Switching Careers: Leaving Law for the World of Words

Publishing Advice


Name: Erynn Im-Sato
Current Title: Sales Rep, Proprietary and Display Marketer Sales
Hometown:  Torrance, California
Graduated From: UC Santa Barbara, 2005
Currently work and live: HarperCollins Publishers, New York

My path to publishing:

I was an English major in college and I thought I wanted to be a journalist or editor. My first job out of college was at a local surf magazine in Santa Barbara but then decided I wanted to pursue a more lucrative career in law instead. I moved to San Francisco and worked at a law firm for a year before having an honest conversation with myself and admitting I wanted to go back to the world of words. In my state of quarter-life crisis I rationalized a move to Paris to study French language and English literature in preparation for the GRE, but came back to the US knowing I wanted to work with books. So I moved to New York, enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Program, networked with publishing professionals, got a job at HarperCollins, and have been here for almost five years now.

How I found out about my first publishing job (or internship):

I met a HarperCollins HR rep at the Columbia Publishing Program career fair. I requested an informational interview which turned into an offer for Harper’s rotational program, where I’d be given the chance to try out all the different departments. After three weeks with the Harper Perennial marketing team, I got an offer for a full-time position with the special markets sales team.

What my typical day looks like:

I now work on the proprietary sales team in the special markets department. We create custom-edition books for customers such as Costco, Barnes and Noble, and more. I create and pitch new titles and package ideas. I manage projects from conception through design, production, editorial, and author approval. And I also blog at www.booksoutsidethebox.com, talking about life, books, and cool places where books are sold.

What I love most about my job:

Getting to talk about books everyday with people who love books just as much as I do.

Advice on Breaking Into Publishing

  • Network. You can network via social media by following companies on Twitter and their blogs. And you can also network in person by going to to MeetUp events like NYC Literature Nerds, The Publishing Point, eBooks, eReaders and Digital Content Publishing. Try to meet as many people in the industry as possible.
  • Read outside your comfort level. If you’re a fiction heavy reader like me, get some non-fiction books under your belt. Check out young adult, mass market, etc. Browse bookstores, keep an eye out for trends and interesting book packages.
  • Be up to date with industry news. There are tons of resources like the free daily newsletter Shelf Awareness.

Connect with me!

Twitter: @ErynnImSato

Blog: www.booksoutsidethebox.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/user/show/1468815-erynn

The 6 Secrets Every Writer Needs to Know

Me, cheerful, despite the doomsday speech.

My May 2011 commencement address was so bad, so completely depressing rather than inspiring, that it’s the only Bloomsburg speech in the past three years that isn’t posted on YouTube.

Officially, Eduardo Ochoa, the assistant secretary for postsecondary education, “discussed how Bloomsburg University has prepared students to be active and engaged participants in the global economy of the twenty-first century.”

In reality, the speech was about how, considering the economy, we would have to retrain for new career paths at least five times before retirement. Either because there weren’t enough jobs available for whatever major we were currently graduating with that day (are you getting the warm fuzzies yet?), or to get a better position, or simply because the industry we started out working in would go extinct. He talked about how we would be forced to professionally reinvent ourselves several times to stay employed; we’d have to go back to school, get master’s degrees in completely different topics, maybe even start at the bottom rung and intern in a completely different field. He talked about how our current degree would probably expire and be worthless in the next five years, but, at least, the skills we had learned in our time at Bloomsburg (this is the encouraging part) would help us as we reinvented ourselves over and over again, struggling to hold a job. The ability to learn, to ask questions, and to think–abilities we allegedly could never could have acquired without the university’s help–were the invaluable lessons Bloomsburg had gifted us.

Let’s just say that Neil Gaiman’s commencement address made me wish I had been a super-senior at the University of Pennsylvania this year instead.

For all you unemployed, underemployed, and menially employed liberal arts graduates–you English majors and Graphic Art majors; you Creative Writing, Painting, Sculpting, Music, and Interpretive Dance majors–here’s a little secret advice, from Neil Gaiman to you:

Ever since I listened to the speech a few days ago (and then re-listened a few times since then) I’ve been repeating the one part, about the mountain, over and over in my head. With each story I’m editing, each article I’m starting to write, each hour I spend on Twitter or watching reruns of Law and Order, I think “Does this take me towards or away from the mountain?”

I have two mountains in my life:

  1. Become a published author. Specifically, a published fiction author. Maybe a memoir too.
  2. Have the most awesome, friend-filled, adventure-filled, fun personal life possible.

