Tag Archives: tips
SYP Alumni Event: How do you make a difference to your company when you are not the company’s decision makers?
On Thursday we attended the OPuS Event Careers in 21st century publishing at Oxford Brookes University. The event featured three speakers from a wide range of companies who talked through their own specific work experience path. The event aimed to answer questions on the ease of progressing and moving around in publishing, what key elements are needed to build your career and the possibility of finding success outside traditional publishing companies.
Ian Campsall, Product Manager for The Science Direct Article Page at Elsevier
Ian completed the Oxford Brookes MA as he wanted to change careers. He completed an internship at John Wiley and then applied for the position of Digital Publishing Executive at Wiley, he then moved into product management for mobile platforms. He is now Product Management for Elsevier working on The Science Direct Article page.
Aaron O’Dowling-Keane, Sales and Marketing Manager at Sherlock: The Game is Now
Aaron also studied the MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes and completed internships at OUP and the International Labour Office in Geneva. Her first role in publishing was for a small African Publisher in Oxford, she then moved away from publishing into crowdfunding, then story led interactive games and is now a Sales and Marketing Manager for a Sherlock themed escape room.
Saskia Watts, Marketing Specialist, VitalSource (Ingram)
After completing her MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes, Saskia worked for Lightening Source as a marketing coordinator and she is now a marketing specialist for Ingram Vital Source.
Here are some interesting tips from the evening:
• Take risks
• Technology is everything and digital skills are important
• Organisation is key
• Talk to your company about career development opportunities
• Soft skills are vital
• Feedback is a good thing, use constructive feedback to improve
• Recognise that publishing is all about collaboration
• Take Risks, if the role does not suit you and you are not happy move on
• Be curious and talk to everyone, get to know people from different places
• Try everything and do everything, volunteer at university events, join societies like OPuS, SYP
• Create the role that you want
• Adapt and be flexible and keep learning
Do you remember our article about B2B reporters? Today we will look at a specific category of journalists: Market Reporters!
Market reporters (or Pricing/Price Reporters) are journalists with distinct duties. They assess commodities prices and write market commentaries and news on specific markets.
Commodities are substances or products that can be traded. Single commodities markets include metals (gold, zinc, steel), energy (fuel oil, natural gas) or agriculture (rice, wheat, corn).
Market reporters talk to trader and investors to establish a list of prices, either on a daily or weekly basis. They also need to develop solid relationship with commodity analysts, forecasters, financial planners and company CEOs and expand and maintain this network.
Investors rely on market reporters for information about what to buy, sell or hold. As their analysis has an impact on the stock market, these journalists can be influential. They need a great deal of diplomacy as well as resilience and communication skills.
Market reporters are expected to:
- Develop an expertise of their industry, build strong contacts within it and attend relevant conferences, meeting and events
- Assess prices and write commentaries and news about the industry
- Interview professionals and travel when required to attend meetings
- Keep up to date and report on foreign markets
- Have a good head for numbers and be meticulous with the data they collect
Our clients are open to graduates with the following degrees:
Of course, employers will expect you to have excellent writing and numerical skills. For senior positions, a relevant track record in the industry is necessary.
This article was the last of our series on B2B Job Focus, we hope you enjoyed it!
In September, SYP London kindly hosted ‘Kick-Start Your Career: How to Succeed with your Job Search this Autumn’ for aspiring and entry level publishing candidates hoping to gain some career and work experience from established members of the industry. Speakers included our very own Associate Director Helen Speedy, who all brought their experiences and insights on how to build a successful career in publishing.
Did you miss the event? Perhaps you would like a recap! Helen Speedy shares her publishing career advice and experiences.
Explain your role and how you got there (approx. 5 mins each).
