Vancouver Career Spotlight is an interview-style blog series that features the amazing professionals that live and work in the Greater Vancouver area. Our vision is to showcase the many career opportunities that exist in Vancouver and provide inspiration to the future generation of workers and career changers.
Pia Edberg is an Author, Editor and Book Publishing Coach residing in Vancouver. She is the #1 bestselling author of The Cozy Life and other popular titles in the personal development space.
Why did you choose this career path?
I had been working in the human resources field for the visual effects and animation industry for over 10 years, but I knew I wanted something more in my life that fulfilled my creative side and would also inspire others. I reconnected with who I was as a child and remembered I was always making books upon books and sharing knowledge, so I took a course on publishing, wrote my first book, The Cozy Life, and the rest was history!
What are your main responsibilities?
The main responsibilities for an author would include: researching content, taking time to write, editing, publishing and marketing.
What are the opportunities for career growth and advancement?
The sky is the limit! If you market your book well, you could easily make a living doing what you love, earn passive income, and build your career. If you’re entrepreneurial and want to build a coaching or product-based business, books help to market and sell those services/products as well. This can also open you up to speaking gigs if you are an expert on your topic.
What kind of person would like a career as an Author?
Definitely someone who is creative, loves to write, share a message or story, who likes to be in charge of their own time, self-motivated, is okay with unpredictability, a constant learner, and isn’t afraid to put themselves out there.
What is a common misconception people have about this career?
People think they are bad writers, or that nobody will care to read what they have to say, and so they never try, even though deep down writing is their dream. The reality is that everyone has a unique voice and something interesting to share. Whether it’s a cool story or a new way of looking at the world, it’s worth putting yourself out there and shining your light.
What school subjects would a person in this career typically excel in?
Some subjects include English, Creative Writing, Art History, Social Studies, Psychology, Marketing, as well as any topic you’re interested in that you want to write about.
What type of education would you typically need to work as an Author?
Taking courses and classes on creative writing, publishing, marketing, and editing have certainly been helpful and will be extremely beneficial to any budding author. You don’t need a “degree” in anything unless you want to be a subject-matter expert in something and use it for credibility.
What are the best programs to get this education?
Most post-secondary schools offer courses in writing/editing/publishing. That being said, Simon Fraser University Continuing Studies has some amazing classes and certificates that I have personally taken. There are also several online options as well, so do your research and see what best fits your needs.
What types of organizations would typically hire an Author?
Typically, an Author’s goal isn’t to get hired, but to be published. If your work is picked up by traditional publishers, you would usually be offered a lump sum payment upfront, and then royalties on the backend. That being said, self-publishing is becoming more popular and disrupting the system, and as long as you have a love of marketing and business, you can take your book to many great heights.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in publishing a book?
Practice your writing every day, read a lot of books, figure out what kind of writing you want to do and then take courses/classes that will help you get even better. Connect with other writers or follow inspirational social media accounts related to writing to keep you motivated. If you still have to make money in the meantime, it’s an easy career to do on the side on your own time and schedule as you build your career.
Anything else you would like to add?
Don’t give up or be too afraid to give it a try. You were put on this planet to share your talents and tell your story. Your purpose for writing is bigger than any fears you may have — it’s about inspiring others, and leaving your mark. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Also, practice discipline and consistency. Writing isn’t about feeling inspired every day to do it. You will have great days and off days, but the key is to keep going. You will be proud of yourself for finishing your manuscript.
Connect with Pia through her website: www.piaedberg.com.
I hope you enjoyed this Career Spotlight interview. Below are additional resources if you’re interested in researching this career further. Feel free to ask questions in the comments. If you’re interested in seeing if this career is right for you, send us a message here, and let’s help you find a career that aligns with your personality, interests, and goals.
More information about Authors and writing roles in BC:
WorkBC – Authors and writers (earnings, workforce statistics, related careers, etc.)
Education Programs (in the Greater Vancouver area):