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

How Did You Get Into Publishing? A Survey

It’s that time again. Every summer I get a flurry of emails from friends/family/fellow alumni, asking if I can offer their friend/niece/student advice on how to break into the publishing industry. I know I’m not alone in this – in fact, I’m imagining you nodding your head in agreement. You’d think at this point I’d just have a canned response of what to say to folks. And yet, every time I write out a different response depending on the person and their situation, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because my advice changes the more time I spend in this industry and the more people’s stories I hear on how they got into the industry. 

Which got me thinking: I want to know how you got into publishing, and you, and you over there. It’s hard to break into a lot of industries, but publishing seems to be its own brand of tricky. So whether you started out in a totally different field, or you work at a small university press in the Midwest, whether you’re at a literary agency, a publisher, or a publishing-adjacent job (like me), or didn’t imagine yourself working in this industry at all I want to know how you got here. 

Please take this brief survey and encourage your publishing friends to do the same. I’ll report back on the results. 


  1. Theresa says:

    I graduated from NYU’s School of Education in 2001 with a BS in Graphic Communications. My intention was to get an advertising agency job but when no agencies hired me, I found/accepted a job in the in-house Marketing Department at Crown Publishers.

  2. Dana says:

    I got totally lucky! I had no prior internships or experience in publishing, but I knew I wanted to be a cover designer so I kept an pretty persistent eye on the careers page of every publishing house in New York. It took about a year of applying, but I was eventually hired by my current employer.

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