Author Archives: Ellie Pilcher

About Ellie Pilcher

Ellie has a joint honours degree in History and Creative Writing from the University of Hertfordshire and can be found most often writing stories or blogposts whilst deafening herself with music. She started her publishing career as an intern for a Literary agency, later becoming a Reader, and has undertaken work placements in publicity and marketing before finding herself as the administrator for the books and journals and B2B teams at Atwood Tate.

Advice from the Careers Clinic

Advice from the Careers Clinic

Advice from the Careers Clinic

Last week two of our consultants, Alison and Karine attended the London Book Fair Careers Clinic, run by bookcareers.com.

For all of those who were unable to attend the book fair or the Careers Clinic we wanted to provide you with the information which was most requested by those that attended.

How to write a Good CV:

We have many blog posts on writing a good CV, which you can read here:

The main things to remember when writing a CV is to include all of your publishing experience and to keep it clean and simple.

You must also remember a Cover Letter. The main thing about a cover letter is that you tailor it to each job you apply for. Try not to over complicate things and keep it as concise as possible.

For more information on cover letters take a look at this blog post:

Work Experience

The most popular questions at the Careers Clinic were about work experience.

We don’t handle work experience or internships. But to gain an entry-level job in publishing you need to have at least 3 month’s work experience in publishing.

You can gain this experience through a work experience placement, internship or through temping.

For more information about temping take a look at this post written by our temp team’s administrator Michael:

Temping is a great way to gain paid work experience, and possibly gain a full-time job upon completion of your contract. If you’re looking for an entry-level role Alison Redfearn and Kellie Millar, our temps team consultants, are your best point of contact at Atwood Tate.

For more information about looking for work experience, internships and other ways to gain experience within publishing we suggest you look at our Work Experience and Entry-Level resources page:

We hope all of this helps you on your career search. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have about gaining experiencing, applying for roles or registering with us online.

To register with Atwood Tate you can upload your CV and preferences here, and we will get back to you with information as soon as possible: Registration page. 

You can also take a look at our publishing resources leaflet which we were handing out at the careers clinic: Publishing Resources Leaflet

If you want to know something in particular get in contact with us on any of our social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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London Book Fair 2017 | Our Thoughts

London Book Fair | Our Thoughts

London Book Fair | Our Thoughts

Last week was the London Book Fair and it was an extremely successful and enjoyable week for all those that attended. A lot of deals were made, books were announced and on our stand we had a lot of conversations with job-seekers.

You can take a look at some of the stands at the fair and the events that took place in our YouTube video.

We thought we would share some of our favourite moments of the book fair this year as it was such a great week.

Our Favourite Moments

Alison thoroughly enjoyed meeting people at the Careers Clinic on Thursday.  She hopes that it was as helpful as it was fun.

Careers Clinic Book Fair

Karine was very pleased to see so many people taking part in our daily book-token competition, with many people coming up to the stand to say ‘Atwood Tate we’re hear you’re great!’ She also enjoyed the ALPSP event on Tuesday afternoon.

The stands at the fair this year were fantastic! Kellie was very impressed by the Usborne stand which was decorated like a tree-house – you can see it in our YouTube video. Ellie enjoyed wandering around the fair meeting all the different people, seeing the stands and the general going-ons of the event.

Helen enjoyed talking to people at the Faber stand. They were handing out milk bottle sweets to celebrate the announcement of a new book The Secret Life of Cows. They were ‘over the moo-oon’.

Not only were the stands well decorated but the general decoration of the fair was wonderful. There was a yellow brick road seating area to celebrate the news that Michael Morpurgo, the fair’s author of the day on Thursday, was writing a re-telling of the Wizard of Oz from Toto’s perspective. There was a also a seating area made of giant Stilettos and lips for seats, which was Christina’s favourite.

The seminars this year were fascinating. We attended numerous talks and learnt a great deal of things about the publishing industry. For more details on what we discovered at a seminar on the effects of Brexit on publishing see here.

Michael’s favourite part of the whole fair was the atmosphere. Everyone was very friendly, happy to talk and to take pictures.

Book Fair

Meeting people at the fair, both clients and job-seekers, was the definite highlight of ours at Atwood Tate.  We had fun and we hope you did too.

