BAME in Publishing: One Year On

We are very pleased to bring you a guest post from Sarah Shaffi and Wei Ming Kam, founders of BAME in Publishing, a group which aims to support and encourage people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the publishing industry.

Last year, they wrote a blog post for us about why they set up the group and provided some advice for working in the industry, which you can read here.

One year on, they reflect on their experiences of the group, and if anything has changed:

Five things we’ve learnt in a year of BAME in Publishing…

A year ago we set up BAME in Publishing – a networking group for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds working in publishing, or wanting to break into the industry. Here are five things we’ve learnt from running the group.

  • BAME in Publishing fills a gap

When we set up the group, we weren’t sure if anyone was going to be interested, but even a year later we’re still getting new members, and all our meetings are full. It’s shown us that there is a real thirst for a group and a space when BAME people can form relationships, get career advice, and feel like they belong.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help/favours

We’ve turned to a lot of different people for help with various things and have been surprised how many want to support us in any way they can. We’ve been offered venues to host meet ups from publishers and bookshops, and it’s been heartening to know that much of the industry supports the work we do.

  • There are BAME people in the industry

Sometimes it feels like there are hardly any people from BAME backgrounds working in publishing, but running BAME in Publishing we’ve seen that this isn’t true. Our members come from all kinds of companies – big, small, trade, academic, publishers, agencies and so one. BAME talent is out there, which is encouraging, however…

  • There is a long way to go

It’s clear from our membership that a lot of the BAME talent are in junior positions. There are definitely some great senior role models out there (Ailah Ahmed from Virago, Natalie Jerome and Perminder Mann at Kings Road Publishing to name a few), but more needs to be done to make sure junior staff rise up the ranks quickly so that they can affect real change when it comes to the ethnic diversity of the industry. However, we do think that…

  • The future is bright

One thing we see at meeting after meeting is that there are so many talented people coming into publishing who want to make a difference, publish brilliant books, and be the leaders of tomorrow. We have no doubt that today’s bright young things will be heading up tomorrow’s publishing houses.

Wei Ming Kam and Sarah Shaffi at the BAME in Publishing 1st Birthday Party

Sarah Shaffi is online editor and producer at The Bookseller and tweets @sarahshaffi . Wei Ming Kam is sales and marketing executive at Oberon Books and tweets @weimingkam.

For more on BAME in Publishing, visit bameinpublishing.tumblr.com. You can also check out the #BAMEinPublishing hashtag on twitter and follow them on Instagram.

The group meets regularly, mostly in Central London. If you are interested in joining, please email bameinpublishing@gmail.com with your full name, email address, company you work for and your position (if applicable).

BAME in Publishing has been shortlisted for the #HClub100. Vote for them here!

 

 

Atwood Tate Limited embraces diversity and aims to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities. For more information visit our policies page https://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/policies/

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Filling the Gap – An Increase in Temp Hire

Recently, the REC released the results of a Jobs Outlook research study that indicated employers were predicting a greater reliance on temporary workers in the near future due to a shortage of skills. It showed that 20% of UK employers planned to increase agency workers in the medium term.

The likely reason for this is that temp workers allow a certain level of flexibility for employers and can help with the skills gap. It is also beneficial to workers who are looking to avoid long-term commitments. While temporary or contract roles might seem to lack stability or job security, we have found that many of our candidates prefer these types of roles as it enables them to quickly develop skills and move on into new and challenging environments. A quarter (24 per cent) transfer at least half of their temporary workers to permanent positions each year. We’ve seen this ourselves first-hand as many of our temps have been made permanent, due to their hard work and dedication. It goes to show what making the right impression can do!

The research also indicated that the attitudes of larger companies around temporary workers have also changed and there is a marked increase in employers planning to increase these numbers in the short-term.

Here at Atwood Tate, there’s no fear about a shortage of skills! Our desk is dedicated to sourcing temporary workers and our track record of placing candidates in a variety of short-term and contract roles gives us the confidence to know we can provide much needed support to clients during this period.

Many of our clients have come to us to recruit interim support (urgent, fast and speedy placements – reliable temps with the required skill set and attitude). While it may seem like a period of uncertainty, we see it as more of an opportunity for both employers and employees to ‘try each other out’.