In the arts, in writing, and,  in my opinion, in any career, if your only life goal is a professional one, you’re going to miss out on so much living. I’m starting to realize that I spend a lot of time–way too much of it–doing stuff that takes me on a steep hike in the complete opposite direction of my mountains. Mostly, I’ve got some really awesome opportunities on my plate, things that are practically a short cut to my mountains, but I’m prioritizing other things, thereby burying the good stuff at the bottom of the pile. I’m starting to carve those distracting activities out of my daily routine. And I’m suddenly having so much more fun and so much more time to create good art.

“So, You Want to Work in Publishing?”–Aly Northridge

Welcome to the guest blogging series, So, You Want to Work in Publishing! Every Thursday you can look forward to the personal stories of how someone else broke into publishing. (For previous posts in the series, check out this page.) The guest bloggers and I hope that you find our stories encouraging, informative, and helpful in your own path to a publishing career.

If you’re a publishing professional interested in contributing to the blog series, feel free to contact me at HannahKJones10@yahoo.com.

Name: Aly Northridge
Current Title: Assistant Editor
Hometown: Medford, NJ
Graduated from: University of Maryland, College Park 2011
Where you currently work and live: Laurel, MD

Path to Publishing:

I guess you could say I’m not your typical English major. I’ve known I wanted to work in publishing since my junior year of high school, and I was fortunate enough to be able to tailor my education as such. My neighbor was actually an editor for a magazine, and since she worked at home with two small children, I helped her out a few days a week one summer during high school. I didn’t do much, but I got to listen to her experiences, got a first-hand glance at publishing, and even traveled with her to NYC for a meeting. It was such a wonderful opportunity, and it opened my eyes to the world of publishing. I was hooked!

In college, I was in a living-learning program that encouraged its students to get internships early, and my sophomore year I had an internship working with a local academic publishing company as a marketing intern. It was a huge piece of luck that the person I was interning for was based in Cincinnati, so I was able to work from my dorm room instead of taking 3 buses to the office. (My car was at home in New Jersey.) My boss was such a nice guy – even though I was doing very boring data mining work (I literally spent more than an entire Harry Potter book on tape Googling email addresses) – he always took the time to explain how what I was doing helped with the bigger picture. I really felt that my boss cared about my internship experience, and I really appreciated how he tried to give me context for everything I did, even though it wasn’t very exciting.

The next spring, since I had a car, I tried to find an editorial position, as that was the area of publishing I was actually interested in. I was lucky enough to get a position at the same academic publishing company, this time in acquisitions. I helped put together packets for editorial board meetings, and helped find reviews on potential manuscripts. In academic publishing, manuscripts need to be peer reviewed for the sake of the author’s credibility, but it also helps the editorial staff. Most of us are English majors, not specialists in criminology, sociology, etc, though we might be. Reviews are incredibly important, and as an intern I helped track down reviewers and mail giant manuscripts. (Publishing is not for the paper-conscious). I also found endorsers to contribute blurbs to the back of the book once the books were close to completion. This internship was extremely valuable, and not just because I got more of a hands-on experience on the editorial side. I used this internship to pick my boss’s brain – as my parents are both engineers, they stressed the importance of continued education. She, and many other editors, had attended the Denver Publishing Institute. She said it was a valuable opportunity to network and learn about the publishing industry, especially if you didn’t have any publishing experience previously. This sounded like an amazing opportunity, so I researched it and ended up applying to Denver and the NYU Publishing Institute. But we’ll discuss that later….

I think it’s also worth mentioning that I ended my college career with an internship outside of publishing. I found my previous two internships through my university’s English department list, and on a whim, I started searching on internships.com. I wasn’t crazy about having an internship my senior year, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to network and get more job experience. I ended up with an internship at the Smithsonian Associates as a Web and eMarketing Intern. My boss’s assistant had recently left, so he was literally the only eMarketing employee. He treated me like his assistant, which was wonderful. We even brainstormed different ways to market our activities, and I tried my hand at copywriting and editing. It was a great experience, and a way to expose myself to other jobs for English majors.

If there’s a piece of advice I can give other English majors, it’s to be open minded. There are so many jobs out there that need good writers/readers/editors. While publishing is definitely my thing, you can easily get jobs in publicity, marketing, and lots of other jobs. If you can write creatively, I promise there are jobs out there for you. Just keep an open mind.

