Faye Rogers is a blogger, a librarian and a PR superstar! After joining a traditional publisher didn’t quite go to plan, Faye launched her own online PR company, Faye Rogers PR.
The first thing I want to say is that whatever path you choose to take within publishing, never give up. I know it’s the one piece of advice that everyone gives but I honestly believe it wholeheartedly. It’s been a slow start for me, took me a while to get to where I am now, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that I love every single minute of it. Having struggled to get to where I am just makes every little success that much greater. It is also further proof that all the hard work has paid off. So just keep going, keep trying, keep working. It will all be worth it in the end.
As mentioned above, getting to where I am now was not easy. I finished university with a degree in Film and Television studies and felt that actually I did not want a job in the film industry. In my third and final year I started my book blog and it changed everything for me. I’ve always had a passion for reading but now I was learning about how a book was made, what the authors go through, what the workers go through, how the books are marketed and publicised and I suddenly wanted to know more. After occupying an author on a school book tour, I realised that what I really loved about publishing was publicity.
So I applied for all the publicity assistant roles my first summer after university but after never hearing anything back from anyone. I finally landed a job as a library assistant in my local library. But I did not give up. After a while I found an online publishing company was looking for a publicity intern so I applied and got the job. I was also told that, after a month, if I proved myself I would be hired. A month later I had an official publicity job. I was over the moon. It was hard work, and I was thrown into the deep end a little but I had a connection of people to ask for help and it all went really well.
Until the company went bankrupt. Fortunately as I was doing all of this online, I still had my library job because if I didn’t, I would have been stuck. I went back to applying for jobs in London but after a few unsuccessful interviews, I felt deflated. I had loved doing the online publicity for the authors I was working with and thus decided that I should just continue doing it. I spoke to my mum who is an accountant about starting my own business and then I just got on with it. It took a while for me to build my client list but as I was a blogger, I had a lot of connections with authors, bloggers and publishing professionals and soon I was organising quite a lot of tours.
Last year I started freelancing for Scholastic and have worked on many blog tours since then, including for one of my favourite authors. I’ve since seen my reputation and work load increase and it is an incredibly feeling. I have a good business plan to eventually expand my business. I understand it will take a while but I am willing to work at it, I will not give up.
Tips and Tricks
Make sure you’re doing something to show your passion for books. If there is one thing that is important, it is having a passion for books. In the world of social media, it is easy to show this passion. Either through a book blog, booktube channel, bookstagram or just by getting work experience in a library or bookshop. Get creative. Show that you love books and it would be a dream to work with them.
Do something off your own back. By this I mean, volunteer. Do something creative and exciting to help an author you love. E-mail the publicity team and ask if it’s okay to do something for an author – set up a talk, or a mini-festival, organise an author coming to a book club. Something that shows initiative and passion.
Don’t be afraid to take your own step. It took a lot of time before I finally decided to start my business. I had never worked in a traditional publisher so I was wracked with a lot of self-doubt but I also knew that I had a lot of contacts and that I was good at organising and so I just took the leap and I’ve yet to look back.
Explore what’s out there. A lot of people who look to go into publishing have their hearts set on editorial or publicity. But don’t forget that there is also production, sales, rights, design, accounts… plenty of departments to still enjoy being around books and working to help make them to the world. Plus, if you start in one department, it does not mean you have to stick within it. Plus you can also look at other jobs that involve books, such as working for the Reading Agency, the Bookseller, National Book Tokens, etc.
Don’t give up. Never stop trying. Just saying this again because I still believe it. I am not exactly where I want to be yet but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up. I’m still doing everything I can to get my dream job or have my dream business. It will happen for me one day and it will happen for you too.
You can catch Faye at Faye Rogers PR, A Daydreamer’s Thoughts and on Twitter @fayerogersuk and @daydreamin_star
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