Thursday, August 5, 2010

New York is not the Center of the Universe, or How to Get a Job in Publishing Somewhere Else

Yes, the major publishing houses are all located in New York City. Yes, the city is expensive, dirty, dangerous, and difficult to live in. Yes, you could probably do it anyway. But what if you really, really don’t want to? Or if you’ve done your five years and know exactly what you like and don’t like about the city and want to get out? Without leaving the world of books? Well you have quite a few options.

Sales reps are everywhere and work all over the country and abroad. Please read my post about sales for more information.

Smaller Publishers
Some larger and mid-sized publishers that aren’t in New York City include:
• Algonquin Books: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
• Andrews McMeel Universal: Kansas City, Missouri
• Baker & Taylor Publishing Group: San Diego, California
• Bendon Publishing International: Ashland, Ohio
• Chronicle Books: San Francisco, California
• Da Capo Press*: Cambridge, Massachusetts
• Dalmatian Press: Atlanta, Georgia
• Dover Publications: Mineola, New York
• F&W Media: Cincinnati, Ohio and Avon, Massachusetts
• Gibbs Smith Publisher: Layton, Utah
• Globe Pequot Press: Guilford, Connecticut
• Harlequin *: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
• Health Communications: Deerfield Beach, Florida
• High Bridge Audio: Minneapolis, Minnesota
• Houghton Mifflin Harcourt*: Boston, Massachusetts and Orlando, Florida plus more
• John Wiley & Sons*: Indianapolis, Indiana
• McSweeney’s: San Francisco, California
• Milkweed Editions: Minneapolis, Minnesota
• Running Press: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
• Seal Press: Berkeley, California
• Storey Publishing: North Adams, Massachusetts
• Timber Press: Portland, Oregon
• Tin House*: Portland, Oregon
• Ulysses Press: Berkeley, California
• Westview Press: Boulder, Colorado

Nearly every university has a University Press, from American University in Washington, D.C. to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. There are also some literary agencies that are not in New York, distributors, and a ton of small publishers. The list above just barely scratches the surface.

*they also have offices in New York, so the particular department you want might not be in the non-New York City office.

Freelance work
Copyeditors and proofreaders work freelance and live all over the country, as I noted in my earlier post about those jobs. Other former New Yorkers with experience set themselves up as an independent editor, ghostwriter, publishing consultant, and so on. Having worked in publishing in New York is generally going to be crucial to success in these kinds of jobs as one needs both the experience and the contacts one would get from that background.

There are three major book wholesalers in the U.S. Ingram Book Group is located in LaVergne, Tennessee; Baker & Taylor is in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Bookazine is in Bayonne, New Jersey

Yes, Barnes & Noble is headquartered in New Jersey. But Border is in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Books-A-Million is in Birmingham, Alabama; Hudson Booksellers (in all the airports) is in Atlanta, Georgia; and Amazon is in Seattle, Washington. Additionally every chain store that sells books has a book buyer. That usually is just one component of their job and they are responsible for many others in addition to books, but it is an option. For example, Kmart is in Hoffman Estates, Chicago; Target is in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Lowe’s Home Improvement is in Mooresville, North Carolina; and Office Depot is in Boca Raton, Florida.

And there are more options than these. There are regional independent bookselling associations, publications like BookPage (based in Nashville), author escort in major media markets, and buyer at large independent bookstores. So while New York can be exciting and fun, if it's not for you don't despair. There are other options.


B said...

This is really helpful. Thank you.

Booksnyc said...

NYC is not the center of the universe?

Ha ha - just kidding!

Carin Siegfried said...

haha BooksNYC. Should have known you'd take issue! I lived in Astoria, Queens for 5 years. It was fun but I'm glad I got out. It's a lovely place to visit!

Brenna, thanks. If you have any questions about this stuff, just let me know!