Networking in Publishing

Posted on May 4, 2022 in The Network, UK

Networking. We’ve all been told it’s important, whether it’s to help you get your foot in the door for your first publishing role or to make that next career move easier. 

But let’s be honest – it can feel a bit daunting and confusing at times. Where do you even find networking opportunities specifically for publishing? 

This blog outlines some of the best online platforms, organisations and events for people looking to build their network and meet other current or aspiring publishing professionals.

Social Media

When it comes to networking in publishing, there’s two main social media platforms you want to have a presence on: Twitter and LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the seemingly more obvious choice for building your professional network and it’s a great place to start. Make sure you keep your profile up to date and actively seek out new contacts. From your profile photo to summary section, it’s important to spend time crafting a great first impression for potential contacts. LinkedIn have helpfully put together some tips on creating a stand out profile here.

If you’re interested in a specific area of publishing or if you know a specific publishing company you’d love to work for, try and find people already working there. There’s nothing wrong with politely dropping people a message and asking if they’d be up for answering some questions. 

Twitter is the other social media platform that’s great for networking and learning more about publishing. A lot of people in publishing use Twitter and there’s all sorts of book-related news shared on there. Similarly to LinkedIn, find people already in the industry or working in an area you’re keen to learn more about and follow them! Publishers also have their own Twitter accounts and jobs boards which are good to follow to spot upcoming roles or keep tabs on what’s being published. 

Attending Events

Another great way to network in publishing is through attending events. Since the pandemic, a lot of events have moved online and although many are now returning to in-person offerings in 2022, there’s still plenty of digital and hybrid events options available too.

The annual London Book Fair can be a great place to learn more about publishing and meet other professionals. This year the LBF returned to an in-person format, but they also introduced the LBF on-demand platform, allowing people to catch up on events and seminar sessions remotely. 

There are also many other events and festivals that run at different times of the year throughout the UK. Attending literary festivals, like the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Scotland or the Hay Festival in Wales, can also be a great way to meet people working in publishing and find out more about what books, authors, genres, and topics are receiving a lot of attention at the moment. 

Groups, Organisations and News Resources

There are many different publishing groups and organisations that offer good opportunities for networking. 

For people looking for their first job in publishing and entry-level career support, there are online groups such as Publishing Hopefuls on Facebook where people share tips and advice on job hunting and work experience opportunities. Already have that first publishing job? The group Assistants in Publishing organises monthly in-person meet-ups in London. 

For people further into their publishing careers, organisations like BookMachine run a range of events and networking opportunities throughout the year. There’s also organisations like The Book Marketing Society, who spotlight exciting book campaigns and run various events/workshops more tailored for marketing professionals in publishing. 

The Bookseller is also a fantastic way to stay up to date with current industry news, events and job roles. Subscription plans vary, but they do offer a limited number of free articles to users per month. Newsletters like The Publishing Post and our own SYP Newsletter are also useful for receiving publishing news directly to your inbox. 

SYP Events and Mentorship Opportunities

The Society of Young Publishers hosts a range of different events throughout the year and across our different regional committees (UK, Ireland, London, North, Oxford, Scotland, and South West). In 2022, some of these events will be virtual and some will be in-person. Make sure to check out our events page to keep up to date with what’s going on. 

Finally, there’s also the SYP mentorship scheme, which provides participants with individual career support, helping you develop the skills you need to progress in your publishing career.

The programme has two strands:

  • Into is for people looking to get their first permanent role in the industry.
  • Ahead is for people who are already working in the industry and are looking to progress their career further.

 The scheme involves a formal mentoring period of 6 months, a minimum of 4 formal one-on-one progress meetings with your mentor (can be virtual or in-person), and a social event to meet other mentors and mentees on each regional programme. 

Go Network!

Publishing can be a tricky industry to break into and navigate at times, but there’s lots of amazing networking opportunities out there for whatever career stage you’re at. Investing time in meeting other people in the industry and learning about different roles and companies will hopefully make the job hunting and career progression process a bit easier. 

To keep up to date with the latest SYP news, make sure to follow us on Twitter @SYP_UK or Instagram @syp_uk.