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What is your personal experience like working in the publishing industry?

Hi, I'm interested in working in the publishing industry, so I really want to hear about the personal experiences of professionals in this industry, especially because I'm not sure which specific department I want to work in (e.g. editorial, marketing, production, sales, publicity, etc). If you don't mind, in your response, could you also answer how your department works with the other departments (e.g. as a publicist, how often do you interact with editors, and what do those interactions look like?) and describe what kind of traits are most important for an individual to succeed in your specific department? For example, I'm not confident in my math skills, so I don't think I could ever work in sales. I enjoy editing and have had extensive experience with it throughout my school years, but I've also worked a number of administrative/clerical jobs and enjoyed interacting with people a lot, so I have reason to believe I could thrive in other departments other than editorial as well. Thank you in advance for your time and input! #publishing #publishing-industry #publishing-company #editorial #marketing #production #sales #publicity #business #career #editor #editors #book-editors #book-editor #copy-editor #copy-editors #agents #agent #literary-agent #literary-agents #scouts #scout #literary-scout #literary-scouts #publicist #publicists #production-editors #production-editor #marketer #marketers #copy-writer #copy-writers #career-advice #advice #job #work #career-counseling #help #career-planning #career-path #student #student-advice #career-help #job-experience #work-experience

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Kelly’s Answer


What area of publishing are you interested in? I work directly in the music licensing and publishing business. We focus on the placement of music in TV and film.

Kelly recommends the following next steps:

The best way to get some experience is to reach out to a local publisher for any enter opportunities. Don't be too picky about what job you'll do while there. Even acting as a office assistant will give you great insight on all the different aspects of the publishing office and will give you some idea as to what area might interest you the most.

Hi, I'm mainly interested in working in literature publishing (i.e. books, magazines, etc). Thank you for your response! Catherine T.

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Valerie’s Answer

Hi Catherine, I'm wondering if you have any opportunities to apply for internships with either a literary agency or a publishing house? I worked in book publishing years ago and it's an exciting, dynamic environment where you are exposed to such a great range of ideas, topics and personalities. At the time, we used to have what was called 'slush' parties where all the newbies would get together and review the unsolicited manuscripts that were mailed in without a literary agent, once a month. If there's a publishing house or literary agency near you, and/or if there are limited internship opportunities, perhaps you could see if you could sit in on a slush party or two and have a chance to chat with folks about their experiences.

Valerie recommends the following next steps:

Check out this list of literary agencies in CA - maybe there is one close to you https://literaryagencies.com/literary-agencies-in-california/

Wow, thank you for this awesome insight, Valerie! I've never heard of a literary agency, so I'll look into this and the link you provided to see if it opens up any additional opportunities for me. I really appreciate your response! Catherine T.

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