Today's short question is: "So I'm seriously considering pursuing some sort of career in the publishing industry (aside from hopefully being an author one day). What advice do you have for someone like me? What college degree/classes should I go after? What should I be doing NOW?"
I really hate to answer this is in the "short question - short answer" series. But sadly, I am not an expert of any kind on this subject, so there's only so much advice I can offer! I have only ever been on the authorial side of the traditional publishing industry, so my experiences are limited.
However, I can offer a handful of opinions!
First, you need to decide what side of the publishing industry you are most interested in. If you want to be involved in acquisitions or editing, an English or English Lit. degree would probably be most useful. If you're more interested in the marketing and promotion side of things, consider a degree in business or marketing (perhaps with a minor in English).
I would recommend that you start looking over the websites of various publishing houses that you might like to see yourself working for one day. Do they have job listings? If so, what sorts of positions are they looking to fill? Do any of them sound like something you'd like to do?
Definitely take time to research internships as well. A good summer internship with a publishing house could open doors for a job one day.
Keep in mind that the industry is in a HUGE state of flux right now, and publishing houses are going to be looking for innovative young minds ready and willing to offer new marketing and promotional ideas, exciting ways to get authors and books out there before the eyes of the reading public.
I would also recommend that you start a blog (if you don't already have one) and build a network of readers. Participate in blog tours and feature authors and host interviews. Get involved in small ways in the world of books and authors.
I'm afraid those are all the suggestions I have. Again, I'm no expert having never been involved in a traditional publishing as anything other than an author (and indie publishing is a completely different animal). Hope that helps and gives you some ideas.
And if there are any of you out there reading this who know more about this topic, do please feel free to share in the comments below.