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Introduction to Book Publishing

Are you interested in a career in publishing? This November we will be hosting two afternoon webinars for aspiring publishing professionals. The sessions are free to attend and will take place on Zoom. They will give you an introduction to the publishing industry, the roles you could work in, and advice on how to break into the industry.

Introduction to Book Publishing is produced by New Writing North and publishing professional Heather O’Connell, and sponsored by The Printing Charity.

18 November, 2pm-5pm

The first afternoon will give you an overview of the UK book publishing industry. Aimed at those with little or no knowledge of the industry we will show you the structure of the industry, publishing trends and the journey of a manuscript to reader.

2.00 – 2.15pm Welcome

Heather O’Connell will welcome you and introduce the programme, followed by welcome from Sophie Kirby of The Printing Charity.

2.15pm – 2.45pm The Publishing Industry

Eliza Kavannagh – The Publishers Association

Eliza will introduce you to the publishing industry by looking at its structure, the different types of publishing and its financial contribution to the UK economy.

2.45pm – 3.30pm From Writer to Reader

Simon Holt – Publisher, Elsevier

Simon will talk you through the journey a manuscript takes to reach the reader.

3.30pm-4pm Break

4pm-5pm – Publishing Trends

Jaclyn Swope – Account Manager, Nielsen Book Research and Anthony Watkinson, ALPSP (Association of Learned Society Professionals)

Jackie and Anthony will take you through all the latest trends in both trade and academic books and journals.

5pm – Questions and wrap up

19 November – 2pm-5pm

The second afternoon will give you an idea of a some of the many different roles within publishing and where to look for your first job, work experience or internship.

2pm – 3.30pm – Working in Publishing

Emily Watton – Senior Editorial Assistant Cambridge University Press

Chloe Mcloughlin – Publishing Administrator CUP

Viki Cheung – International Sales manager, Faber and Faber

Bengono Besala – Marketing and Publicity Manager, Harper Collins

Eleanor Marie Rose – Production Assistant, Bloomsbury

Emily, Chloe, Viki, Bengono and Eleanor will tell you about their jobs, what they do and what they love about them.

3.30pm-4pm – Break

4.30pm-5pm – How to find a job in publishing

Kally Symonds – Recruitment Manager, Harper Collins

Kally will tell you where to look for your first publishing job, internship or work experience.  What we are looking for and what we aren’t…

5pm – Questions and wrap up

Register now

This is a free opportunity and you can register for one afternoon or both.

The webinars will take place on Zoom. It is not necessary to have your own Zoom account to take part.

Heather O'Connell

Heather has more than 25 years experience in the publishing industry working her way up from production controller to senior management positions at Penguin and Harper Collins.
She runs a consultancy that helps publishers to improve their workflows and buying strategy. She is passionate about the industry and founded the Get into Book Publishing courses in 2017 to provide high quality, low cost training for people who want to work with books.
She works directly with authors helping them understand the industry and produce high quality books, running publishing and authorpreneurship courses and workshops alongside the consultancy.

Sponsored by The Printing Charity

A note from our sponsors: “We’re pleased to be sponsoring the Get into Book Publishing Event run by New North Writing. This event offers young people valuable insight into what’s involved when considering publishing as a career and how to navigate the industry. We champion activities that promote diversity in the sector and hope the course will help those from under represented geographies to access a publishing career pathway by sharing knowledge, creating a network and highlighting key skills employers are seeking.”

The Printing Charity are the only dedicated national charity for people of all ages working within the print, paper, publishing, packaging, and graphic arts sector. They aim to make life better for everyone in genuine need through practical, emotional, and financial support, as well as finding ways to extend their reach and impact. The Charity also has two sheltered homes for those aged 60 and over who are retired and can live independently. Find out more about their work by visiting or follow @printingcharity on social media.


Bengono Bessala

Bengono Bessala is a marketing and publicity manager at HarperCollins Publishers, working with the newly created inspirational imprint Harper Inspire. Before joining this team, she worked across several departments within HarperCollins including HQ (publishers of vegan brand BOSH!) and 4TH Estate/William Collins (publishers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Hilary Mantel and cook Anna Jones).

