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Anyone work in publishing?

5 replies

Changetime12 · 12/07/2023 07:42

I'm 35 and have been a self employed interpreter and translator for 10 years, and am really craving a change.

I speak three European languages (also dual nationality from an EU country if that helps) and have translated a few books as well as my commercial work, so I was thinking about trying to get into foreign rights as a natural "second career", but am I off the mark? I'm worried I'd be up against lots of sparky 20-somethings with MAs in publishing and wont be considered. Do I have the right profile?

I'm also a writer and was signed by an agency (we broke up :-/), so I am interested in books and publishing generally. I just thought that my languages and people skills might work well in foreign rights. Any thoughts?!

OP posts:
Chipswithketchup · 12/07/2023 07:50

I work in publishing (and have done for over 20 years). You will absolutely be up against sparky 20 year olds but that’s no reason not to go for it. With 3 European languages I’d imagine you’ll be snapped up. Good luck!

HumanBurrito · 12/07/2023 08:12

You have an interesting profile. Invest in the Oxford Brookes MA would be my advuce. Yes you will be up against lots of sparky 20 somethings but knowledge of languages and an industry background will help you stand out. And an interest in foreign rights will help, it's not what most publishing wannabes aim to go into, not sexy enough. My main caveat is the crappy publishing salaries. What is it that is making you want to move on from T&I? In your shoes I would also consider moving to a salaried position in that sector. Much more money to be made.

HumanBurrito · 12/07/2023 08:40

That said, I do know someone with a similar profile but more direct publishing experience who is struggling to get a job, but she is closer to retirement than you. Get in touch with the Oxford Brookes MA team, say you're thinking of signing up for the MA and ask realistically what your job prospects are. They're very nice and are very well placed to tell you what's what.

Smellyvoney · 12/07/2023 09:08

Have a look at the Orion virtual internship. It's specifically aimed at career changers and is fully remote. The closing date looks to be today though, so you'd have to be quick!

LisaVanderpump1 · 12/07/2023 09:21

I work in publishing and was a career changer. Went from something completely unrelated to editorial when I was 29. My advice would be to go for it if it's what you want to do.

Your ability to speak multiple languages will stand you in good stead and you've done publishing/publishing-adjacent work previously, so don't undersell yourself! Just apply for anything you think you could do to get your foot in the door and then worry about what you actually want to do when you're there - you might completely change your mind when you're in the environment.

Not sure I'd bother with an MA in publishing. I've learned everything I know on the job.

And The Bookseller's jobs board is a good place to find roles.

Good luck!

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