Finding a jobUse publishing-specific job sites to start your search.— Publishers Marketplace — This is the big one, especially if you’ve got your heart set on working in NYC (which is hard to avoid in publishing). If you want to work in trade publishing, this is the site for you.— Book Jobs — This is another key site if you want to work in trade/academic publishing. There’s a lot of overlap between this site and Publishers Marketplace, but it’s better to check both than run the risk of missing a great opportunity.— Poe War — Poe War focuses on writing jobs in general, rather than trade publishing in particular.— Mediabistro — You’ve no doubt heard about this from Dànielle, but it’s worth reminding you of it.
You’ll also want to check the jobboards for specific publishers, both big and small.
Finding a jobCheck out your bookshelf to see which houses publish the kinds of books you like to read, and then look at their job boards.
Finding a job The Big Six—Random House —Meet Our Interns —Meet Our People—HarperCollins—Hachette—Macmillan —Part of Holtzbrinck Publishers—Penguin—Simon & Schuster
Finding a job— Other publishers to consider (not all of whom are NYC-based): — Disney: Internships for students/recent grads as well as jobs — Marvel: DRPW student Ben Chabala interned here—don’t be shy about contacting him for advice! — Harlequin Books: Premier global publisher of women’s fiction—not just romance. Offices in NYC and Toronto. — Scholastic: Work with the company that brought you the Book Fair! — Sourcebooks: Publishes fiction and nonfiction. Offices in NYC and Naperville, IL. — Inkling: Perfect for PW! They create textbooks and educational apps for the iPad. Offices in California. — Lee & Low Books: Indie kids book publisher with an emphasis on diversity. Offers unpaid, for-credit internships. Offices in NYC.
Finding a job— Use CareerInsider to conduct your own research on companies you (think you) want to work for.
I mean, networking. Get toknow the publishing communitythrough the skillful use of social networking.
Study your target in its natural environment (digitally).Listen in on “hallway conversations.” Get to know the culture of your chosen field!
With that in mind, here’s a field guide to observing different publishing species in the wild.
Editors— Habitat —A book-lined warren designated a fire hazard.— Diet — Coffee, cheap booze, authors’ tears. This was my office during my editorial internship.
Editors— Notable specimens: Angela James, Executive Editor at Carina Press Liz Gorinsky, Editor at Tor Books Anne Sowards, Executive Editor at Penguin (Ace/Roc) Kristen Sevick, Associate Editor at Tor Books Melissa Frain, Editor at Tor Books NYC Editor Gal, anonymous profiler of the life of NYC editors These professionals and more can be found here. Yes, there are a lot of Tor people here. That’s because they’re awesome and you should follow them.
This is what it’slike being aneditor. Anyquestions?
Marketers— Habitat —A network of cubicles covered in promotional materials.— Diet — Numbers. Delicious, crunchy numbers.— Behaviors — Hunting and gathering market data.— Pimp My Novel — Though this blog is currently on hiatus, its archive is a must-read for anyone interested in working in publishing. Confused about P&Ls? Want to know what’s currently popular, or how well a particular genre is selling right now? Eric has you covered.
Marketers— Notable specimens: Laura Fitzgerald, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Tor Books and queen of the geeks! One of my favorite people in publishing. Ben Rubinstein, PW alum and former marketer at Tor Books. Now living in The D, but still a valuable contact. Eric Blank (of Pimp My Novel fame) These professionals and more can be found here.
Publicists— Habitat — Offices as cramped as (but slightly less cluttered than) their co-workers’.— Diet — Classy booze provided at book launches.— Behaviors — Magnetic attraction to valuable industry contacts.
Publicists— Notable specimens: Alexandra Kirsch is a PW alum and a social media maven (naturally). Kate Gales is an incredible human being and a font of publishing wisdom. Katy Hershberger could make you buy your own autobiography. She is just that good. These professionals and more can be found here.
Literary agents— Habitat — Office overcrowded with fellow agents.— Diet — Variable—depends on whether they’re paying for their meal or someone else is.— Behaviors — Calling editors, avoiding calls from clients or prospective clients, drowning in slush.— Species: — Donald Maass Literary Agency —A great agency for those interested in genre fiction! — Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation — Did you enjoy Veronica Roth’s Divergent? This is agency responsible for getting it published! If you haven’t read it, go do so—now.
