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Book professionals tell all

by Clare Millar

Rebecca Fletcher and Clare Millar (along with Jessica Harvie), who met as Student Advisers to the Editors Victoria committee, have launched Leaf mag

It is an online collection of interviews with Australia’s book professionals, whether they be in bookshops, publishing houses, libraries or somewhere else entirely. The editors are interested in what draws people to work with books, what skills they use and how they got into the roles they have now. 

They aim to highlight and disrupt the privileged barriers to entering these industries. They recognise that careers are not static, and hope that discussing skills and pathways will make book-related jobs less mysterious and more achievable for those looking to enter these industries. These interviews will be beneficial to students seeking practical advice on entering the industry and will open their eyes to a range of roles they may not be aware of. 


The first four interviews cover multiple sectors — bookselling, marketing, libraries, publishing, arts work and more — as many people often hold multiple positions. In keeping with dissecting structural barriers, these interviews also discuss racism and ideas of diversity in the industry, as well as safe spaces for queer and trans people. They also consider how the interviewees balance their own creative practices with their main work.

Finding current information about entering the books, editing and publishing industries can be difficult, with little advice beyond ‘do internships’. The Leaf mag website aims to provide concrete information and interviews with both emerging and established professionals. 

Interviews will be added regularly, with upcoming interviews planned to include buyers for library suppliers, academics, production coordinators, rights managers and freelance editors. Leaf mag has also recommended a reading list, organised thematically, responding to issues within the industry that may concern current students.

Please visit Leaf Mag – working with books in Australia. Rebecca, Clare and Jessica can be contacted via LinkedIn.

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