Monday, December 1, 2014

Short Question - Short Answer

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.


Unknown said...

Good advice! Does Rooglewood Press/will Rooglewood Press ever accept interns?

BrynS. said...

You hit on the most basic needs; a degree in business admin would not go amiss either. My college background is in accounting but I basically started at the bottom and worked my way up with just experience.

Another thing to consider is a degree in graphic design. A good designer has always been our most frequent need and we end up hopping from one freelancer to another. Web design and management is needed as well.

Also, since print on demand and indie publishing are now all the rage, someone willing to start a business as an advisor (or offering the skills of editing or design or advertizing) to those authors wanting to self publish would be very beneficial.

Anna said...

Thank you! That was very, very helpful. :)

Anna said...

@BrynS. Thanks for more things to think about and consider! :) It was very helpful! Are you involved in the publishing business?

Unknown said...

Oh! I had one more question. How did you pick the name Golden Daughter-- not for the book, but for the station?

BrynS. said...

@Anna, yes for ten years:). We are a smaller business, publishing only for certain authors on select subjects.
We started about 20 years ago with one title that had recently become a bestseller(meaning it had sold over 35,000 copies in a very short time).
We now publish for several other authors both here in the States and abroad.

Anna said...


Really? That's so neat! What is the name? Is there a website I can visit?

BrynS. said...

@Anna, visit us at :)

Anna said...

@BrynS, thanks!:)

Unknown said...

I love your website, Bryn!!

BrynS. said...

@Allison, great!

Amber Holcomb said...

You offer some great advice, Anne Elisabeth! I completely agree on starting a blog and getting involved in the world of publishing to the degree that you are able. :)

Funny enough, I ended up in marketing without that being my intent/plan! I got my bachelor's in English, and nothing seemed to really fall into my lap right outside of college. I'm sure an internship would have been a big help in moving forward more quickly, but I wouldn't trade my two years of being at home after college, freelancing and self-publishing, for anything. :)

I believe everyone's career journey is so different. God opens unexpected doors and brings about amazing blessings we can't really plan for. But from my own experience, I definitely benefited from getting a degree in a related field and wading into the publishing waters on my own. The year and a half I spent stepping into the world of freelance editing and then marketing, along with self-publishing (and four years of book blogging), all made the difference when the right job finally opened up. Experience is key, and I thought I was out of luck without an internship. But entrepreneurship in times such as these can gain you fabulous experience for the world of marketing.

I have to reiterate that marketing is not something I would have imagined myself doing - mostly because I didn't really understand what it entails. But as a content writer for a Christian publisher, I get to WRITE (yay!) all sorts of different pieces, and I get to be involved with social media, blogging, etc. All stuff I've loved for a long time. :)

Live now, as if your writing/blogging/etc. is your main job - because, when done right with hard work and quality effort, these projects can be a valid and extremely important part of your career. Try new things; learn all you can about publishing trends by being involved; read professional blogs about marketing, self-publishing, traditional publishing, etc. Get that experience, even if you can't do a formal internship.

Keep alert for unexpected opportunities - and then don't be afraid to take them! :)