Bite Sized Series: Exciting Editorial

Is it difficult to get an editorial role in publishing?

Some Editorial positions are notoriously competitive (particularly in trade publishing). But there are so many different types of editorial jobs, from editorial assistant, desk editor, project editor to commissioning editors, etc… and so many different types of publishing sectors, there must be an Editorial role waiting for you! Do not forget about educational, scientific or professional publishing, as these are very dynamic and rewarding areas of publishing. How do you learn about these? Research and networking! Talk to publishing professionals, attend events to get to know different markets, get in touch with your recruiter. Keep an open mind when looking for an editorial role as the right opportunity might be at a publisher you’ve never heard of before!

What skills do I need to work in an editorial role?

It really depends on the editorial role you are trying to get. If you are intending to go towards commissioning, a commercial mind set and networking skills are essential, as well as a strong relationship building aptitude. If you are considering project editing, then project management and organisation would come in handy. Generally a good attention to detail, strong interpersonal skills and the will to learn are valued in an editorial role. Soft skills are all the rage, and a positive, flexible and a proactive approach to work will get you places!

Can I change publishing sector later in my career?

Of course you can! The first job you get doesn’t determine the rest of your career. But try to explore a few routes at the beginning of your career maybe to find that special publishing industry you love. Or be prepared to be flexible if you are considering moving publishing sectors when you have already gained solid experience. You will have developed transferrable skills and valuable experience. But for more senior roles, publishers usually require established knowledge of their sector/type of list, so you might have to take a step down in order to break into a new sector.

So just to sum up:

  • Be curious and do keep an open mind when it comes to editorial roles and publishing sectors
  • Do your research and speak to people! It’s the best way to discover what a particular editorial position involves or learn more about different publishing sectors
  • Work on your soft skills (we have a blog on this)! You will develop many as you gain experience, but a friendly and positive attitude is your best bet to start.
  • Be flexible if you are trying to move into a new sector of publishing.

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Why Temping is Terrific!

Have you thought about temping? Did you decide to focus on securing a permanent role?

A common misunderstanding about temping is that it distracts you from finding your dream job! This is not the case…

Temping is the perfect way to decide the kind of role you would like, the type of company you would like to work for and where your skill set lies.

Not only that but temp positions can turn into permanent ones! If you work hard, stand out and prove yourself they won’t want to let you go!

Here’s what one of our temps said:

`Atwood Tate were really helpful and friendly when I first went to meet them and got me into a temp role really quickly at a great publishing house… They were also really enthusiastic and encouraging when my temporary role got made permanent (even though that meant cutting my temporary contract short). Would definitely recommend Atwood Tate for anyone looking to get into publishing!’

Once you are in, you get first pick of any internal roles and you can apply!

Temping also allows you to build up your publishing knowledge and experience that will assist you in an interview along with building up your network of contacts in a small industry.

Our temp’s team doesn’t stop assisting you once we have placed you in a role. Instead we will continue to place you into temp roles to build up your publishing experience which will secure you a permanent role!

`It has been a great success since registering in May this year. The windows into different areas of the publishing industry that assignments offered have proven invaluable for securing a permanent publishing role. I’ve felt support from start to finish.’

Contact our temps team to register:

Novia Kingshott, Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant on 0203 574 4421

Kathryn Flicker, Temps Coordinator on 0203 574 4427

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Bite Sized Series: Super Sales

What is sales in Publishing?

Sales role can vary in different ways – you can be doing an office-based sales role or it can also be home working with a company car where you drive to meet clients on site.  Sales in publishing is often a very friendly environment and it is more of a warm selling because bookseller/wholesalers knows what sells the best for them.

Are sales roles all about cold calling?

Not at all!  A Business Development role, which in most cases means cold-calling and developing new client relationships.  However, Key Account roles is more of a relationship-building role with your designated clients/regions.  For Sales Representative roles, you will be most likely travel a lot, from arranging meetings to face-to-face, you will get to visit your region a lot.

The perks? Travelling!
Sales role, especially international sales means there are unlimited opportunities to travel with the role.  I once talked to a candidate who looks after international sales who has travelled from the UK to Singapore, then Australia and back.  When I was working in publishing sales back in Hong Kong, I was also very excited to have trips travelling to Frankfurt for the book fair and then Shanghai and Beijing too.  If you love travelling, you will not be disappointed!

