Posts tagged #Publishing

Megan Barnard: Editor

Name: Megan Barnard

Age: 24

College & Majors/Minors: Hollins University: English major with a concentration in creative writing. Double minors in communications and history. 

Current Location: Baltimore, MD

Current Form of Employment: Full-time editor at Angel Publishing

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I'm currently an editor at investment research firm, Angel Publishing. I primarily work for Energy and Capital where I write blog posts, PPC (pay-per-click) articles, marketing copy, and copyedit.

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different). 

I spent at least half of my senior year applying to writing/editorial jobs… And I found nothing. Job hunting was nearly a full-time job on its own. It was incredibly frustrating to see all these entry-level jobs that needed 1-2 years of experience. I ended up getting a job working customer service in a call center (which I had about 4 years of experience in) for a travel agency in Boston.

I spent about 9 months in the call center… and found that it was not for me. I had moved back to Maryland (where I’m from) at this point and telecommuted for work, but I desperately wanted out of customer service. I did anything I could to make myself stand out: I polished my LinkedIn, I contacted alumni from my university, and I applied to all jobs that possibly fit my experience.

I found the job posting for my current job on Craigslist. I applied immediately and got an email back that day, then had an interview and job offer within a week.

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

It wasn’t a job per-se, but I wrote a Senior English Honors Thesis during my senior year of college. The thesis wasn’t required to graduate, but I found that the time and research I had to put into it (I was writing a novel), along with the hours of actual writing and one-on-one meetings with my thesis advisor were vital for developing my writing skills. It also gave me the opportunity to work on my writing daily, and helped me realize that writing and editing was actually something I loved to do each day. It confirmed that I was in the right field of study.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

I wrote my Senior English Honors Thesis. I created a resume and LinkedIn account, I kept my GPA high and became a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honors society. I also doubled minored in history and communications. History, because I loved the subject, and communications, because it pairs really well with an English degree and looks good on a resume. 

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

Don’t give up. Don’t listen to the people who laugh when you tell them you’re getting your degree in English (those “you’ll be my next barista” jokes are obnoxious). English is a beautiful field of study, and you can succeed at it.

My top tips:

Create a LinkedIn account. It’s actually way more important than you might think during school. Make sure it looks professional, with your resume and a headshot, and then connect with people from your school, no matter how much you hate networking.

Network. I know, I hated this part too. I think half of us become an English major because we like working with words, not people, but networking is a vital part of the career world. The more comfortable you become with it now, the better it will be. It’s okay to be afraid, but do it anyway.

There are jobs in the field of English—but you have to look for them. Finance and IT are fields that always need writers and editors. Don’t worry if you don’t have experience in finance or IT, apply anyway. I was hired at my current position without knowing anything about the world of finance, but most editors would rather hire someone who knows how to write and teach them about their topics, rather than teach people how to write.

Apply to jobs you don’t technically have enough experience for. I’m not talking about jobs that need 10+ years of experience, I’m talking about the entry level ones that say 1-2. Here’s a secret: almost all job listings say that they want 1-2 years of experience, even if they’re actually looking for people who’ve just graduated. The worst thing that can happen is they say no.

I know a lot of English majors are interested in getting in the traditional book publishing field. I was too, but I didn’t have any information about how to get into those fields, and the career center at my school was not very helpful.

Since then I’ve learned some things. A lot of literary agencies look for interns. I mean a lot. I never had the chance to apply to them, but you can. Bookjobs.com has a lot of listings, but you should also go on the individual websites and look for internships. They say they don’t have any? Send your resume and cover letter anyway. After all, you’re offering free (most literary internships don’t pay) help, so what’s the worst that can happen? Some agencies and publishing houses even have remote internships that you could do while in school.

Lastly, the field of English is one of the most undervalued, but important fields we have today. There are very few jobs around where you don’t have to read and write well, and while it might not be your dream job, you can find a job using the skills you learned in school. Don’t give up. 

To learn more about Megan and her writing, visit www.englishmajorswithjobs.com. You can also follow Megan on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.


Posted on July 15, 2017 and filed under Editing, Editor, Publishing.

Rhonda Crowder: Writer, Editor, Journalist

Name: Rhonda Crowder

Age: 42

College & Majors/Minors: Cleveland State University, Bachelor of Arts in English with specialization in creative writing, editing and publishing/minor in psychology

Current Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Current Form of Employment: I work for a newspaper in addition to owning a business.

