The Right Job Is Worth The Wait

 

While I was in college it had never occurred to me to work in publishing. I was an English major with a Classics minor, but I was taking a lot of journalism classes because I somehow convinced myself that while being an author would be hard, getting a job as a journalist would be easier. I was quite wrong.

After applying for a number of jobs I didn’t get and with graduation looming closer, I decided to expand my search away from journalism. Truly, I don’t even know how I landed on publishing, but I ended up applying to almost ever single summer internship that was on HarperCollins website. I wasn’t really sure what my end goal was, but I knew I didn’t want to graduate without some kind of plan so I figured why not?

After an interview with human resources and then with the Editorial Director of Dey Street Books, an imprint focused on celebrity books, I became the Editorial Intern at Dey Street. Overall I had a great experience at HarperCollins, but the best things I got from my time there were the friendships I made and the knowledge that I definitely wanted to work with children’s/young adult books.

However, following my time at Dey Street I got an editorial fellowship at BuzzFeed and decided to try my hand at journalism again. While at BuzzFeed, I mainly focused on doing book related content because that was always my main interest, and it was just fun to do. Unfortunately, at the end of the fellowship I wasn’t offered a full-time position and was left unemployed for about two months.

I’m lucky enough to be able to live at home where I don’t have to pay rent so I know my circumstances could have been much worse. Still, during that time I was the most depressed I’d ever been in my life. I felt like I had somehow failed because I wasn’t working and I didn’t know what I was going to do next and I just felt stuck. Somehow I found the energy to apply to any job I could, both in publishing and journalism, but it just felt like I was getting nowhere. Thankfully, I had connections.

One of my friends from HarperCollins reached out to me about an editorial internship at Abrams Books for Young Readers she’d heard about through one of her friends. I quickly jumped at the opportunity, sent them my cover letter and résumé, went in for an interview and suddenly I was employed again. Around the same time I also started freelancing for Romper.com and I began to find my footing.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Abrams, I was beginning to suspect editorial wasn’t for me. My love of books was definitely still there, but I didn’t love reading manuscripts all the time and struggled to find constructive feedback for books in their early stages. Still, after my internship ended I applied for a number of Editorial Assistant positions because I figured that was what I had the most experience in so that was what I was supposed to do. But it turned out that wasn’t true and I did interview after interview and edit test after edit test, always being this close to getting the job, but never actually getting it.

After working at Abrams I had sworn off interning again. I’d done two internships and I felt that was enough; that I’d earned the right to have a full-time job in publishing. I’d paid my dues, so to speak. Unfortunately, applying for full-time jobs wasn’t working, so I decided to give up. I convinced myself that publishing just wasn’t for me and that wasn’t what I was supposed to do. Instead, I focused on freelancing, and decided to apply for MFA programs for Creative Writing. Some of the editors I worked with at Abrams wrote my letters of recommendations and soon after I was accepted into The New School.

Before I started my first semester of classes and over a year after my internship ended at Abrams, I decided to try interning again. I began to hate freelancing and I didn’t feel like the work that I was doing really meant anything. I was just working to work and I decided that wasn’t enough for me anymore. So I expanded my job search to include internships and secured an intern position at Waxman Literary Agency. The job was mainly administrative, and was only one day a week, but it allowed me back into this world of books and authors that I realized I was desperately missing.

Thus, when the internship was coming to an end I decided that though I would still keep trying to get a full-time job, I’d be willing to intern again. And that’s how I ended up at Simon & Schuster.

When I went in for my interview for the spring internship program, I met with the HR person and we had an amazing conversation. I told her about my professional experience, but also about my blog, my bookstagram, and a Twitter account I’d created for YA book events happening around New York City. At the end of the conversation she pointed out that I’d done mostly editorial work, but it didn’t seem like that was what I wanted to do, and I knew that she was right. I still wanted to work in children’s, but if I was really going to do my fourth internship I wanted it to be something different. So I told her I wanted to work in publicity and/or marketing and thankfully she listened and I became the Children’s Publicity & Marketing Intern for the spring.

