Publishing and bookselling are changing. We’ve known it for a while, but how many of us have done something to prepare or keep up? As the Technology Forum programmer, it’s my job to think about professional development and the skills gaps companies are trying to fill. But it wasn’t that long ago when I had to hustle to get ahead of things myself. As a publicist-turned-editor, I had some valuable industry skills but nothing terribly unique or cutting edge. And I was seeing more and more young publishing grads entering the workforce with dazzling tech skills while the way we produced, marketed and sold books was changing rapidly. After less than a decade in the field, I was worried about becoming irrelevant. But it really didn’t take much to gain a few tech skills and become more digitally savvy.
I recently read Guy Gonzalez’s blog post, 5 Career Tips to Survive Publishing’s Digital Shift, and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone looking for a job in publishing or to hang on to their existing one. It does seem unfair that we can become obsolete so quickly nowadays, but getting ahead isn’t as daunting as it sounds.
So follow Guy’s advice. Do get on social media and try out as many free or affordable platforms and apps as you can. You don’t have to like it—it’s ok to find some of it downright annoying—but you do need to know how these things work. Learn the basics of <easy>HTML</easy>. It’s easier than DOS so I think everyone reading this can do it. Stay on top of new developments and build a network. And, if you’re especially motivated, learn ONIX, find out more about EPUB and get into metrics and analysis.
BookNet Canada is trying to make all of this as easy as possible for you. Technology Forum is a very affordable opportunity for professional development and networking. We’ve also got the Code Meet Print TO meetup series, which is free. And we release market research, blog about news and results and provide a ton of information on our website.
Tech Forum is 90% sold out so hurry up if you want to grab one of the few remaining tickets and check out our line up. But if you can’t make it, don’t forget everything else we’re offering you. And as a special treat, we’ll be live streaming Tools of Change right here on our blog next week. Tune in.