Jamie H.

Trade Publishing Director
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Jamie H.
English and Related Literature
English and Related Literature
United Kingdom

My employment

Trade Publishing Director
Hachette UK
United Kingdom
Journalism and publishing

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A day in the life of a Trade Publishing Director in the United Kingdom

I am responsible for hundreds of titles each year - what we pay for them, how they are packaged and marketed, as well as all the people involved in the enterprise. No one day is the same.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

Hachette UK is the second biggest publishing group in the UK, with multiple divisions publishing trade, educational and children's books.

What do you do?

I have run different divisions within the Hachette Group, principally the Hodder & Stoughton division, as well as John Murray Press, Quercus and Headline. I also have worked closely with our business in New York and Paris. I have had roles as CEO, Managing Director, Publisher, Marketing Director.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

The desire to reach millions of readers with new publications from interesting and commercial new writers. I worked in a bookshop, then did work experience before joining a publishing graduate scheme.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

It is more wide-ranging in scope, but essentially it is still about publishing writers and helping them find their readership, while building a profitable publisher. It is much more digital than when I started!

Describe your most memorable day at work

Reading the manuscript of a novel that we then managed to acquire, that went on the win numerous prizes, and established the author as one of the top writers of the day. He has now published several books and is also one of the nicest authors we've ever dealt with.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Dozens, every day, but the variation is exciting! Publishing is about hundreds of small decisions adding up to a very significant business. I am responsible for hundreds of titles each year - what we pay for them, how they are packaged and marketed, as well as all the people involved in the enterprise. No one day is the same.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

Since Covid-19 we've been mixing home and office work, mostly trying to work in the office 3 days and home for 2. Its a supportive, though sometimes pressurised, work environment, with excellent staff networks and good training.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I edited a magazine. Aside from the editorial experience, I had to persuade local businesses to advertise, which taught me the mix of creative and commercial that exists in all publishing,

What would you like to do next with your career?

In March I will leave Hachette and endeavour to start my own publishing company.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Talk to people in the industry; learn what is special about the publisher you are applying for (and especially the differences between educational publishing and trade publishing. Go to bookshops. Look at what is selling on Amazon (in print and eBook).

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

The business of publishing as well as the Creative side. What you'd actually be doing in a first role in publishing, and the different departments you might work in. The skills needed are very varied!

Next steps...

If you like the look of Jamie’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Jamie a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Jamie to be your mentor.

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