Hachette UK has created a new "Guide to Publishing toolkit" in partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, to make careers in the industry more accessible to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
According to the publisher, the guide aims to demystify publishing by explaining how it works, the many different types of publishing that exist, and the wide variety of roles available in publishing houses.
Contained within the guide is a flowchart taking a manuscript from author to consumer and sections devoted to different departments, including editorial, design, production, marketing, publicity, sales, rights, contracts, finance, digital, operations, support and group functions (such as comms, insight and HR, and legal) and distribution.
The toolkit is one of three that have been created by the trust (the others focusing on architecture and law) as part of a wider initiative by the trust to inspire and enable young people to succeed in the professions of their choice.
David Shelley, c.e.o. of Hachette UK, commented: "We’re very proud to work with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and reaching schools through the trust’s programmes has become an integral part of ‘Changing the Story’ because it opens more young people’s eyes to the new worlds of opportunity that are accessible through reading, writing and, in this case, working in publishing. We need to attract more diverse talent in order to publish books that truly reflect and celebrate the world around us and the starting point is demystifying our industry and showing young people from all backgrounds that publishing can be a viable and exciting career choice for them."
Hachette UK has been working with the trust since 2017 to fundraise and volunteer. For example, it hosts school visits, where students are invited to attend talks and interactive publishing workshops at its offices at Carmelite House. It ran a mentoring programme for Year 11 students from south-east London to help them make informed decisions about their careers, set goals and develop interpersonal skills, while its THRIVE employee network partnered with the trust on a summer school programme for adults. Hachette UK staff also participate regularly in the trust’s career carousels and speaking events.
In 2019, the partnership entered a new phase with the start of a three-year programme titled "Pathways to Professions", with the aim of helping students aged 13–15 find out more about roles in publishing and equip them with skills needed to enter the world of work. This programme has been on hold during the Covid-19 lockdown, the publisher said, however confirming it is on track to resume later this year. Hachette UK and the trust are also exploring opportunities to work with schools outside London, in areas such as Manchester, as the publisher expands its regional footprint with new offices over the next 18 months.
Chanel Noel, head of programmes at the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, said: "Many young people don’t get the information and support they need to make informed choices about their education and future careers. I am extremely proud of the fantastic insights, access and information on an array of professions and industries that our programmes provide to school age young people.
"The Guide to Publishing, alongside our other toolkits, will be an invaluable resource for students, school staff and parents. We are proud that these have been made freely available, so that this expertise and knowledge can be shared with all young people to enable them to dream big and turns those dreams into a pursuable pathway."
The toolkit is available to view on the trust's website.