Where do you work and what is your current position? 

I work for the Call & Post newspaper, an African American-owned weekly based in Cleveland, Ohio, as a general assignment reporter. Because I often find myself working outside of my job description, through this position, I learn so much about writing as well as the business of writing. It truly broadened my perspective of what a person with an English degree can do. Although low-paying, this position provides me with a lot of opportunity, connections and freedom to working on other projects. I use my salary as a base and my other work brings up the rear.

“I never thought of my business growing beyond my own freelance work until I took the Partnership for Minority Business Acceleration (PMBA) class at the Akron Urban League. At that point, my eyes opened to how bad the business world needs skilled writers.”

Realizing I am in the writing business while remembering my propensity for entrepreneurship from as far back as selling lemonade in my preteens, this position led me to start my own business, a communications firm that now provides content creation, graphic design, sales, and media relations services. My clients range from small publishing companies and media outlets to independent authors and small business owners. I had been freelancing since I graduated college, but started Rhonda Crowder and Associates, LLC in 2011 as a result of needing to report my 1099 earnings. I never thought of my business growing beyond my own freelance work until I took the Partnership for Minority Business Acceleration (PMBA) class at the Akron Urban League. At that point, my eyes opened to how bad the business world needs skilled writers. I remember sitting there and saying to myself, "I can do business with everyone in this room, but everyone in the room can't say that." 

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).

Trust me. I’ve worked plenty of non career-related jobs. Regardless to how bad they sucked, I learned something from each that I use today. My first paid writing gig was Arts and Entertainment Editor for my college newspaper, if that counts. Being a leadership position, it paid a stipend. I was tunnel vision on writing books, movies and plays. I never considered journalism. However, I tried it, got bit by the bug and became more serious about being a writer. After graduating, I didn’t pursue journalism. I maintained my desire to be an author. The only problem with that, I needed a job.

“In casual conversation, I told him I was a writer looking for work and had just been declined by his organization. Long story short, I met with the editor and they made me in offer.”

With my current position, I initially walked in off the street, asked if they were hiring and was told no. I thought no more of it. But by chance, I attended a book club meeting held at the newspaper a few weeks later and met the president. In casual conversation, I told him I was a writer looking for work and had just been declined by his organization. Long story short, I met with the editor and they made me in offer. Knowing I could barely survive off of it and desperately wanting to get paid to write, I took it. That’s one of the best decisions I ever made.  

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

My work at the Call & Post led to me being offered a contracted position to serve as associate publisher of Who’s Who in Black Cleveland. Who’s Who in Black Cleveland is a product of Who’s Who Publishing/Real Times Media. The organization highlights the successes of African American in our 25 different markets. In this role, I am the organization’s liaison to the Cleveland, Akron and Canton markets. I do everything from help shape the thematic direction of an edition and nominate honorees to producing an annual book unveiling event. This position is important because it puts value on that English degree. It shows organizations that I can do more than the perceived “sitting around playing with words all day.”     

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

First and foremost, I focused on the learning the craft. I stayed engaged in projects or with professors. That helps connect you to opportunities or at least obtain a great recommendation letter. I worked on the college newspaper and other literary publications on campus. In hindsight, I should have done more off campus internships early and as often as possible.

“...An English degree alone today is not enough. It is an excellent foundation, but you’ll need to couple it with something technical or be an out-of-the-box thinker to make yourself more marketable. You can no longer think of yourself as just a writer.”

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

You may realize it or not, but your English degree gives you an advantage. You can do more than what you imagine with an English degree once you understand its value and how to use it. As an English major, you are extremely creative and an analytical thinker. You can solve problems most are unable detect. At the same time, an English degree alone today is not enough. It is an excellent foundation, but you'll need to couple it with something technical or be an out-of-the-box thinker to make yourself more marketable. You can no longer think of yourself as just a writer. You'll need to know how to do other things. You also need to understand, whether you like it or not, you are in business and you must think of what you do as such. You sell words, at the least. Learn how to put a value on what you do and don't be afraid to demand it.

To learn more about Rhonda Crowder visit www.rhondacrowderllc.com. She can also be found on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instragram.  You can find articles by Rhonda at www.rhondacrowder.contently.com


Posted on July 14, 2016 and filed under Interview, Interviews, Journalism, Writer, Writing, Publishing.

