Get a Job in Publishing

Get a Job in Publishing
21 Apr 2018 at 10:00 am
22 Apr 2018 at 03:30 pm
Free Word Centre
Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road,

If you are looking for a career in the publishing industry, then this is the course for you. Course convenors Jessica, James, and Jason have each worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. This course, in partnership with The Literary Consultancy and held at the Free Word Centre, London, will offer up-to-date and authoritative insider information from three senior publishing leaders who have worked for huge conglomerates, niche indies and everything in between.

Over this two-day course we will gallop through the structure of a modern day publisher to help target the right career choice for you. We will offer an overview of what function each department offers in the process of publishing a book. More importantly, we will provide you with the nitty-gritty details of how the business works – with a glossary of terms to debunk the myths of the publishing structures and terminologies, and a packed itinerary of intensive sessions to give you the most practical take-home knowledge of the publishing industry today.

To give you a leg-up over other candidates, we will brief you on important topical issues facing the industry: from barriers to entry, to the differences facing large to small publishers, self-publishing, agents, authors, eBooks, and more.

The class structure will be interactive and dynamic, and we will involve other relevant guest speakers from the industry to discuss their career paths.

Finally, this is a course for everyone, no matter what your background or qualifications. No previous experience of working in publishing is necessary, but the course is also open to those in junior positions who would like a more holistic view of the landscape, and for career-changers at all stages of their professional journey. At the end of this intensive two day course, we will have provided you with practical tools you need in writing a good CV, strategies for interviews, and what to do on an internship or work experience role.

Ultimately, this is a course that will provide you an up-to-date peek behind the curtain of the publishing industry from experts in the field.

Day One 10am-4pm

We will cover areas including How a Book Gets Published, What a Financially Successful Book Looks Like, Anatomy of a Publishing Firm, and the programme includes sessions looking at the following departments in detail – Editorial, Publicity, Marketing, Sales, Rights, and Production and Design. Coffee and tea will be provided, and a sandwich lunch is included.

Day Two 10am-3.30pm

We will look at Routes into Publishing, how to write a CV and Covering Letter, Interview Techniques, Social Media, Trade Organisations and Networking Opportunities, and will hear from New York Times bestselling novelist Chris Cleave to the theme ‘What Makes a Good Publisher?’ We will test our knowledge with Publishing Simulators. Coffee and tea will be provided.


Drummond Moir (Publisher, Sceptre), Yassine Belkacemi (Senior Publicity Manager, John Murray), Joanna Seaton (Production Director, Hodder & Stoughton), and award-novelist Chris Cleave (Everyone Brave is Forgiven, New York Times bestseller; Little Bee, Costa-shortlisted; “one of our most powerful, important and psychologically insightful novelists”)


About the Course Leaders, The Book Skills Collective

Jason Bartholomew has 20 years of experience in publishing across New York and London. He is currently a Rights Director for Hodder & Stoughton, John Murray Press, Headline Publishing Group and Quercus Books; alongside working as the Publishing Director of Quercus US in North America. While in New York, Jason worked for Little, Brown, Grand Central Publishing, John Wiley & Sons and Bulfinch Press. He was named Bookseller Rights Professional of the Year in 2013.

Jessica Killingley has 20 years’ experience in marketing departments at Penguin Random House and Hachette, where she was a Marketing Director, creating bestselling campaigns for household names including John Grisham, Stephen King, and Stephen Fry. She now runs her own Publishing Consultancy helping entrepreneurs write and publish books to grow their business.

James Spackman is commissioning editor at Profile Books cycling imprint Pursuit. Founder of the Spare Room Project, offering accommodation to aspiring publishing professionals, James also runs workshops on presentation and copywriting. Formerly Sales and Marketing Director at John Murray and Hodder, MD of a division of Osprey Group, he is an experienced conference presenter specialising in trade marketing and reader experience.

BOOK NOW online, or call the box office on 020 7324 2570

Travel and Accommodation Support from the Book Trade Charity

We are extremely grateful to the Book Trade Charity (BTSB) who are happy to consider applications from those requiring support with travel and/or accommodation to ‘Get a Job in Publishing’ who fulfil BTSB’s eligiblity criteria. For more information please check guidelines on the Book Trade Entry page of the site carefully, and contact BTSB directly about this.

The charity relies on the generosity of the book trade, the general public and caring individuals to provide vital funding. Find out more about what the charity does, and how to make a donation, here.

Sponsored tickets

We are extremely grateful to the following sponsors who are each offering one free ticket to an aspiring publisher unable to afford a ticket. If you would like to apply for a sponsored ticket, please email indicating which ticket you are applying for, with some information about why you are applying. Please include your age, and city of residence. You must be over the age of 18 to apply, and you must have the right to work in the UK.

Bluemoose Books Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a BAME aspirant publisher + travel (travel within England, standard advance ticket only, must be resident outside of London)
Dead Ink Books Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a low-income aspirant publisher + £50 travel (must be resident outside of London but within England)
Kit de Waal Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a working class or marginalised person + £70 travel/subsistence (priority will be given to those travelling from outside of London)
Michael Langan Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a low-income or unwaged LGBQT aspirant publisher
Anna and Ned Vaught Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for an aspiring publisher either with caring responsiblities, and/or someone managing mental health difficulties
Aki Schilz Ticket
: 1x Weekend Ticket for a low-income BAME aspirant publisher without an Eng Lit/Creative Writing degree, no upper age limit
Emma Ward Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a young person under the age of 30 from a low-income household
The Northern Ticket: Donated anonymously, 1x Weekend Ticket + £100 travel for a low-income aspiring publisher resident in the North of England (priority will be given to those not currently enrolled on a Literature/Publishing course, or those considering a career-change)
Jacaranda Books Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a British Afro-Caribbean aspirant publisher + £50 travel allowance (standard advance ticket only, must be resident in the UK)

If you are applying for one of the above sponsored places, you must be able to provide proof of financial eligibility. Financial circumstances can be declared in any of the ways below. Please do not send any original paperwork to our office (scans are acceptable), nor any bank details or bank account details to us. If you are on low-income for other reasons than those outlined here, please get in touch and we’ll see if we can support you. All your details are kept entirely confidential and will not be shared with any third parties. Anonymised data may be used to help us evaluate the demographic spread of participants as part of our Arts Council England NPO requirements. We are happy to discuss any of the details of requirements with you to help make the process a smooth one:

Jobseeker’s allowance; Disability benefit; Income support; Working tax credit; Proof of being a full-time student; HMRC self-assessment

Interested in being a Sponsor?

If you or your organisation would like to sponsor a ticket for this event, with full credit on the website, and across social media, please email