I’m not an expert and I’m still at such an early stage that I get excited by these kinds of things. So, this job has many (many) advantages but – as with any job – it has its disadvantages as well. Today I’ll talk about the first.
Working in publishing is a great experience for a book lover (sniffing or otherwise). You get to be around books, other people who love books as much as you do and a lot of authors, editors, designers and other book professionals. You are among the first to know when a book gets published and can have first hand experience of what the cover looks like. It all depends on the department you are working in but, wherever you are placed, you always hear snippets from your coworkers job.
For instance, I work on the digital content side of things and I am a part of the marketing team in our publishing house but physically I’m in a huge office working alongside the graphic designers (the cover people). We work together as I need the covers they produce on a daily basis so I can, in turn, produce marketing material and content for the social media accounts I handle. I’m not on the same floor as other marketing professionals (a space issue) but we contact each other multiple times a day by phone or by email. I also come in contact with the editorial department, the advertising and PR departments and, to a lesser extent, the production and distribution department. Sometimes I even work with the staff from our bookstores. When it’s book fair season I’m in close contact with the foreign rights department. As you can see, this is not a lone wolf kind of business. You talk a lot with lots of different people and learn something new almost every day. I love this!
But let’s get to the juicy stuff: I bet you think I get free books all the time. Well, it’s kind of the truth and kind of exaggeration. I think I was offered a lot more free books when I was working as a bookseller. Now, I have a certain “leeway” in how many books I can take for my own but an unlimited supply of reading in regards with my job. I read the books I will push on social media, then I return them. Sometimes I really can’t wait to take a new book into my hands and sometimes I really loathe the fact that I have to read that book. Likes and dislikes don’t really matter when you have to promote a product. If you like a book all for the better, if you don’t like it you kind of have to fake it a little bit. I prefer not to pass judgement as a rule for books we publish (either good or bad).
Another great perk is that, sometimes, one of the books gets turned into a movie. And when that happens there’s usually an email doing the rounds inside the company asking who wants to go. Guess who wants to go? You also get invited to various interesting events – not all of them are necessarily about books. Oh, and one of my best perks ever is that I get a chance to take as many seminars as I want, for example in editing, fiction writing etc.
What do you think? Is it an industry you could see yourself working in? I can honestly say that the pay is not that great but it certainly has a lot of perks.
I’m reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (the Greek illustrated edition).
P.S: I forgot to tell you about the greatest of perks! Sometimes I get to read a book I was anticipating like crazy before it gets published. It happened with Winter, the final book in The Lunar Chronicles and I still glow from happiness and the publishing “privilege”.