Since my first internship ever in the publishing industry last semester, I have been quite keen on getting more experience and knowledge within the industry. Therefore I was thrilled to get a week-long internship with the book publishing company Luath Press.
To be honest I didn’t know that much about how a book publishing office works. I knew there’d be an editor, manuscripts and probably some kind of meetings with authors, book events and some marketing. But as to how these things worked in practice, I had no idea. At the same time I had no idea how big the differences were between a big publishing house (such as DC Thomson) and a smaller book press. So I was very excited about getting an inside look of it all! Here’s a few of the things I learned and git hand-on experience with.
- Writing draft blurbs, press releases and book launch invitations. In order to promote books and make sure as many people hear about them, a lot of documents need to be written. Some were more interesting than others, such as drafting up a blurb for the back cover of a book. Others less interesting such as drafting a press release.
- Reading manuscripts and write reading reports. To be honest, this was the part I was the most excited about. What first got me interested in publishing was realising I could read books for a living! What greater job could there be? However, the reality isn’t always as exciting. Some of the manuscripts I read was super interesting and very publish-able. But a lot, and I mean a lot wasn’t exactly what Id find on the shelves of a bookshop and take with me home.
- Editing. I got hands-on experience of what an editor actually does within a publishing house. Everything from proofreading, to editing to discussing perspective manuscripts with a team of editors. It was very interesting listening into these meetings and discover the incredible eye for detail an editor tends to have.
- A few dull jobs. That’s the catch of being the intern, isn’t it? Every task won’t always be extremely interesting and insightful. There were a few errands such as delivering books for a book event or dropping off mail to the post office.
Overall it was a great experience though and I would definitely recommend trying to get an internship in the publishing industry if that’s what you’re interested in! I learned so much, both by trying out many things myself, but also by asking so many questions. Its all about putting yourself out there and just try!