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Breaking into Publishing

It’s Friday again which means it’s about time to write… what about? Well, obviously all things publishing!

This is why I have been thinking it would be a good idea to tell you a bit more about how I got to be the person who is writing this blog post and in charge of all social media sites at John Blake Publishing.

After studying Media and Film Studies between Madrid and Leeds, I decided it was time to see my dream coming true and move to the UK.

I am not going to tell you it has been easy. London is really fast and busy! And the hardest part has been getting into Publishing. I did struggle a lot but the journey has been worth it (let me tell you this too).

I did work experience with various publishing houses as well as an internship in PR. During the time I spent working for these companies I learnt and developed my skills but I also made some good friends along the way. 

Here are some bits of advice if you want to get into the industry:

a)      Get out there and let people know who you are and what you have done

b)      Don’t forget independent publishers, they are your best shot!

c)       Get as much as experience as you can

d)      Be keen!

e)      Apply only for the jobs you are really interested in

f)       Twitter is a must

g)      Get to know people who are already working in the industry

And I like letter G because it is so true. We don’t actually know about all the societies and associations that are out there and who are looking to help us develop our skills and break into the industry!

One in particularly caught my attention at the beginning of the year: The Society of Young Publishers.

Interested? Oh, this has just begun!

The SYP was established in 1949 and even though it was originally for under-35s, it’s now open to anyone interested in or working in the publishing industry. They have four branches –London, Oxford, North/Midlands and Scotland – each offering multiple services and opportunities such as speaker meetings and social events. 

The SYP is run by a team of volunteers who aim to help, assist, inform and encourage anyone trying to break into the industry or progress within it.

The perks of being a member:

Speaker Meetings

Every month or two, the SYP discusses a topic of relevance to the current publishing scene. Past topics have included marketing, internet bookselling, literary agents, commissioning, editorial roles, selling rights, children’s book publishing and the evolution of digital publishing. Guest speakers are drawn from a wide background - so that different opinions are represented.

Social Events:

The SYP organises regular social events which are attended by people with a wide range of experience and backgrounds. Previous social events have included visits to book-related exhibitions and literary pub crawls. These events are the ideal opportunity to make new contacts in the industry (certainly!), learn about other people’s roles and how they got there, and explore your publishing-related interests with fellow aficionados.


It is the SYP’s magazine (3-4 issues a year). It is mailed free to members and keeps people up to date with SYP activities and what’s going on in the rest of publishing. The magazine provides a selection of articles, guest interviews and reports, and acts as a platform for the interchange of opinion and ideas.


The SYP blog. It features write-ups and reviews of publishing events, interviews with key figures in the industry and all the news on what the SYP has coming up soon.

Job Database

This is a free service available to members. The SYP receives regular notice of situations vacant, often before they are advertised. Make sure you check the jobs board regularly to get a headstart on the competition!

Trade Discounts

The SYP frequently secures competitive discounts for its members on training courses, subscriptions and events.

Annual Conference

This  all-day conference involves lectures and workshops run by senior industry figures on various aspects and skills relevant to working in publishing. This normally takes place in November.

And those are just a few reasons to join! Check their website here and do not forget to become a full-member to enjoy all of these advantages. £30 fee is worth all the perks, right?

Posted in Blog by Carmen Jimenez