Name: Anna Howorth
Degree/University: History (2:1), UCL
Year of graduation: 2003
Occupation: Marketing Assistant
What do you do in your job?
I work in the marketing department in an independent children’s publishing company. Like any marketing team, we are basically the interface between the company and the outside world – primarily we provide support to our sales reps who sell our books to booksellers, but we also handle enquires from the general public, trade customers, and the media. My specific role is varied and wide-ranging- I liase with freelance designers to create advertisements and promotional items, design sales materials and promotional materials for author events, keep track of any press cuttings featuring our books, make sure that our books are entered for any relevant awards, and also communicate what’s going on in our department and the sales team to the rest of the company.
What was your motivation in applying?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I finished university, but I wanted to work in a creative environment and I enjoyed writing, so it made sense to apply for marketing jobs, and as I did more research I decided to focus in on marketing in publishing. It’s an extremely popular -and therefore competitive- industry, and I didn’t get a job straight away, but I was offered a job in a different department, which I accepted and eventually worked my way into marketing when a suitable vacancy came up.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I love the variety of my job, and the creative aspects – the actual design work that I do is great fun, but I also really value the opportunity to contribute to planning marketing strategies, events, ad campaigns and so on. I’m really lucky to work in a very forward-thinking department where everybody’s opinions and ideas are encouraged, and that makes my job really exciting and satisfying. Usborne is a great company to work for with a real family feel, and it’s fascinating to work in an environment where authors and designers are all around you creating fantastic books that have a long-lasting impact on children.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field
Publishing is a notoriously difficult industry to get in to. My advice would be to really do your research and be as focussed as possible – try to get some work experience in a publishing house if you can. Think about the type of publisher that you want to work for – a children’s publisher is a very different working environment than a company publishing science journals! Also, think about what roles interest you within the company, whether that be working in editorial, production, foreign rights, marketing or whatever. The more focused you are in your applications, the more likely it is that you will be picked from the stack of CVs.