Abigail Fleming: Production Editor

Name: Abigail Fleming

Age: 23

College: College of Charleston 

Major: English Language & Literature

Minor: Linguistics

Current Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Current Form of Employment: Full-time Production Editor

Where do you work and what is your current position?

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition
$38.73
University Of Chicago Press

I work for Arcadia Publishing, under The History Press imprint, as a production editor. Arcadia Publishing is the largest publisher of local history books in the country, so I get to travel vicariously through the books I edit and proofread. My projects range from true crime, culinary trails, and ghost stories to transportation history (people really love trains), and it is my job to see manuscripts through the various stages of production, up until they are ready to go to print. I spend my days elbow-deep in the Chicago Manual of Style, discussing the finer points of our house style with authors, and spiraling down fact-checking wormholes. I love it. Reading has always been my hobby, and now I get paid to do it, albeit not always about topics of my choosing (trains, anyone?).

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).

After I graduated, I was still unsure of what I really wanted to do. I knew teaching wasn’t for me, yet I found myself working as the administrative assistant for a department of the local school district. I was getting restless after about six months, only doing the occasional freelance copy job (paid and volunteered), so I started looking at all of the publishing-related companies and positions in the area, only to find out that there were (and are) actually quite a few of them. After about a month or so of furious resume writing and innumerable cover letters, I landed interviews with Arcadia and the in-house publication for a local teaching hospital. Honestly, I had applied for administrative positions in addition to the jobs I actually wanted, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they wanted me for my degree. 

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

My godfather is a historian and has a website that focuses on esoteric American history. I have always copyedited his articles, so when he told me he was writing a book, I was excited. When he told me that he wasn’t going to hire a professional editor, I almost panicked. With my impending graduation, and a publication date, I had a hectic last few undergraduate months, but together we created a product that I know helped get me my current position, because I really wasn’t that experienced outside of the classroom, with the exception of an editorial internship that consisted of blogging, tweeting, and occasional copyediting.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

My school’s English department had an internship course that helped students find internships with various local businesses and receive credit hours for the work completed. I knew I needed experience in my field, not only because I needed to improve my professional people skills, but also because I wasn’t precisely sure what I wanted to do with my degree. I ended up working in the editorial department of a then-new food magazine, and it was a rewarding experience (free cake and recipes from fantastic chefs) in that I learned what I did and did not like (like: cake, dislike: deadlines) in that particular industry.

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

I would advise every English major to read and write for fun. Academic writing is like riding a bicycle; once you know how, you can always whip up an annotated bibliography, but creativity has to be cultivated constantly. And volunteer! Internships are imminently useful, but sometimes finding meaningful ones can be tough. Whatever your interests are, there’s likely a number of websites, publications, and organizations devoted toward them.  

You can connect with Abigail on LinkedIn here; also, check out her work on StrangeHistory.org and AmericanKillers.org


Posted on May 20, 2016 and filed under Editing, Interviews, Interview, Publishing.

Christine Reilly: Author & Teacher

Name: Christine Reilly

Age: 27

College & Majors/Minors: Bucknell - Psychology and English double-major with a Concentration in Creative Writing. I got my MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College.

Current Location: New York, New York

Current Form of Employment: Author and teacher

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I teach fiction and poetry workshops at Sarah Lawrence College and the Gotham Writers Workshop, and my debut literary novel, Sunday's on the Phone to Monday, will be published in April with Simon & Schuster.

Sunday's on the Phone to Monday: A Novel
$12.50
By Christine Reilly

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different):

My first job was teaching middle and high school English at the Professional Children's School, a private school in New York City for ballet and modern dancers, Broadway actors, Julliard musicians, and professional athletes.

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

I had a wonderful internship at Tin House, the literary journal. I got to go through the slush pile and give feedback, which was a dream come true—reading all day!

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

In college, I read and wrote all the time. I also kept a diary, which comes in handy now that I'm writing a novel about college students. I also got to experience writing workshop for the first time, which is my favorite place to be. Now as a teacher I facilitate workshop. I love seeing that side of the creative process. There's always such a wonderful energy in the room.

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

It sounds cliche, but I'd say follow your dreams but work tirelessly as you follow them. I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do in college, and I didn't let the naysayers discourage me! I did, however, learn to be unafraid of failure. I didn't have any publishing or teaching connections whatsoever, so I reached out to every literary agent and educator I knew to learn more about a possible career in those fields.