As I mentioned earlier, I applied to both the Denver Publishing Institute and the NYU Publishing Institute. I ended up going to NYU because I thought there would be better connections for me, as NYC is basically the publishing capital of America (and the world, in my opinion). There are definitely pros and cons (pros being the AMAZING amount of people we got to meet, cons being that I had absolutely no interest during the three weeks of magazine publishing), but all in all it was a great experience. If nothing else, I lived in NYC on the (relatively) cheap for six weeks. That alone was worth it. Although I didn’t take advantage of all the networking opportunities since I had a job halfway through the program, there were so many good chances to meet people in publishing.

How did you find out about your first publishing job?

During my time in NYC, it seemed like everyone was scrambling to apply for jobs. I applied to a few blind postings (heard nothing), but routinely checked the publishing company’s website for which I had interned. Once night, I saw an opening and applied for it immediately. The next day I got a call to set up a phone interview, and a week later I had a job offer. It was unbelievably exciting, and would not have been possible without my internship experience. Of the twelve people in our acquisitions department, six have been interns. As we are a small press, the like to hire internally, and reward interns for their service by giving them jobs.

I was very fortunate to get my job, but part of me wishes I had held out for some interviews in New York. It’s very much a “what could have been” dream of mine, but I’m very happy living in Maryland.

What does your typical day look like?

Publishing is very much as a client based business, especially in acquisitions. I deal with authors almost constantly – I think I send out about 300 emails a day. I’m constantly emailing and communicating with authors – whether to ask for materials, answer questions, or direct them to my editor.

I work with one editor as her assistant. My main goal is to take over much of the paperwork/workflow so my editor can read proposals and decide on which contracts to offer. I offer contracts, prepare manuscripts for production, get reviews, get endorsements, and in general answer many questions. As I am in academic publishing, this means I work with a lot of professors, and we attend many academic conferences to meet with these scholars in person to discuss potential books. I did not think traveling would be a big part of publishing, but my editor travels quite a bit going to conferences and meeting professors/authors. (Sometimes I get to go, too!) It’s definitely a lot of work, and doing different tasks, but it’s always different and I love interacting with people and making their book a reality.
#1 Thing You’d Advise People Trying to Get a Similar Position:

Get an internship! I know this might be a little late for some readers, but it was really the most valuable thing I did for my career. It helped that I was always focused on getting a job in publishing, but connections mean everything, especially in this economy. Find a way to connect with people in the industry you want, follow blogs (like this one!), and read up on the industry. I subscribe to Shelf Awareness, Publisher’s Weekly, Media Bistro/GalleyCat and a number of publishing blogs. It’s really good to keep up the publishing news, especially as the world of publishing continues to change.

One of the best parts of working with a small press is the opportunity to see the different parts of publishing. Publicity is around the corner, and production is just down the hall. Our marketing guy is based in New York, but he phones in on our meetings and is in regular contact with me through email. There are tons of jobs in publishing, so don’t restrict yourself to just “editorial.” There are lots of different jobs in publishing, and for English majors, so keep an open mind.


If you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Email: Alison.northridge@gmail.com

Or find me on Linked In.

“So, You Want to Work in Publishing?”–Nick Martorelli

how to get a job publishing

Welcome to the guest blogging series, So, You Want to Work in Publishing! Every Thursday you can look forward to the personal stories of how someone else broke into publishing. (For previous posts in the series, check out this page.) The guest bloggers and I hope that you find our stories encouraging, informative, and helpful in your own path to a publishing career.

If you’re a publishing professional interested in contributing to the blog series, feel free to contact me at HannahKJones10@yahoo.com.

Name: Nick Martorelli
Current Title: Production Associate at HarperCollins Publishers
Hometown: Norristown, PA, the suburbs of Philadelphia
Graduated from: Villanova University 2003, BA in English and Theatre
Where you currently work and live: I live in Washington Heights, and I work in midtown.

Your Path to Publishing:

Although I graduated with an English degree, I had always wanted to be a professional actor. And when I graduated from college in 2003, I became a full-time apprentice at a local theatre where I worked in all areas of the organization–performance and production. I found quickly that I had talent in both areas, which led to a ten-year career that included two national tours, an independent film, and union background work in two feature films that were made in Philadelphia. But in the last few years, I had not enjoyed the work I had been doing as an actor, and with my thirtieth birthday approaching I wanted to make a change, and find another industry that I would enjoy as much as I had enjoyed acting when I started my career.