So just to sum up:

  • The secret to successful sales is all about having passion for what you are selling
  • Friendly, observant and knowledge (of the market) will help you go a long way
  • Sales is the bridge between the customers and the publishing team. You will often bring back market feedback to the editorial and marketing team so you can all bring more success to the list
  • Budgeting and planning trips are usually included in the job too, so good numeric skills will definitely help

-Advice from our Publishing Recruitment Consultant, Clare Chan

If you want some more information then check our other blog!

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New Year, New Job!

Forget New Year’s Resolutions and form just one or two good job hunting habits to land your perfect new role in 2020

New Year’s Resolutions are often over-rated and over-ambitious.  How many times have you resolved to do something in January, only to lapse before January is over?  If your personal goal for 2020 is to find a new job, we recommend spending a little time every day or every week on one or two (or all) of these easily achieved activities and you will quickly find you have formed some new habits that might just lead to you landing that perfect new role.  As with most things, “little and often” pays off and helps you to feel positive and productive.

  • Sign up to targeted job alerts or make a list of job boards to check daily – maybe on your homeward commute.  For publishing jobs we recommend our own job alerts and website in addition to Google Jobs,  the Bookseller, Guardian, Cision, and the IPG

  • Log on to your LinkedIn profile every day, maybe for ten minutes at lunch time, and give yourself the goal of liking or sharing a post or connecting with someone new every day
  • Set aside time at the weekend for working on your CV and personal statement or LinkedIn profile and commit to that hour or so every week, even when you don’t have anything specific to apply for.  Your CV is a living document, so if you’ve achieved something at work that week, you might want to find a way of working it in to a new version of your resumé
  • Make a list of contacts to keep in touch with regularly, such as your recruiter or ex-colleagues or people you’ve met at networking events.  Add to the list as you build new contacts and once a month review the list and contact anyone who you haven’t spoken to in a while to let them know you’re still looking
  • Give yourself the goal of attending one networking event a month.  Check our events calendar for some inspiration.  Tell a friend that you’re committing to this, they might say they will come with you, but even if they don’t ask them to hold you accountable, so that you don’t wimp out.  If you’re a self-confessed introvert, don’t panic, networking can still be extremely productive.  There is a lot of advice available on how to network as an introvert, but you can start here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/network-like-introvert-gemma-stow/

Of course there are plenty of other things you can do, but start small, form a habit or two and see where that takes you!  Good luck with your job search in 2020 and if you would like to speak to one of our Publishing Recruitment Consultants, call us on 020 3574 4420.

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Atwood Tate’s Literary Christmas Stocking Wish List!

We are very festive here at Atwood Tate, and most importantly, we’re all such huge fans of books! I’ve decided to ask my fellow colleagues which book they would like to find in their Christmas Stocking this year!

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Kathryn Flicker our Temps Administrator wished for `Twas the Nightshift before Christmas’ by Adam Kay.

“Because I loved `This is Going to Hurt’, which was

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funny and heart breaking at the same time!”

Azraa Oozeerally would love to find Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo in her stocking this Christmas!

“I’ve been interested in reading it after seeing all the great reviews it received, especially after it won the Booker Prize! It sounds like an original read and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!”

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Novia Kingshott our Temps Senior Recruitment Consultant is hoping to find Rick Stein’s Secret France in her Christmas stocking!

“I have been watching the series on BBC as he travels of the beaten track in France finding amazing restaurants cooking fabulous French

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food!”

Our Associate Director, Helen Speedy is hoping to finally get Jonathan Coe’s Middle England!

“This novel has been on my wish list since it came out in 2018, but I still haven’t had a chance to read it.  I love Jonathan Coe and his darkly humorous commentary on society and the human condition.  I can’t wait to settle down in a cosy spot with a slice of Christmas cake and read Middle England cover to cover in one sitting, so I do hope someone puts it in my stocking!”

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Catherine Roney’s Christmas stocking book wish is, Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes!

