Penguin Random House is one of the world’s biggest publishing companies, and you’ve almost certainly read one of their books, whether it’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Worst Witch or the Percy Jackson series, or maybe something by Jacqueline Wilson or Tom Fletcher. But as well as writers and illustrators, the publishing industry needs editors, publicists, designers, finance whizzes and much more. Louise is one of the many people who already work there, and she told us what her experience has been like, including how she heard about the job on Twitter!
What is your name?
What is your job title?
How did you get your job?
A friend of mine shared the job advertisement on Twitter.
What do you love about your job?
I love the variety of my role. My day can involve anything from mailing out books to journalists, writing a press release, or preparing for an event. I also like seeing some of the fan mail that gets sent to us; it’s so great to see that children still enjoy taking the time to write a note to their favourite authors.
What’s difficult about your job?
Prioritising tasks! It can be tricky to work out what item on my to-do list is the most urgent or important when there are so many. I have to be organised and able to manage this.
What skills do you need?
I think it definitely pays to be organised. The more organised I am, the easier it is to prioritise tasks and make the most of my working day.
What school subjects are important?
I think all are important in their own way. Many of my colleagues have joined publishing having studied very different subjects at school or different degrees at university. Your different interests and skills are useful in publishing because it means you will bring a different perspective to the job. However, if you have a love of books, that certainly helps.
Where should young people start if they want to do the job, too?
It’s always handy to have a bit of an idea of what’s going on in the publishing industry. Not only is this handy for interviews, because you can talk about specific books or campaigns you have admired, it also gives you an awareness of any particular trends or brands. Work experience is always great, of course, but it doesn’t have to be in publishing. I think any office experience gives you great transferable skills.
How do you think your job could change in the future?
I think that the job will become a lot more digitised and there will be less of a need to send physical books out to reviewers as we do now.