• Rebecca Lewis-Oakes

the How to Make Books blog

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

Welcome to my brand new blog! I'm looking forward to sharing everything I know about the publishing industry with you. My corner of the publishing industry, that is: Trade, and mostly Children's. Let me tell you a little bit about myself so we know where we're starting from.

Lottie's second publication day, Barnes Bookshop

My background

I did the MA in Publishing at City University. I loved the programme and am still in close contact with the tutors and students there. I would always recommend considering doing an MA in Publishing, although it is by no means necessary to work in the industry. My experiences were entirely positive, and I love seeing new graduates coming through every year.

Work experience

Before and during my MA, I did a total of over eight months' worth of work experience and internships, at various publishers, literary agencies and even (briefly) a bookshop. I worked in Editorial, Rights, Publicity and Marketing, and ran reception desks. This was eye-opening, invaluable experience which was instrumental in getting me my first job. It is not necessary to do quite so much work experience, and indeed the laws around internships have since changed so companies don't tend to have people in working for free quite so much. My very first work experience placement was at a university press, which I adored, but it made me realise that I wanted to go into Trade publishing rather than the Academic side of the industry.


I spent the next ten years in-house at various London publishers, moving through a variety of Editorial departments. I've worked in Desk Editorial and Commissioning, as well as a more Brand Management role and finally a Managing Editorial position. Everywhere I've been, I've branched outside of 'just' Editorial to get involved in company-wide initiatives and change management projects such as developing new processes and introducing new systems like Biblio, as well as joining social impact teams.


Now, I'm creating a portfolio career as a writer, editor and publishing consultant. Take a look at the rest of my site to see what services I offer.

This blog

This blog is something I've been thinking about for a long time, and I'm excited that I finally have time to dedicate to it. I'm often asked how to get published, or how to get into publishing. So, here it is: everything I know, one post at a time. If there's anything you'd like to know about specifically, please do get in touch. Off we go!

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