Saturday, 12 July 2014

Interning at Oldcastle Books - Weeks 1 & 2

Everyone knows that graduating from university comes with that awful dreaded question 'what's next?'. I have to admit, I had little real idea of what kind of career I wanted until last year. Teaching was always an option right up until I spent a year doing it in France and realised it wasn't for me. But the time did give me a break from the studying routine and allowed me to reflect on where I could see myself happily working. The answer? Well, you can probably tell from this blog: publishing.

This realisation led to me undertaking a month-long internship at Atlantic Books in August 2013 which confirmed that this was the industry in which I want to work. However, final year beckoned and with it the fear of what would come when the comfort of returning to Uni in the autumn was no longer there...

Enter Oldcastle Books: An independent (possibly the smallest UK) publisher based in Harpenden and founded by Ion Mills, Oldcastle Books has several imprints including No Exit Press (crime), Kamera books/Creative Essentials (non-fiction film/tv) and Pulp! The Classics (marvellous re-vamps of Wilde/Shelley and the like). I can't tell you how happy I was when my interview resulted in an invitation to intern with them and we set July as the date - one week after I would complete my degree, perfect!

That means that I've just completed my second week there and I thought it would be a good idea to post a little summary of what I've been up to...

My responsibilities at Oldcastle have been hugely varied. I've done a lot of admin and editorial things - ranging from updating the daily sales figures report & festival database, to sending parcels & proofreading bookmarks. However, I've mainly been working on PR and marketing with the wonderfully bubbly Frances Teehan (one half of Franny & Perks: These tasks have included doing publicity research for our new titles, e.g. contacting fellow bloggers to organise our virtual blog tours (check out #Coffeeville next month!). I've also worked on our #IntCrimeMonth twitter campaign - an initiative launched by 4 independent publishing houses in the UK celebrating international crime fiction. The launch of this campaign took place at Waterstones Piccadilly on Weds 9th July and you can see my published write up of it on Book2Book here :  (exciting!) And I've been working on next month's WWI related tweets to promote two of our new titles - WWI at Sea (Carolan) and Short History of the First World War (Gerr), as well as contacting editors and authors to ask if they'd like to review our books.

I feel I've been given lots of responsibility from the outset which is fantastic because it means I'm learning so much and so far its been a really invaluable experience.
Next week is a very short week as I'm away for my graduation on Thursday and Friday - ahh! But I can't wait to learn more, do more, and work my way towards that fully paid role!

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