I am the Associate Director at Atwood Tate, a specialist publishing recruitment company based in Central London and Oxford. My job is to manage the Permanent team day-to day, who consist of seven consultants and an administrator, and make sure everybody is hitting their targets, having smooth relations with both clients and candidates and generally feeling happy. I am also the contact for senior publishing roles across the country, so a day can be talking through pipelines and business development with my team, or taking briefs from clients and sourcing appropriate candidates for the recruitment process.
I got my first job through talking to one of the speakers at the Oxford Brookes Careers Day towards the end of my MA, who gave me the contact details of someone looking for an Office Junior.
How do I get my first job in publishing?
There are a number of ways to get your first publishing job, and it’s worth trying a few to give yourself the best possible chance.
- MA (plus work experience and networking)
- Work experience placements that could lead to your first job
- Through an agency – temping can lead to perm or to getting that work experience you needed but being paid properly along the way (also perm)
- Networking events are a great way to build up your contacts and make a good impression before you’ve even made an application!
- Proactive volunteering/personal work are also worth considering to boost your CV and stand out from the crowd. It is a lot easier to prove your interest in children’s illustrated fiction if your social media, blogging or volunteering backs you up!
What advice would you give your younger self, when you were just starting out?
Be more confident and don’t always assume that there are people better qualified than you.
What do you regret doing in your career?
I don’t have any regrets really. That may sound a bit complacent, but I have the philosophy that you make the right decision at the time and there is no point looking back. There are various points in my career when I could have taken a different path and I have turned down jobs and also taken roles that didn’t quite turn out to be what I thought. I remind myself that I made those decisions and they felt like the right choice at the time. As long as you feel in control and you are happy with your decision at that time, you should not have any regrets. The only lasting regret I have is not calling out a bully, but I was young and in the junior position, so I forgive myself and it has given me the strength to help others confront difficult situations and not be scared to do so myself.
Associate Director Helen Speedy (second from left) after speaking on the panel
What’s the best career advice you’ve heard?
- In terms of CV advice, make sure it shows the difference you made and the impact you’ve had, not just a list of your duties
- If you’ve got lots of voluntary experience, internships and temp roles, try categorising rather than listing chronologically – tell a story and make sure the facts support the narrative.
How do you know if you should go for a role or not?
- Can you tick 70-80% of the boxes (usually nobody has it all!)
- Is it located in a sensible place for you to commute to?
- Does picturing yourself in the role make you feel excited?
- Do you think it would give you opportunities to learn?
- What do you know about the company culture and how that would suit you?
- If you’re not sure, try to have a conversation (with recruiter or name on advert)
Is it off-putting for employers if you apply for lots of different positions at the same company?
It depends on the size of company. It can be off-putting if it looks you are applying for anything and there is no real effort on any of the applications. HR will begin to wonder how can you be truly that interested in so many different roles with different skillsets! If there are different roles that catch your eye, find out if they will refer you if their role isn’t suitable. In a small company,you may get referred internally (I did for my first job and ended up with a better job than the one I applied for!)
Want to hear more about the SYP?
The Society of Young Publishers is a membership body for aspiring publishers and current candidates in the first ten years of their career. With branches in London, Oxford, South-West, North, Ireland and Scotland; the SYP is the biggest membership organisation in the publishing industry. For more details and to sign up, go to https://thesyp.org.uk/membership-signup.
Are you a section editor who wants to climb up the career ladder? Today we’ll introduce you to Deputy Editors & Editors!
Deputy Editors are second-in-command within the publication. When the Editor is away, the deputy Editor deputises for them.
Depending on the publication’s size and structure, the role of the Deputy Editor may vary: you can have the same duties as a section Editor’s or assist Editors with their workload. Deputy Editors are usually less involved in hands-on writing and focus more on editing the work of other journalists, assisting the Editor with workflow management and mentoring/managing more junior members of staff. On top of solid writing skills, you will need excellent communication and organisation skills.