Let us know what your favourite part of the London Book Fair in the comments below. Or contact us on any of our social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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Brexit: Good News or Bad News for the Publishing Industry?

Brexit: Good or Bad News

Brexit – Good News or Bad News for the Publishing Industry?

Brexit has been one of the talking points of this year’s London Book Fair. It was no surprise to find the Olympia Room heaving with seminar attendees, attending a seminar on the effects of brexit on publishing so far, and to come.

The panel included:

  • Rosa Wilkinson – Director of Stakeholder Engagement for Trade Policy at the Department for International Trade
  • Ian Hudson – CEO of DK, and previous CEO of Penguin Random House (English Language) and deputy CEO of Penguin Random House UK.
  • Nick Hilman – Director at Higher Education Policy Institute

Chaired by:

The seminar was an hour long and full of a lot of interesting points.

Rosa Wilkinson was quick to reassure the audience that the government is preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU in two years’ time.

Her department are researching the different streams of trade and business within the UK, opening dialogues with industries – including the publishing industry – to learn what they need to get out of brexit after Article 50 is enacted.

The trade department feels ‘like the fat end of the funnel’. They are gathering as much information as possible to help the UK understand the benefits and opportunities they have from leaving the EU.

Her final lines of her opening thoughts were that she thinks brexit will be good for the publishing industry. But she can’t be sure. She will work hard to make it possible however.

Ian Hudson’s views were positive, yet wary. He doesn’t believe brexit has to be bad economically, and that we can use it for our advantage.

For example, using DK as his prime example, 75% of DK products are printed by the printers outside of the UK in Europe and the Far East. Brexit could offer the chance for UK printers to compete on international markets.

His main concerns focused more towards the staffing issues publishing companies may face; with Brexit causing so much uncertainty for EU citizens living in Britain, and British citizens living in the EU.

DK is a global publishing company:

  • 63 different languages
  • 1000 employees worldwide
  • 500 in London, 81 members of the London staff do not own British passports

Diversity and international talent is crucial to DK, but also to Britain as Britain is multi-cultural country. Publishing companies need to be able to recruit worldwide to develop books for the global market.

He stated that it was ‘inhuman’ that Theresa May hasn’t yet guaranteed a right to remain to European staff within Britain. It not only affects the employees currently working in Britain but also the future recruitment of European citizens to Britain.

When the floor was opened for questions HarperCollins CEO Charlie Redmayne stated that Polish workers in the HarperCollins Scottish outposts were ‘going back home’ over the uncertainty of brexit, the effect of the falling pound on earnings and the lack of control and security over their own jobs.

Hudson believes that Government needs to be less populist about immigration and understand that the publishing industry needs people from abroad for language, culture and skills that aren’t necessarily nurtured or found easily within this country. Doing something about immigration when Brexit first happened was just ‘doing something’, he claimed.

He also discussed the topic of Copyright and Piracy laws. Previously these laws within which affect Britain were passed within the EU. But with brexit Britain has the chance to create their own laws for copyright and piracy laws. It is the chance for the government to create a robust framework, as he feels Britain have been the voice of reason within the EU about the laws.

Nick Hilman main focus was on the effects of Brexit on academic publishing and research within the UK.

He feels that the University’s within Britain did not play their hand very well. They did not listen to the communities within which their universities were situated or their students.

In one university more than a quarter of all students wanted UKIP campaigns to be banned from their university entirely. Another university believed so strongly that the community surrounding the campus was going to vote remain that they didn’t campaign, and all of the constituencies actually voted leave. For these mistakes the universities, research facilities and academic sector are now suffering the consequences.

The main concern within academia and research is the freedom of movement for students and staff. In recent studies it is thought that with Brexit the number of EU students attending British universities will fall by 57%, if they’re not entitled to tuition loans and have to pay full international fees. University and Academic staff are suffering the same uncertainty of DK staff members, with over 20,000 staff members from Europe concerned about their freedom of movement. Many are already choosing to leave already.

Hilman did strike a positive; with Brexit comes the opportunity for Britain to delve deeper into research, such as nanotechnology, space research and other science research, which was blocked by the EU previously. But funding promised to academia has yet to be given and there is uncertainty that such funding will be received after Article 50 is enacted.