You can visit Christine Reilly's website here



Posted on April 11, 2016 and filed under Writing, Teaching, Publishing, Interviews, Interview, Author.

Amanda M. Karby: eBook Developer

Name: Amanda M. Karby

Age: 25

College & Majors/Minors: Hope College, BA English & Creative Writing; Emerson College, MA Publishing & Writing

Current Location: Boston, MA

Current Form of Employment: eBook Developer

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I currently work at The MIT Press as a digital production coordinator, a detailed title for what I consider my core role: eBook developer. My job focuses on the digital production of the Press's frontlist titles as well as management and distribution of all our of digital book assets. When I graduated from Hope in 2010 and moved home to Metro Detroit, the prospect of getting a job locally in my desired field - publishing - was, as you can imagine, not so great. After taking a gap year, I moved to Boston in 2012 to get my master's and hopefully transition directly into publishing; I'm happy to say that's exactly what happened.

It's my ultimate goal to return home to Michigan to settle permanently (when the right career opportunity arises), but for now, Boston is an incredible city to be in if you're interested in pursuing book publishing.

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).

I like to think I've had a fairly natural progression of an English major's intended career path: while an undergrad I was the editor of my college's literary magazine as well as a copyeditor for the newspaper. After school I took on a number of freelance clients that have stayed with me into graduate school, and while in graduate school I had a handful of editorially focused internships. One of these internships was a full academic year in the Digital Initiatives Group at MITP, where I now work. That's how I "found" this role.

You could probably say that my current job is my "first" job in that it's my first permanent, full-time, typical 9-5 gig. Before I was full-time at MITP, I was working as a temporary clearance editor in rights and permissions at Pearson - another typical 9-5, but not long-term. And of course beyond these roles, I've had my fair share of non-publishing-related jobs: supervisor at Edible Arrangements, college mail room clerk, and hair salon receptionist, to name a few.

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

Actually, when I think of anything writing-related that was important in my career, the jobs I've held don't come to mind first - my writing instructors from undergrad do. My professors and mentors at Hope were instrumental in my decision to move away from my home state, dive headfirst into publishing, and really go after what I wanted. Rhoda Janzen advised me to "be a shark" when applying to graduate schools; Dr. William Pannapacker supported my projects with Hope's literary magazine and interest in the digital humanities; Heather Sellers completely changed my views about writing, poetry, and living well; the list goes on.

Without these remarkable professors guiding me through my program, I doubt I would be in my current career - in fact, I probably would have changed majors. I'm indebted to them and Hope's English department as a whole.

Additionally - this may sound trite - rejection has been very important to my career. I was rejected from my top choice grad school, the university I'd been dreaming of attending my entire life. Without that rejection, I would have never come to Emerson, where my life and career changed in the biggest way imaginable. I've also been rejected from so many "dream jobs" I've lost count. Do not lose hope when rejection comes your way. It's all part of the process.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

Like I mentioned in the previous question, seeking to learn as much as possible from my professors was high on my list. I think we as English majors (especially those in my graduating class, who finished school in arguably the worst part of the recession) are often fearful of our futures and what we can do with our degrees. While in college, I wanted to try to get as close to publishing as I could, considering my degree was much more writing-focused: editing the lit mag, copyediting for the paper, attending as many readings as I could. And, of course, researching graduate schools! If you think grad school might be the best route for you, do your research and make sure to cast your net wide.

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

If you're an English student and are interested in the world of book publishing, stay positive: the industry is changing in huge ways, most of them exciting. From a digital publishing perspective, specifically, there is a lot of opportunity for growth and learning.

As much as it's annoying to hear these things, internships and networking are invaluable. Get as much real world experience as you can, and make sure to keep your network strong; LinkedIn is a really great tool that I think too many students (and professionals) underutilize. The world of publishing and writing is pretty small! Get to those networking events. Stay in touch with your professors and peers from school. Above all else, take Rhoda's advice and be a shark - English majors have a wealth of marketable, desirable skills. Show 'em what you're made of. Last bit of advice: ALWAYS send thank you notes. For interviews, for speakers, for events, even for job rejections. Learn the art of saying thank you - it means so much.

You can find more about me, my writing, and my editorial portfolio online at www.amandamkarby.com. I'm also on Twitter @editorialism and LinkedIn.

Posted on August 24, 2015 .