Here is a summary of what the role typically involves:
- Edit and proofread the work of writers
- Manage and assign articles (and sometimes write them)
- Oversee the publication’s content to maintain quality and accuracy
- Organise copy editing and production processes
- Mentor or manage junior members of the team
Some publications may use the job title Assistant Editor instead, while other companies both have a deputy Editor and an assistant Editor. Assistant Editors’ main duty is to support the Editor, sometimes by performing a similar role as a section Editor. It’s confusing, we know!
Most deputy Editors have a solid background as a Reporter/Senior Reporter with a keen interest in the editing process. A degree in journalism or in a subject related to the publication (for example, a law degree to work for a law publication) can also be an asset. The next step for a deputy Editor is to become Editor!
Editors are responsible for the publication’s smooth delivery and more importantly for its Editorial strategy and commercial success. They need to ensure that the content published is accurate and compelling as well as meeting the audience’s needs. Editors act as the face of the publication, and as a result they may be required to attend events and conferences related to their industry. They need to be commercially aware and keeping up-to-date with market trends. They might also be involved in the launch or development of events associated to their publication as events now represent a large part of some publishers’ revenues.
Editors are expected to:
- Plan, coordinate and revise content for publication
- Manage Editorial workflow and monitor the printing process to ensure deadlines are met
- Establish and monitor budgets
- Be aware of market trends and identify new opportunities for new products
- Review story ideas and suggest new ones
- Act as the main point of contact between Editorial team and other departments
- Work with sales and marketing teams to raise brand awareness
- Work with events team to develop/launch new events or provide events content
- Attend industry events and chair panels
- Manage and develop Editorial team, recruiting staff and conducting appraisals
Editors’ responsibilities can be very broad especially if you are working on a small publication. Editors work closely with the sales, marketing and production teams as well as writers to produce a quality publication.
As we mentioned before, job titles vary enormously from a company to another. A step up from Editor would be Managing Editor and/or Editor-in-Chief.
Extensive experience is usually necessary to become an Editor, as we explained in our previous articles on B2B journalism and Section Editors. So if you are an ambitious graduate, you’ll have to get some relevant experience before applying for such a position!
Is our career advice helping you in your job search? Do let us know via our social media channels!
Welcome to Atwood Tate’s industry spotlight series, where we go behind the scenes of each of our recruitment desks to give you the scoop on working with Atwood Tate. This week’s entry is with Clare Chan, who works on Science, Technical, Medical, Distribution, Operations and Production roles across London, the Home Counties and East Anglia. In this entry, Clare will be breaking down how to get into Production, Distribution and Operations in the publishing sector.
What does ‘production’ mean in publishing?
There is a wide range of production roles in publishing, most commonly Production Assistant, Production Controller, Production Editor and Production Manager. Production itself can be varied– covering printed and digital books, printed and digital journals and more. The skill set of a Production Manager in trade books versus a professional publisher can be very different, so it is all down to the content of what is being published to determine what kind of production knowledge you should have or what duties you will be doing in the role. So a role in children’s books will probably be highly illustrated and need someone with a good eye for detail and 4 colour experience.
What will be the academic requirement?
There isn’t a specific requirement to get into production roles. You will need to demonstrate substantial project and supplier management as well as excellent communication skills because the majority of the suppliers will be offshore. You will also need to have good software skills, i.e. Excel spreadsheets, InDesign and Adobe CS, Biblio3 (especially for trade book publishers) or XML publishing (for digital publishing).
What background will the clients be looking for?
Your previous experience plays a significant role when it comes to applying for production jobs. Production roles are not as fluid as one would think when it comes to switching roles. For instance, if you wanted to become a Production Controller in a children’s book publisher, you should have novelty book production experience and also knowledge of European toy safety legislation. And if you are to work for a journals publisher, you will be working as a Production Editor and dealing with external typesetters to get the journals published which often also requires copy-editing skills. More details about Production Editor will be discussed in my next blog when I explore STM editorial roles – keep your eyes open for that!
Is there good progression in production?