“I am a huge Jojo Moyes fan, and cannot wait to get a copy of her latest book. Set in England in the late 1930s, it is a story about two women and a mission to spread the wonder of books and reading to those who are poor or lost. This book is based on a true story and sounds exactly like the wonderful and motivational read needed to start off the New Year

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well.”

Parissa Bagheri is dying to get Around the World in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh!

“I couldn’t attend the Bloomsbury event on it but I’ve been interested in this since I first heard about it and it took home the title of Best Travel Book at last night’s National Geographic Traveller Reader Awards!”

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Last but not least, our consultant Clare Chan is hoping to get 1Q84 by Murakami!

“I love his fiction, but I haven’t managed to get around to this classic!”

If you’re in need of some great books as gifts this year then here are some of the best books of 2019:

  • The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams and Tony Ross –this book would be great for the younger ones to find in their stocking!
  • Pinch of Nom: 100 Slimming, Home-style Recipes by Catherine Allinson, Kate Allinson, and Kay Featherstone, is the perfect stocking gift for someone who is passionate about cooking! (I have it myself and think it’s the handiest book ever!!)
  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood for someone who is a fan of Atwood this would be the best gift to find in their stocking!

There have been so many amazing books released this year, so there are plenty to choose from for the perfect literary gift! Here at Atwood Tate we cannot wait to see what books we’ll be blessed with next year!

Wishing you all have a lovely Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

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Bite Sized Series: Marvellous Marketing

What do marketers in Publishing do?

Marketers are responsible for promoting a publisher or client’s products or services in order to reach their target audience. Marketing can be either traditional (e.g. print advertisements, brochures, flyers) or digital (e.g. social media, email campaigns, websites, SEO, digital advertising). The main goal of marketing is to generate sales. Nearly all marketing roles that we recruit for do have a strong digital element, so it is important to keep these skills up to date.

How easy is it to transfer your marketing skills into a role in publishing?

The skills and knowledge that you develop in marketing are highly transferable, especially if you have particular expertise or a specialism that is in demand. Marketers often need to have strong copywriting skills and a keen eye for detail, as well as excellent communication and relationship building skills. An up-to-date knowledge of the sector you’d like to work in as well as an understanding of the company and its target market, will strengthen your application.

What marketing roles do we work on?

We work on marketing roles in book, journal, magazine publishing and events across all sectors and related industries.  Content marketing is also a growing area. No matter the sector, marketing is a highly creative role and publishers are always looking for imaginative strategies and innovative ways to engage audiences. As there are so many marketing roles, there are many opportunities for career progression. If you’re interested in a marketing role or would like to find out more, we would love to hear from you!

So just to sum up:

  • Marketers are responsible for promoting a publisher or client’s products or services in order to reach their target audience and generate sales.
  • The skills and knowledge that you develop in marketing are highly transferable, especially if you have particular expertise or a specialism that is in demand.
  • Marketing is a creative role so it’s important that you market yourself as well as your product. Be authentic and think about your personal brand!
  • PLANNING! Get a marketing plan at least 3-6 months ahead of publication date!

-Advice from our Publishing Recruitment Consultant, Catherine Roney

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Working In the Book Trade: The Business of Selling Books

Did you know that the UK is the world’s biggest exporter of books?  Publishing is a large and growing industry and the total number of books published in the UK last year was 173,000.  Publishing businesses in the UK alone have a collective annual turnover of £6 billion, making the UK the fifth biggest market in the world after the US, China, Germany, and Japan. On average, the UK publishing industry employs 30,000 people directly and roughly 70,000 people indirectly spread across over 8,000 publishers. Publishing is now a multimedia business and last year digital books accounted 15% of the 360,000,000 physical and eBooks sold. Ebook sales have dropped a little in recent years from 17% to 15%, perhaps because they are being rapidly displaced by digital audio books! These figures give you an idea of the size and importance of the publishing industry.

