Sheila E. Gilbert is just one example of how successful editors do things in the world of publishing. It is a treat to get into the mind of an award-winning editor, since most editors are very private and it’s difficult to find information on them. But they are the wizards who bring the best books to the market.
My friends and family were naturally curious when I shared my plans to start a master’s program in book publishing. Many asked why I needed further education to enter the publishing industry. Is a bachelor’s degree in English literature just a fun way to spend four years and thousands of dollars? So I applied for internships before I dove headfirst into another educational commitment. Microcosm Publishing of Portland, Oregon, was gracious enough to offer me an internship, and my personal experiment began. Would this internship be sufficient to teach me everything I wanted to learn about the industry in order to eventually get a full-time job?
The world of book publishing is highly insular, highly competitive, and notoriously difficult to break into. Particularly in New York City, the industry epicenter, job seekers often struggle to stand out from a crowded field of equally qualified candidates. In order to get a foot in the door, many aspiring publishing professionals turn to internships, where they hope to gain hands-on work experience and forge connections with established industry pros.
While it is important to respect our consumer base of the past, the consumer base of the future will no doubt be born out of the marriage between brands and social activism.
Realistically, most first-time authors seeking out a literary agent to pitch their book probably aren’t going to know all there is to know about their respective genre, and that is where the agent comes into play.
It wasn’t just that I was older and participating as a team member rather than an attendee. The 2017 conference was a softer, more intimate affair.