Whether you’re an author or job seeker the secret to breaking into publishing is very similar. Go wide, go big, and don’t quit.
After an intern leaves BookEnds, we work hard to do whatever we can to help them find their place in the publishing world. Whether they use our offerings is up to them. That will mean reviewing, editing and advising on resumes and cover letters, it means sending job notices, and even sending resumes out to editors we think would be a good fit. The one thing I consistently see with job seekers, and authors do this too, is too much restraint.
If you want a job in publishing you need to go big. You need to get that resume or query out as wide as possible. That means to every agency, publisher, literary magazine, or any other publishing-related career you can think of. If you want to restrain yourself, start with only those who absolutely represent or publish the types of books you know best.** Don’t wait for a job notice to appear, send your resume in the hopes that it lands on their desk the day someone quits.
If you really want to work in this industry you need to fight for it. Go wide, keep going, and don’t quit until the job is yours.
**Side Note: If you are querying you’ll always need to stick to only those agents or publishers who represent or sell the genre of book you are writing.