So, if you are looking for temporary workers, do get in touch. And if you are a candidate who has been considering a job change but were nervous about the current market, just give us a call and we can let you know about some of the opportunities that are currently out there. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be permanent to be the right choice for you. There are often no interviews and the hiring process can happen so quickly, you can often find yourself working the very next day!

If you are interested in temping with Atwood Tate or are looking for interim support, please get in touch with:

Kellie Millar

kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk

02070347897

Alison Redfearn

alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk

02070347922

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Publishing and the unpaid internship

A recent article in the Bookseller covered the attitudes changing around the unpaid internship. For some time now, there has been a building frustration with how impenetrable the publishing industry can be to people who cannot afford to undergo the necessary work placements that make finding one’s first job that much more viable.

Those already in publishing have recognised this roadblock and are making significant steps to facilitate entry into the industry for those candidates who may have considered it an impossible option previously. Paid internships are slowly but surely becoming a feature of some of the larger publishers, who have determined to increase diversity through any and all means. It is certainly a cause for celebration for a lot of recent graduates but also for anyone who has hoped to make the move into publishing from another industry but could never forgo a regular income, even for a short period of time.

Atwood Tate’s temp’s team have helped a number of graduates unable to work unpaid, get their first paid job in publishing. Publishers are always looking for support staff with some office and administration experience, and contact the Atwood Tate temps team often with urgent, start next day roles.

Candidates that do not have a traditional background in publishing also have found their way into the industry through our desk and it is a great source of pride to us that we are able to provide the underdog with a much-needed chance to live their dream.

We do also help interns to build on the experience they have gained and get paid roles. We act as another lever into the industry and our clients come to us when they need help managing a volume of roles or need temp staff quickly.

So, while the industry slowly brings about the necessary changes to internships, Atwood Tate is here to lend a hand. Get in touch, send your CV. We’re here to advise you, and answer questions about salary, job types, the different sectors, feel to pick our brains and see if we can help you get your foot on the publishing ladder!

Our contact details are below and we look forward to hearing from you!

Kellie Millar                                                              Alison Redfearn

0207034787                                                             02070347922

kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk                            alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk

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Team update: Welcome to the team Alice!

Welcome to the team Alice!

Atwood Tate are delighted to announce that we have a new recruitment consultant, Alice Crick. Alice will cover Marketing, Sales, Publicity, Rights & International Sales, Contracts & Royalties, Customer Services in all UK locations outside of London, Home Counties and East Anglia. Alice will cover all sectors excluding B2B & Medcomms.

 Alice Crick

Alongside studying towards a BA in English Literature, Alice entered publishing as a freelance copywriter, before interning at the Press Association in the features department. Her work has appeared in several online and in print publications. Alice enjoys vegetarian food and writing for her blog. She began working at Atwood Tate in July as a Recruitment Consultant, working on roles across Marketing, Sales, Publicity, Rights & International Sales, Contracts & Royalties and Customer Services.

alicecrick@atwoodtate.co.uk 01865 339 529

Alice is currently based in the London Office, but will be based in the Oxford Office from August.

 

Oxford Office Roles

This is how roles outside of London and the Home Counties will be shared by our consultants:

Claire Louise Kemp, Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Editorial, Production Editorial, Production, Design, Operations/Distribution

(Covering all sectors excluding B2B & Medcomms and all UK locations outside of London, Home Counties and East Anglia)

 

Alice Crick, Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Marketing, Sales, Publicity, Rights & International Sales, Contracts & Royalties, Customer Services

(Covering all sectors excluding B2B & Medcomms and all UK locations outside of London, Home Counties and East Anglia)

 

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Administrator in the Hot Seat – Andrew Willis

Our new Administrator, Andrew Willis, answers questions in the hot seat.

What three books changed your life?

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh: As my Dad’s favourite book, I must have heard most of this book quoted throughout my life, but never quite understood its appeal until I finally read it for myself. It is an amazing book which manages to pack so much into its terse, but reverential prose. It touches on theology, belief, nostalgia, friendship and love, and is a great story.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Few people are as funny, creative and irreverent as Douglas Adams. It may often seem like insanity, but Adams’ prose is always carefully measured and pitched, and fun. Hitchhiker’s is a good reminder to not panic, and never be too serious. “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

Eagle Strike by Anthony Horowitz: The Alex Rider books were the first series of books I got hooked on at school. Adventure, gadgets, espionage; it offered everything. This is fourth in the series, but this is one I read first. I went back and read the other books, but Eagle Strike was quite formative in my love of books.

