FAQ: How can I get involved with the publishing industry without yet having a job?

It’s been a long time since I did one of these posts! But I’m feeling festive and I have a day off work, so I’m going to finally churn out another one for y’all.

When I first started out in publishing, I would have paid good money for this post, when I was insanely lonely and subjected my ex-boyfriend to a good amount of drunk crying. But that is now a thing of the past! Here is how to make super awesome publishing pals, even if you haven’t managed to get a proper job yet.

  1. The SYP! The Society of Young Publishers is full of awesome folk who were in the same position as you not too long ago, or are in the same position, or are soon to be in the same position after finishing uni. So it’s a good place to make friends, talk to people and get advice! They do a few events a month, and whilst going to your first one can seem daunting, everyone makes it as easy as possible. Before my first event, I sent a tweet out mentioning the SYP account, saying that it was my first one blah blah blah, and Fran who looks after the account got back to me and told me to introduce myself. So I did, and she introduced me to everyone else! And we all had a wonderful time and lived happily ever after. It’s £23/£33 to join, but this includes entry/discounted entry to a number of exclusive events. I’ve missed the past few events but do usually try and go, and Chloë goes to a load to, so if you’re heading to your first one and are a little nervous then hit us up! They also have different branches all over the UK, so no matter where you live you can find some like-minded people to help you get involved.
  2. Other bookish events. Things like LBF, publishing talks and seminars, Rooftop Book Club, Borough Book Bask and everything else are great opportunities for meeting people. I was amazed at the amount of people who came to the SYP/Jobs in Books event at the Book Fair and basically said “hi I want to get into publishing can we chat??” It seems daunting but you’ve just got to try and put yourself out there, and some people will be sure to help. There are also the Bookseller Conferences or PPC events if you’re lucky enough to have a boss who’ll pay for you!
  3. Twitter. This is a big one! I’m sure most of you already know how important Twitter is in the publishing industry, but I’m going to quickly go through it just in case. If you’re not on Twitter, make yourself an account and start by following all the publishers you can find. Then you’ll start to see lots of people working in publishing coming up in your recommended followers, and then you’ll find even more once you start following them. Some people will follow you back, some people won’t. If anyone is tweeting about something you like – get involved! Twitter is honestly the best way to meet people in this bizarre industry, and I KNOW it’s so embarrassing to introduce yourself to someone by saying “hi we follow each other on Twitter”, but you’ve just got to do it. I’ve made some good friends that started out just as a Twitter follow!
  4. Twitter discussions. If you like YA, #feminisminYA or #ukyachat will help you build followers and get your name recognised amongst people in the same situation. There are also things like #DiverseBookBloggers, #EssentialBookTweeps and many more which pop up every now and again.
  5. LinkedIn. Talking to people is pretty much all I use LinkedIn for. If you add someone who’s job you like the sound of and ask them about it, they’re going to help you out. I’ve had people approach me on there, and it felt pretty nice. It’s a useful tool which isn’t to be forgotten about!
  6. Internships. Yes, yes, of course they’re all about getting experience and blah blah blah, but it’s also a good place to meet people. I still keep in touch with people I met during internships, even using one of them as sort of a mentor who I could go to if I ever needed any tips or advice.

If you have any other tips which you can recommend to publishing newbies, please do leave a comment! And also, MERRY CHRISTMAS ITS IN FOUR DAYS OH MY GOD




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