I attended this informative event on Thursday evening at Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield.
Vicky Smith and Stephanie Cox of Society of Young Publishers (SYP) ran the event and they explained that it was established in 1949 and that you used to have to be under 35, but now it is open to anyone and is run by volunteers. Each gave background on their careers to date before giving a breakdown of what publishing is. It's literal meaning is to make things public and it isn't just books and magazines, there is social media, blogging, ebooks and digital publishing. It is not just editorial and sales any more. They then showed a Life of a Book video featuring writer Joe Abercrombie and publisher Natasha Brown which explained things like marketing strategy, on-line focus, creating and communicating a trailer, sales conferences, sales strategy, on-line book selling, editing (including structural), cover design (emotion/communication), digital publishing (kindles etc.), advance marketing (advance reader copies), author promotion (PR manager), publication (signings, book fairs such as Frankfurt, foreign language partners, meet the readers) and connecting authors to readers (social media, virtual festivals around a genre).
Working in publishing requires communication skills, social networking, to be a team player and be passionate about books. A presentation video about the different kinds of publishing included trade, children's, fiction, non-fiction, biographies, travel, digital, humour, poetry, colouring, art and gift. Education - text book, learning platforms and interactive tools. Academic, professional and learning journal, monographs research tools for scholar, reference and digital resources for libraries, diagnostic tools, training materials and hand-out books. Jobs included creative producer, publicity manager, digital marketing manager, editorial, assistant editor, freelancing, marketing, PR, author events, literary festivals, production - in design and creation of the book, printing and audio editors.
Why work in publishing?
Innovative (coconut calculations interactive app for school children)
Interesting (a commercial venture such as the Jamie Oliver empire/brand/following with new way of how to reach your reader/buyer)
Important (connects ideas/information to those who need it e.g. nature and scientific journals to get kids into science).
Getting into the industry:
They suggest looking at employers' job descriptions, have tenacity and persistence, need problem solving skills and personal motivation - a drive to meet your own targets as well as your company targets. You will need effective and accurate communication as it is essential in all roles. Attitude - are you willing to continue learning and adapting as the industry constantly changes and evolves? You will need self-belief and a passion for the industry and to create connections between content and the people who want/need it.
Their quick tips:
Network - Get involved and get noticed, qualifications are only the beginning
Do your research and keep up to date with industry news/trends
Stay positive - It's a competitive industry
Social media - Get on it!
Think outside the box - There are opportunities and places you wouldn't have considered.