My internship officially starts on May 15th, and I cannot express my excitement to begin. I’ve always felt like I have an idea of what working in the publishing industry will be like: sitting at a desk, surrounded by endless amounts of books–works of inspiration, encouragement, and happiness–in progress, and forming relationships with authors, editors, and publishing houses to help send a book out into the world. I realize, however, that there is so much more that happens behind the scenes from the business and editorial perspectives.
In this experience with Creative Media Agency (CMA), our responsibilities have been outlined for us. I’ll be working with a team of interns in a collaborative effort this summer. We’ve been split into different teams according to reading assignment genres and specific department tasks. So, here are a few of my expectations based on those given duties (I will go more in-depth about what I learn about each task throughout the summer):
- Manuscript Evaluation– The majority of my internship is going to be analyzing manuscripts based on a few qualities that are given to us that Paige Wheeler (the agent) is looking for in representing an author. I’m excited to learn about what makes a manuscript appealing to agents, editors, and publishers. I tend to be very generous when I’m rating how much I enjoyed a book, not getting super critical about details, comparisons with other books, and other features. I know I’m going to have to be more selective when I’m choosing the manuscripts to recommend to Ms. Wheeler though.
- Writing Reader Reports, Editorial Letters, Pitch Letters, and Letters of Interest- This task falls in-line with evaluating manuscripts. After reading the manuscript submissions, we will have to write short reader reports summarizing the book and giving my recommendation on the manuscript. Editorial letters will be similar, but will be longer and will discuss a submission from one of Ms. Wheeler’s current clients. Pitch letters will be the next step in the process after the manuscript is finished. These will be written to editors in order to advertise and “sell” him or her the book. Lastly, letters of interest will be completed once Ms. Wheeler decides that she would like to pursue a book idea. We will have to write these letters expressing interest to the potential author. I can’t say that these tasks are what I am most excited about, because there isn’t a single responsibility that doesn’t excite me. However, I will say that I am eager for my constant habit of recommending books to people finally coming into use (hopefully).
- Potential Novelists and Submissions Research- This task is what occurs before the letters of interest are completed. We are given a few websites, on which we can research potential clients, projects, celebrity novelists, and book ideas. This is going to be an area that I might have to work a little harder to adjust to. Of course, I have always looked up online book plots and potential books that interest me. When I approach this type of book research though, I am going to have to think of it in terms more of what will appeal to others and not just to me.
- Intern Academy- As part of the internship, all of the interns will have the opportunity to participate in a conference call every two weeks with Ms. Wheeler. In these calls, we will learn more about a specific topic within the publishing industry, as well as discuss reading assignments, bestsellers, and book ideas. I will talk more about what I learn in each session as we go along.
These are the main responsibilities among the many other miscellaneous tasks that we’ll be assigned as the internship progresses. I will also be getting the opportunity to work in-office twice a week at the headquarters based in the Richmond, Virginia, area. So, I’ll get to learn about the business side up-close, too. I’m beyond excited to see what all I learn in this first experience in the publishing world! I’m sure my expectations are going to be nothing to what I actually discover along the way!