There is a good progression and a clear career strucutre and you will also become a production specialist as you build up solid knowledge from previous experience. One thing to bear in mind is that production technology is ever changing so keeping up with new software and technology is essential. The book industry is a great example: decades ago, it was all about off-set printing, but now we have digital printing as well as e-book and audiobook production.
What key skills do you need?
A good learning attitude is a must. Good communication skills, project management, time management, account management as you will manage different suppliers (most often overseas) and there could be pressing deadlines from time to time so being organised is important too. Numerical skills are also important as you’ll could be working with Excel, calculating and negotiating costs for reprints and shipping etc.
Distribution and Operations
What roles are there in the Distribution and Operations in publishing?
We deal with a range of distribution and operations roles. Examples of roles we recruit for include Inventory Assistant, Inventory Coordinator, Stock Controller, Supply Chain Manager, and Head of Operations. Distribution and Operations plays an essential part in a publishing house, monitoring the inventory and arrange reprint or stock movement when needed.
What skills or knowledge will the clients be looking for?
Analytical skills and excellent software knowledge. You will be using Excel spreadsheets a lot, including Excel formulas. Depending on the publishers, you might also need to have certain software knowledge. Communication and organisation skills are also essential as you will be coordinating with in-house colleagues from Design, Editorial, Rights, Sales & Marketing as well as external suppliers.
Is there good progression?
Similar to Production roles, Distribution and Operations are also a specialist roles with good progression. You may eventually lead the team and be promoted to Inventory Manager and Head of Operations. Keeping up with the latest data management technology will also lead you a long way in the field. Candidates with Production experience may move laterally into Distribution and Operations for a change in their career path. There are always new opportunities!
If you have any questions about Production, Distribution or Operations roles, feel free to get in touch with Clare at email@example.com!
If you’ve never worked with a recruitment agency, it might be difficult to know what the different stages actually mean. Does registering with us automatically mean you’ve applied for a job? How will I know what the details are? Lead Recruitment Consultant Karine Nicpon explains.
Applying for role via a job board (Guardian/Gorkana/Bookseller) or via our website
Applying through a job board or through our website doesn’t send your application directly to the client. Instead, it is reviewed for suitability by the consultant, based on a full client brief (required skills, experience and salary expectations.)
If we think you are suitable, we send full details: name and website of the client, job description, salary, and any other relevant information. This is when you can decide how interested you are.
If everything still looks rosy, great! It’s time to send us a tailored CV and cover letter for us to send to the client. The process to your shiny new job begins!
Unfortunately, if we don’t think your skills and experience match what the client is expecting, we won’t proceed with your application. The client hasn’t seen your CV, as we only send over a personalised application with your permission. If you haven’t heard from us, you are welcome to apply for other jobs that we may have available or request to be added to our database for future opportunities.
Registering with us via our website/E-mailing us your CV
When you send us your CV by e-mail, one of our administrators reviews it for relevant experience. If we can help, we invite you in for a registration meeting. If there isn’t enough relevant experience, we have a range of temp and freelance roles to build up your experience. Many temps move into permanent roles, so don’t be disheartened! If your CV is strong but not publishing focused, we send you a reply acknowledging your experience.
Registering your CV via our website is similar: fill in a form with your preferences, which is reviewed against current vacancies to see if we can help. If we can, we invite you in for a registration meeting to discuss your needs and start the job search process!
If we can’t help you, we will let you know so you aren’t left hanging.
Automatic job alerts
Once we have added you to our database, we activate your job alerts (unless you tell us not to!). These are instant alerts to our new vacancies so that you are always aware of the jobs we have. While these come up with a consultant’s email address, they are sent by our IT system based on your preferences, not by the consultants themselves. Receiving a job alert is not a guarantee that your application will be progressed!