Earlier in the month, Parissa Bagheri from Atwood Tate was invited back to her alma mater, the University of Greenwich, to attend an event they were holding to discuss Working in the Book Trade: The Business of Selling Books. The panel of speakers included CEO of Bonnier, Perminder Mann, CEO of Hachette, David Shelley, and the Ex-Chairman of Blackwell’s Bookshop Trevor Goul-Wheeker. These leading figures in publishing and the book trade shared their experiences and journeys into publishing, offering advice to those in the audience looking to do the same.  We know a lot of our followers are aspiring publishing professionals or still young in their publishing career, so wanted to share their insights with you too.

CEO of Hachette David Shelley was first up in telling the audience about how he entered the industry. David’s parents owned a second-hand bookshop, so he was exposed to the sales side of publishing from an early age. He began his career as an Editorial Assistant for Alison and Busby (a well-established small publisher).  He kept the company running for 5 years and encompassed problems along the way, such as the book distributor going bust and relocating the office near to Brixton near to where he lived. The owner of Little, Brown asked David if he would consider buying a few books a year as an Editor and he joined the company, which eventually led to his promotion to Publisher, then Head of Division, and finally to his current role running Hachette UK!

Hachette publishes 5,000 books every year and has a staff of 18,000. David explained that the editorial departments receive 1,000 applications for every editorial assistant job, whereas the sales team often only receive around three direct applications. He emphasised the importance of exploring different sectors; foreign rights professionals get to read, travel and correspond with authors whereas, production departments, whilst equally driven and creative focus more on the people and processes in the background. David also advised that publishers are looking for people who are keen to work in finance, also stating that the first two to three years of entering the industry is all about grafting your way through. It is necessary to differentiate yourself from others, don’t rely on just the contacts you have. Don’t be afraid to be bold and fearless in your first year, don’t undersell yourself, and be proud and show off your achievements. People love to mentor younger people, so offer to have coffee with them to show your passion and interest!

His tips for a good cover letter are:

  • Look up the books that your target publisher is publishing and research its heritage
  • Brilliant quality writing – this is a reflection of how well you can communicate
  • Talk about your favourite writers, what are they doing?
  • Be thoughtful and considerate
  • Don’t follow the rules strictly, break rules and disagree!

Bonnier is the sixth largest publishing company in the UK and its CEO Perminder Mann also talked about her experience in the publishing industry. Growing up, she spent much of her time reading, making sure to build up her English vocabulary. She spent time interning and eventually had an interview with Macmillan for a role in its in Special Sales department. She was offered the job, which she explained was quite challenging, but she used the opportunity to gain as much knowledge as she could. Perminder was then promoted in sales and travelled throughout the UK to meet buyers. Later she moved to Transworld (now part of Penguin Random House) as an entrepreneur in a five person team, and faced the problem of not having as much contact or support, constantly having to juggle between having a career and being a mother. She survived that and then moved into children’s publishing, but was travelling too much and decided to move out of publishing altogether.  Publishing isn’t quite like any other industry, though, and she ended up returning when she was offered a position at Bonnier.

Perminder talked about how at Bonnier you don’t have to choose between a career and family, as you can work flexibly she has put benefits in place such as a good a maternity policy.  This is something that Perminder is extremely passionate about given her own experience throughout her career and she is now in the middle of improving paternity pay and continuing to champion equality.

Finally, the ex-chairman of Blackwell’s Bookshop Trevor Goul-Wheeker took to the floor to explain how he fell in love with the publishing industry. Trevor started off as a bookseller and fell in love with the book trade, partly because of the people involved in it. Blackwell’s is a well-known book retailer, but as the digital publishing industry gradually took over, Blackwell’s was forced to start closing stores and were closing 16 high street shops every day. Currently, the UK bookshops account for 41% of books sold with ecommerce accounting for 35% of book sales. However, Trevor stated that bookshop recommendations are still the number one influencer when people are choosing which book to buy.  He believes that bookshops still offer customer engagement and a valued experience and that bookselling and publishing go hand in hand.

All three speakers did emphasise that you do not need a masters to get into publishing; most publishing companies prefer more hands on experience, which shows a variety of skills.  They also all agreed that ecommerce and ebooks are slowly taking over from print as they are easier to access and to read on the go. Audio books are now attracting a new demographic of “readers” and enabling publishers to tap into a new market. Publishers are already and will continue to learn about and develop in the area of audio.

