How to Get a Job in Publishing: A Really Practical Guide to Careers in Books and Magazines

by Alison Baverstock, Susannah Bowen and Steve Carey (London: A & C Black, 2008): 288pp, £10.99 (pbk), ISBN 978 0 7136 8503 9.

Reviewed by Gillian Clarke

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Although most of us want to remain self-employed/freelance, this book will be invaluable for anyone who is looking for the advantages of being a member of staff. It is an easy read, being both forthright and informal, and gives insight into book, journal and magazine publishing. It will be particularly useful for school, college and university students who are thinking about getting into this industry.

Relevant and error free

Despite being aimed at readers wanting a job in publishing, there are sections that will be helpful to any freelancer seeking new clients:

  • getting your CV right
  • targeting the right company
  • finding out about your target company's products
  • how to approach potential clients

and so on. Something we should all practise is stressed: keep your letter and CV precise and relevant, and make sure that there are absolutely no errors in them.


I have a few copyediting niggles, such as the use of 'try and', incorrect placing of 'only' and lax use of commas. I was also a bit surprised by two things on (or, in the first case, not on) the copyright page:

  • There is no 'paternity' clause – it is the only author's right that has to be asserted, and is therefore (usually) printed on the copyright page.
  • The layout of the ISBN isn't quite right.

These and other niggles do not really detract from the excellent range of information that the book contains but I'd have been happier if they had been sorted. There is, however, a good glossary and a modest index.

All in all, a useful guide.

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