11 tips for careers in publishing
At the OICP Working in Publishing, Media and Journalism annual event 2022, keynote speaker Jamie Hodder-Williams, the CEO of Hodder & Stoughton, offers career insights from how to network, pitch an idea, and keep ahead of the trends
- Read outside your comfort zone. Understand the genres. Understand the way publishers are trying to package and present a book to a reader.
- Learn to sum up a book or an idea in one clear line. It’s a useful skill in any company when pitching to publishers and will convince sales teams, marketing and publicity to get behind your book proposal or feature.
- Ask who you are really writing for. Why is the writing right for that publication?
- The quality of the writing isn’t the only thing that matters. Often the writing is the main focus, rather than how we will get it out into the world. Consider how a piece of writing will be taken to market and distributed.
- Go to things! Bookshops, events, talks - get out and meet people. The people you meet will be the ones to help you find work experience and find those jobs. This is invaluable.
- Think beyond editorial roles. Rights, marketing, publicity, production - the career climb is often easier and faster outside of editorial jobs.
- Read The Bookseller. Or read the equivalent business publications to do with your industry. Keep up with it. Get a feel for the industry and the type of things people who work in the industry are talking about.
- Make your passion for the industry obvious. Show it. Be it via Tiktok or a blog or Bookstagram. And follow people in the industry, particularly on twitter.
- Understand how genres are developing. Then consider what might come next? The industries are all about the future and what can be done.
- Keep an eye on the bestsellers list. Familiarize yourself with what is doing well. That’s what you will get asked in a job interview so you need to be able to talk about it.
- Understand the business model. Try to know the numbers. You need to understand how money is made in the company you are working for. Learn it fast - it will give you an advantage.
Last edited: 07 03 2022