 

What book are you reading at the moment and what do you think of it?

I have just finished Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, which is a fantastic piece of science-fiction and world-building, about the twin worlds Anarres and Urras. The book which explores political issues such as differing ideologies, gender and economic systems. It also touches on theoretical physics and an envisioning of interstellar communications before the invention of the internet. Sounds like heavy reading, but it was more interesting than it sounds!

I have just started reading Herding Cats by Charlie Campbell, a more light-hearted book about Campbell’s experiences of amateur cricket captaincy of the Authors XI.

 

Is there any area of publishing you’re particularly interested in at the moment?

I am quite a big fan of audiobooks. I find them to be useful for fitting in more books when I’m commuting or too tired to read. It is quite a versatile format, as releases can take different forms from just a single narrator, to full cast dramas with music and sound effects. There are many different roles involved in audiobooks too; editorial, commissioning, production, directing, and post-production.  There is a strong market for audiobooks at the moment, and it is an exciting time for them.

 

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

Completing and passing my Master’s Degree last September was a huge achievement. It was both a very enjoyable course, learning new skills in literary analysis, research, and also in film production, but it was also draining at times. When faced with a 20,000 word dissertation, the terror of the blank word document and a flashing cursor can be daunting as you wonder how you are possibly going to produce anything. But through hard-work, stress and adrenaline and a lot of tea, I was amazed at what I could achieve.

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants covers, go to the “Meet the Team” page: http://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/Atwood/meet-the-team.asp

You can read previous Hot Seats here: https://blog.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/category/hot-seat/

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Advertising Salary on Publishing Roles

Advertising Salary on Publishing Roles

Recently, there has been some discussion online about a lack of transparency in publishing recruitment in regards to agencies (and publishers) not disclosing the salaries on job adverts.

‘Available on request’?

At Atwood Tate, we disclose salary information on advertisements where we are permitted, but much of the time our clients ask us to keep this information confidential until point of enquiry.  There are a variety of reasons why employers wish to keep salary confidential or as “available on application”.  It can be because they wish to remain flexible or to maintain confidentiality across the company.  Other employees who are in similar roles may not be keen for their salary banding to be public knowledge.

We understand that this may make things seem a little more difficult for job seekers, but, although we are often not permitted to disclose the salary on the advert itself, for the vacancies we are working on we will always be happy to disclose information about the salary of the role if you are registered with us or send us your CV when you enquire about the position.

Salary advice before submission

We will always be clear on the salary range available for a job before we agree with you to submit your application.  You will have the opportunity to state your desired salary, so that expectations on this issue are managed on both sides from the outset.

In most cases, we will be able to provide greater detail than is supplied on the advert and this ensures no candidate arrives at an interview only to discover that the salary offered for a job does not meet their requirements. We are here to help on that front and can add a level of insight and transparency.

Call our Consultants

Don’t be shy of calling a telephone number on an advert for more information about the salary level. In some cases the advertiser may not be able to give you an exact figure, but in those cases, we would advise that you give the hiring manager or recruiter an idea of the salary that you would be looking for and they should be able to tell you if the position advertised would be in line with that.

At Atwood Tate, we are all for transparency and we will do our best to provide as much relevant information as possible when guiding you through the application process.

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SYP Panel Talk: “How to assert yourself in publishing”

SYP Panel Talk: “How to assert yourself in publishing”

On Tuesday night, I went to my first SYP event, which was a panel talk on “How to assert yourself in publishing”. On the panel were: Roly Allen (@roly_allen) a Publisher at Ilex, part of Hachette UK,  Bryony Woods (@BryonyWoods)  Literary Agent at Diamond Khan and Woods,  Ailah Ahmed (@ailahahmed), Commissioning Editor at Little, Brown, part of Hachette UK, and Pinelopi Pourpoutidou, Head of Foreign & Digital Sales at Michael O’Mara Publishing.

Discussion ranged from topics such as knowing when it is time to speak up in meetings, what confidence is, and whether maternity-leave affects career progression, and what can be done to change this. Here are 7 of the top tips to take away from the evening.

