It’s usually the same route regardless of what department you want to work in because entry-level (i.e. assistant) roles usually mostly involve administrative support + more specific support in that department. You just need to make sure you can demonstrate an interest in (and knowledge of) that particular department (so marketing or publicity, in your case?) and the publisher you’re applying to.
I’d say to get a job in publishing you need a mix of luck and determination. You need to demonstrate administrative skills, plus skills/knowledge/interest in marketing and/or publicity within the publishing industry. I can’t speak for everyone, but it seems like the most common way into publishing is through work experience (i.e. internships). Here you can see what it’s like to work in publishing, make contacts and gain experience that you can talk about in interviews and on your CV. Make the most of your time (ask questions; if you’re interested in something in particular, ask if you can help out; be careful, quick and efficient and they’ll remember you; be friendly!) because it’s often unpaid, so you don’t want to waste it.
I did three short (two weeks) unpaid internships with publishers during university and after I had graduated – this is pretty much what everyone does. I then saw a paid marketing internship advertised a couple of months later at an academic publisher, so I applied and did that for a year. It enabled me to gain relevant marketing skills, which then got me a marketing assistant job in non-fiction. I left my job this year to take up a role as a marketing executive in children’s publishing, which is what I’d been aiming towards for four years. It took me a year and a half to get a job in publishing and then another two and a half years to get children’s publishing job. But other people get publishing jobs while still studying, other people get the dream job after a few months, and others just take the first job they’re offered, regardless of what department or publisher it is. But it can take other people years to even get into publishing.
It’s often about being in the right place at the right time (hence the luck) and about knowing the right people (hence the importance of making contacts). But most of all, when you’re applying for roles, put the work in (hence the determination). It’s not fun applying for jobs (it’s awful, actually), but the more you work on your application the more you’ll start getting interviews, which brings you one step closer. You don’t have to rewrite everything each time, but tailor your application to that particular publisher and role. Does it mention you’ll be managing the publishers’ social media accounts? Talk about your knowledge of Twitter and Tumblr, and how that publisher has (or has not, perhaps) used those platforms. How have you used those platforms? Follow publishing publications like The Bookseller or Publishers Weekly to keep up with the industry.
I’d also say don’t be picky and don’t just apply for your dream job. Unfortunately, there’s just too many people and not enough jobs. Publishers can see hundreds – and I’m not exaggerating – of applications for each role. Perhaps don’t apply for a job that has absolutely nothing to do with what you want to do (but there’s always skills to be gained anywhere e.g. booksellers and lit agencies, although not working for publishers, are both relevant), but don’t just apply to the large publishers or fiction publishers. Don’t just apply for editorial because that’s all you know – you might enjoy other departments more.
And lastly, don’t NOT apply for a job because you think you won’t get it. Just don’t.
I know my advice can seem a little depressing, but I wish someone had told me how hard it’d be and how hard I needed to work for it, and perhaps it wouldn’t have taken me so long! Do bear in mind that my experience is also UK-specific, but don’t think it differs all that much in other countries. There’s more options (MAs in publishing, other routes), but this is my experience of getting into the industry.
I want to build a library and I love the smell of those old books
Focus on what’s in front of you. Thinking about “the competition” is lame and unproductive. What works for them won’t always work for you. The biggest competitor you face is yourself.
Stop looking at what other people are doing and pining over how they did it, just do you.
Do the best damn job you can and always strive to improve.
We use to use Photoshop and After Effects but now we’re using toonboom-animation's Storyboard Pro 2.
The reason we’re using Storyboard Pro as opposed to Photoshop/AE setup is the workflow is pretty straightforward and its easier to build animatics with. It’s still a bit cumbersome in a few areas, but it’s proven to be a real time saver, especially on our larger television projects.
Like a hammer or screw driver, apps are just tools. Good tools help you do your work efficiently, but they don’t do the work for you.
Talent and skill is what matters.
Hope that helps!
Yeah, Talent and Skill is what matters