Fortunately, I had spent the previous two years running Radio Hound Productions, a small production company responsible for short films, live shows, and an ongoing podcast series. I had started to enjoy the production and editorial work more than I enjoyed performing, so I started to think that my career was in a support role in a creative field. I’ve always loved reading, writing, and books in general, so I started thinking about a career in book publishing. Working with actors would be just like working with writers, and I knew that the skills I had learned in planning events as well as managing people would transfer over to any industry. (That’s the great part about being an English major–we don’t just read books and analyze images, we learn how to evaluate and communicate with others.)

As a career-changer, though, I had no professional experience in publishing. A simple online search led me to the summer programs at NYU and Columbia, and I applied for and was accepted into the 2011 NYU SPI session. It had been a long time since I had been in school, but I enjoyed the feel and rhythm of the program, even if I felt we weren’t learning any actual “information.” We learned about the current state of the industry and publishing trends in general, but it was both the networking opportunities as well as the career fair that would be the most valuable part of the program for me in my career. While my current position came directly from the SPI Career Fair, I like to think that it was my unique path through acting and producing that got me into publishing.

How did you find out about your first publishing job and/or internship? 
While there are a lot of great online resources for job hunting, and I made use of many of them during my job search, I found out about my current position in a different way. In preparation for the career fair at the end of the NYU SPI program, I applied for specific jobs at companies and then sought out the specific HR reps to discuss those opportunities. I approached the rep from HarperCollins and asked him about the job I had applied for. Instead, he was fascinated by my history as an actor and producer, and he told me about another position he was looking to fill, asking if I would be interested in working as a freelancer in e-book production.

Like many people in my SPI class, I wanted to go into editorial, and I had never considered a job in production. But since the HR rep was specifically interested in connecting me with the production position, I said that I was interested in finding out more. The next day, he contacted me to set up an interview, and my unique background helped me land the job. I worked as a contractor for eight months before being hired as a full-time employee.

What does your typical day look like? 

A job in production means working on a lot of different projects at any one time, so typical days are few and far between. But I’m generally responsible for three stages of e-book production: 1) collecting files so new e-books can be created, 2) reworking those e-books in process so they can be approved by managing editors, 3) getting the approved e-books to our retailers (Amazon, Apple, etc.) In the midst of all this, I handle corrections that need to be made to e-books already on sale, and I also track all of the e-books from our division in Canada. On any given day, I’m also handling up to a dozen special projects and tracking all of the e-books currently in production. So what I’m saying is that every day can be different, but all of them are pretty busy.

Connect with him:

Connect on LinkedIn, but please mention you saw this post.

Visit the website of my production company at www.radiohoundproductions.org (or look us up on iTunes!)

I also kept a blog about my acting days at scriptinhand.blogspot.com.

I’m also around via email at NickMartorelli@gmail.com, and I promise I’ll answer.

“So, You Want to Work in Publishing?”–Lauren Castner

I totally use to log out of LinkedIn so I could spy on people's profiles in private too!

Welcome to the guest blogging series, So, You Want to Work in Publishing! Every Thursday you can look forward to the personal stories of how someone else broke into publishing. (For previous posts in the series, check out this page.) The guest bloggers and I hope that you find our stories encouraging, informative, and helpful in your own path to a publishing career.

If you’re a publishing professional interested in contributing to the blog series, feel free to contact me at HannahKJones10@yahoo.com.

Name: Lauren Castner
Current Title: Gift Sales Assistant at Workman Publishing
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Graduated from: Boston College, 2011
Where you currently work and live: Washington Heights (the most upper you can get on the West Side), work in the West Village (I think, I never know the neighborhoods here)

Your Path to Publishing:

My desire to work in publishing grew out of a love of books and kids and a fear of teaching.  I’m sure any fellow English majors are constantly plagued with the “So… you’re going to teach?” question any time anyone finds out their major and wants to know their eventual career path.  I was a camp counselor for four years and loved it, but didn’t want to go the teaching route, although I’m sure I’d love it if I did.  So instead, I settled on publishing.  Eventually, after fiddling around with my major and minors for awhile, I settled on an English major and Women’s Studies and History minors.  I was pretty sure I wanted to work with books, but going to school in Boston is a lot more limiting in terms of internships in the book industry.  I ended up interning at Teen Voices, a small non-profit magazine written for, by, and about teen girls (it is awesome – you can still find some stuff I wrote for the blog while I was interning).  I also did a great social media/blog research internship which actually ended up really helping my internship at Teen Voices – having a working knowledge of how WordPress works definitely gave me a leg up.

