving date, and this is after my company very kindly extended my notice so I could work another three months.

I think it’s important to acknowledge all my experiences within this industry, and I didn’t want to gloss over this particularly bad period. This was not a fun time for me and the choice I made was not an easy one, but I wanted you to know that I made it. This situation has taught me that my highest priority should always be my own health and happiness, even if that means giving up on one of my dreams.

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My First Year in Publishing!

I’ve been agonizing over this post for well over a month now. My one year anniversary came and went like the wind, and if I’m honest I’m still having trouble writing this. Since I last wrote one of these six months ago my job role has changed drastically, and mostly for the best, but trying to decide whether or not to be negative in this post has been hard. I’ve tried very hard to be honest about this industry, and I don’t want to stop now, so here’s my frank take on my first year in publishing…warts and all.

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Publishing Work Experience Master Post

I think a lot of people feel that it is almost impossible to get publishing work experience in the UK outside of London, but I’m here to tell you that’s not true! There are definitely more publishing houses located in London, but an opportunity to get experience in the publishing industry might be closer than you think.

I’ve decided to set myself a task; I’m going to try and provide an exhaustive list of publishing houses, and their work experience programs in the hope that more people will be able to find the experience they need near them! I am reluctantly including unpaid alongside the paid experience featured here, but I do not endorse unpaid work experience, especially if it’s over two weeks.

Firstly the pub interns twitter needs to be listed here! They post entry-level roles, tips, and work experience opportunities from publishers some of which are only posted to Twitter. Social media is a fantastic resource when hunting down work experience, but Atwood Tate and Inspired Selection are also wonderful places to find more permanent roles within the industry. Creative Access also has some wonderful opportunities pop up regularly.

Secondly, remember that dropping a local publisher an email cannot hurt, but be prepared for rejection! They may not have the money or the room for an intern, but it’s always worth trying.

Thirdly I wanted to add that before taking one of the unpaid opportunities below, please consider doing something admin related instead. The skills you would develop by working at a temp agency are so similar to what you’d need to enter the industry, and they’ll actually pay you for the work you do.

Last Updated: 27th of May 2021

Quick Links: London | England | Scotland | Wales

Work Experience Diaries:
Inside Story | Vintage | Seren | University Wales Press 
First Month Publishing Update | Three Month Publishing Update
Six Month Publishing Update | One Year Publishing Update 
When to Quit: Publishing Update | Two Years in Publishing 
Publishing Editions: 
Publishing Skills | Dealing with Rejection
Remote Interviews | SYP Podcast ft. Me | Making a Sideways Move
Imposter Syndrome | Q&A video with Me | Work in Publishing Week: Fave Posts
Prioritizing in Publishing: Part one | One Year Working from Home


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