 

On Applications…

1. Keep your cover letters short and specific to the job

Cover letters do not need be very long. Half a side of A4 will suffice. Make it short and sharp and to the point. Outline your key skills and how they make you suitable for the requirements of the role. Investigate the company, know what they do. Say why you want to work for them and why they should want you to work for them.

2. Sell yourself in your interests.

The interests section in your CV is your chance to sell yourself, and gives the company an idea of you as a real person. Be honest, but also be professional. Do you play sports, play in a band, part of an activity/ interest club, been travelling? Make sure you share!

 

On Confidence…

3. Fake it till you make it

Few people can start in a role and have complete confidence right away. It is learnt over time as you acclimatise to the role. Being nervous as you start out is normal, but if you are not confident, you can just pretend you are. The panel suggested Amy Cuddy’s method of ‘Fake it Till You Make It”. Watch her TED Talk on it here: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

The panel also suggested Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg as a resource particularly for women with tips and advice on how to build confidence and how to be a successful leader in the workplace.

 4. Loudness isn’t confidence- knowing what you’re talking about is.

Don’t think that you will come across as confident just by talking louder and being brash and confrontational. Being quieter and more introverted doesn’t mean that you are less effective or less valuable. What is important is preparing your facts before you talk and share. An idea that you have investigated and can support with facts and realistic costings is much more useful than something unprepared, said loudly.

5. Form a support network, even if just an informal one.

One tip suggested, especially to benefit people from minorities with less representation in the industry, was to form a support network with people in the industry who have come from a similar background. Either in your company, or out wider out into the industry; find someone or a group of people who are at a similar stage to you, and people you feel you can confide in, and ask advice from, who you can meet up with once a month over a coffee.

6. Don’t be afraid of speaking up in meetings, but know when to stop.

If you have an idea that is relevant, share it. But if you are told it will not work, then know when to stop.

 

On Asking for More…

7. When to ask for a pay rise

The panel suggested that you should perhaps start thinking about asking for a pay rise after a year into a role. An employer should not think less of you for asking, and the worst that they can say is no. If they do reject your request, ask if you can review this decision in 3 to 6 months. They suggested that you should pick your time to ask also based on what the situation of both you and your company are. If the company is making cut backs, it might not be the correct time to ask. But if you have had a period of success (as opposed to just one success), then you should ask. Your request should make a case for your worth to the company, and why you deserve this rise.

 

This was a fascinating talk, and all the speakers were enthusiastic and entertaining. Thanks to the speakers and The SYP for hosting the event!

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A Day In The Life Of . . . A Temporary Rights and Permissions Assistant

Today, we have another of our temporary workers, breaking down their role as a Rights and Permissions Assistant for us!

What was your role and how long was the assignment for?

I started on a six week placement which extended to three months reviewing permission logs.  This then progressed to the current temporary contract and I have been in this role for 2 ½ years.

Were you interviewed for the role?  Yes

What were your key duties?

Reviewing published books to check any third party items such as images and quotes had been cleared for use.

Processing incoming permissions queries, preparing licenses and invoices

Processing incoming translation and other rights requests, negotiating the terms and fee payable, preparing the contract and invoice

Some marketing of titles for rights selling

Tell us about the culture?

Everyone at the company is very friendly and helpful (which has been great given how many questions I have asked of people).  Everyone is keen to produce the best books they can.  Many roles include foreign travel and even if you stay in the UK you are always working with people around the world both inside and outside the company which gives a real multi-cultural flavour to the role.

What did you like best?

There are so many things, among them I really enjoy being able to tell authors that their books are being translated. Seeing the translated books when they arrive is always a great pleasure as you never really know how they will look until you see them.

What did you learn?

Everything!  I had never done this role before and so it has been a real baptism of fire as I have learned how to use new systems and databases, copyright rules as well as refining my negotiation skills.

How did you find your experience with Atwood Tate? Great, Kellie, Michael and the team have always been very supportive and helpful at every step.

How did Atwood Tate approach you for the role? Atwood Tate’s database, job board?  I first contacted Atwood Tate after seeing the role on The Bookseller website and then spoke with Kellie about it in further detail.

Interested in temporary opportunities? Please contact Atwood Tate’s temps team administrator, Michael Lawlor michaellawlor@atwoodtate.co.uk

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A Day In The Life Of . . . A Temporary Office Manager

Temping with Atwood Tate can open up a world of opportunities and can put you on the road to employment as soon as tomorrow!