Literary agents— Notable specimens: Janet Reid is a rockstar. That is all. Amy Boggs is best approached with macaroons. Suzie Townsend offers a lot of good writing advice over at Confessions of a Wandering Heart. Kathleen Ortiz has a T-rex avatar. What more do you need to know? These professionals and more can be found here.
Literary agent blogs— Query Shark — Don’t let the name fool you—Query Shark won’t bite your face off. Would-be authors, editors, and agents alike would benefit from following this blog. Literary agent Janet Reid shreds terrible queries, breaking down for her readers what works, what doesn’t, and why.— Slushpile Hell — This is why agents drink. Editors too. It’s like Clients from Hell for publishing.— Bookends Literary Agency — Gives you a good idea of what agents look for, deal with on a daily basis, and do/don’t want to hear. Good for those who want to be agents, as well as those who one day hope to submit their writing to an agent.— Coffey. Tea. And Literary. — Information and inspiration from the agents of Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation.— Guide to Literary Agents — Whether you want an agent or want to be an agent, this Writer’s Digest blog is a useful resource.
Interns— Habitat: — Windowless cell furnished with card tables and folding chairs. Three to four interns will share a den.— Behaviors: — Copying, reading slush, doing market research, more copying, mailing, even more copying, wishing they hadn’t majored in English.— Diet: — Cheap, shitty coffee — 99¢ pizza slices — Sugar packets from the coffee lounge
Interns— Notable specimens: — Intern Spills (@InternSpills): Written by “THE INTERN,” this is a great intro to the life of an editorial intern. — Intern Queen (@InternQueen): If you want to know what the life of an intern is like (not just in publishing), this is an excellent resource. It also has tons of openings for internships in various areas. — Seealso: —Learn4Good offers job/internship postings, study abroad opportunities, and travel resources.
Authors— Ifyou’re going to work in publishing, you need to understand the people who make your work possible: authors. Here’s a collection of authors who are not only wonderfully engaging, but also sharp as hell when it comes to the industry and the life of people in publishing.
Authors— Notable specimens: Ron Hogan is THE blogger to follow. He has much to teach you, young grasshoppers. Scott Westerfeld is going to rule the world someday.You might as well join forces with him now. Chuck Wendig has a Terrible Mind. This is what happens when you become an author. Laura Anne Gilman is an author and an editor. She’s living the dream. (Apparently the dream doesn’t pay well.) These professionals and more can be found here.
Twitter— Houses’/imprints’ tweets tend to be mostly self- promotion.— You’re better off following individuals than houses or imprints, unless you’re a particular fan.— However, if you’re interviewing somewhere, it’s a good idea to look at their Twitter feed to see what some of their recent releases are and how they’ve been promoting them.
Shelfari— Do yourself a favor: get a Shelfari account.— Put together a style guide for your tags ahead of time so you don’t use different tags for the same type of book (ex. science fiction, sci fi, sci-fi, and scifi).
Tag your books by imprint and publisher, too. Why?
Shelfari—So that if you want to work at Ace, for example, you can prove that you know their books, their market, and their readers.—Mine definitely helped when I applied for an editorial assistant position with Harlequin books; I’d read plenty of romance novels recently, both by Harlequin and by some of their biggest competitors, so I had a good perspective on the market.
Okay, so you’ve got a job (or at least an interview). …now what?
Basic Survival: Food— “Watering holes” are a great places to socialize with people in publishing—just be prepared to pay obscene prices for drinks. (PBR is the beer of choice for cash-strapped editors and hipsters alike.)— Housing Works Books often has events that are great for networking!— Join the Digital Book World Meetup group. Not only do you get to drink in the company of other book-lovers, you can also meet people from all different areas of the industry.
Basic Survival: Shelter— Use social media to find PW alums to crash with in NYC. (See the PW alums Facebook group.)— Most of them probably stayed with friends for a while when they first came to the city, so they’ll want to pay it forward.— But! Make sure it’s someone you actually know. It may be a bit much to expect a stranger, even a fellow PWer, to put you up.
Follow this guide, and one day this may be you!