On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, Stephanie Stein, an editor at HarperCollins Children's Books, spoke to a room full of students at Ware College House about writing and careers in publishing.
She surveyed the many different positions, including some lesser known ones, at the “Big Five” trade publishing houses in NYC and offered her “holy grail advice: keep your options open.”
Stein noted that after working for a small press, she started at Harper Collins in the marketing department. Although she now works in editorial, she still uses what she learned in marketing.
Among the many possible career paths in publishing, Stein pointed to sales as a way to get a foot in the door. She singled out subsidiary and foreign rights as a “fun job often involving travel” and legal/contracts as a position “that may not require a law degree to get started.”
Stein encouraged students to think about internships while still in school. Although many publishing internships are centered in NYC, literary agents will sometimes have remote internships that can be done from home.
At the same time, she stressed that if you’re already graduating, it’s not too late. After graduation, she advised students to apply to internships and full-time positions simultaneously.
Stein offered one last piece of advice both for writers and for those seeking careers in publishing: read recent books (published within the last five years). She encouraged students to consider the business side of books by becoming familiar with what’s selling right now.
List of resources Stein recommends:
Young to Publishing Group (YPG):
The Association of American Publishers job site:
We Need Diverse Books:
- Mentorship matching
- Internship grant program
- Publishers Lunch/Publishers Marketplace
- Publishers Weekly
- Shelf Awareness