Heading into spring of my senior year, I had a great grounding in how a small magazine runs and operates, but processing all the books we got in for review made me want to see what was happening on the other side.  So I applied for NYU and Columbia’s Summer Publishing Course (also helpful in not having to find a job for a few more months!), and ended up at NYU for the summer.  I think what I took away from the program that I value the most, was an oversight of how the books side of things work, and what happens before those books go out in mailers with letters from the editor – I really didn’t have any idea before I got there.  And my resume got tidied up a little bit too – which never hurts.  I was also able to definitively say I did not want to work in the editorial department, which – trust me – set me apart from a lot of other interview candidates.

I ended up at Workman at the end of September to work on Marketing, Publicity, and Special Markets for 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (this book is amazing. trust me, I’ve legitimately looked at every page. multiple times).  I was somewhere in limbo between intern and real employee – I worked full-time but was paid hourly.  I didn’t end up with the position through an NYU posting, although this was sent around to SPI alumni, but rather from another interview with someone else at the company who referred me.  This was a great crash course in how these departments work at a midsize publishers.  I was doing everything from letters for mailings to tweeting to databasing every single US location mentioned in the book (there are over 1,000, in case you’re wondering).

After the assignment for 1,000 Places, I was lucky enough to stay around working for Gift Sales (remember that other interview – it was my boss in Gift Sales) and Special Markets, while I hunted for a full-time offer.  Long story short, I am at Workman still, in Gift Sales, after getting an offer from another company that spurred a counter-offer from Workman.

What does your typical day look like?

I wouldn’t say any two days are exactly alike for me.  My department, Gift Sales, deals with selling books to places that do not traditionally sell books, from stationery stores to actual gift stores, and cooking stores to children’s stores.  We are a small department, so I help everyone out with a variety of things.  On any given day, I could be finding item numbers and placing orders, talking to our sales reps, working on various special projects (dealing a lot with trade shows), sending samples to existing accounts to boost their business with us, and running reports so that we can send target mailings to specific types of customers.

Connect with her:

I am a big fan of being really available, so you can admire me from afar, or interact with me on any of the following social media platforms:

Twitter: @laurencastner

Tumblr: snarkattack.tumblr.com

LinkedIn: Lauren Castner (this is really just Facebook for grownups)

“So, You Want to Work in Publishing”–Susan Barnes

–S”]Name: Susan Barnes
Current Title: Editorial Assistant for Orbit Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group
Hometown: Peoria, IL
Graduated from: Valparaiso University, 2011
Where you currently work and live:I live in Queens and I work in Manhattan.

Your Path to Publishing:

Same as pretty much every other student out there, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I started college (oh, so long ago 😉 ).  I changed majors multiple times (previous tries include: accounting, business and education) and none of them seemed to quite fit what I wanted to do.  Weeping and wailing in despair at my lack of a decision and the lack of a job where I could lay around and watch Friends, Scrubs, and How I Met your Mother all day, I turned to friends and family.

It was finally my sister that spoke up and pointed out that my obvious love of books could turn into a career.  Running with that, I enrolled in every English class I could get my hands on (loved my YA and Sci Fi classes, loathed theory – no offense, Prof. Bunicki! J), and  I found an online internship with ccPublishing, a small Christian publishing company in the Midwest.  At the end of my senior year, I applied to the NYU, Columbia, and Denver publishing programs, and that summer I was off to NYU!

Now here was where my road to publishing really took off.  First and foremost, I really recommend going to a publishing program.  It gives you the background you need for current information on the publishing business, people to know, and terms to learn.  I cannot tell you how relieved I was on my first day of work when I knew what it meant for a website to be “sticky” or what P & L stood for (profit and loss, fyi).  It also just looks fabulous on your resume and speaks of your commitment to learn about the business.

But, as helpful as the NYU course was, that wasn’t how I found my job.  I mentioned “people to know” earlier.  Who you meet and the connections you make is probably the most important thing you will get out of any course you take.  Publishing is a small business and very difficult to break into and those connections really help when looking for a job or internship.  I was fortunate enough to have a connection in the family.

My sister, Stacey, (yes, same sister as earlier) had a little bit more to go on than just my love of books when it came to her career recommendation.  Stacey is a published author, and since I was in high school, she had been letting me read her work and give suggestions on current high school terms, brand names, heartthrobs, and more (term: I was her beta reader – didn’t find that term out until way later).  So when Stacey helped me move to New York in June of 2011, she took me out to lunches and dinners with her connections, and it was fabulous!  I met some incredible people, but the best dinner was where an agent friend of Stacey’s, on a genius whim, brought her editor friend with her.  As it turned out, the editor’s company was looking for an editorial assistant, and she invited me to apply.

