Growing in unexpected and wonderful ways

Ethos Books at a publisher's sharing with students in the Arts Management Programme at NAFA.

This week, some of us on the Ethos team were invited to give a publisher's sharing for the students in the Arts Management Programme at NAFA. Having worked here for more than 6 years now, times like these when you have to explain your job to other people make you pause and realise how much you're doing and how much you've gained from the process.

When I was an undergraduate in English Language & Linguistics, I thought there were only a few ways I could find work in the art scene. Being accepted into the Ethos internship as a wee graduate, what I thought I had to do was edit books.

Instead, under the guidance of patient colleagues and flowing with the team's movements, I grew accustomed to managing sales, planning events and taking over distribution to bookstores. The fast-paced nature of coming up with fresh programmes and making sure books get to where they need to be as soon as possible suits my anxious temperament more than rigorous close-reading and copyediting (*this doesn't scratch the surface of all the wordsmithing our editors do)!

I'd never considered myself a salesperson until I had the opportunity to try out the role at Ethos. Every year brings something new, whether it is taking over the internship programme or learning how to manage and schedule print jobs. I grew into these unexpected roles through curiosity and stubborn hubris ("I can do it!" says 25-year-old Jen //"Maybe not," says 30-year-old Jen).

In my current season here at Ethos, I'm challenging myself and the team to see how to make our events and content more accessible with the limits we face as a small indie press. (And you can support us through the Ethos Membership Programme, which we came up with to respond to this hurdle!)

Over 6 years at Ethos, I'm still learning something from the new ways we're trying to do events and the new friends and collaborators we meet on this journey. As I said above, I would much prefer to leave the wordsmithing to my editorial and marketing colleagues… but a few times a year, I get to write this letter to share with you that there are so many more conversations to be heard, so much more to learn. Ethos continues to learn and grow with our community of writers and readers, and I hope you'll join us as we grow in unexpected but wonderful ways (:


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