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Frankfurt Book Fair 2019

It is only a week to go until the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019, so we’ve put together a collection of top tips and things to do and see while you’re there! These suggestions are aimed at anyone attending, whether you’re coming as a student, publishing professional, job-seeker or just trying to increase your knowledge of the publishing and media industry. Even if you’re an annual attendee at the event, we’ve got some ideas for you!

Here are some of our top tips:

  • Plan your time in advance: there will be many conferences and events throughout the day so it is important that you check the schedule in order to see what events might interest and benefit you the most. It is a huge venue with plenty going on, so by planning your time well, you’ll be able to get the most out of the fair! Do also use the hall plan to avoid getting lost!
  • You will be meeting clients and important contacts, so you do want to be smart and ladies might be tempted to wear heels, but trust me, you will most definitely regret this decision. The Frankfurt exhibition centre is huge and the book fair is spread across several halls, so you will for sure be on your feet all day. Wear flat shoes or shoes that are comfortable. Of course dress code varies but you can never go wrong with business casual, a pair of flat clean shoes or boots will keep you comfy throughout the day!
  • Considering it’s an all-day event and you might well be using your phone to contact colleagues, show clients clips and perhaps be taking plenty of photos and videos yourself, bring a portable phone charger! Download the Frankfurter Buchmesse App for a convenient guide around the fair as well as a timetable of the event. Do take pictures of impressive stands you like as a reminder to yourself, but most definitely share them on social media too!
  • As this is the biggest international event of the year for the publishing industry, there’ll be a lot of people and food stalls and stands will have queues! So remember to carry a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated! Bring a snack if you’re super organised. It’s very easy to get hot and dehydrated in big events, to avoid the long queues and high prices at the cafes!

Lastly, although you are out in Frankfurt for the Book Fair, it’s also important to plan some chill-out time, so that you don’t get overwhelmed! Walking around all day or keeping a constantly cheerful face on for your back to back meetings is exhausting. Frankfurt is a beautiful city in the centre of Germany and there is plenty to see and do to escape for a little while! Take some time before arriving to see what there is around and see if there is an alternative venue that you can escape to to, whether that be cultural things to do and see or places to eat and drink in peace! This is a tough event for anyone prone to anxiety in crowds, so be prepared and look out for friends and colleagues who might be struggling a bit.

Here is a list of places you might like to visit near/around the venue:

  • If you get a tired of the traditional German food, this traditional Japanese restaurant called Mangetsu, offers great Japanese food and is a great place to go if you’re in need of some quiet space.
  • The heart of Frankfurt is The Römerberg: Frankfurt’s Old Town Centre, this town centre is filled with traditional buildings, a very picturesque square that will look amazing in photos!
  • The Palm Garden is the largest botanic garden in Germany, so it is definitely worth seeing if you have the time. I’m sure the garden will look fantastic during the Autumn season!

For more places to visit around Frankfurt click here!

Make sure to check what events are going on throughout the fair and which companies are attending!

Byte the Book is networking at the book fair this year and are offering Networking Drinks on October 16th in the fair from 9pm till late! This will be a great opportunity to meet some new people from the media and publishing industry and would be great to broaden your knowledge on both industries! For more information on the event click here!

In case you weren’t aware Norway is the guest of honour this year so to honour that we’ve decided to share some of our favourite Norwegian reads:

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

Harry Hole thrillers series by Jo Nesbo

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

We look forward to seeing you all post about the event, do keep in contact via our Twitter, tweet us pictures and information about the event we’ll be glad to hear from you!

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How to Convey the Value of Your Transferable and Soft Skills to Prospective Employers!

What are soft skills? Soft skills are defined as character traits or interpersonal aptitudes that effect the ability to work and interact with others in a work environment. We most often learn soft skills at school, in the classroom, directly or indirectly.  They are not always “people skills” but are abilities relating to emotional intelligence and can be useful for all industries and job types.

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Team Work
  • Problem-Solving
  • Work Ethic
  • Adaptability
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Time Management
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail

Hard skills unlike soft skills are more job specific skills that are usually acquired through education or training. They are based solely on technical knowledge. Hard and soft skills complement each other in the workplace: hard skills reflect whether you would be suitable for the job and the technical skills it requires, whereas soft skills are unique and personal as they reflect the way you deal with situations specific to a work environment or the role for which you are applying.

