Tag Archives: careers advice

Sales and Customer Service

I joined Atwood Tate in February 2018 and specialise in recruiting for Sales, Production, Production Editorial, Rights, Contracts, Project Management, Design, Distribution & Operations roles.  In this blog, I will be explaining jobs in Sales and Customer Service sectors within publishing.

Sales

What is a sales role in publishing?

Sales roles are diverse – from Sales Assistant, Sales Executive, Sales Representation roles which bring in new business to an Account Manager role looking after a designated group of client/company products, i.e an Account Manager for children titles in the US market for an international leading trade book publisher.  For sales roles, it is also usually divided into a specific list of titles and accounts: normal accounts (bookshops/direct customers) and special sales (supermarkets/retail stores/ wholesalers). 

What does a sales role involve?

Your job is to understand the front list titles, prepare new titles presentation, build and maintain relationships with customers/clients, represent your publisher and persuade your target audience to sell your titles or products.

What skills do you need to succeed in a sales role?

Communication and presentation skills. You need to be results and target driven and have a good head for numbers. Excellent negotiating skills are a must.  You will also need to keep up with latest market trends, observe the market, feed it back to your publisher and make strategic plans to keep the business going. 

Is there good progression in sales?

Sales roles are very diverse so they are always full of opportunity and progression.  You can make a lateral move or you move upwards and onwards.  The contacts and relationships you will build up throughout the years will also become one of you biggest assets when you look for a new opportunity – so make sure you stay in touch with everybody!

Customer Service

What is a customer service role?

Customer service is fundamentally a role to support the operations of a sales department.  You will update metadata on the company database, websites or other online platforms.  You will also handle queries from booksellers/clients/direct customers, issue invoice and follow up on the finances.  Other responsibilities may include logistics management, stock queries, and resolving problems.

What skills do you need in a customer service role?

As for the nature of the role, you will be a tech-savvy person.  Preparing sales materials for your colleagues, updating the database and processing orders will be your main duties so a good eye for detail, good communications skills and a high ability to solve problems will be essential.  

How do you progress in a sales/customer service role?

You can start as a Sales Coordinator and then move towards managing accounts and eventually overseeing a sales operations team.  Keep up with the latest technology and software, be an expert in what you do.  If you eventually wanted to have a fresh challenge, you could look into operations or project management roles.

If you have any questions about Sales or Customer Services roles in publishing, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Clare Chan, Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Tel:        0203 574 4428 Email: clarechan@atwoodtate.co.uk

Specialist areas: Sales, Production, Production Editorial, Rights, Contracts, Project Management, Design, Distribution & Operations roles.

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Girls can do Anything

The panel:  Abiola Bello (Author and co-founder of Hashtag Press), Hannah Sheppard (Literary Agent, DHH Literary Agency), Charlie Morris (Senior Publicity and Marketing Executive, Stripes Books), Gillian McAllister (Sunday Times Bestselling Author)

On Wednesday, our administrators Kathryn and Anna went to the evening event Girls can do Anything, Write? The first panel discussion in a new series hosted at The Library in Covent Garden as part of the London’s Big Read 2019, inspiring an eagerly listening audience with suggestions for success in a publishing career.

Are women’s voices heard enough in the publishing industry?

The industry is predominantly populated by women so why are women rarely the ones in charge of those important decisions? After acknowledging that there are exceptions to this within the big six trade publishers, the big takeaways were:

  1. Male voices are often given more weight – women are making the hiring and firing decisions but men are rising through the ranks at faster speed.
  2. Men and women brand themselves differently – men are often more confident and actively seek a response, whilst women couch themselves with a much more passive approach. This confidence, particularly in authors trickles all the way down to the retail selling of a book.
  3. The glass ceiling has not yet been smashed – more conversations need to be had in the sharing of maternity leave for example.

On a positive note, women reign supreme in crime fiction at the moment and their voices are being heard in publicity roles across publishing.

Lesson: Be confident and share support, whatever stage you have reached in your career

(Don’t be afraid to ask AND offer!)

How can more BAME women be heard in publishing?

Publishing houses are making more of a conscious effort in their recruitment processes however, diversity reports show that there is more work to be done.

  1. There are not many BAME submissions and more books need to be published with BAME characters
  2. There is a twitter “mob mentality” around individual voices, however the existing writing community is under pressure to avoid writing diverse characters. So how do we get diverse books to young readers, with characters reflecting themselves, to encourage them become authors?
  3. It is possible that we need to start from the bottom, and address potential unconscious bias within schools and promote books outside of the educational canon.

