Friday, 21 March 2014

Publishing 101- Departments (1)

Well to all the newbies who want to break into the publishing field. Here is a little heads up for you— you've made the right choice!
But you are unsure in what area you want to land your feet in. Well not to worry because I've got you covered.

“To write is human, to edit is divine.”-Stephen King

Editorial is without a doubt the most competitive area of publishing in terms of entry-level roles. This is where the publishing process really begins. The role consists of commissioning new work or buying manuscripts; all the while making sure that they get through production. As an Editor you will most likely be frequenting meetings with authors and literary agents and thus without a doubt your communication skills need to be strong. You will also need to correspond with the other departments as well to ensure that the books are completed with all the necessary requirements. The most important skills that you need to possess are a keen eye for detail and time management skills as deadlines at time can be short and crucial.

Gist of the role: You will need to read and report on submissions, attend meetings, proof-read, draft and research.

 “Marketing is a contest for people's attention.” -Seth Godin

A role in Marketing involves liaising with a large number of both external and internal people as you will be responsible in getting the finished book to the readers. Your key skills have to be in ‘creative planning’, you will need to advertise your campaigns and proper research needs to be carried out in order to make an impact. You will also need to create promotional materials in order to spread the word about the new book. Typical day-to-day activities might include monitoring and analysing sales reports and then responding to the results and attending meetings particularly between the Publicity and Sales departments to ensure that a campaign is effective and a positive awareness of a book is spreading across the masses.  Organisational skills and knowledge of current trends in marketing will help you be a step above the rest in your pursuit for an enriching marketing career.

Gist of the role: Planning and devising advertising campaigns, working on and writing press releases, brochures, flyers, researching, updating and maintaining contacts and co-ordinating with the other departments in relation to quotes and reviews.

“Without publicity a terrible thing happens – nothing.”-P T Barnum 

In Marketing you are responsible for getting the finished book to the readers but in Publicity you need to get the word out about the new release. So let’s see what the Publicity department is involved with.
As a Publicist you need to be out-going and organised. Your main concern will be to find out which platforms will be best utilised in spreading the word. This can be either through author signings or promotional tours. You will also be in charged with handling press coverage and arrange for personal appearances of the authors at bookshops or signings. The most important part of the job is to co-ordinate with the marketing department to make sure that everyone is kept up-to-date with the book’s current reception. Your success rate will triple if you use creative ideas and off-beat platforms to gain maximum exposure for the book.

Gist of the role: organising book signings and book launches, inviting journalists and critics for reviews, setting up events, working on press releases, researching and uploading reviews or quotes.

”Good service is good business.”-Siebel Ad

If you are looking for a challenging environment then Warehouse Operations might be just your cup of tea. Workings in warehouse operations require a logical, methodical and organised approach.
Working in an integrated manner, you will be responsible for the receipt and storage of stock, accurately picking and packing the orders of the customers and coordinating deliveries to the customer.  Being Customer oriented and devising effective solutions that enable valuable services are things that you will need to imbibe in your everyday activities. Though the environment is high pressured and demanding at times due to its very tight deadlines, your end results always needs to be of satisfying the customers and also the publishers. A role within Warehouse Operations requires a large degree of interaction with other areas of the business and therefore it is essential to build a strong understanding of the organisation and be able to communicate effectively with other functions. 

Gist of the role: Maintaining receipt and storage of stock, delivering the books to the customers, analysing problems and coming up with effective trouble-shooters, co-ordination and organisational skills are highly required.    

The roles don’t stop with just the ones mentioned above, there are plenty more such roles in the publishing industry:

So what are you waiting for? Oh and one more thing to keep in mind, you need to be willing to wear many different hats and work on many projects of varied nature simultaneously. Think you’re up to the challenge. Then hop on board and experience the ride to a fun-filled, challenging and lucrative career.  


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