Hilman’s main steps for the future:

  • The government need to confirm the funding arrangement for EU students starting courses in 2018.
  • Staff mobility at UK universities needs to be at the heart of the Brexit communications going forward
  • The outward mobility of students, and publishers, from Britain going abroad should be encouraged. For British workers to bring back knowledge and understanding for labour markets going forward.
  • There needs to be more support for academia

The panel was then open for follow up remarks.

Wilkinson stated that recruitment from international audiences would not be a problem. No one is going to be kicked out of the country. She encouraged the need to retain talent and to recruit talent to Britain. She also stated that Copyright laws were high on their list of important topics to discuss and clarify further, as well as the grants for funding for the smaller businesses and industries.

We are leaving the EU, not the planet,’ she said. Reminding everyone that Britain still holds a voice within the world’s industry.

At the end of the interesting and heated panel the chair, Stephen asked one question to the audience:

Is Brexit good news or bad news for publishing?

The vote of hands was unanimous: bad news.

 

What are your thoughts on brexit and the publishing industry? Let us know via our social media or on in the comments below: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

 

 

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Our Plans for the London Book Fair & Giveaway

Plans for London Book Fair & Giveaway

Our Plans for the London Book Fair & Giveaway

With the London Book Fair officially one week away we thought we would share with you our plans for the event!

Every day of the fair there will be at least 5 members of the Atwood Tate staff milling around Olympia, either at our stand, in the Ivy Club or around the fair.

When we are at our stand (3B26, in tech) and we’re not deep in conversation , feel free to approach us. During the week we do have meetings throughout the day so we may not always be available to chat – as much as we’d like to!

You can still take a look at our stand however! We will be bringing a lot of things with us:

  • Leaflets – with all our information and details about our services
  • Printables – Are you looking for work experience? Or useful information about getting into publishing? We will have some print outs available with some resources for you!
  • Sweets – One of the most important things at any book fair: sugary sustenance.
  • Current Vacancies – We’ll have a list of all of our current vacancies at our stand as well.

We will also be on social media a lot! Not only during the London Book Fair but this week as well!

Competitions

This year we are also running competitions! The first is a Giveaway: Win £100 worth of vouchers by liking and sharing our LinkedIn page! Starting from tomorrow (8th March) and ending on the 16th of March, the last day of the London Book Fair, you could win a great prize! And all you have to do is follow our LinkedIn page and share the post on Twitter. For more entries you can also share and like our LinkedIn posts on this Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, if you follow us on Twitter you may have noticed a certain competition we’re starting for this year’s Book Fair!

The first person to come up to us, on each day of the London Book Fair, and says: ‘Atwood Tate we hear you’re great’ will win a £10 book voucher!

The earlier you get to our stand (3B26) and say this, the better. We’ll announce when someone has won the prize each day on our Twitter feed. However please respect the consultants work; if they’re in a meeting at the stand please don’t disturb them. The fair is an industry event after all.

Other Plans

On Tuesday 14th you may spot our Administrator Ellie wandering around with a camera as she films a London Book Fair Vlog for our YouTube channel! Be sure to say hello and tell us your thoughts on the London Book Fair if you get a chance!

On Thursday 16th, between 2:30pm-5:00pm, two of our Consultants: Karine Nicpon & Alison Redfearn will be attending the Career’s Clinic. You can bring your CV and have a quick 5 minute chat with them about the next step in your career!

All in all we have a lot going on!

Make sure you follow us across all our social media, and use the hashtag #LBF17, to keep up to date with what is happening at the Fair. As well as receive advice, hints and tips on what to bring and see at the London Book Fair: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

We can’t wait to meet you all!

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Things to Bring to the London Book Fair 2017

Things to Bring to the London Book Fair 2017

Things to Bring to the London Book Fair 2017

The London Book Fair 2017 is fast approaching! It’s only 2 weeks away! And it’s time to get prepared.

Whether you are a publisher, a candidate, an author or a reader you need to remember to bring certain things to the London Book Fair. Not only your ticket but items which will make your day much more enjoyable!