The internship program only lasted two months and went by way too fast, but it was the most fun internship experience I’ve ever had. I made friends and the people I got to work with at S&S were incredibly kind, encouraging, and open, allowing me to ask questions about things I didn’t understand and really learn more about the business. Also, I got a lot free books, which is always a nice bonus.

However, when my internship ended I once again felt like I was lost. I didn’t have anything lined up after it ended and I knew for sure that I was done interning then. I truly felt like I’d learned everything I could learn at the intern level and I was ready to move on to the next step. Thus, I applied for every kind of job I thought I could do: Publicity Assistant, Editorial Assistant, Marketing Assistant, etc.

I went on informational interviews, job interviews, and networking events. I reached out to friends and contacts, asking them to pass my résumé along if they could. But again and again I was rejected. Often times there was no reason given. A few times I was told I just “wasn’t a right fit.” There was one time I was told I was overqualified for a position, which made me laugh then cry, because how could I possibly win?

It was becoming harder and harder to find the energy to keep applying. I was tired of being rejected and I began feeling worthless, like I just wasn’t good enough. It seemed like everyone else I knew was succeeding and somehow I was still stuck doing a job I was beginning to hate and not getting anywhere at all. Eventually, once I realized I was applying to jobs I wasn’t even sure I wanted, I stopped. I told myself I wasn’t giving up, but I needed a break. I needed to take a breather and figure out what it was I even wanted, because I wasn’t sure I knew anymore.

Naturally, it was then that I saw a job that sounded perfect for me. It was in the People of Color in Publishing Facebook group. Someone had posted about a Digital Marketing Assistant job at Tom Doherty Associates, which, truth be told, I wasn’t entirely sure what that was. Then I did my research and realized it was Tor Books, which I was familiar with, along with Forge Books, Tor Teen, which I’d realized was publishing one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and Starscape.

Suddenly, I was excited again. This was something I actually wanted to do. It was books I was interested and the required skills were all things I knew I could do. It just felt right and I was so hopeful it was scary, because I knew if I didn’t get it that I might actually give up for real.

I applied and then, because I’m a realist, I began applying for other positions too, just in case. Finally, I got called in for an interview, which I thought went great, but I refused to get my hopes up. But then I got asked to come in for a second interview, which was definitely a good sign. However, I’d gotten there before. I knew how this went. It could be good, but was it “we’re definitely going to hire you” good? Apparently, it was.

A few days after my second interview, I had taken off work to go to an interview for an Editorial Assistant position and an informational interview for another assistant position. However, I was woken up by Macmillan HR letting me know I got the job, and it was honestly unreal. Truly, I halfway convinced myself I dreamt it and didn’t believe it until I got the email confirmation, proving it was really happening. I had finally gotten a job and five months in I can honestly say it was worth the wait.

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Julie Murphy, David Levithan, & More In The City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 10/15-21)

Happy Monday, book nerds! We’re back with another week of fun events. Make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to get regular updates about all the bookish events happening across the city. Also, ICYMI we’re looking for someone to take over YA Book Events, so please email us at yabookeventsnyc@gmail.com if you’re interested.

Wednesday, October 17

Fiction, Friendship, and Fashion with Kayla Cagan, Amy Spalding, & Julie Murphy at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join authors Kayla Cagan (Art Boss), Amy Spalding (The Summer of Jordi Perez), and Julie Murphy (Puddin’) as they share their coming-of-age stories. Free event.

Thursday, October 18

David Levithan in Conversation with Carolyn Mackler at Barnes & Noble Upper West Side (7 p.m.)

Join NYT bestselling author David Levithan as he discusses his new book, Someday, with Carolyn Mackler (The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I). Free event; seating is limited.

