by Katelyn S. Bolds
The first time I walked into a professional writing classroom I had it all figured out. As a fresh-eyed freshman, I would support myself after graduation solely with money made from freelancing. The acceptance letters would roll in every day. Why would I choose to pursue a full-time job in the industry helping others get published instead of myself? But, as I got closer to graduation, I considered other job options. Perhaps I could live the hipster dream and work at Starbucks while I wrote in my free time?
Sadly, Starbucks never contacted me with an offer. Maybe it was that I can never remember even what I want to order… I stuck it out freelancing for several months. But I tired of the pressure to perform instead of writing what I wanted.
This spring, I started my job at Gilead Publishing, a Christian fiction publisher. Since then I have experienced many benefits of working in the publishing industry.
Conferences and Events
Summertime is conference time for writers. For someone in the publishing industry, it means getting flown across the country, pursued by unpublished writers, and plenty of free food, tote bags, and books. Many of these events, such as the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference (ACFW) cost far
too much for a typical freelancer to attend. Being a part of the industry allowed me to go at no cost to myself. In fact, I was welcomed into the inner circle of publishers, editors, and famous writers.
At ACFW, I even got a hug from Ted Dekker! #fangirlmoment
In addition to conferences and events, I meet and speak with industry leaders. Some of them even friend me on Facebook and ask my advice on young adult and new adult books.
Instead of just bumping shoulders with these professionals, I am no longer invisible, but rather a representation of a cherished opinion. Working in the industry gives credibility.
It expands your mindset of what it means to be a writer. True, it starts with the words, but there is much more to be done after the author is finished. Editing, marketing,
graphic design, advertising, and sales have just as much to do with the completed book as the writing does. Having this perspective benefits a writer and allows for
many more opportunities.
Through my short time so far, I have written back cover copy for six now-published books, created a freelance consulting business with my coworker, Nichole Parks (also graduate of ’15), and modeled for a book cover.
I’m still freelancing in my spare time and support those who do it full-time. But if you were close minded like me, I would encourage you to explore all opportunities. There is much more to writing than meets the eye.
Katelyn S. Bolds graduated from Taylor University Professional Writing Program in May 2015. She now balances work as Web Editor, Author Service Liaison, and freelance writer for Gilead Publishing. She is married to coffee; also her husband. A little yoga, a lot of organization, and a holistic approach make for a Bold Life. Connect with her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.