Remember to bring:

Tickets:

Your CV:

  • We are the only recruitment company attending the fair with a stand, come say hello at: stand 3B26 (in Tech). We are also taking part in the Careers Clinic on the Thursday. Bring your CV to talk to help you talk to one of our consultants and to show at the Career’s Clinic. We may even take a copy of your CV, so print more than one – but don’t bring a folder. The majority of the people at the LBF are there to make deals with other publishers, not to recruit. Network with publishers at stands, but don’t force your CV on them. Instead offer…

Business Cards:

  • If you’re an author, candidate or a client and have a business card, be sure to bring them. People don’t have that much time to stop and chat at the fair, so give them a business card with details on how to get in touch.  This is a great way to get noticed and remembered.

Camera:

  • Take some photos of the event! Whether to share on social media or simply to keep track of companies you are interested in. The London Book Fair is a social event as much as an industry one, so why not take a few snaps.

Comfortable Shoes:

  • Do not underestimate the size of the Olympia – where the LBF takes place. The floors are crowded with people, stands and cafes. You will need to walk everywhere so make sure you’ve got comfortable shoes.

Bottle of Water:

  • Water is imperative at events like these. You will be walking a lot in large crowds and the queues for the café get astronomical by lunch time. Be sure to bring some water with you to stay hydrated and comfortable all day.

Notebook:

  • If you’re attending an event, be it a seminar, an author event or the Careers Clinic, so bring a notebook with you. Taking notes is encouraged. There’s a lot to remember and a lot to see. Keep track of all of it to stay informed.

Phone:

  • If you’re meeting people you will need to communicate to find them, as shouting across the hall will not work. You can also use your phone to live-tweet and follow the London Book Fair  twitter account and the official Book Fair hashtag #LBF17! People will be live-tweeting all day! Following the events on twitter is a great way to keep track of events and new throughout the day.

Make sure you keep note of these things to make the most of your attendance at the London Book Fair.

Have you bought your tickets yet? Printed off your map? Finalised which Seminars you want to attend? Found out where the seminars are and what time they start?

Visit the website for more details! And feel free to contact us on any of our social media with your questions: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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How to Use Blogging to Get into Publishing

How to use Blogging to get into Publishing

How to Use Blogging to Get into Publishing

How relevant is blogging to publishing? You’d be surprised. Blogging is not a hobby you should start specifically to enter publishing, but if you have one: mention it!

Blogging is a growing hobby, and a new career choice, in the 21st century. Having a blog gives people a platform to discuss what they want and voice their own opinions. But it also gives you the opportunity to work with others across multiple fields of industry. Not to mention develops skills in your own time which can help you in the long-run.

If you’re just starting out and are looking for an entry-level role within publishing, blogging is a great skill to have! So long as you have some work experience to back it up, blogging can tip the balance on whether or not you get an interview or even a job!

There are many different types of blogs, and all can help you gain many skills, from Coding, Design, Marketing, networking and more! But within the Publishing industry specifically book blogging is a very relevant skill!

Book blogging, or booktubing (video blogging), gives you the chance to voice your opinions about books and the latest book trends. A book blogger can write reviews, top ten lists, trend-reviews and more and each of these topics has some relevance to publishing. If you’re an established book blogger you may even work with publishers; taking part in blog tours, hosting giveaways and Q&As and attending book events.

Through communicating with publishers through these events, and voicing your own opinions, shows a potential employee that you understand the industry. You can see trends, converse with professionals and work to deadlines in a creative and independent manner.

This is relevant to all sectors, be it Trade or B2B, and all roles from IT, Editorial, Publicity and more!

It also shows an interest outside of work, which suggests to a future employer that you are a reliable candidate with a keen sense of the publishing industry.

Whether you’re a book blogger or not; blogging is skill to add to your CV!

Here some things you can highlight to show how blogging is useful to you:

  • Commitment: The longer you’ve been blogging the better. This shows commitment and creative thinking, and also proves that you can work well independently.
  • Networking: If you’ve worked with brands or publishers mention it on your CV. Not only does it prove your communicational skills, but also shows an understanding of the industries you mention. This is particularly good if the brands are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  • Social Media and SEO abilities: Have you got 1000 twitter followers because of your blog publicity? Mention it! Do you understand SEO? Mention it!
  • Coding: If you’ve altered your HTML yourself or have learnt about it then put that down as a skill. For more information about HTML and how to do it, look at our series of posts here!
  •  Design: Did you design your blog, or make your own graphics/headers? Have you got original artwork or worked with others to create artwork? Put it on your CV.

