Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

A Trendsetter Farewell from Jen Donovan

waving emojiEditor’s note: It is with both great excitement for Jen and sadness for me that I share this today. Last Wednesday was Jen’s last day with Trendsetter. She’s given so much energy and work behind Trendsetter, and I can’t wait to see what comes of her new chapter at St. Martin’s.

After what feels like the shortest two years of my life, I’ve decided to leave Publishing Trendsetter to work as an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press.

I originally joined the Trendsetter team hoping to learn more about the publishing industry as a whole, especially the more business-oriented aspects that are often ignored in editorial departments. I’m so happy to be taking away a wealth of knowledge from this experience and can’t wait to put it to use in my new position.

The things I’ve learned by writing for Trendsetter and for its parent site Publishing Trends have varied greatly, from the basic like how ISBNs work in self-publishing and which newsletters I should subscribe to, to the more complicated like how libraries license ebooks and what VAT has to do with DRM in Europe. This is in large thanks to my editor Samantha Howard who always encouraged me to research whatever interested me or whatever I cared to learn more about.

In addition to learning by writing, a lot of what I’ve learned here was done through reading. This learning was achieved partly by reading as many books in as many genres as possible to broaden my reading horizons. But I believe an even larger amount was through reading everything and anything on news sites that had to do with the book publishing industry. This is how we find articles for our Top 5 Links series, but it’s also how I learned about the trends in the industry, which I think is important knowledge for anyone who hopes to find the next bestselling novel.

So here’s my parting advice to anyone in the beginning of their publishing career, based on my own limited experience:

  1. If there’s any small part of publishing that interests you or that you don’t understand but want to, research it until you know everything about it. Just because you might’ve finished school doesn’t mean it’s time to stop learning. Instead, it’s time for you to take the initiative to learn about your chosen industry on your own.
  2. Read everything. Don’t limit yourself to one genre, or one publishing department or one company, but instead read whatever books are recommended to you, read the news, and read the op-eds. Everyone knows publishing is in a state of flux. You need to know what’s changing and how it affects what you do or want to do.

I hope you find this advice helpful and that you’ve found my posts helpful. Thanks for everything!

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