Two weeks and one interview later, I had a job.  It was unbelievable.

What does your typical day look like?

There really is no such thing as a typical day for an editorial assistant.  I will tell you that I don’t read books all day.  That would be awesome, but I don’t have time.  I create P & L’s, work on contracts, talk to authors and agents, help coordinate books that we co-publish with the UK, create front matter and back matter, transmit books, write factsheets… the list goes on and on.  I love that my job is never the same from day to day.  It keeps things interesting.

Connect with her:

I love questions!  Feel free to follow me on twitter! @sbarnesq2

Also, if you are curious, my sister’s information:




“So, You Want to Work in Publishing?”–Andrea Modica

Welcome to the guest blogging series, So, You Want to Work in Publishing! Every Thursday you can look forward to the personal stories of how someone else broke into publishing. The guest bloggers and I hope that you find our stories encouraging, informative, and helpful in your own path to a publishing career.

If you’re a publishing professional interested in contributing to the blog series, feel free to contact me at HannahKJones10@yahoo.com.

Name: Andrea Modica
Current Title: Editorial Assistant
Hometown: Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Graduated from: Saint Joseph’s University ’11
Where I currently work and live: Currently work at John Wiley & Sons in Hoboken, New Jersey while still living at home in Pennsylvania

Your path to publishing: Look up English major in the dictionary, and chances are you’ll see my face. I was one of those college rarities where I declared my major before I graduated high school and kept that major all throughout college. I loved reading and writing—I just didn’t know how to put the two together and create my perfect career. Then a professor mentioned book publishing, and the light bulb went off. How had I not thought of that sooner? I spent eight months interning for Running Press Book Publishers in Philadelphia, and I loved every minute of it. After that, I knew publishing was the right path for me. One of the editors I worked for had gone to NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute, and encouraged me to apply. I did, and spent six weeks in the publishing hub of New York City. I’d recommend this experience to anyone who wants to work in publishing. It was easily one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life, but it was also one of the most rewarding. I made invaluable connections, learned crazy-amounts of inside information, and formed friendships stronger than the ones it took me four years in college to create. Publishing is not an easy business to break into—even with an English degree and NYU certificate under my belt, many online applications seemed to vanish into thin air and interview results went untold. But I’ve known since the very beginning that I belonged in publishing, so I refused to settle for a job outside the business. I checked job postings daily, updated my resume weekly, and commiserated with my NYU friends who also struggled to find their footing after our six weeks in the big city ended.  I pulled my hair out for six months before finally landing a job.

How did you find out about your first publishing job: I had an odd path to the job I currently hold today. Originally, I heard about an opening at Wiley from a fellow NYU grad who posted a link on Facebook. She had been recently hired by the company and passed along the information for the open position. I interviewed for the job, but found out I’d come in second. No matter, said the friendly HR rep, there was another position available, and it was mine if I wanted it. I didn’t hesitate, regardless of the fact that my insane passion for books has been put on hold indefinitely while I work at Wiley-Blackwell, which only publishes scientific journals. In the end, networking with fellow NYU students who’d landed publishing jobs proved more valuable than the stack of business cards I’d collected from publishing professionals. When HR reps don’t return emails, and job applications go by unnoticed, don’t forget about your peers.

What does your typical day look like: There is no such thing as a “typical” day in publishing. One of the things I love best about this business is that every day brings something different. There are a few constants, like answering emails and returning phone calls. On any given day, I can juggle projects from my supervisor and process anywhere from one to six manuscripts. Since I don’t edit for content, there’s not much reading involved in my position, but there’s plenty of information gathering and report generating. I’ve never used Microsoft Office so much in my life! I’m in charge of uploading videos to YouTube, making changes to the website, and ensuring that everything is turned in, edited, and sent to production on time. I’m a tedious and organized person, so this position fits me perfectly. And while I still sometimes yearn to edit YA novels, I remember that my career is young, and I’m starting off at a fantastic company with co-workers I genuinely enjoy spending time with. There’s no such thing as a bad job in publishing—only jobs, and if it’s truly your passion, then in the end, it’s all the same.

Connect: You can find me on twitter @aleemodica or on my book blog, The Book Nook.