There are so many relevant and useful skills which can be a real pull to employers when looking at CV.

Make sure you have other work experience to back up your blog experiences, but also be sure to highlight the skills you have learnt through blogging! It could mean the difference between getting a job interview and getting a job when you’re first starting out!

Need any more tips about how to enter publishing? Take a look at our Work Experience & Entry-Level Resources!

For more advice, or if you have any questions, get in touch via any of our social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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Beanstalk | Story Starters

Beanstalk Story Starters

Beanstalk | Story Starters

Last month our chosen charity, Beanstalk, received some fantastic news! They were awarded £1million by the DreamFund (People’s Postcode Lottery) for their partnership ‘Story Starters’!

‘Story Starters’ is a collaborative project, which will see Beanstalk working with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and LuCiD at the University of Liverpool. They will be working together to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds, receive one-to-one support and mentoring to develop their language and reading skills!

Beanstalk is a national literacy charity who recruits volunteers to work in primary schools with children to help them develop their reading. Volunteers are specially trained to spend 30 minutes, two times a week, reading with a child one-to-one for a whole year. To help children develop the truly important skill of reading. In 2016 alone Beanstalk helped over 11,000 children across the UK, in deprived areas, and with this funding they can help many more.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a global programme operating worldwide, with more than 1 million children receiving books per month, to help them fall in love with reading. LuCiD is a research collaboration which is researching how children learn to communicate with language.

Beanstalk

The CEO of Beanstalk, Ginny Lunn, and the Beanstalk partners receiving their DreamFund cheque – all rights attributed to Beanstalk

Previous research has shown that support within schools at schools can benefit children throughout their life. 20% are more likely to get 5 A*-C GCSE’s and earn more as adults.

This is a very exciting time for Beanstalk and we couldn’t be more pleased for them. With the £1million funding they will be able to recruit and train a further 600 Story Starter volunteers and help 1,800 children between 3-5 years old to develop their reading!

Beanstalk is a truly worthwhile charity and we’re happy to support them! If you would like to learn more about Beanstalk, and Story Starters make sure you check out there website!

Be sure to check out our previous fundraising challenge for them, and let us know your ideas for the next! You can send us your ideas via social media or commenting on this blog post: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Attend the London Book Fair 2017

London Book Fair 2017

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend the London Book Fair 2017

The London Book Fair 2017 is fast approaching. It will be happening on the 14th-16th of March at the beautiful Olympia in Hammersmith.

It is an opportunity for all those in the publishing industry to meet and discuss publishing, with the main focus of the fair being on the literary agents as they sell book rights in the International Rights Centre. This is an event to learn, observe and discover the latest trends within publishing, with a lot of publishing’s finest under one roof.

The exhibition floors will be filled with publishers, agents, recruitment consultants and writers. It is a brilliant place to mingle and learn more about the publishing industry if you any, or wanting to be, any of the above.

Here are 5 Reasons why you should attend the London Book Fair:

  • There is a Careers Clinic and recruitment agencies attending

Bring your CV and book a place at the Career’s Clinic. At the clinic you get 5 minutes to speak to a specialist recruitment agent who can discuss jobs and offer advice, and even take your CV for further review.

We will be attending the Careers Clinic, as we did last year, with our consultants offering advice. More info on this over the next few weeks!

Recruitment agencies will also have their own stands throughout the fair, at which you can approach them for a chat.

  • Networking Opportunities

Yes, that dreaded word appears again. The London Book Fair has a busy atmosphere, but it is the perfect place to meet people within the publishing industry, and ask questions where suitable.

Each publisher within the industry will have their own stand, but there are other opportunities to network as well: seminars, meetings and clinics. Also queues! The queues for food can sometimes get quite large but you can always strike up a conversation at this point. Be open and friendly.

For more advice on Networking check out this blog post our temps team administrator Michael did!

