Posted 04.09.14 by prhcareers
It’s no secret that publishing is very competitive to get into. We’ve all heard how essential work experience is, and to be honest, this is not far from the actual truth. For me, this summer internship has been instrumental in gaining valuable insight into the book industry and the inner workings of a big publishing house.
My time in the Marketing department at Vintage has been very busy, as I’ve been supporting the team with a variety of analytical and creative tasks. I mainly work on online branding and strategy, which means that my goal is to get as many readers talking about the (amazing) books they publish.
As part of this, I’ve been involved in researching the digital footprint of their authors, handling their social media channels, monitoring key cultural brands, using Google Analytics to assess their digital output, uploading web content, designing artwork and the list could go on… I also gained exposure to campaigns for big names such as Haruki Murakami, Martin Amis and Ian McEwan, which taught me a lot about the marketing efforts behind brand authors.
Another perk of the role was getting involved with the graphic novels list at Jonathan Cape, which happens to be one of the best in the entire country. Having the chance to go through their open submissions entries and spot fresh talent has been one of the highlights of my time at Vintage. Moreover, I also had the opportunity to attend internal meetings and liaise with people from other departments, such as Publicity, Sales and Editorial, which helped me better understand the entire publication cycle of a book.
After graduating with an English Literature degree from UCL, I spent my first year out of university striving to get relevant work experience. Having a clear goal in mind has been very useful, as it helped me narrow down my choices and focus on developing very specific skills. Therefore, before joining Vintage, I briefly worked for a tech startup, the BBC, and other departments at Random House, whilst also studying for a Digital Marketing qualification with Google.
My advice for those trying to break into publishing is to do a lot of research around the different roles available. Having a good understanding of how a publishing house actually works is essential, as most people are unaware of the myriad opportunities available out there. However, for those digitally-minded graduates who are brimming with ideas and want a creative role, I highly recommend looking into a Marketing career. Trust me, promoting books is awesome.