Foot in the Door – How I Got Into Publishing

I got a new job! Not only that, but it’s in the field I’ve been aiming for since….a long time! I always wanted to work somehow in licensing in publishing, but since it’s such a niche in an already difficult industry to get into, I wanted to use this post to just record how I got here, because honestly I still can’t believe it.

Looking back on it, there were two things I did that I think helped me out quite a bit. The first was LinkedIn stalking. I didn’t realize the true potential of the social site until my career counselor pointed it out to me (oh yeah, career counseling definitely helped me out). I looked at the companies I wanted to work for, then looked at the people whose job titles I wanted, or at least looked like I wanted. Then I started messaging them, or as I like to think of, an “e-cold call”if I didn’t have a connection with them on LinkedIn. Fortunately all the foreign licensing contacts I did happen to reach out to were nice enough to message back and I was able to have a few informational interviews with them. These meetings definitely gave me a better grasp of their positions and pretty much proved that I was on the right track. This is a job I wanted to pursue.

The second thing that helped me out, was this blog. As a striving new feminist I wanted to somehow combine my new found belief of gender equality and rights of the marginalized with my passion of nerdy book and comic reading. So I started reading speculative fiction written by women and/or people of color and highlighting just those books in the blog. I reached out to sites like Black Girl Nerds when they were requesting more writers. My write-up even got posted. I used my blog as a way to show potential publishing companies that ‘hey, I have no connections or background in publishing whatsoever, but look what I’m up to in my spare time! This is how much I love books! I read industry news and everything! Pleasehiremekthanksbye!’

Eventually my random meanderings at the Publisher’s Weekly job section led me to my current company. I LinkedIn stalk my future boss, sent out a message, she saw my background and…well…here I am. In LA.

Of course other things helped land me the job too I suspect: my (at the time) current work experience was something they were really looking for (and it’s been a godsend since I started working!). The comic and book knowledge was probably just a minor plus if anything. Then again, knowing my tasks now, it was really really helpful to know the comic book industry itself rather than just reading the latest Saga or The Ultimates.

I don’t think I would have pursued this if it weren’t for the fact that I have such a supporting and loving network of friends and family. My BANG (Bay Area Nerd Girls, look them up on Meetup it’s an amazing group!) ladies were with me all the way, and my aunt would verbally smack me upside the head every time I had doubts in pursuing this career change (which was every time I called her). I don’t think my dad knew what the hell I was up to, but I guess he was reassured since he saw my pro-activeness.

Things have finally (finally!) calmed down enough to post this. I want to continue blogging about comics and books, but I’m still not sure of the amount of output yet.

I’m hoping someone who’s trying to get into entertainment, or publishing or something, who out of sheer luck (and boredom) stumbles upon this post, can maybe find a little bit of hope. Seriously, if someone like me did it, then hell yeah anyone could to.

hang in there_corgi


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