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How Do I Get Publishing Work Experience?

By B. Miller
Updated May 17, 2024
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Anyone who wants a career in publishing will soon realize that it is one of the most difficult fields to break into. In order to qualify for any publishing job, it is typically necessary to have some publishing work experience, which can be a big challenge to get. One of the best ways to get publishing work experience is to start as soon as possible, such as while you are still in college, by getting an internship. It will likely be unpaid, but will look great for a while. In addition, work on college newspapers or literary journals, anything to show that you are involved and interested can make a difference. Networking is also extremely important in this field.

An internship is by far one of the best ways to get publishing work experience, and most of the bigger publishing houses or literary agencies will expect all job applicants to have had a publishing internship at some point. This is another important tip to remember when seeking publishing work experience; though publishing houses and editorial jobs are some of the most sought-after internship opportunities, there are other options at literary agencies, public relations (PR) firms, or other companies that work with books and authors. An internship will not only give you experience, but valuable contacts to use later on.

Getting hands-on experience by working on newspapers or literary journals in college is a good idea as well. Though this may not be exactly the type of publishing you want to do, it will still look good on a transcript, and show that you have experience working with writers and editors. If you are not in school, attempting to get a job with a local community newspaper or magazine can accomplish the same task. Again, though it may not be exactly what you want to do, it will add experience to your resume, and help you make contacts.

The importance of making contacts really cannot be overstated when trying to get publishing work experience. There are a number of different ways to do this, from attending job fairs and other events to keeping a blog and making use of social networking websites. Many positions in publishing are not advertised, but instead are filled by word of mouth through networking. It may take some time to get publishing work experience this way, but it will never hurt to have a long list of contacts to check in with to learn about job opportunities.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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