It’s often said that everyone has a book in them, and the idea of being an author is one that many people are attracted to. Imagine walking past a row of books, only to see your name on one of them, for people to read and (hopefully!) buy. And yet behind the scenes – just like the music industry ( – there is a team of people working to promote and deliver the finished product.

Steve is Co-director at Arkbound in Bristol. Here’s what he told us about career opportunities in Publishing …

It takes careful proof-reading and editing to fine-tune a writer’s work, with an exceptional attention to detail and high levels of written English. Then a book needs to be properly formatted for different platforms, including type-setting for printing and e-book formatting so it can be read on Kindle and other devices. It will also need a good cover, which can be a career in itself!

What lots of people don’t realise is the amount of time that goes into each book, not only from the writer’s perspective, but also from the Publisher’s. It takes hours, days, weeks, and even months and that’s not the end of the story, because Publishers have to get the book into the hands of readers as well.

To do this, we use skilled distribution and promotion channels, working alongside other organisations and utilising a variety of techniques. This is the realm of cutting edge marketing techniques, savvy social media use, persistent networking, and cultivating retail contacts – almost a polar opposite to that of editing and proofreading!

Despite its different components, Publishing is one of the most competitive industries to enter, ranking higher in popularity than the legal and banking sectors. Young people, with no experience in the sector, will often find it a struggle to break into this field. Those that do manage usually have good connections or come from highly educated, privileged backgrounds (think Masters degrees and wealthy parents). Even with these things, expect to gain a foothold in the industry only after extensive volunteering or low-paid roles doing menial tasks.

To address this elitism, Arkbound has launched a Publishing Excellence Programme aimed at providing people with the core skills and knowledge they need to get a position in the publishing industry. The Programme looks at everything from the basics of proofreading and editing to the promotional and creative techniques at the end of the publishing process. Since Arkbound publishes magazines as well as books (including Boundless magazine in Bristol), the Programme also looks at magazine publishing.

If you think you need to come from a privileged background to enter publishing, think again.

Arkbound itself was founded by people who did not get top grades in school, one of whom went from drugs and crime to being a successful author. As a social enterprise, based in Bristol, Arkbound believes in the power of people to make change and a level playing field for them to realise their dreams. So if you really want to get into publishing, get in touch and we will see how we can help.

Thanks Steve. @arkbounduk @vocalisemag

Find Arkbound on Careersnearhere including details of the Publishing Excellence Programme, National Writing Day and Print Futures Awards for 18-30 year olds: It’s Your Future – Let’s Get It Started.

Check out the website for open days, talks, work experience, courses and apprenticeship vacancies!

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