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Explaining My Major – No, it isn’t Journalism

For those of you that don’t know, I’m currently going into my sophomore year of college as a publishing major at Belmont University. One of the hardest parts of being a publishing major is that people don’t really know what that means. This initially came as a shock to me, because it feels pretty self explanatory, but I have been proven wrong dozens of times. In the year that I’ve been at college and the accompanying months before I left for college, I have gotten some of the following statements:

  • “Oh good, we need good journalists to really get the truth out there!”
  • “Like music publishing?”
  • “You write books?”
  • “Editing is really technical, I’m impressed!”

And so many others. Part of the reason I’m writing this is so that I can send this blog post to those people so that they can read and understand. So if you’re reading this because I sent you a link, I’m not mad, I just need to show you how wrong you really are and didn’t know how to say it to your face. So, I’m going to say one major statement and then the following information will just be a build on that.

Publishing means the industry of publishing aka the process of bringing the book from the writer into the hands of the readers

What does that even mean? Essentially my major (which if you haven’t caught on yet is publishing) is broken up into two pathways. The first pathway is the Editorial Track. People that take this path usually become editors and like the nitty-gritty parts of writing. These people take editing courses that give them the skills to edit like professionals. This is taking the book from the first copy the author sends and edits them, pointing out mistakes, until it becomes a final edition to be printed.

The second pathway, which is my pathway, is the Marketing and Publicity Track. I take the finished book and I make calls to magazines, book stores, TV shows, and everything I can think of to help advertise and get people to notice the book. I interact with the authors, learn their strong points and what they can talk about and use that information to make press releases to make buzz about the book. This includes contacting bloggers and industry professionals to see if they want to do early reviews or interviews with the author. For this, I have to take marketing classes and media relations classes to understand the relationship between the goods I’m producing and the best way to make the readers hear about it.

Along with my publishing degree, I tagged on a Public Relations minor to help me interact with the media. 

If none of this made sense, just look at the big bold sentence and that’s all you really need to know. If you have any questions or you just want to chat about my classes or experience, I would love to talk to you about it! Being a publishing major has showed me just how little people really know about the industry and has opened my eyes to a whole new world stuck between the pages.

 

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