Ariel Price: Associate Editor at Corwin

Name: Ariel Price

Age: 25

College & Majors/Minors: Bachelor of Arts, English Literature

Current Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

Current Form of Employment: Associate Editor, Corwin

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I work at Corwin, a K-12 professional development provider, as an Associate Editor. In my role, I manage our educational technology list. This involves acquiring new books, project managing the books in development or production, working with authors to develop their manuscripts, conducting peer reviews of manuscripts, doing market research, and working with our sales & marketing team so that they know the authors and the content of our books. I also manage the company blog, Corwin Connect.

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).

After college, I did a variety of internships at publishing houses and an editing company. I knew that I wanted to be in publishing, but I wanted to stay in California. SAGE, Corwin’s parent company, was the only publishing company within about six hours of where I grew up. I applied there a handful of times before I was called to interview for an Editorial Assistant position at Corwin. I had to go through about seven interviews, but I got it! A year later, I was promoted to Associate Editor.

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

My career really started with Corwin, but the internships that I did after college were invaluable in helping me decide what I wanted to do. Even though I had the same title as “Editorial Intern” at each internship, I completed such different tasks that I got a wide range of experience.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

In college, I was a research assistant for one of my English professors and an officer in our chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. I also did some student teaching, which helped me decide what I did NOT want to do!

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

Take some time to learn skills that interest you outside of your major. For example, if you think you might want to be in publishing, take some business or marketing courses as well—since book publishing is a business, after all! There are also a lot of writing jobs for websites or blogs, so it might be worth it to take some web design or coding classes. Having those extra skills could make the difference between you and another job candidate.

Discover more of Ariel's writing on her website, Onelittlelibrary.com. You can also connect with Ariel on LinkedIn and Twitter


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Gary Luke: President & Publisher of Sasquatch Books

Gary Luke: President & Publisher of Sasquatch Books

Nicole Wayland: Freelance Copyeditor & Proofreader

Nicole Wayland: Freelance Copyeditor & Proofreader

Ashley Sapp: Freelance Writer/Editor & Administrative Coordinator

Ashley Sapp: Freelance Writer/Editor & Administrative Coordinator

Posted on March 31, 2015 and filed under Publishing.

Gary Luke: President & Publisher of Sasquatch Books

Name: Gary Luke

Age: 59

College & Majors/Minors: Western Washington University (although it was called Western Washington State College when I graduated). English major.

Current Location: Seattle, WA

Current Form of Employment: President & Publisher of Sasquatch Books

Where do you work and what is your current position? We want to hear about what it's like to work at Sasquatch Books! 

I am the president and publisher of Sasquatch Books, a regional publishing company in Seattle. I’m responsible for business results of the company, and I have lots of help in the area from the associate publisher and the controller. I also lead the editorial department that signs up the books we publish. So I look at a lot of numbers and I read many pages of materials (molecules and electrons) looking for good writers and interesting book ideas.

What is your advice to people who are hoping to work in the publishing industry? 

The book publishing industry is undergoing a lot of change these days. But it has been doing that since I started working as an assistant editor in 1979! A good candidate for the publishing world has to be a book lover and a passionate reader. And that reading doesn’t have to be just literature, it can be history or psychology or business. Publishing people are interested in cultural and social trends whether that’s the latest installment of “Nashville” or an argument that’s going on in academia. Be widely interested in the world but become an expert in a few topics.

Tell us about other jobs you've held that have been important in your career. 

I’ve only worked in the publishing industry. My objective from the start was to be an editor (based on not very much information!) but my first job was in sales as an educational representative in the Midwest for Dell/Delacorte. I think seeing the distribution end of things and experiencing the reality of presenting a book to a buyer were instrumental in forming my sense of what a book has to go through to get to a reader.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life? What kinds of extracurriculars did you participate in? 

I read British literature from the beginning until it was time for me to leave school. So in 4.5 years, I got up to the late 18th century. But I took an expository writing class where we read several writers including Joan Didion. I fell in love with her essays. So, I learned in school that books have a lot of meaning—cerebral, emotional, historical. I assumed that the way to be in touch with that and not have to get a Ph.D. was to pursue book publishing. Practically all that I read in college was poetry, drama, and fiction. But most of the books that I have edited and published have been nonfiction. Understanding the elements of storytelling has been an essential skill.

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

The world is your oyster! English majors know how to read, think, analyze, and write. Those stills have value in every setting in modern life. This is old fogey advice, but here goes: read a good newspaper like The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. I would also say go ahead and splurge on a paper subscription. The NYT is my self-help guide because it makes me a better-informed person.