Saturday, October 20

Spooky Middle Grade Reads at Books of Wonder (1-3 p.m.)

Join authors Blue Balliett (Out of the Wild Night), Mary Downing Hahn (The Girl in the Locked Room), Gail Carson Levine (Ogre Enchanted), Leslie Margolis (Ghosted), Katherine Arden (Small Spaces), and William Alexander (A Festival of Ghosts) as they share their latest books for the creepy holiday season. Free event.

Tomi Adeyemi & More In the City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 10/1-7)

Happy October 1st book nerds! This month is starting of with a bang with plenty of great bookish events happening this week. Check out the full schedule of events below and make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to keep up to date with all the events happening around the city.

Tuesday, October 2

Launch Event for Someday by David Levithan at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of David Levithan’s new novel, Someday (a sequel and continuation of Every Day). Free event.

Wednesday, October 3

“Of Muses and Muchness”: Double NYC Launch Event for A Blade So Black and For a Muse of Fire at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join authors L.L. McKinny and Heidi Heilig as they celbrate the release of their new novels, A Blade So Black and For a Muse of Fire. The authors will be in conversation with NYT bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles). Free event.

Fierce Reads Panel Event at Barnes and Noble Union Square (6 p.m.)

Authors Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone), Ngozi Uzaku (Check, Please!), Alex London (Black Wings Beating), and April Tucholke (Wink Poppy Midnight) will have a panel discussion. A limited number of wristbands for event access will be distributed with purchase of any of the featured titles beginning at 9 a.m. the day of the event.

The Darkdeep at Barnes and Noble Upper East Side (7 p.m.)

Join authors Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs as they celebrate the launch of their novel, The Darkdeep. Free event.

Thursday, October 4

Launch Event for Dry by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of Neal and Jarrod Shusterman’s new novel, Dry. Free event.

Great Middle Grade Reads at Books of Wonder Uptown (6-8 p.m.)

Join five talented authors as they present their newest books. Free event.

Friday, October 5

A Map of Days at The Strand (7:01-8:01 p.m.)

Join Ransom Riggs in the Rare Book Room as he launches his latest book, A Map of Days. Admission and a gift card is $15; admission and a signed copy of the book is $22.99.

Saturday, October 6

Launch Party for Dog Days in the City by Jodi Kendall at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Dogs Days in the City by Jodi Kendall. Kendall will be in conversation with Alyson Gerber (Braced). Free event.

Kiersten White & More In The City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 9/24-30)

Happy Monday everyone! This week there are a number of great bookish events happening around the city. Check out the full schedule below and make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to get regular updates on all the bookish events happening around the city.

Tuesday, September 25

Launch Event for The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Kiersten White will be in conversation with Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End) discussing her new novel, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. Free event.

Friday, September 28

Nevertheless, We Persisted Event at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Come for an evening filled with stories of resistance and strength from six of the contributors for the new book Nevertheless, We Persisted. Free event.

Sunday, September 30

NYC Super-Duper Triple Launch at Books of Wonder (1-3 p.m.)

Join authors Jen Calonita (Misfits), Elizabeth Eulberg (The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case), and Sarah Mlynoski and Emily Jenkins (Upside Down Magic) as they share their new books. Free event.

Launch Event for The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee at Books of Wonder (3-5 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy with author Mackenzi Lee. Free event.

Kerri Maniscalco, Alex London, & More In The City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 9/17-9/23)

Monday blues got you down? Well hopefully this list of events will get you excited. This week there are a number of great events happening so mark your calendar and as always make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to keep up to date with all the bookish events happening around the city.

Monday, September 17

Launch Party for Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join Kerri Maniscalco as she celebrates the launch of her new book, Escaping From Houdini. She will be in conversation with Laura Sebastian (Ash Princess). Free event.

Tuesday, September 18

Ibi Zoboi Presents Pride at Greenlight Bookstore (7:30 p.m.)