If you don’t like the sound of a job you can delete it but, if you do, you can apply via our website for your CV to be reviewed by our consultants. One thing to remember: our alerts are not matched by salary, so please don’t be alarmed or offended if you receive something that seems too high or low for your experience! If you feel you are receiving too many alerts, you can ask to switch them off or edit your preferences directly by logging into your profile.
Contacting the team
Our team are always happy to hear from new and existing candidates. If you would like to get in touch, there are a few options:
Welcome to Atwood Tate’s industry spotlight series, where we go behind the scenes of each of our recruitment desks to give you the scoop on working with Atwood Tate. This week’s entry is with Olivia Constantinides, who works on Sales, Marketing, Publicity and Customer Service roles in London and East Anglia. She covers all sectors, except B2B.
In this spotlight Olivia will focus on Sales and Customer Service roles and will tell you more about what these jobs involve and the types of skills they require. At a later date she will cover Marketing and Publicity positions.
Types of roles
Sales roles in publishing are really diverse. Whether you’re an Account Manager looking after existing customers or a Business Development Manager focused on bringing in new business, your job is to build relationships with customers and persuade them to buy your company’s products or services.
One of the great things about working in sales is that you get to handle the finished product, whether that be a children’s book, a scientific journal or an online learning platform. You also get a real insight into the market and what the customer wants or needs. This knowledge is invaluable for the business as a whole and can be used to influence what is published in the future and how products are marketed to customers.
Some sales roles will include elements of customer service and if you’re selling digital products or software, you may train customers how to use it.
Customer service roles are closely linked to sales and involve dealing with the customer post-sales, usually over phone or email. Common responsibilities include answering order or stock related queries or resolving problems and complaints.
Do sales roles involve lots of cold calling?
A common misconception is that sales roles involve endless cold calling. It’s not usually like that in publishing. You might be selling books to bookshops or retailers, or software to universities, libraries and hospitals. Therefore you’ll need to meet customers face to face and adopt a softer and more consultative sales approach.
What is the pay like in sales?
Sales salaries often exceed those of other roles. In addition to your basic annual salary you will likely receive a bonus or commission based on the amount you sell and revenue that you bring in for the company. This might be paid out monthly, quarterly or annually. It is sometimes uncapped so your earning capacity is limitless.
Is there good room for progression?
There is really good room for progression in sales. You could start out in a sales support or administrative role and gradually progress to managing your own accounts and then eventually overseeing a team of sales people.
One of the advantages of sales roles is that the skills you develop are really transferable so you could find yourself working for a variety of publishers and selling to a variety of customers. Skilled sales people will always be in demand.
Whilst there aren’t nearly as many customer service roles out there, there is still good room for progression and you could end up managing a team of Customer Service advisors and overseeing the strategy for the department. Like sales, the skills you develop are very transferable and customer service people often find themselves working for a range of organisations.
Do you get to travel?
Sales roles will usually involve some element of travel but the amount will depend largely on the role. You might look after a specific territory, which could be as big as London or the whole of the UK. Some roles can cover regions as large as Europe, the Middle East, Latin America or Asia. International sales people may find they are travelling at least 50% of their time. If you like being out and about, a field based or international sales role would suit you.
On the other hand, some roles are more office based, with most sales being conducted over the phone or via email and only occasional visits to customers being needed. You may find the opportunities to travel increase as you progress into more senior positions.
Customer service roles are usually office based but depending on the company you work for, you may take occasional trips to visit colleagues in other offices, which could be in the UK or overseas.
What key skills do you need to succeed?
To succeed in sales you need excellent communication and presentation skills. You need to be results and target driven with a good head for numbers and a knack for negotiating. You also need to be driven, determined and ambitious.
For customer service roles, excellent communication skills are also vital along with the ability to problem solve and empathise with customers.
