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.
As a writer, working in publishing is like a conflict of interest, right? I think not. Who says you can’t do both? Below are the websites I frequent when looking for jobs and/or internships.
The Publisher’s Marketplace has a job board I check every so often. The descriptions are clear and the jobs are easy to apply to. I recently applied to a job posted on the site and it was easy as pie. Will I receive a phone call from the agency? Only time will tell.
I plug Mediabistro all the time because the resources on the site are extremely helpful. You only have to create a free account on the site to apply which doesn’t take more than five minutes. At times, some postings have an external link to apply on the company’s website.
Book Jobs has a large quantity of employment opportunities as well as an exhausting list of internships as well. This site has postings updated weekly.
Now for some company career sites:
Simon & Schuster is such a huge company with many imprints. There’s no hurt in searching the jobs they have available. I peruse the website once a week, just in case something comes up.
W.W. Norton and Company has openings that range from 0-2 years experience to 5+ years experience. They currently have paid internships available.
Harper Collins presently has many New York opportunities available.
Random House constantly has job vacancies which I also peruse once a week.
Penguin Group is another site that offers employment opportunities.
There are many more publishing companies (smaller and other educational) but these are the ones I have bookmarked that I wanted to share for those who don’t know.
Enjoy and happy job hunting!
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!