To Edit or to Edit? That was the question: How Centennial College Changed My Perspective on the Publishing Industry

I think every student comes into the program with high expectations, of themselves and the instructors. This is after all the last post-graduate program many are hoping to take, myself included, and nothing is more important to any of us than coming out of this program with a job in hand.

Coming into this program I have to say I was mortified at how little I knew about the publishing industry, being the bookworm that I was, I thought, somewhat pompously, that I would have an expertise of sorts with respect to books. It didn’t take very long for that hotheaded theory of mine to be proven wrong.

The Centennial College Book and Magazine Publishing program introduces the publishing industry as a dynamic and changing environment, but also one with tremendous potential. Going into the program, thinking about editing manuscripts was about all I could manage; now I have been exposed to the possibilities of sales and marketing, publicity, design, and of course writing for magazines.

Many of the classes offer an in-depth look into the many aspects of publishing. The book production course is stacked full of practical knowledge, integral I feel, to gaining an internship or a job in the industry. Learning InDesign and other Adobe programs is especially necessary, only I wish we were taught them more thoroughly. Some of the classes such as Elements of Design, while attempting to teach the basics of such programs, really lends itself more to an artistic point of view, not something all of us are willing or capable of understanding. Perhaps some of these courses might be better suited as optional courses for those more interested, while for others, it may mean time off to pursue a part-time internship that may benefit them later career-wise.

Regardless, after only two months in this eight-month program, it has proven to be an eye-opener. I never knew that there could be a future in sales or marketing in book publishing, and now I am faced with some tough choices. There really is so much more to the book publishing industry than simply editing manuscripts. Editorial or sales, books or magazines, I think the indecision will last for a while longer. We all want a job out of it, to feel that our English degrees and our love of books means something to the world, and hopefully we will each find our place in the industry soon enough.