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Looking to work in publishing? Then here are some tips…

Yes, getting a job in publishing is competitive. But it’s not impossible, and there are a few things you can do to increase the chance of success. These tips are from Fiz Osborne, who has been working in the publishing industry for 15 years and is currently Editorial Director of the Illustrated Books list at Scholastic.
  1. Do your research. I know, I know – you’ve heard this before. And you’ll hear it again, because it’s really, really important! Each publisher has a number of imprints, and if you go into an interview knowing – really knowing – the imprint you could work on, you will make such a positive first impression.
  2. The above counts for both your application and your interview, but make sure you do an equal amount of prep on both. For your application, ask yourself what the publisher is looking for and how can you deliver it. Think about your transferable skills, show them that you’ve paid attention to their candidate wish list and show them that you care about getting the job.
  3. In terms of your interview, look up commonly-asked interview questions online and practise answering them – doing this will help you so, so much, both in terms of feeling comfortable in an interview situation and also perfecting your answers. Don’t just write them down, though – practise out loud. It’s the best way to make sure your answers sound like you.
  4. Remember that working in publishing isn’t just about reading books. Publishing is hard work. It’s: admin, building relationships, juggling large and varied workloads, being creative even when you don’t feel like it, being nice to people even when you don’t feel like it (!) and it’s nothing like any film or TV show representation you’ve ever seen!
  5. My final point? Be yourself. This is what sets you apart from other candidates, so show your personality. It’s one of your biggest selling points.

Fiz Osborne is Editorial Director of the Illustrated Books list at Scholastic, where she and her team work with authors and illustrators to create brilliant picture books for kids. Fiz has been working in the publishing industry for 15 years.

Twitter: @FizOsborne


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