Lit Bingo + other stuff

So this post was penned last week, been a bit late typing it up + hitting “send”.

lit bingo
credit: Bethany Carter

I love it when a plan comes together. And I love it when momentum builds and I don’t feel so uncertain all of the time! After the excitement of #GetaJobinPublishing weekend, and reflection that followed, I’ve been left feeling increasingly content with the direction I want to take. I have decided that a PR and/or marketing role – ideally a blend of the two – would suit me well. Not only would it offer variety (e.g. people-facing stuff, creative work, and so forth) but also sits quite centrally to lots of other departments and stakeholders in publishing. This would mean I could use skills I already, as well as learn an awful lot, which is an ideal scenario. Plus, it means I get to interact and build relationships with authors. Altogether, a really good opportunity to learn the ropes in the industry. With my background in recruitment, I’ve also been thinking about sales in the back of my mind, too – however PR/Marketing is my 1st choice.

On Tuesday, I was back at Hachette UK, meeting another editor from one of the LBF panels. As well as giving me greater insight into where editorial fits in with the rest of the departments (after #GetaJobinPublishing weekend, everything is starting to come together and make more sense!). Said editor also encouraged me to really hone in on what I wanted, after this info-gathering stage. He encouraged me to, if you will, take that next step and commit. Again, just the advice that I needed. Next, it was off to King’s Cross to meet someone currently working in Rights, but has also done work in Editorial and Production. More than anything, especially with someone who is fairly early into their publishing career, I enjoy hearing about their journeys up to, and into, publishing. The theme which keeps being described to me when it comes to getting into publishing is “perseverance and luck”. As Harvey Dent says, you make your own luck.

Finally, I was off to Penguin Random House, this time to meet someone introduced to me by a mutual contact. She was my age (in the same school year, in fact), and has worked in Marketing from the outset, but has done lots around events, too – her role is varied, and actually quite unique. My eyes have certainly opened – it turns out just because you work on of the “big houses”, doesn’t mean that you can’t work in a varied role. Again, she was very helpful and open, sharing her story and what she does.

Today (Thursday), I met with someone else who I also met at LBF, and – this is really getting boring now – she was so very helpful. She works in a small PR/Marketing team (focusing on the former), and brought along some actual  material that she has produced and used in her role. She is actually one of 3 girls who met at LBF last year, and now all work in publishing and live together! A lovely story if ever there was one. They’re kinda like the Bronte sisters of the publishing world… this might not be the best anology, but it’s the one I’ve come up with.

I then popped into Insight Inspired (recruitment agency) to officially register and meet with Chloe Daniell, who manages the entry-level desk there. She’s very personable, and they’re the only agency I’m currently registered with.

Then, after an hour getting some laptop stuff done in a coffee shop (I forget which), it was then time for ding ding the main event of the evening…

main event.jpg
Literary Bingo, with the SYP.

Originally, I had intended to go along to the BAME in Publishing event which, I had been informed, was not always open to BAME-rs not currently in publishing; so I thought I’d pop along to an event I was allowed in. Long story short, I missed the boat securing my ticket, and ended up being allowed to go to SYP after all (thanks Aimee + co!).

It was cool to see some familiar faces there (a couple I’d seen earlier in the day!) from London Book Fair – both those “in” and those “trying to get in” publishing. A couple of folks I’d connected with Twitter were also there, and we had the chance to say “hi” (hey Carl and John). It’s a small world, really. I also got to meet a couple of new friends on the night, sat at my table.

One of the highlights of the night was when the flat trio of Hannah, Katy and Molly (aforementioned Bronte sisters) all getting bingo when a particular book was called out. Spooky, eerie, magical.

Luck was also with me on the night, and I left with 6 books. I felt both greedy and smug at the same time. It looks like I chose well, too, as mum and dad were eyeing up a couple of the ones I brought home.

Another valuable and fruitful week it feels like.

PS. Check out more tweets + pics from the night via the #syplitbingo hashtag on Twitter.

by Jas

✏ Written: Thursday, 26th April 2018 @ 10.31pm

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