Let your passion for page turning help you find a storybook career. Whether you want to write, dig up information, or share noteworthy books with others, there’s a job that’s right for you.
The connection between books and education is rather obvious, but what aspect might suit you best? Perhaps you love children’s lit and would thrive in a grade-school environment. Or, maybe your talent for critical analysis would make you a stellar instructor at the college level. Don’t forget that enthusiasm can be contagious – your energy may be what helps students succeed in an adult literacy or ESL classroom.
Perhaps no other job is as associated with the word “book” as much as this one. While librarians still perform what we’ve come to think of as standard duties (helping patrons find books, buying and organizing materials, conducting story times), these professionals also tend to be whizzes at navigating online information and electronic databases. Law firms, hospitals, businesses, and government agencies often hire librarians to aid with their specific research needs.
People who enjoy reading the works of others also may excel at creating their own. Think beyond best-selling novelist (though it never hurts to try) to positions such as journalist, magazine features writer, blogger, book reviewer, and greeting card creator.
Want a hand shaping what others will read? Sticklers for accuracy, proper grammar, and perfect spelling make good copy editors. These professionals also improve the text by rewriting words and phrases for clarity and impact. Executive editors decide which stories get written, the angles taken, and who will write them.
5. Literary Agent
If the idea of pouring through stacks of manuscripts looking for the next J.K. Rowling sounds appealing, you might make a great literary agent. Solid communication and negotiation skills are musts as you attempt to sell the book to a publishing house, work out terms of a contract, and build a relationship with the author.
Book publicists get the word out about new publications. “We work closely with authors to tailor their campaigns to their needs, expertise, and schedule,” said Cathy Lewis, president of C.S. Lewis & Co., Publicists. A typical day for Lewis revolves around author publicity campaigns. She and her team create media lists, publicity hooks and press materials. “The majority of our time is spent on outreach to media via email and phone, trying to land placements for our clients,” she said.
7. Audiobook Reader
According to the Audio Publishers Association, “The best audiobook narrators are also thoughtful readers, so bringing a love and understanding of the nuance of language and literature is a key component of achieving excellence in the craft.” However, you may need to bring persistence—the group acknowledges that the field is competitive. Be prepared to send out numerous professional-quality demo tracks showcasing your ability and range.
Archivists want to make sure that valuable information is preserved and accessible to those who need it. Organizational skills are a must. Modern archivists employ a variety of technical skills to create film, digital copies, and computer databases. Museums, libraries, government agencies, and businesses are common places that hire archivists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of archivists to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2022 as organizations continue to manage vast amounts of information.* (See, mom, you can find a job that involves rare books.)
9. Desktop Publisher
Were you the yearbook editor who loved to play around with layouts? Your niche may be a career in desktop publishing – using computer software tools such as Adobe, SharePoint, InDesign, and MS Office to put together text and artwork into an effective, visually attractive final product.
Lastly, consider a career at the ultimate book-lover’s paradise – a bookstore. Mei Sanchez, corporate communications specialist for Barnes & Noble, said that booksellers serve as the public face of the company. “They create a friendly, casual, helpful experience for customers.” Booksellers, she explained, must keep their store organized and well stocked.
Sanchez noted that there are also plenty of possibilities in management, community development, and the hot field of tech development. “As our digital business continues to grow, we have opportunities for tech-savvy, sales-driven individuals to promote our digital products and services.” With the eBook industry growing, book lovers who appreciate tech will feel right at home.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics