Posted 07.11.19 by Ellie Harlow
“I had no experience with marketing or the publishing industry before this”
I was lucky enough to spend my summer working with the Cornerstone Marketing team and I had a wonderful time with everyone there. I had no experience with marketing or the publishing industry before this, but I learnt so much with all of the support I got from my colleagues.
My main role was to run the @windmillbooks twitter account which I started a few days into the internship. I was given freedom to run the account and decide what was the best way to promote our books and interact with our followers. Over the summer that I ran the account, we gained over 600 followers and formed a great relationship with our audience. Having this as my main project, I had the freedom to try new things and learn, and it really gave me an insight into what marketing can entail.
“I always felt like the work that I did was valued”
In the end, I created an account and personality that I was really proud of. I got so much support from colleagues across Cornerstone, including the editorial team who run the account, not just in giving me advice and answering my questions but always complimenting my work and giving me positive feedback. I always felt like the work that I did was valued, even the little things! It was a really lovely environment to learn and grow in.
As well as my main project, I had a lot of freedom to learn about other areas of marketing and sit in on all of the big meetings – the acquisitions meeting where people from across Cornerstone discuss the books they might want to publish. The cover meeting, where the design team present the front covers of books and get feedback on it. Also, the sales meeting where the sales team share how books are doing across different retailers. These meetings gave me a great insight into all of the work that goes into making a book.
I also got the opportunity to support the #Merky books team on tasks like collating data analytics from their social channels and finding influencers and artists that they could collaborate with, and a much bigger project of creating a timeline showing the process of creating a book. I spoke to people from editorial, design, publicity, rights and marketing to learn about their day-to-day jobs and the role of their department. This was one of the most interesting projects because it gave me the opportunity to speak to colleagues from different departments that I may have never met otherwise.
“people are so friendly, and always ready to stop and chat”
One piece of advice I’d give to anyone starting an internship is to not be afraid to talk to different people. I can get quite nervous (I was very scared about starting at a new workplace in a “real” job for the first time). But people are so friendly, and always ready to stop and chat. I had so many conversations with colleagues just while making a cup of tea.
If you’re still considering whether to apply, I’d really encourage you to do it. I only became interested in publishing a few months before I started my application. I was convinced I wouldn’t get past the first stage.
I’m really glad that I did apply because I’ve gained so much from this internship and I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if I’d let my own insecurities convince me not to even try.
Time really flies, so I’d suggest getting as much experience as you can and doing all the work that you can in those 8 weeks – it’ll be fun, I promise.
I’m so happy that I had the chance to work for Penguin Random House during this internship and I’m especially grateful that I was able to work with the Cornerstone Marketing team who were the most welcoming and kind people I could’ve hoped to work with. I’m sure whoever joins next year will have as much fun as I did!