First up was:
Introduction to Publishing
Panel: Julia Wisdom, Sarah O'Connor, Juliet Mushens, Nick Bottomley & Fiona Marsh
This seminar gave a nice little overview of the key pointers in publishing. It was mainly useful for those wanting to be published but was still really intersting. A few key points covered were:
- Editors hunt for new talent in the Spring but are limited in time. They have to make sure they're giving 100% attention to their authors.
- Networking with agents and booksellers is so important within the role.
- Editors must also be very subjective. They must follow their instincts and question whether the book would work in our market?
- Important to persuade colleagues from a range of departments to support the book that they want to publish. Without the backing and support of most departments, it's hard to get the book off the ground.
- Publishers and book sellers must communicate. It's also important for authors and booksellers to build relationships = want people to push your book.
- For authors: it's worth asking your publisher how it's being marketed to achieve best results.
- Importance of the spine of a book: important to have your book stand out on a shelf. Clear title and clear author name. Most books are spine out rather than face on.
- The print on demand route tends to close off going down the bookshop route: impractical.
How to get into Publishing
Panel: Miriam Robinson, Lauren Ace, Anna Faherty & Ellie Pike
Words cannot express how fantastic and helpful this seminar was to me. I learnt so many new tips for getting into publishing and had a lovely chat with Lauren Ace, head of Macmillan's Children Publicity Team (a local Swansea girl!)
- Publicity: working in bookshops, working in a small press: all good experience
- Always looking for ways to improve events.
- Important to be creative and show a passion for books. Be a hard worker. Always ask for more. Be passionate about the industry and show off your knowledge of it in your cover letter.
- Aim to make a good impression. Show enthusiasm, ask lots of questions!
- Show off your digital skills and your online profiles.
- Talked about a book: 'How to get into Publishing'
- Contacts are important in this industry.
- Try and get as much practical experience as possible. It shows commitment. Demonstrate what you've learnt in the process.
- Take note of how companies operate.
- Develop your professional presentation skills
- Express how to convert your love of books into a business. It's important to be aware of the industry and to put this across.
- Reading The Bookseller is brilliant for industry information.
- Most importantly - DON'T GIVE UP!
How to get Ahead in Publishing
Panel: Stephanie Milner, James Long, Matt Haslum, Oli Munson
This one wasn't as helpful to me. It was more of a career overview but considering I've yet to get into publishing - I don't think I was the target audience for this one! Still some really interesting stuff though.
- Get into the industry at the ground and get your hands dirty. Ask for more work and be excited about all of it!
- Make sure you know the job you're going for but not its limitations. Go above and beyond. You must know your job and the company. Always take the job further.
- The interviews are all about what you can do in certain situations.
- Be aware of your weaknesses: be honest with yourself and turn them into strengths.
- Word of mouth is important in this industry - recommendations. It's a social business. You must always be sociable and professional.
- Take on more than you can do and get it done. Do it well.
- Go to as many drinks/ events as possible.
- Important to know what people want before they know it - marketing.
- Keep an eye on transferable skills e.g. technology, embrace process (make it work), treat what you do as a service, project management (lead them). Get the best from the context you're in, no matter what role.
- Marketing: know your reader and what they want. Build a deeper communication with the readers.
- Working with TV brands can be very influential. It's always good to know how things work from a different medium.
- No excuse not to know what your audience wants. It surrounds you.
- Develop outside industry knowledge e.g. how can other campaign ideas work for you?
- Bring your energy and passion to your job!
I found these seminars so helpful and the speakers were so inspiring. I can't wait to get into this industry! It's perfect :).