By the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook (W&A) Website Team
If you’re looking for a job in publishing, then the chances are that your passion for books is already in the bag. This passion is one thing that you can’t learn, but fortunately every other skill required for publishing roles are ones that you can!
Pivoting into a career in publishing from a previous industry might feel overwhelming, which is why it’s important for you to know that all the skills you’ll need are likely ones you already have. And these can come from any part of your life, not just your current, or previous, jobs.
We spoke to a handful of our colleagues at Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, across different departments, to find out more about the different type of transferrable skills they use in their day-to-day roles.
‘Publishing is a highly collaborative industry, and every day I engage with people from my team, other departments and externally. As well as adapting to the people I’m interacting with, I also need to think about the purpose of my communication – Am I sending minutes to a large group of publishing professionals from different departments? Am I pitching a book I’m really excited about to my team? Am I emailing a debut author with no publishing experience whatsoever? Am I writing customer or consumer-facing copy with the aim of garnering interest in a title? Being able to communicate clearly, passionately and flexibly will be key in helping you develop within this industry.’ Jadene Squires, Children’s Fiction Editorial Assistant
‘We publish a lot of books, very close together and my role includes creating my campaigns, but also supporting others with their campaigns. This is alongside managing all our team meetings and admin, therefore the role requires organisation and time management to stay on top of all tasks.’ Anastasia Boama-Aboagye, Publicity & Marketing Assistant
‘There is never a dull day in digital marketing, but you have to be able to multi-task and work to tight deadlines whilst keeping a high energy. Enthusiasm for lots of books, new ideas and working with different members of the team is so important, as it keeps a good flow of creativity and communication which is how big campaigns are pulled together and executed to a high standard.’ Kate Molyneux, Digital Marketing Manager
‘It’s so important to be a support for your colleagues, authors and even empathise with external stakeholder who you may not work with on a daily basis. In the publishing industry, we’re drastically trying to diversify both our publishing and our workforce, and I don’t think this could be achieved without empathy.’ Grace Ball, Children’s Publicity Executive
‘You are responsible for finding the best places for that author to be reviewed, featured, interviewed or do a bookshop event. I recommend immersing yourself in the kinds of publications your books would appear in as much as possible, so you get a sense of how they cover books. This information can then be used to inform your work.’ Ayo Okojie, Publicity Executive at Head of Zeus
Eye for Detail
‘This means paying attention to both the finer details, such as an errant punctuation mark and the bigger picture, such as text flowing too closely to an illustration. I use this skill every day, for example when proofreading copy, checking that an ebook has been converted properly from a print file and, for illustrated books, ensuring that the illustrations are appropriate and match the text. The main purpose of an editor is to make the reading process as easy and enjoyable as possible.’ Jadene Squires, Children’s Fiction Editorial Assistant
‘Sometimes, things don’t always go to plan. You could be building a page and a bug could cause an issue, which means referring it to the developers and waiting for them to add a fix before you can return to your task. You might realise that a page is not working as you’d hoped, so you need a break from it and return to it later.’ Heenali Odedra, Deputy Website Editor
If you’re interested in a career in publishing, head to Bloomsbury Publishing’s Work With Us page to find out more about current vacancies and apprenticeships. For more interviews and advice articles, check out the Careers in Publishing area at writersandartists.co.uk. You can also search Creative Access’ publishing opportunities here.
The site is a dynamic, free-to-join community platform that’s home to over 70,000 subscribers. We feature hundreds of free-to-view articles and resources that offer essential practical guidance on both the creative and publishing process, as well as insight into careers within the publishing industry itself. On top of being a digital space for like-minded creatives to connect, the site hosts free writing competitions, and provides opportunities to pitch blog posts or upload writing calendar entries. Exclusive discounts, reward point incentives, and information about industry initiatives (such as work placements or financial assistance) are regularly uploaded to the site.