If you’re considering a sales or customer service role in publishing or already work in the industry and are looking for your next opportunity, contact Olivia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atwood Tate recruits across all levels and all functions so if you are looking for a new role in publishing please get in touch with us at email@example.com. We also have a very active temps and freelance desk, so if you are open to short term contracts or are looking to boost your freelance career, you can reach Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Atwood Tate’s industry spotlight series, where we go behind the scenes of each of our recruitment desks to give you the scoop on working with Atwood Tate. Our next entry is with our fantastic editorial desk, manned by Christina Dimitriadi and Charlotte Tope.
Welcome to the busy Editorial Desk where Christina, our Senior Recruitment Consultant and recent addition Charlotte, man the editorial fort. We look after all of the editorial roles that come in, for the Educational, E-learning, Assessment & Testing, Academic, Professional and Trade sectors in London and East Anglia. Pretty much all sectors minus STM, which our lovely consultant Clare Chan takes care off, and B2B which you read about in our last desk spotlight blog (if you missed it you can check it out here).
Today, we are going to focus on the Educational, E-learning and Academic sectors, tell you more about what they are, how they differ and what roles we cover. In a future post we will cover trade and the professional sectors.
Educational Publishing is one of the largest sectors of publishing in the UK and it covers the whole spectrum, from curriculum publishers for primary and secondary schools to higher education publishers for university level. Educational publishing is dedicated to the creation and publication of textbooks and curriculum material for schools and higher education institutions. This includes the development of any additional content needed to support the course; such as workbooks, digital software, interactive websites and teacher’s guides. We work with candidates from their first roles up to the latest stages of their career development and positions you will be seeing advertised will range including Editorial Assistants, Project Editors, Commissioning Editors, Managing Editors, Product Managers, Heads of Editorial Content and Publishers.
A growing division of educational publishing is ELT which stands for English Language Teaching and focuses on the development of print and digital resources for students learning English as a second language. This can be primary school students up to adults learning English for professional or academic purposes. For positions in the ELT editorial sector we will be usually looking for candidates with an excellent command of the English language, very strong editorial skills, and some ELT teaching experience. People coming from a teaching background have a very valuable insight of knowing first-hand which products do or don’t work in the classroom. Any relevant ELT qualification can also be an advantage, such as CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
E-Learning, Assessment and Testing
We also work with a range of publishers and providers of online courses for teaching, research, studying and assessment. This is an exciting aspect of educational publishing that has been rapidly expanding in the digital age and we are seeing more products moving away from the traditional text heavy books or paper products to new and innovative forms of online learning content, interactive courses, modules and assessments. The jobs we cover here would range from traditional editorial roles to Digital Content Developers, Instructional Designers and Product Managers. Our candidates will usually have a solid print or digital publishing or ed-tech background and they would focus on the technical development of the product/course, for example its usability and performance as an educational resource.
Academic publishing is intended to communicate the latest research and developments to the academic community. We work with a rage of smaller and larger publishers and societies who publish scholarly journals, books, eBooks, text books and reference works for researchers, students and academic libraries. It is common for universities and museums to publish academic books, aimed particularly at academics and we also work with academic associations, who share information with their members or the public. Depending on the discipline, academic publishing can be split into two sectors, humanities and social sciences (HSS) and scientific, technical and medical (STM). A common term you will hear when applying for academic journals roles is the peer review process, which is a procedure of reviewing and evaluating the quality and validity of articles prior to publication. You can read more about the process here and on the websites of the majority of academic publishers. Common roles you will see us looking for are Editorial Assistants, Publications Editors, Commissioning Editors and Publishers.
We hope this blog gives you a good idea of the sectors we work within and what roles we cover. More desk spotlights are scheduled to come so do keep an eye on our website. For more information on editorial roles in educational, e-learning and academic publishing feel free to contact Christina at email@example.com or Charlotte and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atwood Tate recruits across all levels and all functions so if you are looking for a new role in publishing please get in touch with us at email@example.com. We also have a very active temps and freelance desk so of you are open to short term contracts or are looking to boost your freelance career, you can reach Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org.