Before working in publishing Bengono trained as a journalist with ITV News, worked within television entertainment development at the BBC and across local BBC Radio.

Viki Cheung

Viki Cheung is the International Sales Manager (Middle East and Asia) at Faber & Faber, an award-winning independent publishing house. Faber & Faber is part of a group called the Independent Alliance (a group of independent publishers), and Viki sells books from all of these publishers to customers from Dubai to Tokyo. Previously, Viki worked across international, UK and digital sales at Hachette UK, where she was also one of the original co-chairs of THRIVE, Hachette’s BAME employee network.

Eliza Kavanagh

Eliza Kavanagh is Communications Manager at the Publishers Association – the leading trade association for book and journal publishers in the UK. After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2014, Eliza began her career providing marketing and editorial services to small businesses before taking up a six-month contract at the London Book Fair. There she supported the team in the delivery of its Insights Seminar Programme, managing over 200 events and 500 speakers. Since 2017, she has worked across the full range of the Publishers Association’s communications activities –  delivering national campaigns to promote the value of publishing, developing business opportunities for members, managing a diverse portfolio of stakeholders, and accommodating thousands of guests in some of London’s most prestigious venues through a busy events programme.

Chloe Mcloughlin

Chloe Mcloughlin is currently working as a Publishing Administrator at Cambridge University Press within their Education sector. She has previously completed an undergraduate degree in English Literature, along with a master’s degree in Publishing at City, University of London. Coming from a working class background, she understands the challenges faced by job searchers within both the publishing industry and many others. Her final thesis for her master’s degree focused on class divides within many creative industries, she spoke to a number of people who have struggled to break into their chosen industry due to their background.

Eleanor Rose

Eleanor Rose is a Production Assistant in the Academic division of Bloomsbury Publishing. She sees titles through from manuscript stage to printing. As an apprentice, she has the privilege of having a designated number of hours a week for coursework. This includes attending workshops run by LDN, independent research, project work and helping other departments.

Jaclyn Swope

Jaclyn Swope joined Nielsen BookScan as an intern in 2013 while completing her Master’s degree in Publishing at Kingston University. She now works as a Publisher Account Manager on the Book Research team, where she assists a variety of publishers with understanding and utilising both retail sales and consumer data, through training sessions, presentations and bespoke analysis of book industry trends.

Kally Symonds

Kally Symonds is a Recruitment Manager at HarperCollins, with 7 years experience  in recruitment working as a head-hunter for the media sector followed by a Talent Lead role in advertising before joining HCUK in April 2019.

Anthony Watkinson

Anthony Watkinson has had a long career in scholarly publishing mainly dealing with STM disciplines both books and journals. He has taught publishing at University College London where he is an emeritus lecturer and at Oxford Brookes University where he is a research associate. He has been a researcher in ecclesiastical history but is now actively researching in information science as principal consultant at CIBER Research which he co-founded in 2002 when he was a visiting professor at City University London. He has been a librarian in Oxford and is still in touch with the world of academic libraries as a director of the Charleston Library Conference (USA). He is a member of ALPSP [Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers) and is on their training committee. He has been a director of STM [the International STM Publishers Association] and he has been a consultant to the PA [Publishers Association]. He has published widely mostly in “learned journals” but his most relevant contribution is as co-author of the 2018 STM Report.

Emily Watton

Emily Watton is the Senior Editorial Assistant for Psychology books at Cambridge University Press and has worked there for almost 3 years. Though based in Cambridge, she works with people from across the globe as academic publishing caters to a vastly international market. The books she work with range from monographs, reference books, textbooks, and trade books. This variety in book specifications is quite unusual. Day-to-day tasks include: author care, pre-production feedback, assessing submissions, arranging contracts, managing admin staff, performing some admin tasks, writing copy for back cover and marketing use, and assisting with cover decisions. As someone with a severe visual impairment, she also chairs the Disability and Neurodiversity Staff Network at the Press.

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