Working in Publishing Day, 2018
by Shannon Magee
Working in Publishing 2018 began with an inspirational keynote speech from Mark Allin, former CEO of Wiley. Mark shared aspects of his journey through the publishing industry, from working in sales and visiting university campuses to his experience as an entrepreneur with Capstone.
He offered questions for consideration such as: how are Publishers innovating and how can the industry be more diverse? At the same time, he provided advice for the many students and new recruits to the publishing world looking to establish themselves in the field, urging publishers to ‘understand an audience and what they want, and how to provide this’. One of the strongest statements concerned how any career path, and especially those in publishing, are not straightforward and calculated, but may take unexpected turns: how we reach our final destinations in unexpected ways. For example, he went to work for Wiley in Singapore. His advice here? ‘Make a plan, research it to death, and then tear it up.’ Finally, Mark urged his audience not to be afraid to reach out to people they trust and admire.
After the keynote speech, publishing recruitment agencies shared top tips for getting a job in the publishing industry. We all then participated in the speed-dating session in the Terrace restaurant.
Students had up to seven different appointments, meeting with representatives from a variety of forty different publishing houses, recruitment agencies, literary agents, and publishing societies. The representatives spoke enthusiastically about their passion for books, authors, rights, and nearly every aspect of the industry. It was amazing to have the opportunity to talk with each other and several of them continued to chat well after the final appointment had ended.
Students walked away on Tuesday evening with a rekindled enthusiasm for publishing and an eagerness to work in this lively and go-ahead field.
About the author of this article
Shannon Magee is an MA Publishing student at Oxford Brookes and is currently doing work experience in editorial at Osprey Publishing in Oxford. As part of her degree, she is interested in exploring the relationship between social media platforms and poetry publishing.
Last edited: 27 02 2018