“I had planned to be an editor and went to school for an MA in English. I didn’t have any illusions about making any money in publishing; I was mostly concerned with being able to get a job, since it’s so competitive.”
People take you seriously in the business world only when you take yourself seriously. By pouring my money and my life into this book tour, I was merely being my own best boss.
I have heard there is a hidden job market. I have listened to countless stories of people getting jobs via friends or friends of friends. In the decade since my graduation from college, I have had virtually no first-hand experience with these phenomena. [byline]
I am a shy, introverted person, and I find it difficult to ask for favors. I’ve forced myself to do so on a few occasions, but I don’t think I’ve been very convincing. Although people have “put in a good word” and “passed along my resume” a few times, their generous acts have never resulted in a job or even so much as a freelance assignment.
So I look for posted jobs and apply to them. I have been lucky enough that this has worked a few times.
The current issue of Fence has an amazing introduction from Rebecca Wolff, the literary magazine and publishing house’s editor and creator. In “Publishing is Personal” (pdf, sorry!) Wolff talks about the power and influence that come with deciding what gets published, and how that privilege is or isn’t linked to her ‘outer resources.’
Jan Wong kept her advance from her publisher, and then published her book herself.