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Book Related Careers

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by Kiki5435, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Kiki5435

    Kiki5435 New Member

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    On a day like today where I have spent hours writing reports my mind wanders to alternative careers. I doubt I will ever be able to own my own bookshop but was wondering what book related careers people do, or would like to do!?
  2. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    It would be wonderful to open our own book store. Unfortunately small business are the ones that seem to carry a disproportionate load of not only taxes, but insurance and 10 million other things that government bureaucracy throws at one.

    Even counting that we have a place we could open a shop, the barriers are more than I want to contend with. Not only all of the above, but the taking over of one's life by said shop.

    Nice pipe dream though. /sigh/
  3. scribeswindow

    scribeswindow New Member

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    I'm a librarian but at the moment I'm home full time with kids.
  4. readsalot

    readsalot Member

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    Ohhh bookstore would be cool, never thought of that. I think editing would be fun.
  5. Fantasy Moon

    Fantasy Moon New Member

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    I would love to own a bookshop, but I live in such a small town that I highly doubt it would turn much of a profit to warrant keeping it open.
  6. Hugh

    Hugh Member

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    I'm an aspiring author. Laziness and poor writing skills are hampering my ambitions, but I'm still hopeful.

    Can you network well? Make contacts with publishing big wigs? Perhaps a career as a lit agent is in the cards for you.

    Opening a bookstore seems like a scary proposition to me. I would not want to compete against Amazon or B&N.
  7. Will

    Will Active Member

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    I wanted to do the used book shop thing quite badly and a few years ago I did a fair amount of research into the used book shop area. I found that unless you're in an area of high foot traffic (uni/college town/malls) expect to be one of those businesses that fails in the first year. Online book stores have too much competition in the form of cheap new books from Amazon, ereaders/ebooks, free ebooks, many established online cheap used books stores, clearing houses who have better access/price negotiations for stock than you. I also chatted to a couple of used book shop owners in London, and their concerns were related to rising rents. Two of those subsequently closed due to the rent issue. You would need to be online as well, and often shops use that to subsidise poor shop takings.

    I think it's very easy to have that lovely 'Christopher Morley' idea of a used bookshop, when the realisation is those days are likely passed, unless you're very niche/established already. If you're a smaller shop expect this to be a very low profit business too.

    I think the popularity of ereaders and ebook distribution model in the future will really harm the new and used book selling bricks and mortar stores out there already, and kill off all but a few used bookshops.

    That said, I still would love to have a used book store, ideally run from a country cottage in a small picturesque hamlet somewhere... I picture a pot of tea permanently on the go, pipe smoke drifting from the back office along with classical music or some radio drama from the wireless, and a slow but steady footfall of paying customers...<insert sigh here>...
  8. scribeswindow

    scribeswindow New Member

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    In 2002 my husband and I purchased a cafe with the intention of making it into a bookshop cafe. We had enough money to buy the business but not enough capital to add the books. Since I'd never worked in hospitality before we decided to run it as a cafe to get a feel of it and then expand the business with the books. I resigned from my library position but my husband continued on with his work so this gave us the confidence to give this a go. We had the cafe for a year. We now call this the SHIT year.

    After six months I began thinking we'd made a mistake. After eight months I was in tears. At ten months we put it on the market and as soon as the business was bought I drove away from there and didn't even look in my rearview mirror.

    Small business is hard. I will never do that again. Never, ever, ever.
  9. ~Anne~

    ~Anne~ New Member

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    I want to get my copy of The Haunted Bookshop out and re-read it.

    I always wanted my own bookshop, but reality reared its ugly head, and I got a job to pay the bills.

