Last week, we did A Day in the Life… video series featuring all our fantastic assistants and what they do. We’ve had an amazing response – mostly people wanting to know how they can break into the industry. If you missed it, see yesterday’s round up check it out here (or below).
I’ve already blogged about my top tips in this post.
Eight years ago, I was hunting for a job in children’s publishing, after a couple of years in New York. This is what I did:
First, I bought a notebook with a cow on it, as you do. Then, I stuck in a calendar.
For any number of reasons, internships aren’t always possible, but a carefully-worded, well-researched letter/email asking for half an hour of their time was generally positively received. (And if you do get a meeting, MAKE SURE you stick with just half an hour!)
At each meeting, I had a set of questions that I asked, and I was always listening out for other names and companies mentioned.
At two of my meetings, I heard about the fantastic editorial team at Working Partners, and so chased that lead up. I ended up with a two week internship there, and at the end of that… a job!
So my big tip for this blog is to look at non-traditional ways in. Find the smaller, more flexible companies: book packagers like Working Partners or HotHouse, new independant houses, think about interning with agencies (I know Eve White runs a scheme) or with literary scouts. You’ll get an excellent overview of the market.
Also consider digital start ups – having digital experience will be so valuable in the very near future.
Send an impassioned letter to people/companies of your choice, volunteering your time in exchange for experience.
But most of all, don’t give up! Keep trying…
We’d love to hear any other success stories… how did you get your job in publishing?
(In all my rush to post the blog (yes, yes, I know, I was late posting!) I forgot to add in my favourite thing from those weeks back in 2004… I’ve got all the notes from those meetings, including the notes from when Emma Matthewson – the newset Hot Key-er – agreed to talk to me. Click on the link below for the PDF. The frowny face is because I was naughty and talked to her for an hour, instead of half an hour. But that was because she was just SO NICE and lovely and helpful. )