Don’t Panic!

There will be more internships.

Given the current state of the world publishing internships and work experience opportunities are being postponed or cancelled left, right and centre, leaving many people desperately trying to break into the industry at a bit of a loss. I am currently one of those people.

I was supposed to have an in person interview for a summer internship with Wiley Publishers, which was initially cancelled, only to recently receive an email informing me that they are no longer able to run their internship scheme over the summer. Naturally, this was somewhat expected with ever increasing restrictions on travel and requirements for us to isolate ourselves and although I completely understand the need for this and definitely think it’s the right decision, I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed upon reading the email. Just as I was at the point of submitting applications and hopefully securing a role within publishing everything has been brought to a stand still.

However, I have decided there is no point in being all doom and gloom about it and instead just keep on working towards my goal of editing within book publishing. I am going to keep applying for everything I can, no matter how many schemes have to be cancelled, and at least view it as a way of improving my applications and cover letters, because ultimately there will always be more internships.

After all, when you do not manage to get one of the coveted spots of an internship you have still benefited from going through the application process and the same still holds true in this case. As much as I had hoped not to have to move back with my parents after I graduate in July, we are living in unpredictable times and if it takes me slightly longer to secure a role in publishing then that’s fine.

Besides I have still seen many publishing houses advertising roles with the hope that some people will be able to start from home and you can guarantee that I will be applying to as many of those as possible. Plus Wiley have said they’ll be in touch about potential autumn job opportunities for those who graduate this summer and were successful in reaching the interview stage of the internship scheme, so perhaps this will all work out for the best anyway.


Applying for Internships

So if you read my last post about publishing, you’ll know that I’ve been stuck doing nothing for a while, unable to start applications or make progress towards entering the industry. However, those days are finally over and I am now officially sending off my CV and submitting applications to internships. Therefore, I thought I would post my top tips for applying for publishing internships.

1: Tailor you Cover Letter

This may seem like an obvious one but you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of not only tailoring your cover letter to publishing, but also ensuring that it is specifically written for the company you’re applying to. Make sure you research the publishing house, what their goal is and what kind of books they publish.

2: Keep Track of your Applications

You will be applying to so many different roles at different places that this is absolutely crucial. Personally, I have a spreadsheet listing which publishing houses or literary agencies I’ve applied, what the role or scheme was I applied for, key dates and salary information and I cannot overstate how helpful this has been. It has meant that I haven’t missed important application deadlines, I know approximately when I’ll hear back about different roles and that I can check the details of each scheme or job.

3: Know what your Skills are

You should be able to list at least five skills that you have that would be helpful for the internship your want. You will absolutely have built skills from a variety of different things and being confident in these is so important. It’s fine if you don’t think you have best IT skills but you may have impressive commercial awareness or ability to problem solve.

4: Don’t Underestimate the Value of your Experiences

When considering the experiences you have make sure you don’t dismiss the ones that you don’t think are relevant to the industry. Just because the you did work experience in a completely different industry doesn’t mean that you didn’t learn transferable skills. I have taken level 1 British Sign Language classes throughout my final year of university and whilst this may not seem especially relevant to publishing, it does show that I like to take on new challenges and gave me insight into the issues faced by the Deaf community whilst expanding my ability to communicate with people.

5: Don’t give up

You will get rejections and it will feel disheartening but this should not stop you. Most internships within the publishing industry are very competitive, making it a very hard industry to get into. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible, you just have to keep applying and taking on board any feedback you get. Periodically review your CV, look for every opportunity you can to build your experience and don’t give up. Eventually you will be successful.

Entering Publishing: Step 1

The Art of Doing Nothing

I thought I’d make this post to kick off documenting my journey into publishing, even though it hasn’t exactly started yet. I am currently half way through my final year at university, hoping to graduate in July 2020 (fingers crossed) and very on edge about having no concrete plans in place beyond that.

That’s not to say I don’t know what I want to be doing come July, I just currently have no significant way of getting there. Once I graduate I am hoping to be starting either an entry-level job or some form of internship within or related to the book publishing industry, but this is easier said than done.

Not only is this a very competitive industry to get into, but it also means that because I can’t start working until June 2020, I can’t start applying for jobs before April 2020 and this is proving incredibly frustrating. While everyone around me is applying for grad schemes or masters programmes, I feel very much like I am sitting on my hands, playing the waiting game and trying not to check for available jobs that I cannot start applying for yet.

I have always been someone who likes to plan and prepare to the nth degree and I am definitely struggling with the art of doing nothing but waiting. However, in the mean time I am still trying to do what I can, even if it’s not a lot. I have started this blog, which has not only proven to be a great motivator to find more time to read but I am also really enjoying doing, signed up to edit for my university’s newspaper, I researched various different internships I can eventually apply for, created a LinkedIn to keep up to date with job opportunities and started following the twitter accounts of different publishing houses and literary agents to get all their news, both with regard to career options and general changes within the industry.

While this may sound like a fair bit to be getting on with, it unfortunately hasn’t satisfied my need to know what I’ll be doing in 6 months time, other than potentially having to move back home for a bit. So for now I can do nothing but wait, and hope that when I can apply the wait will pay off and getting in my applications early will increase my odds.