My Publishing Career Path To Date
I recently did a TikTok where I shared my publishing career path to date. But for those not on TikTok I thought I would also write down a basic summary of how I got to be Head of Fiction Marketing at Bonnier Books UK.
My Publishing Career Path
2015: 20 years old
When I was 20 years old and at university, I realised I wanted to work in publishing. I wanted to work with books, but I didn’t know what area of publishing to get into.
As such, I applied for work experience across a lot of areas of publishing and ultimately got an internship at a Literary Agency in London. For 6 months I commuted to London every Wednesday to assist two agents with their paperwork, submissions and general admin.
2016: 21 years old
My internship came to an abrupt end when they hired some part-time to take over the role. I immediately applied for additional work experience placements. Luckily I was offered a work experience position at Transworld, Penguin Random House in their publicity department.
The placement was for two weeks and during that time I mostly packed proof parcels for key PR contacts, re-organised their proof library and did some very basic showcard designs.
For three months afterward I applied for over 70 jobs and heard back from three. I got an interview for a Publicity Agency and was the runner-up for the position. Following that, I had an interview for a 3-month placement at a literary agency and I also had an interview for a maternity cover role as the Administrator at a Publishing Recruitment Company, Atwood Tate.
Luckily I got offered the latter and decided to take it. For three months I worked as an administrator, handling all the admin, taking phone calls and updating their socials and website. When the person whose role I was covering decided not to return, I was promoted to administrator and Social Media Coordinator and was employee of the month twice.
Ultimately though, I wanted to work in a Publishing house. After eight months at Atwood, I saw a position for a Marketing and Publicity Executive at Canelo and applied.
2017: 21-22 years old
After two interviews I was offered the role at Canelo and left my lovely team at Atwood in April 2017.
Canelo was a digital start-up with only six employees at the time. We worked in the back-room of an old house and I was the only Marketing and Publicity team member. It was a challenge and I had to teach myself everything, making quite a few mistakes in the beginning. However, as the company grew and I learned from my mistakes, we achieved quite a lot as a team.
2019: 23 years old
After two years at Canelo and one promotion to Campaigns Officer, I realised I had hit the ceiling. Without any fellow marketers to learn from I was beginning to be pigeonholed as ‘digital only’. And I had also realised I didn’t want to do Publicity anymore.
As a result, I searched, saw and applied for the role of Marketing Manager at Avon, HarperCollins. After two interviews I was offered the job in April 2019, and I began in June 2019. Once again I was the only marketer on a team of editors. However, I worked closely with the Marketing Director of HarperFiction and other marketing professionals at One More Chapter and HQ.
COVID-19 impacted my role at HarperCollins quite significantly. Thankfully my digital background helped me out a lot during this period.
2022: 26-27 years old
After three years and no promotions, despite running the marketing for the entire list, I decided it was time to leave. I had multiple interviews at this time for Senior Marketing Manager and Digital Marketing Manager roles. However, it was the Head of Fiction Marketing role at Bonnier Books UK that particularly fit my skill set.
I applied for this position in December 2021. After four interviews I was offered the role in March 2022, beginning in June 2022.
Initially, my role covered the Fiction Marketing of Zaffre (commercial fiction imprint) and Manilla Press (literary fiction imprint). However, in November 2022 my role expanded to include Embla (digital commercial imprint) as well.
2023: 28 years old
As of writing in October 2023, I’m still working as Head of Fiction Marketing at Bonnier. Although I’ve had the opportunity to work on non-fiction and poetry, as well as handling all my fiction responsibilities. I adore my Bonnier team and love the books that I work on, even when I work on a lot and am super stressed.
Where my career will lead next we’ll have to wait and see. But that is my publishing career path to date. Any questions just let me know in the comments below.