Five tips for getting your foot in the publishing door

By   Hannah Bickerton 2 min read

I just finished interning at whitefox for two weeks. The experience helped me gain insight into the publishing industry and I was able to sink my teeth into a range of tasks and projects that have expanded my skill set. The team were encouraging, friendly and a pleasure to work with. I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve learnt and what helped me get that all-important step through the door.

1. Speak to people in the industry. Building connections is key. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family if they know anyone in the publishing industry that you can contact for advice. You’ll realise how friendly and willing people are to share their insight and answer your questions. All it takes is a short email and you’ll discover what exactly publishing companies look for in an applicant, what to include in a cover letter, how to make yourself stand out and much more.

2. After meeting a couple of people who work in publishing, the same advice kept cropping up… research all areas within publishing. Editorial roles are the most sought after within the industry, however this is also because many people don’t know what other roles involve. Areas such as marketing, sales, publicity and rights are all equally significant in the process of publishing. Look into the specific responsibilities of each role and really understand what they do before you restrict yourself to one.

3. Follow publishing companies on social media because you’ll come across vacancies and potential opportunities that you may not see otherwise. You’ll also find that there are lots of events that allow you to network with other like-minded people and also connect with the experts who attend and speak at the event.

4. Don’t be afraid of work experience or internships. Publishing is one of the industries where you can get yourself caught in the loop of ‘needing experience to get experience’. Completing work experience or interning for a short period of time allows you to gain crucial experience and helps you get a step closer to where you want to be.

5. Be persistent and don’t lose motivation. Like any job application, it takes time to find the right job for you and for the right job to find you. You will most likely face many rejections, but don’t feel disheartened. Make sure you are giving yourself the best chance by ensuring you tailor your cover letters to the specific company and role you are applying to. Employers will know if you submit a generic cover letter.

Hennah Sandhu recently completed a BA in English Literature at the University of Warwick. She writes her own blog, focusing mainly on literature. Hennah recently spent two weeks interning at whitefox.

Hannah Bickerton
Hannah Bickerton
Hannah has worked in marketing for nine years, specialising in strategy development for start-ups and EdTech companies. Having recently jumped across industries to join the Whitefox team, Hannah isn’t a complete stranger to the publishing world with previous employment at Macmillan and TES Global. She is now dedicated to ensuring that anyone who has something interesting to say knows all about whitefox.