If being a published author is your dream or perhaps being part of the process of helping others to become a paperback writer is where you want to be, then second year BA (Hons) English student Emma Graham blogs about the steps you need to follow in order to make it a reality.
“Last month I attended the ‘Everything you ever needed to know about Publishing’ event at the University of Sheffield’s’ lovely Bar One. As a second year Sheffield Hallam student, walking into this unfamiliar territory was a considerably nerve wracking experience. Once the crowd got settled and the presentation began the butterflies dissipated.
“The talk was presented by two women in the publishing profession, Stephanie Cox and Vicky Smith, who volunteer for the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) and they gave a really full account of, well, literally everything you ever wanted to know about publishing.
“The presentation began with an overview of publishing in modern day society, explaining how competitive the publishing industry is as it has rapidly become one of the most popular media industries outside of TV since publishing is no longer confined to just books and magazines. Vicky and Steph then went on to explain their experience of getting into publishing and how a lot of it came through perseverance and a passion for the industry. Basically if you don’t have these characteristics, it’ll be tough going.
“The discussion then went onto the three I’s that define why publishing is in such high demand and why you should want to be part of it; it’s innovative, interesting and important. This is the Society of Young Publishers way of explaining that publishing is incredibly useful in this day and age because it is one of the quickest ways to connect people.
“Connect with people in other parts of the world, connect authors with their audiences, connect teachers with their students. Publishing is solely about connections and that is why we need it. There are three main types of publishing which are, trade, academic and educational. Within these three publishing groups there many different roles to be carried out before any work can be published. After watching the YouTube video ‘The Life of a Book’ which briefly showed the jobs required before anything gets published, Steph and Vicky then delved deeper into the roles of the publishing industry.
“A literary agent reads through any manuscripts sent in by authors wanting to be published and decides if any have potential. This job is definitely for all the bookworms in the world; this is living the dream! If successful the manuscript gets forwarded to a publishers and the copy editor will read through and see how the narrative flows and decides how the piece reads.
“The copy editor is the person who gets to work very closely with the author. Then it goes to the proof reader who checks all the grammatical errors before going to the editorial and production departments. These are the people who build the book up with the author and make sure it’s the best version of itself. Once commissioned then the cover artists get creative to make some cover art to grasp peoples’ attention because as much as we deny it, we all judge a book by its cover.
“This leads on to the marketing team sell it to the public through posters and social media. Then the pretty shiny finished edition gets put on the shelves for everyone to purchase. Finally, if a roaring success, the international sale managers get involved to sell the work internationally.
“The presentation was informative, enjoyable and the literary bingo wasn’t bad either. Lastly Steph and Vicky gave out their quick tips to publishing. Network, network, network! Get yourself noticed; tenacity is vital here. Think outside the box and become an active problem solver. Get involved in book fairs and SYP.
“Most importantly, you must believe in yourself.”