Friday Five: Matthew Cole, Non-Fiction Agent at Northbank
Tell us a bit about your job?
I am the Marketing & Communications Assistant here at Northbank, which means that I handle all things social media and digital. I commission blog posts, write newsletters, and generally do my best to produce quality digital content, as well as helping out with any press and promo requests that come in.
What are the key ingredients for success?
I wouldn’t consider myself to be a particularly successful person… Not yet anyway! But I suppose finding a job that makes you want to work hard, and also not being afraid to take risks that might not pay off, but could get you closer to where you want to be.
Describe a normal day?
First thing, I check the trade press for any interesting developments in the literary or broadcast industries. I’m constantly on social media throughout the day and making tweaks to the website, but other than that my tasks can vary. I could be dealing with press requests that come in, drawing up social media plans for upcoming publications or events, or writing copy for anything from a bookfair list to the company website.
For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?
I’d say that getting practical experience is the most importance thing for any creative job. I naively thought that my academic achievements would carry me into a job in publishing, but I ended up doing two internships and a Publishing MSc before landing my role at Northbank. These experiences were invaluable, and if you really want to break into any industry it’s worth taking a bit of extra time to get there, rather than settling for a job you don’t love.
What are you reading, watching and listening to now?
I watched the first episode of Dracula on BBC1 last night and I can’t wait for the other two. I’m also not ashamed to say that the Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special was probably my 2019 TV highlight. Books-wise, I’m nearly finished The Confession by Jessie Burton. I didn’t think she could top The Miniaturist, but this is beautifully written.