Visit sasquatchbooks.com to check out their previous publications and upcoming releases. 

Posted on April 13, 2014 and filed under Editing, Publishing.

Joe Kreuser: Associate Marketing Manager

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Name: Joe Kreuser

Age: 33

College & Major: Carleton College, BA in English (Carleton doesn't do minors); Oxford Brookes University, MA in Publishing.

Current Location: New York, NY

Current Form of Employment: I am currently an Associate Marketing Manager at Taylor & Francis, an academic publishing house.

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I am an Associate Marketing Manager at Routledge (which is part of Taylor & Francis). I'm responsible for promoting textbooks across a number of different subject lists in the social sciences and built environment. This involves working to market the books externally, commenting on book proposals that are in various stages of development, and presenting relevant titles to members of our sales teams in the US and UK. T&F is an international company, and have their main offices just outside of Oxford in the UK. So I work with members of our team on both sides of the Atlantic, and promote our books worldwide. For the most part my duties are handled digitally, either sending or responding to emails, or creating online catalogs, but I do travel to attend relevant conferences 2-3 times a year.

Previous to this role I worked at the main T&F offices in the UK as a Marketing Assistant for two years. I also worked for a couple of months at Oxford University Press, and have done internships with three different publishing houses (a medical publisher in the UK, and two small literary presses in my hometown of Minneapolis).

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

At Carleton I worked for The Write Place, where I helped provide advice to students on the structure and form of their papers. I also worked over two summers for Carleton's Summer Writing Program, which brought in high school juniors and seniors to help prepare them to read, write and think at a college level. These experience helped hone my editorial eye, which had naturally developed writing papers for my degree, and got me interested in the idea of editing.

The two internships I did in Minneapolis convinced me that working in publishing was something I wanted to pursue. But given that it can be a hard field to get into, I decided to take part in a program to help me prepare and network before I started. I applied to the publishing programs at Columbia and Denver, but I ultimately decided on the Oxford Brookes program because it would give me the opportunity to live overseas, and because it would give me a Master's degree as opposed to just a certificate (it was also early 2009 when I was making this decision and giving the world economy a year to recover before I started looking for a job didn't sound like a bad idea).  

The Brookes program was great-it introduced me to the whole publishing process (editorial, marketing, design, production), and also to the many issues that crop up in the field (I can't tell you how many talks we had about eBooks and other digital products). It also highlighted the difference between trade and academic publishing, which are pretty significant. Because of the breadth of the Brookes course, I was able to apply for jobs in editorial, marketing and production.

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).  

After the Brookes course I applied for, and interviewed for, a lot of jobs. It took me about 6 months to get hired, but that's because I had to get my new visa-living and working internationally is great, but it comes with a lot of headaches! For editorial positions I usually had to do some sort of proofreading test, and there were a couple of 'how would you prioritize the following tasks' sort of things. If I got to a second interview, there was always a task involved there-designing a short marketing plan for a prospective book was a common one.

I got my first job after refining my interview approach over the course of 10+ interviews (stupid visa issues), and off the strength of the course's reputation. I eventually had to leave the UK because my visa ran out (stupid visa issues!), but I had impressed the people I worked with, so when a new position became available in the New York office I was notified and invited to interview. It was a lot easier that time around.

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

You really can do anything with an English degree-the skill set that you learn as an English major transfers really well to a number of different fields. The best advice I can give is to have a solid idea of what you want to do, figure out what it takes to break into that field, and then find some way to supplement your skill set with practical experience. This can be more difficult in some areas than others-getting into publishing can often require you to do unpaid internships, which can be tough depending on your economic situation.  But I think that for a lot of jobs, if you can figure out the specific skills they're looking for and emphasize them in the interview, you're halfway there.

If you're thinking about publishing as a career choice, I definitely recommend internships to see if you really are interested. A certificate or degree program definitely helps pave the way as well, although it's not necessary. It's a good idea to look at industry publications like Publishers Weekly or The Bookseller to get an idea of what sort of issues the industry is dealing with, as well as some of recent news. Also, be sure you know what sort of books the company you're applying to publishes-if you want to see a book you've worked on in Barnes & Noble, academic publishing is less likely to give you that pleasure. There are also recruiting agencies that work specifically in the publishing industry that could potentially help you.

Posted on February 20, 2014 and filed under Marketing, Publishing.