On August 15 2012, I began my contract role as administrator for Atwood Tate – the centre of publishing recruitment. I had read all the books, attended the events and completed those all-important internships, so gaining some solid administration experience would prepare my CV for editorial roles in the publishing world.
Gaining office experience is considered to be an essential skill to have on your CV, so I could not have placed myself in a better environment to learn about the various different publishing houses and how they operate. Therefore, I’m posting a blog today to… well, tell you my story.
As administrator, one task that is central to my routine is processing the dozens of registrations that come in every day. When you register at Atwood Tate or have already registered, it’s me who (usually) reviews your CV and passes it onto the relevant consultant. I come across 50 – 70 CVs a on a weekly basis, so if I was to give you any advice, I would say that if you have gained any publishing experience – whether it’s one week or one year, make it crystal clear on your CV. It’s also helpful if you elaborate on your experiences and highlight your area of interest (editorial, publicity, production etc.) The clearer you are, the clearer I am about who to send your CV to.
Trade, Educational, Distribution are all ‘publishing terms’ that have been introduced to me during my publishing journey. Having been an English teacher, ‘Educational’ has always been familiar to me however, there are many fields to publishing and these terms – Trade, B2B, Production, Production Editorial, Operation, Distribution etc, are the many identities publishing has tucked up its sleeve. So whether you’re coming to register with us or are starting an internship/job, please make yourself familiar with these key words and what they mean (and do not assume that B2B is the name of a boy band!)
Monday mornings are always filled with catching up and coming face-to-face with all the emails that accumulate over the weekend. With registrations complete, it’s onto temp work. As an agency, Atwood Tate also recruits candidates for temporary roles for companies such as Elsevier and Macmillan. With the market being remarkably tough at the moment, it’s always worth taking on a short-term contract with a publishing house (and getting paid!). So whether you’re considering registering with us or have already registered, don’t forget to tick the ‘temp’ box for up and coming temp opportunities.
Five months have passed and one of the greatest skills that I have acquired is that of knowledge. From weekly meeting to eavesdropping consultant conversations, I have grasped a good understanding that the publishing world is an ever-changing environment. The words ‘digital’ ‘merging’ ‘e-books’ ‘bloginars’ ‘vlogs’ etc have never been so prominent. Yes, E. L. James’s 50 Shades of Grey may have stained the sheets a little, but to be honest, she too has made her mark and has arguably given life to the erotica genre. Publishing houses are continually developing and adapting and it’s absolutely essential that anyone wanting to go into publishing can identify these changes and recognise why they are occurring. As I used to say back in my teaching days, ‘you MUST do your homework’ before you even set foot onto the doors of the publishing world. The internet has become a good friend to us all, so do your research and note down any ideas/thoughts you may have and put them on the table to gain a few brownie points. Publishers are always looking for the next big idea, so don’t be shy.
Whilst on the road, I have had the opportunity to attend a few events with Atwood Tate. Recently I attended the Society of Young Publishers 2012 Conference in London which brought publishing enthusiasts face-to-face with their publishing gurus. The Folio Society, Macmillan, YUDU Media, Rising Stars, World Book Night, Jellybooks, Somethin’ Else and others came together to share their perspectives on publishing. Seminars were held to give members the opportunity to speak directly to individuals who live and breathe publishing. You’d be surprised just how many people are willing to tell you their story and establish a network for you to extend your connection. Following them on Twitter and interacting is always a good start.
A year ago I had graduated from my MA and decided I wanted to be on the other side of the classroom and work on educational books for secondary schools. I quickly applied, applied and applied again for as many internships as I could and found myself completing four wonderful internships with Ebury Publishing, John Blake Publishing, Intelligent Media Solutions and Sweet and Maxwell which has enabled me to taste the most exquisite flavours of publishing and acquire the greatest knowledge that I will ever know.
As my time as administrator slowly comes to an end, Atwood Tate has taught me many things as a colleague and as a candidate. While the publishing profession may be competitive and difficult to get into, it goes without saying that recruiters like Atwood Tate work their hardest to find the best people for the job. The one lesson I’ve learned is that the publishing world IS forever growing and moulding itself neatly to the emerging trends taking place today. It’s incredibly exciting and has become an appropriate time to make that move into the new dimension. We all know they’re looking for fresh faces and fresh minds and with plenty of perseverance and hard work, there WILL be just about enough room for all of us!
Make 2013 your year. For now, thank you for reading.
I look forward to receiving your CV!
(Follow Atwood Tate on Twitter @AtwoodTate)