Hello book lovers! Today is a bit of a different post but that is because I had an incredible, unforgettable, and life-changing experience a few weeks ago and have finally found the time to share it with you.
On Wednesday, 07 February, I went to the Hachette publishing house in London with my university’s publishing degree students to have a three-hour visit. Now before I get into all of the things that made me fall even more in love and eager to have a career in publishing, let’s just enjoy this photo of me which completely sums up my entire day. I almost cried three times, no joke.
Cute, right? I just couldn’t believe it. It kept hitting me as I was going there that I had finally made it. Not only was I studying something that I love, I was finally getting a proper taste at what my future career could be like.
So let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
With it starting at 2:30 pm, I was lucky enough to have a proper lie in which lead to me waking up and practically bouncing around with excitement. I, a second year university student with big dreams, was actually going to Hachette! In London! What a dream come true!
Now I must admit that Hachette has never been a publisher that I properly looked at, in terms of places I would love to work at but this day just completely changed my mind about it. I kept thinking, “I could work here. I would happily walk these halls, even if I was stressed beyond belief.”
As a person who hates being late, I decided to grab quite an early train so that I could enjoy the walk from Waterloo, rather than depending on the tubes that always stress me out. This lead to me stopping at Starbucks, of course, to grab my chai tea latte (with one pump of vanilla) to start my morning/afternoon and properly feel like a publisher on her way to work. Enjoy this “had to be taken because I can’t control myself when I have a Starbucks cup” photo.
I ended up arriving at the Hachette building 35 minutes early (go me) so I then joined the lunch crew sitting on the benches outside along the Thames. What an amazing lunch location for when the weather is good! Minus the construction site of them working on the sewer system nearby.
Once it hit the time, I went in to check-in and was given a clip-on badge. Now as exciting as this was, seeing as it had my name AND Hachette information on it, my boyfriend later noticed that they actually spelled my name wrong. Lovely, right? But oh well, I was just happy to be there!
Our group was led into one of their presentation rooms, which turned out to be the place that we would be sat at for three hours and thirty minutes (with a thirty minute tea break). Now my first thought whilst sitting there? Well I was amazed by the fact that they have not only one screen for the projection but four. Four screens for one presentation! Yes it was incredibly satisfying as a person who constantly takes notes and was able to switch to whatever screen suited best with the position I was writing in. Does that make me sound weird?
My lecturer (who works at Hachette) organised it for us to have a presentation from the audience team, the primary education branch, the children’s group, sales, and an editor focusing on genres and fiction. As awkward as some of these were when they would ask at the end if anyone was now interested in their field and no one raised their hand, all of the presentations were still an incredible insight into what they actually do.
My big moment of the day was when the head editor of the children’s group came to speak to us. Working in editorial or publicity for children’s publishing is the big dream of mine so being able to meet someone who has led an inspirational career path was absolutely amazing. I was just in awe and couldn’t bring myself to words when we were asked if there were any questions. After being egged up by my teacher, I did ask a question about the day-to-day life of an editor which was really neat and just made me even more eager for the position.
Now the big highlight – she published Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, a.k.a. the book that I happened to be flying through at the time because it was so amazing (still need to write the review). All of the workers in the department proudly wore their “W” Wonder Society pins on their lanyards and shared their excitement for the second book that is currently being written. It just felt so surreal to talk to the people who actually worked on the book alongside the author. Not to mention the fact that I was the only one who was reading it so it gave me a chance to fangirl which was fun like always.
During the tea break we had a selection of cakes, coffee, and tea which was proper cute and just made me want to work at the place even more. During this time, workers who didn’t have presentations came down to speak to us. The group that I ended up sticking with (and going over the time limit with) were three women from the publicity children’s group. Did I feel like dying this whole time after meeting both careers that I dreamed of? A million times yes! It was all just so surreal to hear their experiences and see their passion. To know that I could one day be like them was an incredible thought and just left me more eager to be successful than ever before.
To end this amazing day, we were led on a tour around the building to check out the different branches, the only part of the original building (a staircase), and the top floor which they were really proud of. Cue the next round of almost tears.
Here I was, standing on top of Hachette, in London, with an incredible view after an incredible day. The surrealism just took over me and everything felt like a blur of excitement. This was where I wanted to be. I want to be a publisher and to succeed with my dreams. I know that it is going to take a lot of work but just the things that I am doing on a regular basis with university and social media is a good start.
*We also got to take two to five free books from their shelves of publication which is amazing, right? I snagged Caraval by Stephanie Garber and The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.*
Afterwards I had a lovely evening out with my boyfriend in the city that we love, eating at Pizza Hut, walking around Piccadilly (of course we had to stop in Waterstones), and finished it all with a walk back while enjoying McFlurries. Absolute goals for such an incredible and special day.
And that is it guys, I really enjoyed using my blog to share such a special experience so I may start adding more personal stuff like this on here, such as thoughts as a student doing my degree and adventures in London as a book and coffee shop lover. I would love to know what you guys think of these ideas down in the comments below.
Wishing you all a lovely finish to your week! Until next time. x