How to Get a Job in Publishing
March 7, 2010 8:35 AM   Subscribe

How to Get a Job in Publishing
This is a guide that I started several years ago with the aim of making the process of getting a job in my industry a little more transparent, and which I am finally publishing online.

It's one of the inaugural posts on my new blog about books and publishing.
posted by ocherdraco (8 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Another thing I'm doing on the blog that I should have mentioned is "Ask an Editor." Email me with publishing-related questions, and (assuming I'm not completely and totally swamped) I'll answer them on the blog.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:06 PM on March 7, 2010

Good guide! very informative and helpful. It's partly how I got into publishing myself - I rang up about an advertised job and used that as a way to introduce myself and network.

posted by jonathanstrange at 3:51 AM on March 8, 2010

posted by ocherdraco at 5:08 AM on March 8, 2010

Yay, that's awesome!
posted by at 11:20 AM on March 8, 2010

Please feel free to refer students or those looking for work at a university press to me I really enjoy advising those looking to work in academic publishing and I love mentoring students. Some resources you might consider including in your guide are these job boards:

even the rather lame,

and for university presses,

I'd also encourage students to look at university press Web sites for possible internships as often that's the only place they're posted. Our press not only offers several internships (most of which pay) some actually qualify for credit hours. Encourage students to find out if their institution has a press and if so, encourage them to investigate. While some presses don't have formal programs, an enterprising student could still volunteer to work there and gain invaluable experience while also making fruitful contacts.

Amen to the bookstore advice. Those of us who are refugees of the consolidation of book sales have a lot to offer publishers, specifically in marketing and sales.

Great piece. I'll be referring my interns to it.
posted by Toekneesan at 2:10 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thanks, Toekneesan. I'll be sure to include this when I update it.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:27 AM on March 15, 2010

Do you have a part about the worst parts of being in book publishing? I know it sounds awfully negative of me, but somehow, I really like hearing about the downsides of someone's job or industry. Not like a "don't go into this field if you are x, y, z," but something that illustrates that publishing isn't totally glamorous.

Additionally, I don't know if you want to link to it, but I recall a This American Life contributor who talked about her job as an assistant editor at a publishing house and how she felt about her job. She interviewed some other women who worked in publishing (a recent mom who Blackberried alot after labor and delivery of her new baby). I thought it was really neat, because I'd always had the wrong idea about the industry.
posted by anniecat at 8:18 AM on March 16, 2010

If you want, I can try to find the This American Life piece for you. I can't remember the name off the top of my head. Let me know if it would be helpful!
posted by anniecat at 8:19 AM on March 16, 2010

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