From National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi comes Pride, a gorgeous retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Zoboi will discuss her new novel with Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X), followed by a reception to celebrate the book’s launch.

Thursday, September 20

Launch Event for Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join authors Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Heilig, Kody Keplinger, and Karuna Riazi as they present their new anthology, Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens. They’ll be in conversation with editor Grace Kendall. Free event.

Friday, September 21

Secrets of Publishing Panel at Barnes & Noble Union Square (6 p.m.)

New School professor Susan Shapiro (The Byline Bible) and author/activist Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together) invite you to a conversation where panelists will discuss the secrets of publishing and will celebrate their new books.

Sunday, September 23

Launch Party for The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glasser at Books of Wonder (1-3 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Karina Yan Glasser’s second Vanderbeekers book with the author. Free event.

Great Middle Grade Reads Event at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Authors Katherine Marsh (Nowhere Boy), Alyssa Hollingsworth (The Eleventh Trade), and Andrea Davis Pickney (The Red Pencil) will share their poignant and timely middle grade stories of immigration and refugees. Free event.

Launch Party for Black Wings Beating by Alex London at Books of Wonder (4-6 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Alex London’s new novel, Black Wings Beating, with the author. London will be in conversation with NY Times best-selling author Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End). Free event.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor & More In The City This Week (YA Book Events NYC 9/3-9)

Hey readers! Long time, no see. This week is packed with amazing bookish events so check out the full schedule below and plan accordingly. Don’t forget to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to stay up to date with all the bookish events happening around the city.

Tuesday, September 4

Meet Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at Books of Wonder (5-7 p.m.)

Join U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as she celebrates the release of her three new children’s books: The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor, Turning Pages: My Life Story, and Pasando páginas: La historia de mi vida. This is a ticketed book signing; tickets are $17.99 and you will get a book of your choice signed by Sotomayor. You can purchase your ticket through the link.

Launching Nova Ren Suma’s A Room Away From the Wolves at McNally Jackson (7 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of Nova Ren Suma’s new novel, A Room Away From the Wolves. She will be in conversation with Melissa Albert (The Hazel Wood). Free event.

Wednesday, September 5

Launching Sadie by Courtney Summers at McNally Jackson (7 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of Courtney Summers’ new thriller, Sadie. Free event.

Thursday, September 6

WORD Presents Courtney Summers for Sadie with Cristina Arreola, Kara Thomas, & Tiffany D. Jackson at WORD Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.)

Join authors Courtney Summers, Tiffany D. Jackson (Monday’s Not Coming), and Kara Thomas (The Cheerleaders) to celebrate the release of Summer’s new book, Sadie. The conversation will be moderated by Cristina Arreola. You will need to purchase either a book or $5 voucher to attend the event.

Friday, September 7

Meet Jessica Spotswood, Robin Talley, and Shveta Thakrar at Books of Wonder Uptown (6-8 p.m.)

Join editor/author Jessica Spotswood and authors Robin Talley and Shveta Thakrar as they introduce their new short story anthology, Toil & Trouble. Free event.

Saturday, September 8

NYC Launch Event for Mirage with Somaiya Daud at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Mirage by Somaiya Daud. Daud will be in conversation with Tochi Onyebuchi (Beasts Against the Night). Free event.

Sunday, September 9

Book Launch for The Darkness in Lee’s Closet and the Others Waiting There by Roy Schwartz at Books of Wonder Uptown (3-5 p.m.)

Celebrate the launch of Roy Schwartz’s new book, The Darkness in Lee’s Closet and the Others Waiting There. Free event.

My Definitive Ranking Of Kasie West’s Romance Novels

I am a big fan of Kasie West and while I still haven’t read the Pivot Point duology I have read all of her romance novels. With that in mind I decided to rank them all from my least favorite to my absolute favorite. As always this is simply my opinion so feel free to disagree with me in the comments. Beware, I will be giving away spoilers in this post so if you haven’t read one of these books yet, feel free to skip my little blurb about it. Without further ado, here is my definitive ranking of Kasie West’s romance novels!

