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AnthonyJones
12-22-2011, 04:12 AM
I'm working on getting my English degree right now, and I hope to get a job in the publishing industry. I would love to be a literary agent some day, or even an editor for a publishing company.

Does anybody know what minor would go well with this?

Medievalist
12-22-2011, 04:20 AM
I'm working on getting my English degree right now, and I hope to get a job in the publishing industry. I would love to be a literary agent some day, or even an editor for a publishing company.

Does anybody know what minor would go well with this?

Rather than working on a minor, I'd look for internships at publishing companies. I would consider working on the campus paper or literary journal, and working at bookstores.

I'd also be aware that publishing is a job where you essentially work as an apprentice for a while in most of the positions, whether as an editorial assistant or as an assistant to a literary agent. That means you have long hours for not a lot of salary—which can be a problem in terms of paying of student loans.

AnthonyJones
12-22-2011, 04:43 AM
Thanks. I am aware of me having to work my way up. I'm checking out the City newspaper for an intern, but I'm still going to get a minor. I just need to decide which one is a good match.

LilGreenBookworm
12-22-2011, 05:52 AM
I got my BA in English, and I was a history minor...but that probably doesn't help you much. :D Have you gone to the head of the English department? Mine had tons and tons of resources for internships (not that I got any, unfortunately) and was actually a former copy editor, so he knew where to point me. Also, does your university have a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta? That would be a great place to start, too: talk to the faculty sponsor and maybe they have some knowledge they'd be willing to share.

Medievalist
12-22-2011, 06:09 AM
Thanks. I am aware of me having to work my way up. I'm checking out the City newspaper for an intern, but I'm still going to get a minor. I just need to decide which one is a good match.

My somewhat fuzzy point is that unless you can take courses in typesetting, editing, or proofing, a minor isn't likely going to make much difference—you'd be better off spending time in actual publishing related work. You'll have real world experience, and people to write references.

Depending on where you ultimately end up, a strong background in various sorts of marketing writing, as well as deep levels of familiarity with Microsoft Office, HTML/CSS, InDesign/Quark Express, Illustrator and Photoshop might be terribly attractive to future employers.

Cliff Face
12-22-2011, 01:58 PM
Medi, it's my understanding that you need to have a minor of some sort just to finish your degree. (That's how it is over here.)

But you do have a point - apart from English there's not a whole lot that is attractive to publishing houses.

Anthony - can you do a Creative Writing minor? I'll be doing a Major in that next year down here in Australia for the express purpose of becoming a better writer. I've got to assume that if you have more skills as a writer, it'll look good for editing in your publishing-house job...

Just a thought. :)

Parametric
12-22-2011, 03:45 PM
I'm with Medi. I have a first degree in law and a masters in publishing, but when I interview at publishing places, people are more interested in my work experience (at H0dder). I'm also getting asked about technical stuff - have I used InDesign? can I create pivot tables? etc.

areteus
12-22-2011, 07:10 PM
Generally a first degree is not going to give you much clout in any job unless it is relevant to that job. In many cases here in the UK all an interviewer is looking for with that is 'Ok, you have an honours degree, grade is good enough, that means you can think for yourself and know how to research and work independently'.

So I would say your minor was irrelevant, take one that appeals to you or may have relevance in another field if publishing does not pan out. If you were asking what to do to become a writer I would say there were lots of options - history, psychology, languages, sciences, pretty much anything that got you a wider view on the world or gave you the skills to do research but publishing I am not sure there is anything else relevant.

If you were good enough at languages to become fluent in one or more (or were already bilingual) I'd consider that as an option. A lot of publishing houses have international offices and that means they need people who speak the local language either to go out there or stay in their home office and answer the phone when that country calls. At least one friend of mine (born in Sweden, brought up Wales, therefore able to speak English, Welsh and Swedish) works in this capacity - the company she is employed by is based in Sweden and she takes the calls from that office and passes on a translation to her English bosses.

Medievalist
12-22-2011, 09:14 PM
Medi, it's my understanding that you need to have a minor of some sort just to finish your degree. (That's how it is over here.)

Not here. In fact a number of minors awarded by colleges and universities don't appear on transcripts as minors because they do not involve enough course work to meet the standards of various accreditation groups.

And most publishing companies are going to look askance at a degree in creative writing; they want editors, proofers, typesetters, designers, graphic artists, compositors, marketing folk, sales people . . .

AnthonyJones
12-22-2011, 10:46 PM
I recently spoke with agent Rachelle Gardner from WordServe Literary Group, and she informed that business would definitely be good to be educated in. So I think I will continue my minor in business. I will also continue to take all editing and creative writing classes offered at my University.

Another thing she mentioned that would be great is digital technology. I'm guessing this is the programs you guys have been mentioning.

I will start on business, and perhaps fit in some digital technology classes in. I'm currently applying for study abroad in Edinburgh. They have a literature program and a creative writing program. I applied for both, so hopefully that will look good on a resume as well. If I get accepted, that is.

Cliff Face
12-23-2011, 02:58 AM
Not here. In fact a number of minors awarded by colleges and universities don't appear on transcripts as minors because they do not involve enough course work to meet the standards of various accreditation groups.

Really? Wow, okay, that IS different to over here...

In such case, I'm probably not much help.

Torgo
12-23-2011, 03:07 AM
Your academic qualifications aren't that important, though an English degree does imply a high level of written English and a certain amount of attention to detail / critical ability. I would suggest work experience / internships and then when you graduate doing some temp work with publishers or agencies.