  • Seminars & Meetings

The London Book Fair also includes seminars and discussions for anyone to attend. Some require paid tickets, but most are free – but you do need to book beforehand! Check out the LBF Insight Guide for a look at all of the seminars at the event!

You could attend the Byte the Book Networking event on the 14th of March or attend the Careers Clinic. Or, if you’re a writer, book a meeting with the Society of Authors.

  • The Publishing Sectors

The London Book Fair is the perfect opportunity to learn more about all the sectors of publishing. From Academic to B2B, Trade to Print and Production.

From viewing the stands to networking with the stand-holders, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the publishing industry as a whole. With over 2000 exhibitors over three days this is a fascinating experience for anyone looking to enter the publishing world.

  • Attend with Friends

This is a great event to attend with fellow publishing candidates, be it already in publishing or looking to enter the industry. It can be a lot easier to mingle with others when you have a friend to go with you, and the event is quite social.

You can always grab a coffee or some food at one of the many cafes, discuss the event, walk around together or attend seminars together. It is much a social event as it is a professional one.

Make sure you book your LBF ticket in advance though. Tickets cost £40 per person for the three day fair. Book here!

So there are 5 reasons to attend the London Book Fair 2017. We will be releasing more information as we creep nearer to the event! And we can’t wait to see you at the Careers Clinic. Don’t leave it too long before you book your place at the clinic, these places tend to go quickly!

Want to learn more about the London Book Fair? Check out there website or follow them on Twitter. They will be live tweeting throughout the day, as will many other publishers, so keep an eye on social media over the week.

You can also follow us on social media to stay up to date: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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BETT Show 2017 | Event

BETT show 2017

BETT show 2017

Alison and I had a good look around the BETT show last week – this is the main exhibition for all things in education and a great opportunity to find out the latest in education technology.

Bett 2017

As ever, there was a mix of educational publishing companies (or information providers as some prefer to be known) and new technological innovations. It’s exciting to see so many people involved in the cutting edge of classroom activities and the Steam area was very lively (loved the pun on STEM)!

Bett 2017 1

Some of our publishing clients were there including Hodder Education and Rising Stars, GL Education & GL Assessment, Oxford University Press, Macmillan Education to name a few. It’s always good to see the latest products in the flesh so to speak and meet some of the teams to hear about it in person.

Bett 2017 OUP

We didn’t have time to go to many, but there were seminars and talks covering all aspects of learning across primary, secondary, further, higher and SEN. Check out some of the Highlights and blogs.

Here are some useful links to keep up to speed:

And there’s a #Bettchat weekly on a Tuesday 4.30pm!

Also of interest and happening this week is the Learning Technologies exhibition and conference incorporating Learning & Skills and covers all things to do with learning and development at work.

Let us know what you thought of the BETT show and whether or not you’re attending the Learning Technologies exhibition! We have a full list of events on our events page so check that out for more details of what we’ll be up to over the next month!

You can contact us on any of our social media sites and take part in our regular Twitter Q&A’s using the hashtag #AskAtwood:  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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How to Get Ahead in Academic Publishing

Today we have a guest post from Academic Professional: Suzanne Kavanagh.Suzanne Kavanagh Academic Book Week

 

Suzanne Kavanagh has worked in publishing for over 20 years, most recently as Director of Marketing and Membership Services at ALPSP. You can contact her via @sashers or suzanne.kavanagh@gmx.com.

 

How to Get Ahead in Academic Publishing

Armed with a fistful of crumpled CVs and an Art History degree, I trudged up and down Charing Cross Road looking for a bookselling job. I’d set my heart on working in publishing in my third year at uni, but trawling through The Guardian I realised it would be hard for me to stand out from hundreds of applicants who, no doubt, also felt just as passionately about books and read voraciously as I did. I figured bookselling would be a good starting point.

This was the first time I’d considered what I had to offer. It made me think about how selling jeans in a shop provided influencing, negotiation and questioning skills. I realised that bar work provided customer service and conflict resolution skills (as well as excess consumption of warm white wine…essential for low budget book launches). Fast forward a few weeks and I was happily ensconced at a specialist art bookseller.

Aside from a borderline obsession with alphabetising each section and secretly sniffing new stock, I learned a lot that would be relevant for my career.