“94% of recruiters believe that soft skills outweigh experience… 75% of recruiting professionals have cut an interview short because a candidate didn’t demonstrate the soft skills needed for the position they had applied for.”–Forbes

Soft skills distinguish you from other employees as they are unique to your individual personality. They also tend to highlight your leadership skills and this is what employers most often look at. There are many ways that you can show off your soft skills to your employer, generally this is usually over face-to-face interviews. Using examples is a brilliant way to show off your soft skills as you can demonstrate how valuable your skills really are and how these have aided you in many difficult work situations. For example, it is particularly important that when asked questions about difficult work situations you cleverly answer with how it got solved or what you would do differently next time rather than just stating the final result.

Here are some examples of common soft skills and their DOs and DONTs:

Team Work & Collaboration

  • Avoid ‘I’s’ and use more ‘We’s’.
  • Make sure to mention team accomplishments as well as personal ones, how you contributed to team effort.

Perseverance & Dedication

  • Show confidence in why you made certain decisions.
  • Emphasise your passion and dedication to work, as it is a reflection of your work ethic.
  • Give examples that reflect your perseverance to accomplish anything, both work problems and personal work goals.

Time Management & Organisation

  • Time management is a clear representation of how efficiently you work.
  • It reflects an organised candidate, who shows how passionate and seriously they want the role!
  • If you have good time management skills, it reduces the likelihood of stress within the workplace.

Problem Solving

Describe how you solved a problem step by step e.g. “First I spoke to my manager and then…”

Soft Skills in Publishing

Now that you know all about soft skills, which of these will be the most important when you are applying and interviewing for a role in publishing?

Effective communication and emotional intelligence are important in the world of publishing. It is important to understand the mood, tone and the values of those around us. Fair and consistent communication is essential; being able to asses and attend to emotional needs is integral to gaining understanding.

Openness and honest are also very important. For those just starting a career in publishing it is imperative to be open to the entire experience being a learning process. Being honest in saying ‘I need help’/’I’m not good at that’ shows your interviewer/employer that you do struggle but are willing to learn and grow within those personal struggles.

Finally, learning with agility is another key soft skill in publishing; everything is a trial and error both in life and in the world of work. It is okay to fail in work tasks as long as you’re learning quickly. Persevering demonstrates your potential and growth in character. Always strive for better and work proactively within your job. You may find that in publishing certain traditions are kept, but all businesses look ahead, so having employees who are equally forward thinking helps the industry to grow! For more information on transferable soft skills click here!

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Why you should go for a sales role in publishing!

Our editorial roles receive a huge amount of interest, however our sales roles not as much. This made us stop and think, why not?

Many graduates come to us and ask our advice on how to launch their editorial career in publishing, which is great! But… editorial is not the only option available to you!

In this blog, we want to discuss why sales roles are also great and can even aid your future editorial career.

First things first, you want to work in publishing because you love books, right? Sales roles are the perfect way to express your passion! Why? Because you get to talk about books all day long!

It is your job to get the books out there! You go through lists, samples and catalogues deciding which bookstores need which books. What better way to spend your working day, than browsing the latest titles and most likely even receiving a copy for your own personal collection!

Sales roles are very social roles – you will work with a range of people from editors and writers to designers, buyers and journalists. This means you receive a comprehensive understanding of the industry.

A sales role will also give you knowledge of the market and trends; this will aid your knowledge if you wish to work in a commissioning editorial role for example.

Another advantage of sales roles is that they enable you to develop transferable skills. One of these being communication, a skill desired in every role.

In a sales role, you can find yourself working for many different publishers and selling to many different types of customers, this will enable you to develop key relationship building skills.

A sales role does not necessarily mean endless cold calling and this definitely is not the case in publishing. You are more likely to meet customers face to face in a more consultative sales approach. You may find yourself selling to bookshops, retailers, universities, or even software to libraries and hospitals.

This kind of sales approach means you get to have interesting conversations, develop strong relationships and take a break from being in the office!

You are also likely to be invited to events! A new store opening for example.

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