Some Advice…

Are you an aspiring writer? Here are some useful tips:

  • FINISH THE BOOK! You can edit later, it is much easier to work on a finished manuscript.
  • Find something that triggers inspiration for you. A particular genre of films?
  • When reading, read analytically. (This is relevant to a career in publishing on the other side of the desk too!)
  • When writing, your characters should drive the plot – what do they really want? It is their goal that should lead the story.
  • It is important to network; attend events, blog, join in conversations, subscribe to industry news outlets like The Bookseller and BookBrunch. (This is relevant to a career in publishing on the other side of the desk too!)
  • TIP: Try to write 20 minutes a day and take a day off.

Do you want to get into publishing? Here are some useful tips:

  • Read a lot, especially what is being promoted, bestsellers and what is being reviewed. It is important to have knowledge of what works and the industry itself.
  • HAVE OPINIONS! When applying for a job, look for a connection between yourself and the role you are applying for.
  • Read the job advert closely, understand exactly what they are looking for and demonstrate that you have those skills.
  • Look at the companies’ social media and website and see what they value.
  • TIP: Recognise the business person within yourself and be a boss in your field!

With contributions from Anna Slevin.

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5 Steps to Achieve Your Career Goals in 2018

The beginning of a new year is a good time to reassess where you are in your career and where you would like to be. This is the first stage of achieving your career goals. As we begin 2018, start making a plan of how to fulfil your ambitions and get the most out of your career.

1)   Assess where you currently are compared to where you want to be

Do you know what a typical career ladder in your field might look like? If not, it’s time to do some research. Ask colleagues, contacts, even Google. Or have a browse of Linked In at the people who are doing the job you want to be doing – and see the steps they took to get there. (You might want to check your Linked In privacy settings first if you don’t want them to know you’re looking at their profile!)

We also post infographics showing, for example, a career path for Production, on our Facebook page! Follow us to keep up to date.

2)   Decide on a timeline

It’s not a good idea to be looking for a new job or a promotion if you’ve only just started in a new role. Hiring Managers will be wary of someone who has switched jobs every six months. 2018 might not be the year you get that new, dream job, but that doesn’t mean you’re not moving forward and getting closer to achieving your goals.

Alternatively, it may be that the time is right and you’re ready to move on to new challenges. If that’s the case, get in touch! Register on our website, or if you are already registered, make sure we have your up-to-date CV. We’d be happy to help you in your search!

Speaking of…

3)   Update your CV

Make sure it’s up to date and looks its best. Ask for feedback from people you know. Also see our advice on our blog, like our recent post on the Do’s and Don’ts of CVs.

4)   Brush up on your skills

Are there skills you know would be useful in your career that you haven’t got around to learning? If training opportunities arise in your current job, take them! Or if not, there are great resources available online. Codeacademy is a great free resource to learn to code, including HTML and CSS. Alternatively, if you have the resources, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) offer a number of reputable online or classroom-based courses. Also see what’s coming up from:

5)   Follow through

It’s easy to start the year full of motivation, but it’s hard to follow this momentum through all year. Set yourself deadlines if you’re learning new skills, or print out your career resolutions and stick them above your desk at home so you can see it and be reminded of your goals.

Good luck! We wish you the best in achieving your career goals this year, and hope you’ll be in touch with us if you’re looking for a change so we can help.

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Penguin Living – Careers 360 Immersion Day 11th September

Penguin Living, a new initiative from Penguin Random House, is launching a great series of events to promote authors and experts specialising in personal development. We’re really delighted to be involved in the very first one – the Careers 360 Immersion Day on 11th September.

The day will involve a series of talks with workshop elements from selected authors and experts – authors confirmed so far are Tim Vincent, the author of Nail That Interview, Caroline Goyder, author of Gravitas, Alice Olins and Phanella Mayall Fine, authors of Step Up – Confidence, Success and Your Stellar Career in 10 Minutes a Day, John Williams, author of Screw Work, Break Free, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, authors of Designing your LifeBuild a Life That Works for You, and Kevin Rodgers, author of Why Aren’t They Shouting? Books will be on sale throughout the day.

The brand’s overarching aim is to “empower people to live life better” by making best use of its authors’ ideas, advice and insight.

The day, priced £15 per session or £40 for the whole day, will be divided into three segments: “Applying for Jobs”, “Improving your Career” and “Career Choices”, with PRH’s authors and experts – including Atwood Tate! – offering tips on how to give a great interview, changing careers and flexible working.

Check out the Penguin Living website, www.penguinliving.co.uk, the Twitter handle is @PenguinLivingUK and hashtag #DoItBetter.

        Tim Vincent                 Caroline Goyder                    Alice Olins                   Phanella Mayall Fine

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   Kevin Rodgers                     Dave Evans                      Bill Burnett                      John Williams       

 kevin_rodgersDave Evans110625.BruceHeimanWeddingjohn_williams2 

 

 

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