Hello, friends! So I graduated from college this past December and have since been searching relentlessly for a job in the writing/editing/publishing field. I have a remote part-time writing position now, but I’m still working on getting something more directly related to my future career, specifically in relation to book publishing. I would like nothing more than to be able to put my English degree to good use, and with how much I love reading and writing and editing, I feel like that’s the direction I need (and desperately want) to take for my future career.
Though it’s been a long, frustrating journey, I’ve learned a lot about the best ways to get into these fields and what could be done to better improve your chances of getting hired. If you already know why you should write but just can’t figure out how to make it into a career, keep on reading for some tips on how to become a professional writer/editor!
BookJobs.com is an excellent resource for finding jobs and internships in the writing, editing, and publishing fields. There’s often quite a long list of available positions, though most of the in-house jobs are only available for applicants in the United States. However, it’s worth noting that there are often a decent amount of remote jobs being offered. If you’re someone who can work just fine on your own, and if you can maintain a good work schedule while flying solo, it might be worth it to look at some of the remote positions.
The internship section of BookJobs is also worth checking out. Though many of these opportunities are unpaid, you should be able to find some paid options if you do a little digging. However, if you canafford to accept an unpaid internship, I say go for it! Any experience is good experience if it’s in the field you want to go into, and there’s always unpaid positions available if you take the time to search for them.
All in all, this is a great website with excellent resources for those wanting to get into the publishing world, whether you’re wanting a job as a content writer or an editor or a marketer. With a large selection of publishing houses hiring for both in-house and remote work, it’s definitely a great place to check out!
Review books for authors
It’s no secret: authors want people to read their books. That’s the whole point of getting published, after all! But sometimes, especially when just starting out, it’s hard to get your name out there. To work towards becoming more established, authors will often get avid readers to agree to read their book and publish a public review, usually on Goodreads or Amazon.
Though you will typically not get paid for this type of work, most authors will send you a copy of their book free of charge. Not only this, but you’ll get the chance to help up-and-coming authors, and you can put it on your resume! To become a book reviewer, your best chance is to develop an active, book-related presence on popular apps or websites. For example, you could…
→ Get involved in the bookstagram community
Bookstagramming involves devoting an Instagram account to book-related content, where you can post unique, aesthetically pleasing pictures of books or book-related paraphernalia (e.g. bookmarks, Funko Pop! figures, or candles based on certain books or characters). Finding monthly bookstagram challenges can help you come up with ideas for your pictures, as they provide daily prompts to follow, and it can help you get more involved with the community.
⇒ @karathehuman ⇐
→ Create a book-related blog
Blogs are an easy (and fun!) way to get your ideas out into the world, and they also provide a great way for authors to find potential reviewers. You can simultaneously express your love of reading while showing off your writing skills! It might also help to dedicate a number of posts to book reviews so authors can see that you’re interested in reviewing. You can check out my latest book reviews on Tales from a Talking Board and Misery to get some ideas on what a review can look like.
→ Be active on Goodreads
There are so many communities and groups available on Goodreads, and authors will often post on these groups looking for people to review books for them. Take a few minutes and check out some of groups you might be interested in joining. Look around for authors searching for reviewers, and try to stay active in the community!
Build a portfolio
One thing recruiters always look for in potential applicants is experience. Though you may not have professional work experience in the writing or editing fields, you can still provide outside experience to sway their opinion.
If you have a blog, provide a link or a sample of one of your posts in your application. If you like to write creatively in your spare time, let them know! Show them your work and clarify how much work went into the writing/editing process. If you have published works, even better! Provide links to any sort of writing/editing work (paid or non-paid) that you have completed. If you’ve written public reviews for published authors, share those reviews! Anything you can add to show your worth can help when applying for a job.
If you don’t have anything to add to your application, be sure to write an excellent cover letter. Show them your skills through your application. Make them want more!
I’ve saved this one for last because it’s likely something you already know: internships help get your foot in the door, no matter what field you’re trying to get into. If you’re currently in school, try talking to your career adviser about how to look for internships. You could also try a simple Google search. “Writing/editing internships near me” may help you find your next job! You can also search on job boards like those on Indeed.com and LinkedIn. Though many internships are unpaid, there are some that offer stipends or college credit.
Don’t just pick any old internships, though. Find one that will help kick-start your career! If you have the choice between an internship that focuses on menial office work and buying more K-cups for the communal Keurig, and one that actually provides meaningful work experience, I’d highly suggest going for the latter, even if it’s more challenging. Especially if it’s more challenging. Many interns, if they prove to be good employees, are often offered lasting jobs at the company once the internship is over, so find something you’ll want to turn into a career!
And don’t forget: you don’t have to be in school to get an internship. Though some internships specifically state that they’re looking for current students, many accept recent graduates or those who are simply looking for the experience needed to start their career, so apply away!
So there you have it, folks: my tips/advice for becoming a professional writer/editor! I hope it helped, even if only a little bit. And if you’re currently looking to become a professional writer/editor, good luck! And let me know how your job hunt goes so I can congratulate you personally!