Tag: #Publishing

The Denver Publishing Institute

By Lauren A. James-Spielman

Entering the publishing world is no easy feat, especially without experience. To stand out, additional education beyond Lawrence may be necessary.  Rather than attend a two-year graduate program, a much shorter training program exists to help you learn the relevant skills, create influential connections, and understand the ins and outs of the industry. The Denver Publishing Institute (DPI) is an option to turn your passion for books into a profession. 

Every summer, the Denver Publishing Institute enrolls 95 students in their four-week graduate-level publishing program that has launched the careers of over 4,000 participants across the country since 1976. Graduates can be found at work in every aspect of the publishing business–trade and textbooks, children’s and scholarly books. They have gone on to become designers and production specialists, sales reps and literary agents, editors, marketers, and publishers.

According to their handbook, “the program includes multiple workshops focusing on important processes within the publishing field. In the Editing Workshop, you will work on actual manuscripts to engage with the various stages of editing and will have the opportunity to practice editorial skills such as the preparation of a reader’s report, developmental manuscript editing, copyediting, and proofreading. In the Marketing Workshop, you will gain practical experience writing a publicity release for an actual manuscript, learn to identify target audiences and develop a complete marketing plan.”

In addition to hands-on workshops, prominent publishing executives from every area of the business will share their expertise on a broad range of publishing issues. You will also have many opportunities to gain general career knowledge, including tips on résumés, cover letters, interviews, and making job connections.

To learn more about the DPI, including costs and application requirements, visit their website here. Priority application deadlines are at the end of March, although applications are still accepted through early May.

Breaking into Publishing

By Jonathan Hogan

If you are certain that the publishing industry is right for you there is likely one question on the tip of your tongue: how do I break into the publishing industry? Unfortunately for those aspiring, the publishing industry is nearly as exclusive as the film industry; however, if you’re an especially determined (or curious) soul, read on for my overview of how to break into the publishing industry.

For the best chances of breaking into the publishing industry after graduating from Lawrence, you’ll want to have some experience with the field before applying to your first position. Internships, especially internships with one of the Big 5—Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster—are highly desirable. Most publishers’ websites will have information on their internships and their application processes so make sure to keep an eye out for new opportunities. Before applying, however, it’s important to do your research. The publishing industry is not only very exclusive, it also revolves around a passion for books. To apply successfully you will likely need to have a passion for the books that your target publishing house has published.

If you fail to land an internship, either because the cost of spending a summer in New York is prohibitive or because you aren’t one of the lucky few, fret not! An alternative method of getting the necessary experience required to enter the field comes in the form of masters or certificate-level courses such as those from NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies or the Columbia Publishing Course.  These programs generally offer hands-on experiences with magazine, digital, and book publishing and are often available as summer courses. In addition to hands-on experiences, these courses offer an extremely valuable commodity in the publishing industry: an address in a major city and the ability to network.

In addition to experience, networking is essential to break into the publishing industry, thus, names and relationships carry weight. While conducting an internship or higher-ed course (ideally in New York City) it is important to attend social events (or virtual social events should there be a global pandemic). If you don’t know the first thing about networking in the publishing industry, the Young to Publishing Group (YPG) website is invaluable. YPG, in their own words, “strives to give junior employees a chance to build a community outside of their own publishing houses and to educate themselves about the industry as a whole.”  They do this by posting upcoming social events in the publishing network in most major cities.  If you find yourself in a major city, especially San Francisco, Boston, or New York, be sure to keep an eye on YPG!

If both internships and higher education courses are unappealing, don’t be afraid to forge your own path. Freelance writing allows you to build a resume while potentially holding a more stable job. For more information about freelance writing and the publishing industry, I recommend reading the brief article “10 ways to break into the publishing industry” to hear first-hand from someone who has successfully navigated the freelance industry.

Jonathan is a Third Year German and Government major. He works as a Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

A Career as a Book Editor

Outside of working as an author, few careers are more ideal for lovers of books than that of a book editor. Book editors work within the broader publishing industry and are tasked with acquiring and editing books.  Within any given editorial department, there are various editorial positions. For the sake of efficiency, this article will discuss two broad categories: assistant/associate editors and editors. Assistant editors dedicate the majority of their time doing what their title implies—editing. Granting insight into the nature of assistant editing, Corley Miller, an intern at a major publishing house, insisted that “you have to love reading… and proofreading”. For lower-ranking employees and interns reading and rereading and rereading is the order of the day. Yet, reading and editing books is not just confined to the offices. Miller reports that during breaks, coworkers would talk books as well. In fact, after a day of reading, it is not uncommon in the industry for assistant editors to go home and cozy up to a nice book of their choice.

The nature of work for fully-fledged editors is slightly different. Editors spend the majority of their days meeting with authors and coworkers to discuss ongoing projects—their actual editing is often done after-hours or over the weekend. Editors are tasked with selecting a publishing house’s books, collaborating with authors throughout the editing process, and coordinating with other departments to bring the best out of a book. Yet, despite the corporate implication of a day of meetings, the work of fully-fledged editors still requires and feeds off of a deep passion for books. Catharine Bleeke, an editor for Flatiron Books (which is indeed located in the beautiful Flatiron building in downtown New York), goes as far as to describe the experience of finding an author whose book she would like to publish as “falling in love,” and states that as an editor “You’re the main supporter of this book. You’re the book’s person. There are a lot of people involved, but the first job of the editor is to make your own enthusiasm contagious. You want to get everybody just as excited as you are”

Assistant editors and editors, with their passion for good books, function as the backbone of the publishing industry. Yet, the publishing industry is much more than editors. For a broad overview of the publishing industry, its different departments, its big firms, and its broader work culture keep an eye out for the next edition of the CJW newsletter.   

Jonathan Hogan

Jonathan is a Second Year German and Government major. He works as a Career Peer Educator to assist students in the CJW and GLI career communities. In addition to professional development, Jonathan is interested in the cultural construction of the modern nation-state, normative constraints on rational behavior, and all things German. You can schedule an appointment with him here to improve your resume, learn more about the CJW and GLI career opportunities, and work on anything else professional development-related.

Works Cited

Bourne, Michael. “A Day in the Life of a Book Editor: Caroline Bleeke of Flatiron Books.” Poets & Writers, 19 Sept. 2018, www.pw.org/content/a_day_in_the_life_of_a_book_editor_caroline_bleeke_of_flatiron_books.

Miller, Corley. “What It’s like to Work in Publishing.” The Tab US, thetab.com/us/2016/06/07/like-work-publishing-15073.

Peterson, Valerie. “Major Departments in a Publishing House and What They Do.” The Balance Careers, 21 Oct. 2019, www.thebalancecareers.com/major-departments-in-a-publishing-house-2800046.