    Plus, I'm not sure how good a bookseller that I would be. I love my own books so much, I have a feeling I'd get attached to the books in my store, and I'd yank them out of people's hands if they tried to buy them.
  10. Will

    Will Active Member

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    I know, it's a great book isn't it. Has anyone ever made a used book shop as appealing as Morley did? With its 'drowsy alcoves'. Wouldn't you just love to have that bookshop. I love the sign Mifflin puts up to the effect WW1 could be prevented, and all future wars, if everyone read the Dynasts by Hardy. And then the girl notes down: Hardy, hard to read, makes one ill, try it. :lol:
  11. Will

    Will Active Member

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    Sorry that didn't pan out as you had hoped, but I've got to take my hat off to you and everyone who actually gives these things a shot. Otherwise you'd never know right! Better to rack up the odd 'shit year' (I have) than wonder if it'd ever have panned out.
  12. Eva

    Eva Member

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    I work in a very big library, but in P.R. Really big libraries need a lot of different kinds of professionals who don't have the actual title Librarian. Popular these days: finance, budget, grant-writing, etc. What kind of consulting do you do?

    The advantage: You're working in a library. The disadvantage: It's possible to work the whole day and not really get to work with books.
  13. scribeswindow

    scribeswindow New Member

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    Thanks for the hat Will. :) The opportunity just presented itself and then steamrolled once we made the decision. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and looking back it seems surreal. Even the day-to-day actions of making espresso is something I don't do anymore (other than my home machine - but that's entirely different), and I can't even imagine doing that again. I think I fell in love with the idea of it all. I'll happily go to work, come home and take my wage. I'm not cut out for small business.
  14. scribeswindow

    scribeswindow New Member

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    You're spot on Eva, there are lots of professionals in libraries these days who don't strictly have what could be termed a library qualification. To answer your question with regard to consulting, and to also elaborate a bit more on the 'shit year', technically I was a library technician but worked my way into a branch managers position at a small surburban library. Great job as I really did get to work with books, and as it was a small library it did have a village feel about it. This was the position I gave up to do the cafe. So once that finished and I was job hunting again, not having that librarian qualification bit me in the behind.

    So I had a choice, do the course, that included accounting and business subjects (no offence to anyone who does it - but so not me), or do Arts that was screaming YES to me. Anyway, I chose the latter, and also got a position in an academic library that was completely different to my previous job. However, I'm yet to use this qualification as I was pregnant when I graduated. Just as an aside I'm actually thinking of doing a post-grad teaching qualification that will take me away from libraries all together - unless I do teacher-librarian....... :)
  15. Scalper

    Scalper New Member

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    I have a full time job as a system administrator and in my spare time I write. I've not published yet, but plan to do so in a couple of years. I don't plan to get rich with writing, I only hope to be able to write full time.

    I've convinced my wife to consider a job as a copy editor. Copy editing is a job any avid reader with good spelling/grammar and dedication to learn, can do. (It would be very advantageous if I had a copy editor in house. :D )
  16. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    I would love to learn how to do bookbinding and set up my own shop or operate out of a bookstore. It would be a hobby thing that would perhaps pay for my insurance costs when I retire and my pension would have me set otherwise, but I always thought learning how to bind books would be a fun thing to do.
  17. readsalot

    readsalot Member

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    Shoe glue works for chemistry books with lousy bindings....
  18. morgani

    morgani New Member

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    I was an associate editor in a past life. I reviewed submissions and wrote evaluations on the books. Basically I filtered the manuscripts coming into the publisher and put forth only the best works to the managing editor. It's not as glamorous as you think. Sometimes there are works that are pure trash from page 1 that you can't help but be sorry for all the trees that were cut down to print out the manuscript. And then there are those beautiful ones that break your heart because it never gets published for the lack of commercial appeal.
  19. Hugh

    Hugh Member

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    Tell me how you decided what got through and what didn't. Did the editor ever come back to you and hit you over the head with what he thought was pure crap? Did you ever find anything that made it to the best seller list?

    I'm writing a space opera and will be submitting it to lit agents soon. I'm unpublished and unknown and I don't know a thing about the industry.
  20. readsalot

    readsalot Member

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    Well, the beautiful ones at least had the pleasure of being read once and appreciated by you.

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