Love, Life and the List

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I was so incredibly disappointed by this book. The friendship turned relationship between Abby and Cooper just did not sit with right from me. This wasn’t one of those unrequited love situations. Abby told Cooper how she felt about him and he just brushed it off. I was so happy when Abby finally told Cooper off and I was hoping she would end up with Elliot. Unfortunately, Abby was much more forgiving than I.

The Fill-In Boyfriend

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Typically I’m all for the fake boyfriend trope (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, anyone?), but this one did not work for me. Gia and her fake boyfriend were cute, but it was her friends who actually ruined this book for me. I just found them infuriating and I honestly didn’t understand why Gia was going to great lengths to impress them in the first place. But the romance itself was fine so this was just a meh read for me.

Lucky in Love

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This book came out around a strange time where they were a lot of YA novels about teens winning the lottery, however this one particularly caught by attention because it was by Kasie West, but also because it was the first book by her that had a POC main character. The novel was about Maddie who won the lottery and her life was turned totally upside, in both a fun and also mind boggling way. Her one place of calm was working at the zoo with Seth, a cute Vietnamese American who didn’t know she was a millionaire. Or, at least, Maddie thought he didn’t know. Anyway, romance ensued it was incredibly cute.

The Distance Between Us

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I really liked this novel. It gave me hard core Gilmore Girls vibes with the single mom and daughter and the rich grandparents. I also really enjoyed the romance between the main character, Caymen, and Xander. Caymen was really funny and sarcastic and I loved how Xander played off that. Overall, this was a really cute read and definitely one of my favorite Kasie West books.

By Your Side

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The main character, Autumn, got trapped in the library with bad boy, Dax, and that premise alone was enough to make me swoon. This was a dream come true for me, honestly. But I also loved this book because of the way West expertly handled Autumn’s anxiety as well as Dax’s life in a group home. Everything about this novel made me feel all the things and if I remember correctly I read through this book in a day. I just couldn’t put it down.

P.S. I Like You

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This book has it all. Love letters? Check. Hate to love story? Check. Some room at the end of the story to see how the romance places out? Also check. Honestly, it was really hard for me to put this book third because I loved the main character, Lily, and her love interest. Just thinking about this book has made me want to reread. It was so good! I’d say my top three are all tied. This was so hard!

Listen to Your Heart

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I absolutely loved this book. First of all, it was the first YA novel I’d read that included a podcast in such a cute way. I loved how the podcast aspect really tied into the plot of this book. Second, Kate was such a great character. She was complicated but not annoying and I loved how she came out of her shell over the course of the novel. Third, the love interest, Diego, was a POC which I’m always here for, but also he was just so swoon worthy. I was Team Diego pretty early on. Lastly, even though both Kate and Alana ended up liking the same guy I loved how they handled it and were totally respectful of each other feelings. Hoes over bros, amirite?

On the Fence

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In my review of this book I actually said that I liked P.S. I Like You more than this novel, so hindsight is an interesting thing. On the Fence is my all-time favorite Kasie West book (for now) for a lot of reasons. First, the main character, Charlie, was literally running from the pain her mom’s death caused her. She often ran to try to tire herself out so she wouldn’t have nightmares about her mother’s death keeping her up at night. I absolutely loved how West handled this whole storyline with Charlie’s mom and the PTSD Charlie suffered from her death. And then there was of course the romance. This was a best friend to lover story and Braden was literally the boy next door. Charlie and Braden’s conversations at the fence were so touching and I loved how their relationship unfolded. It was so incredibly cute, and it was amazing seeing Charlie step out of her comfort zone during the book as well. Highly recommend picking this book up if you haven’t yet.

So, how did I do? Did I get it all wrong or perfectly right? Let me know in the comments below!