Breaking into Publishing Means Go Big or Go Home

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Apr 12 2018

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.


3 responses to “Breaking into Publishing Means Go Big or Go Home”

  1. Avatar AJ Blythe says:

    It’s what I plan on doing later this year. I think I have always doubted myself a little, but this year I’m going for broke =)

  2. Avatar Bryan Fagan says:

    I asked myself that same question when I sending queries to agents. Do I go big? I’m new this. One book no past. What do I do?

    Answer: I go big. If you have the confidence in any area of work that you do you always go big. If it doesn’t happen make it your goal.


  3. Avatar Hollie Glover says:

    When I was at the writing seminar the agents there said the same thing. Also if you get an offer, talk to other agents/editors and tell them. I think you have said that before, so I was expecting it.
    I wasn’t expecting the shocked inhaling from behind me and comments about rudeness and loyalty.
    I know we’re British over here but …
    Surely finding the right agent is no different to finding the right job in the right company in any occupation.

    Obviously there are ‘bad’ agents out there, but is it possible to essentially get a good agent who is just bad for you or your book?