It was pretty cutting edge for *coughs* 1993 *coughs*. We had a PC networked stock management system. We used this to mail out subject leaflets to customers around the world. I used my enthusiasm and retail experience to help customers find the book they were after and proved to be an occasional foil to the sometimes-grumpy owner.

My first job at a small trade publisher was in the sales and marketing team. I dealt with bibliographic information, wrote jacket blurbs, marketing copy and produced the new titles catalogue. I got to know everyone in the company and gained a real insight into the publishing process.

But the low salary made it hard to live in London. Sound familiar?

Meanwhile a friend kept telling me about the publisher she worked at. They published academic texts for students, researchers and professionals in the humanities and social sciences. She loved working there. And she was paid quite a bit more than me. Academic publishing had never occurred: I’d always assumed that publishing meant fiction, poetry and pictures. But the facts speak for themselves.

The UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport reports that the publishing sector employed 200,000 people in 2015 – an increase of 3.7% on the year before. (Source: DCMS 2016 Focus on Creative Industries report). These figures include book, journal, newspapers, magazines and database publishing. However, in 2011, Creative Skillset reported the breakdown by sub-sector: Journals and Periodicals employed 26% of the workforce and Book Publishing 17% and Academic is drawn from both these categories.

In May 2016 the UK Publishers Association reported that total sales of book and journal publishing were up to £4.4 billion in 2015. Academic journal publishing was up 5% to £1.1 billion and there were £1.42 billion export revenues with two thirds of this figure in education, academic and ELT (English Language Teaching). (Source: PA Statistics Yearbook 2015 news release)

Academic is a vibrant sector employing a lot of people and is a major economic driver in the creative industries.

My second publishing job was at that academic publisher promoting journals and reference works. When asked why I wanted the job, the answer was clear: I’d relish working with books that support education, research and the furthering of knowledge. I got the job and – to my surprise and delight – a decent pay rise.

The great thing about many academic publishers is that they tend to be large organisations with more opportunity for training and promotion. I took all options open to me. I applied for internal jobs to learn about different lists and improve my skills. I was curious, enthusiastic, worked and played hard. I got to know people, respected different departments and personalities it took to run the business. Roles included Marketing Coordinator, Executive, Manager, Senior Manager.

Since then I’ve had the privilege of working in a range of organisations including Taylor & Francis, Continuum and the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers. I saw first hand how diverse the sector is at ALPSP, an international trade body for not-for-profit organisations. Their members include the American Historical Association, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the OECD, SAGE, as well as all the larger commercial companies like Elsevier and Springer Nature. There are a lot of publishers covering pretty much all disciplines.

I know it seems obvious, but the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that job mobility and training go hand in hand with progressing your career.

You may start in one department/role. That doesn’t preclude you moving to others where your experience is applied in different ways. There are plenty of opportunities with more specialist jobs where, with the right training, you can become expert in a particular niche.

When I started out, it was relatively simple: assistant / coordinator / executive / manager roles in sales / marketing / production / editorial. And now? Well a quick glance through the Atwood Tate vacancy list tells a story. Roles like ‘Predictive Analytics and Insight Specialist’ and ‘Instructional Designer’ sit alongside Product Editor and Marketing Executive. It’s a taste of how the industry is changing. If you move roles, and learn new skills, you’re more likely to get on.

So what does the future hold for you and what skills do you need to be successful? There are three main areas you need to plot your profile against. Where do you map yourself on this chart? Where do you want to be? This is by no means exhaustive, but provides insight into where the industry will be.

Academic Flow chart

My final advice for working in academic publishing?

  1. Be curious: ask open questions, listen and learn
  2. Read industry publications, blogs and research
  3. Remember you’re dealing with people: be courteous, build your network
  4. Take every training opportunity – from free webinars to paid-for courses
  5. Enjoy it! You’re giving something back to advancing human knowledge.

 

We thank Suzanne for her wonderful guest post!

For more information about Academic Book Week, and more information about academic publishing, see the official website and the Twitter feed.

If you are a publishing professional and would be interested in writing a guest post for Atwood Tate just get in touch.

Please email: eleanorpilcher@atwoodtate.co.uk or get in touch via any of our social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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