Why work in publishing? Because we love books, don’t we? This is the necessary starting point. We can only spend the whole day correcting typescripts if we love reading. We can only give helpful advice to our customers if we know the classics of literature and the differences between the main literary genres.
Assuming that the love of reading is the essential prerequisite, we must go one step further and ask ourselves: why work as a book publishing expert in publishing today?
What is the best historical moment to work in publishing? What are we experiencing now?
We live in a historical moment full of opportunities. There has never been an era in such need of editorial professionals or book publishing experts. Why?
Because there is a flood of people willing to write a book!
A grandfather wants to do it! He wants to leave the story of his life as a legacy to his grandchildren. The new mother wants to do it, to share her experience with other mothers. The neighbor wants to do it, intending to publish the report of his trip to Australia. The entrepreneur wants to do it, to have an exceptional business card to present to customers. And so on.
Until a few years ago, these ideas were mainly destined to remain literary ambitions. Assuming you managed to write your book yourself, you had to send it to dozens of publishing houses at your own expense and wait for a response. But today, everything is different. With self-publishing, anyone can market their book with just a few clicks.
Book publishing expert: An epochal change
Self-publishing marked a real turning point in the publishing world. At no other time in history have people had such freedom to become writers. At first, it seemed like a catastrophe. For no reason, hundreds of books were offered on the market without editing, proofreading, or logical thread. It could have been the end of publishing. And instead, it didn’t go like this. Because many authors have understood that, to offer readers quality products, it is necessary to enlist the help of a serious book publishing expert.
Ghostwriters have become entrepreneurs, almost micro-publishers at the head of a small team of freelancers: editors, proofreaders, layout designers and graphic designers.
Is it better to work in publishing as an employee or freelancer?
The publishing market has changed. We have just seen it. As a result, the approach to book publishing experts has also changed. If, up to twenty years ago, the ideal way to enter the sector was to intern in a publishing house, this is no longer the case.
Work as a Freelancer
- With the proper training, we can work in publishing even as self-employed. Freelance has many advantages:
- You can organize your schedules independently.
- You can work from home or worldwide, becoming a digital nomad.
- There is the possibility of offering our services to a varied range of realities (writers, service agencies, publishing houses).
- But you also need to be able to find clients, build relationships, work on your brand, manage taxes and so on.
Work as an Employee
Working as a book publishing expert in a publishing house can seem more reassuring. A company hires us, has a fixed salary, and doesn’t have to find new customers every month. Each of us must understand what to aim for. Once we have established our goal, we can develop the right strategy to find work. But, before discussing this, the last piece of the puzzle is missing: where to start our training?
What do we need to start working as a book publishing expert?
To work in publishing, there is no obligation to attend an academic training course and no exams to pass to access the following year. There is no qualification.
What exists, however, is the path blazed by common sense. You have to start from the basics and proceed with a step-by-step approach. We have many possibilities: we can become proofreaders, editors, commissioned writers, graphic designers, and manuscript evaluators.
The importance of starting from the basics
Starting from the basics means starting with proofreading, moving on to editing, and finally (perhaps, one day, who knows), if we realize that we are also good writers on commission (and it is different from just being writers), approach ghostwriting.
Book publishing expert: Where to find the first customers?
The first customers can be found- everywhere! As we have seen, more and more people want to write a book. More and more people need a book publishing expert. Therefore, we genuinely have countless opportunities to explore.
Let’s analyze the main ways to limit the range of action and simplify the discussion.
Find customers offline
In a hyper-technological era like ours, looking for customers in ‘real’ life can be an excellent discriminator to differentiate us from everyone else.
Let’s not underestimate the power of word of mouth.
And let’s reflect on this question: how many readers have fictional ambitions? Many. Let’s start finding them in the places they frequent, such as libraries, cultural associations or bookstores. We can hang flyers outside the local library or leave our business cards with a trusted bookseller. In short, we use our creativity to make ourselves known.
Sign up for freelance marketplaces.
Marketplaces are platforms that connect freelancers with potential clients. How do they work? The client publishes his request, and the interested professionals apply. All this is not free because the most famous marketplaces require a monthly fee to respond to ads. The problem is that there are many applicants for just one service. And what makes the balance tip towards this or that professional?
Simple: the one offering the lowest rate almost always wins. Therefore, we value this opportunity well.
Attract, don’t seek!
Finally, the most crucial advice: the best approach is to attract work, not to look for it. Attracting results means building a name, having authority, and being sought after by customers who appreciate our skills. It is not enough to have a showcase site and publish sponsored ads. You must find a niche, cultivate it and become a book publishing expert.
- We can start offering beta reading services to aspiring writers.
- We can attend the forums and Facebook groups dedicated to beginners.
- We can write reviews on blogs.
- We can post engaging content on LinkedIn. We use social media creatively.
It is not a simple or immediate mechanism to turn into a book publishing expert. But the mode returns the best results in the long run.