Inside The Society of Young Publishers (SYP)

Inside The Society of Young Publishers (SYP)

The Society of Young Publishers (SYP) started in 1949 and is a membership based community that anyone can join in their first ten years of working in publishing. They host many events throughout the year plus their own AGM and conference.  There are committees in London, Oxford, the north and Scotland. I spoke to the London committee and chair voted in for 2015 to find out why they rate the SYP and if they had any advice to offer up to those looking to work in the publishing industry.

As a member, how would you say the SYP helps you in your publishing career?

"Being on the committee allows me to develop skills that I can use in my career, for example editorial skills, marketing and PR, and events experience.  As an SYP member I have had access to a great peer group of young publishers, some of whom have become close friends. As a group we support, encourage, and open up career opportunities to each other. Finally, I have had the chance to meet and hear from some really inspiring people through our magazine, events and conferences".  Anna Cunnane- Chair of the SYP, and Export Sales Manager at Kyle Books.

"In several ways! It has given me increased focus, a greater understanding of publishing as a whole, and the reassurance that I am making the right choices, whilst also providing me with the experience and knowledge to back that up. It's an amazing feeling knowing that I can just tune in to the SYP and instantly talk to like-minded people, and other marketers in a similar position to me, and share that knowledge and find support in one another. It's an incredible and inspiring network, offering career opportunities, experience, and friendship". Fran Roberts, Social Media Officer for the SYP, and Marketing Executive at I.B.Tauris.

What's your one piece of advice you would give to anyone looking to enter the industry?

"My advice would be very similar to that of Sara O’Connor,Web Developer and ex-Fiction Digital Director at Hot Key Books: those wanting to go into the industry should be already doing what they would like to do as a job. Aspiring editorial assistants can help edit newspapers or journals at university; people who want to go into sales could work part time at a bookshop or a budding publicist could run their own recommendations blog. Additionally, I would advise people to look beyond editorial and trade. Publishing is a huge and diverse business with many kinds of rewarding roles". Anna Cunnane- Chair of the SYP, and Export Sales Manager at Kyle Books.

"Don't be afraid. Publishing can be a hard career to get in to when you're starting from scratch, and you have to make sure you take every opportunity you get. Don't restrict yourself to just editorial or just trade - but also, don't be afraid to ask for those things too. Make sure you try all manner of things; no matter what you try, you are sure to learn something, and that will be so invaluable. Publishing is changing, and you have to be able to change with it - so learn about digital and self-publishing! If you put in the work and enthusiasm, you will be rewarded. It's just quite scary to put yourself out there to begin with". Fran Roberts, Social Media Officer for the SYP, and Marketing Executive at I.B.Tauris.

"Work on acquiring the skills that will make you employable – however you can get them.  Back when I was applying for editorial assistant roles, I downloaded a 60-day trial version of Quark and practiced using it on my laptop so that I could honestly say I had some knowledge of publishing software – who knows, it may just have given me the edge. And it least it proved to my interviewers that I genuinely wanted to be in publishing, and was prepared to put some effort in to get there". Rebecca Laura Needes, Vice-Chair of the SYP, and Editor at AA Publishing.

If you would like to join the Society of Young Publishers and sign up to some of their great events in 2015, please find out more here and follow them @SYP_UK.