A book industry veteran describes the publishing world to aspiring editors, sales reps and production managers.
In this debut career guide, Siegfried uses both her own experience working in the industry and comprehensive interviews with other insiders to present a balanced, thorough portrait of the world of books and publishing. The book targets readers in the early stages of their careers, particularly college students and recent graduates, and begins with a detailed overview of the departments found in most publishing houses, from editorial and publicity to subsidiary rights and sales. Siegfried warns readers that it can seem like everyone dreams of being the next great editor, and she suggests that other, less well-known career paths can provide professional fulfillment as well. Although there is some discussion of smaller publishers, the book focuses heavily on the industry’s Manhattan core (“Eventually, you can move away from New York City if you’d like”), and while much of the book’s advice is also useful to those trying to break into publishing in other locations, readers will not find an insider’s perspective on topics like university publishing or the options available in Minneapolis or San Francisco. Siegfried is clearly knowledgeable, and the book addresses many of the structural changes the industry has undergone in the past two decades, though her description of the retail side of the business draws on her experience at a chain bookstore and seems less applicable to the careers available at other book retailers. The book’s discussion of the job-search process is directed specifically at the needs of recent graduates—a line-by-line analysis of several job postings is particularly helpful—and offers advice that can be applied to cover letters and interviews in other industries as well. A detailed glossary at the end of the book explains everything from flap copy to first serial rights.
A thorough introduction to the publishing industry.