We thought we’d share some of our temps’ experiences and demonstrate the variety of roles available…

 

A Day In The Life Of . . . A Temporary Office Manager

What was your role and how long was the assignment for?

I was assigned to a trade book publisher as a Temporary Office Manager for 4 weeks.

Were you interviewed for the role?  

Yes, briefly on the morning that I started in the role. They needed someone to fill the role quickly, at short-notice, so I started working there within two days of being told about the role.

What were your key duties?

As Office Manager, I was in charge of the Post-Room, which involved distributing incoming post, and ordering couriers and franking outgoing mail. It was also my duty to monitor and report any facilities issues within the office, and also to monitor and order office supplies. I also managed the logistics of author book signings in the office. Other duties included processing invoices, general administrative duties, and various ad-hoc duties as they arose.

Tell us about the culture?

The office was a friendly and welcoming environment to work in. As the office was open plan, the different departments were all very approachable, and there was a great sense of a team effort, supporting each other, across the entire office.

What did you like best?

What I liked best about this role was that it was a busy and changing role, where there were new challenges and opportunities each day. I also enjoyed the opportunity to interact and work with all of the departments in the office.

What did you learn?

I learnt a lot about how a trade book publisher works, and how each individual department plays a vital role in bringing a new book title to fruition. I also learnt a great deal about the logistics side of publishing, from sending out new releases for promotional purposes, how to order a courier to transport a large window display. Finally, I learnt the importance of ensuring a happy office, such as getting light bulbs changed quickly, ensuring the air conditioning works and keeping coffee supplies well stocked!

How did you find your experience with Atwood Tate?

I had a great experience with Atwood Tate, being kept informed at all stages of taking on the assignment as to what was going on, and being briefed along the way as to what the role would involve and what was expected of me. They were always available to contact by phone and email whenever needed to.

How did Atwood Tate approach you for the role? Were you registered on Atwood Tate’s database or was it via a job board?

I had registered for Temping opportunities with Atwood Tate, and they contacted me asking if it would be possible for me to start in the role immediately.

Interested in temporary opportunities? Please contact Atwood Tate’s temps team administrator, Michael Lawlor, at michaellawlor@atwoodtate.co.uk

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Job Roles In Publishing

Our last Q&A dealt with job sectors, breaking them down for candidates to better understand what each entailed and the kind of skills required to excel within them. This week, we’re tackling job roles in publishing! Here’s a brief overview:

Marketing – Marketing campaigns. Social media. SEO. Promotional copy. Analytics. These are just some of the duties you’ll be carrying out within marketing. A keen understanding of your market and strong interpersonal skill are a must.

Sales – Targets. Lead generation. Events. Duties will vary from sector to sector and can include sales rep roles for trade publishing to delegate, sponsorship and advertising sales positions. The ability to excel in a fast-paced environment as well as work autonomously is key to these roles.

Rights – Negotiation. Contracts. Trade conferences. This job role suits numerical candidates who will enjoy negotiating contracts and securing publishing rights for books with foreign and domestic publishers.

Production – Typesetting. Proofreading. Processing orders. A role for the technically minded, it calls for strong IT skills including proficiency in InDesign and CMS. Depending on sector, you could be working on magazines, journals, textbooks or fiction/non-fiction titles.

Editorial – Copyediting. Administration. Photo research. Just some of the duties that fall within editorial’s remit. This role proves to be quite popular and naturally requires a creative candidate with excellent oral and written skills but being adept at general administrative tasks is also crucial.

Design – Adobe Creative Suite. CSS. Javascript. Technical skills are an absolute necessity for design roles as well as a creative flair that can be used to create a strong visual company brand.

There are of course other job roles we could cover, from HR and Finance to IT and Operations, but these roles typically fall within or work to support one of the above categories.

So, if you’re thinking about beginning a career in publishing, it’s good to assess your experience and decide what skills you would like to develop further! And if you have any questions, be sure to join us on Twitter @AtwoodTate tomorrow at 12 noon for our fortnightly Q&A on job roles!

Alternatively, you can contact us in London at london@atwoodtate.co.uk and in Oxford at oxford@atwoodtate.co.uk.

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