Sometimes, Loving Books Isn’t Enough

Happy Monday, fellow readers!

Since graduating, my life has consisted of applications, covering letters and many, many books. Graduate life is a weird sort of limbo; you’ve spent three years building up to something altogether unclear, a world where that dissertation just doesn’t matter anymore. Once you graduate, you realise that your lecturing parents and wise careers advisors weren’t telling lies – getting a job is now a task that is almost as arduous as Frodo’s journey to Mount Doom.

Rewind four years: my head was abuzz with UCAS applications, personal statements and open days. Getting into a university was the first battle in the long war of career success. At the time, I couldn’t imagine it getting any harder. Fast forward three years – I’m knee deep in dissertation research, my social life a long forgotten pastime, exams looming on the horizon.

One year later? My dreams of getting into publishing are still set in concrete, unwavering and unchanging but I know now how difficult it is to break into this thrilling and diverse industry. After years of hoping that my passion for books would see me through, now I know that this simply isn’t enough.

Six months down the line from graduation with several job interviews under my belt, I know now how hard it is for graduates in this industry. Proving that you’re not simply a wide-eyed book lover is a task that will become paramount. Experience is key, passion is necessary, industry knowledge is assumed. It was during my experience with HarperCollins that I truly began to grasp what this industry was truly about; for those desperate to get into publishing, experience isn’t only a necessity but it’s something to help you decide if this is really a world that you want to become part of.

Luckily for me, it only sharpened my determination to break into this field. I’m currently working as a Marketing Intern – not in publishing – but even this experience is something that has already helped me to land some interviews at publishing companies that I have admired for years.

For once, I’m no longer unaware and unprepared. My reading tastes have gotten more varied, my knowledge of fiction lists exhaustive and the daily news update from The Bookseller has become the first email I open every morning.

Loving books may not be enough to land a job in this extremely competitive world, but as you’re filing through job advert after job advert, it will become a passion that will fuel you further. Like an ever-present friend, patting you on the back and encouraging you onward, reading, for me, reminds me on a daily basis why I want to pursue a career in publishing.

So for those of you struggling, graduate or not, don’t lose hope. Expand your horizons, know the industry, make contacts and never cease applying – that job is just around the corner.


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