RPCVs who love books and magazines and want to find work that matches their love of literature and language are drawn to the world of publishing. They want to get a job where they can sit around all day and read books and get paid for it, you know,  like being a PCV.

As a way of helping newly returning PCVs, I am going to post a series of short blogs about finding work in publishing. It is an area that I know a little about and these blogs might be of some help to all of you currently going through reverse cultural shock.

Getting a job in publishing can be a problem because most RPCVs lack “publishingese,” the insider’s special blend of vocabulary, knowledge, skills, and manner of doing business that conveys a cosmopolitan, confident, can-do attitude worthy of an entry-level position.

Aspiring publishers also lack information about the range of opportunities available. Most of all, they don’t realize how many jobs and careers there are in publishing. Here’s a quick course on working in book and magazine publishing, and a few observations on how the world of books is changing, and what you need to do to keep ahead of the game. These few blogs are about how to find a job. It might be the shortest graduate course you’ll ever take.

Most book publishing companies are broken down into several departments; editorial, publicity and promotion, and marketing and production. No matter which of these words your first job designation begins with, it is likely to end with the word “assistant.”

Common to all assistants everywhere, regardless of department, are certain inescapable duties that define the position: “assisting” superiors; handling correspondence, answering phones, writing memos, and generally carrying out whatever administrative duties are needed. They are ways, however, in which the assistant position differs from department to department. 

In the next blog(s) I’ll talk about working as:

Editorial Assistant
Publicity Assistant
Prduction Assistant