Careers in Publishing

Image courtesy of Brother O'Mara on Flickr.comHelen McGuire, Student Blogger

As someone who studies English Literature, my love for books perhaps extends beyond what is usually considered normal; so naturally a career in publishing seems like the ideal way to become a professional bookworm and maybe get to schmooze with a few authors along the way.

With this mind, I attended the ‘Careers in Publishing’ talk recently, held as part of the Creative Industries month. There were speakers from a variety of different companies: Manchester University Press, Prospects and Ten Alps. They all gave a different insight into what it’s like to work in the publishing industry and more importantly how the industry is evolving in the face of changing technologies.

First up was Manchester University Press, one of the speakers was a recent graduate from the University of Manchester, immediately making her experience relevant to everyone and making publishing seem like really accessible career. Both of the speakers outlined the particular routes they took into publishing. I found this very helpful as the discussion turned to the pros and cons of postgraduate study, particularly more vocational MAs like publishing. Just the fact that the company was based in the North West also challenged my preconceptions about the lack of publishing opportunities in the North.

Manchester University Press is still quite a traditional publishing house, however the speakers from Prospects and Ten Alps stressed how the industry is changing and how companies are increasing their online presence. Both speakers addressed the need for all graduates to have a high level of online awareness and familiarity with a variety of programmes from Google Analytics to Photoshop. The most important point seemed to be the thing we all knew already – make yourself stand out! The best way to do this is through your CV, bearing in mind not only the content but the way it’s presented.

Overall the talk was informative and all the speakers were really engaging, it challenged some preconceptions I had about publishing as an industry, proving that it isn’t just a love of books that you need for a to succeed in this sector.

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