Friday afternoon, I had a conversation with a production editor at Simon and Schuster. She was pleasant, helpful, and very sweet. I forget that people in publishing can be nice despite the competitive and cutthroat nature of the business.
I asked her about her journey to her current position which started after her college degree (don’t know what year and i didn’t ask because some people are touchy about age) in which she obtained her first job as a production assistant at John Wiley and Sons. From there, she excelled into different positions and landed employment at Simon and Schuster where she has been for a decade.
From this informational interview, I culled the necessary pieces missing from my applications. First, attitude. I know I can rock any job I get. I’m a damn good worker and why shouldn’t someone hire me? I’m quick on my feet, I love being utilized, and I love learning new skills all the time. I was a rock star on every film production set I worked on which is why I was always getting phone calls to work; I was great! As for office jobs, I was able to focus that same energy and make things happen by giving it my 150% all the time, even when my colleagues weren’t doing the same.
Second, skills on paper. Since I’ve worked in different industries, I’ve managed to acquire different skills including coordinating, scheduling, editing, quality control, and everything in between. I’m like the Jack of all trades here. And the best way to sell everything I’ve done is in my cover letter which, funny enough, is the hardest thing I ever have to write when applying to publishing vacancies. I don’t know how to frakking sell myself in the best way. I can’t write like this, because it’s too informal but when it’s too formal, I come across as having no personality (which is totally false). I wish I could write my cover letter here and have potential employers read this and go from there. Well, employers may end up reading this so I should keep it classy.
All in all, the interview went well and I will put her advice to good use. I am a writer and I need to work with what I got.
Monday night, our instructor went over the homework assignment which was primarily about subject and verb agreements. I had to look up what the subject for a sentence was because I hadn’t studied this since junior high school.
Upon reviewing the homework, I did well – better than I expected. Where I was lacking was in changing subject/verb agreements in sentences.
Then we did an in-class exercise which consisted of rearranging sentences, subject/verb agreement and a long article about Black Jazz Vocalists with crazy errors to remedy.
At the end of the class, I realized I’m not cut out to be a Copyeditor. I thought I’d enjoy this but knowing myself, I would get bored. I think if I had a job like say, Production Editor, where I oversaw edits on manuscripts and did other things other than only copyedit, I would be happy. Freelance Copyeditor? Me? I don’t see it.
For those interested in looking for Copyediting jobs, I have conveniently provided the websites referred to me by my instructor. Enjoy.
Copyeditor Job Board:
Freelance Mailing List:
Editorial Freelancers Association:
Copyediting Job Resources:
Early May, I will be meeting with a production editor at Simon & Schuster to discuss the industry, her department, and her journey there.
Since I have recently been laid off from a job that wasn’t satisfying my soul anyway, now is the time to take action and go for what I want – to work in publishing. Who says I can’t do both writing and this?
I will have some questions for her and of course, a re-vamped resume to leave with her for any advice or ahem, maybe to pass the it along to someone in HR? But mostly, for advice. I can’t wait to speak to someone in the industry! I feel like every time I get back in the game, great things happen. This is how synchronicity feels like – and I haven’t even applied to any jobs yet! I do have about five or six jobs I will applying to soon but I need a new resume And a new suit. Got to look professional! Very, very important.
Until then, I’m off to write and read like a maniac!