What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Hi. I was wondering what is the best way to find a job in the LDS publishing business.

Well, you can always start your own publishing company, but some people find that more trouble than it's worth.

First, what do you want to do? There are a lot of different job descriptions in a publishing company, from president to management to editor to designer to marketer to janitor, and lots of others in between. I know. I've done them all. The type of job you want to do will determine how you approach the company.

If you're an editor or graphic designer, you'd need to show some credentials or a portfolio. You might also need some specialized training in certain types of software. If you want to scrub the toilets, you just need to wait for the current guy to quit, then offer to do it for a lower wage than your competition.

How do you find out about job openings?

Some of the bigger publishers, such as Deseret Book and Covenant, list job openings on their websites. I'd check that first. Or if there's a specific company you'd like to work for, call them.

Should I just take/mail my resume around? Is it just who you know?

Getting a job in a publishing company is much like getting a job anywhere else. Get an application if you can. Send a resume. If you know someone who can give you a heads up and a good word when a position opens, that always helps.

Does an internship help?

Some companies do internships, some don't. I'd love to have an intern--free slave labor. Just make sure that there's an opportunity to move into a real job at some point. And don't expect to get to do the cool stuff right away. Most interns play gopher or lick envelopes or do basic filing at first.

I expect that resumes come mostly from English majors looking for editing or proofreading jobs. I'm not, and I'm not. Would there be any differences for those of us looking for typesetting or cover design or secretarial jobs?

I do get more resumes from editors than from others, but I certainly see my share from typesetters, graphic artists, marketers, etc. I don't think I've ever gotten one for a secretary. Like any other job, it's a matter of timing. Having the skills the company needs, when they need them, at a price that fits their payroll budget.

A lot of companies outsource their editing, typesetting and cover design work. I have a network of editors and designers that work freelance, as needed. If you're looking in this area, you might want to approach the company as a freelancer first. You'll need to show samples, references or be willing to do your first project cheap to prove you have what it takes.

And just in case you, or any other reader, thinks that working for a publishing company is a good way to get your foot in the door and they'll be more likely to look at your manuscript and publish your book--think again. In my experience, employees of publishing companies are LESS likely to get their books published by the company that employs them because the company doesn't want to be accused of favoritism. I know there's an exception to every rule, but generally, it seems an employee's book must be twice as good to get half the attention.

Thanks for your help. I enjoy reading your blog.

Thank you, and you're welcome.

1 comment:

Angela said...

Where do you go if you have a project and you need someone to "write for you"! I have looked everywhere and I can not find anywhere to find a good LDS author to help me out.

any suggestions?