It’s fair to say that we were all a little grumpy as we made our way to Hanover Street at 7am on a chilly January Monday. As interns at newly formed publishing house The Wee Book Company, we had been offered the chance to attend Scotland’s Trade Fair with Susan, the Managing Director. Of course, we had jumped at the chance, but when the time actually cam for us to force ourselves out our beds at 6am, we were all beginning to wonder what we had let ourselves in for. Fortunately, coffee is a marvellous thing, and by the time we reached Glasgow, our excitement about the day had begun to reignite.
Once we arrived and saw the stall occupied by The Wee Book Company, we were raring to go once again. The Company had kindly invited Angus, Alison and I to the trade fair for one day, in order to get an insight into the purchasing and distribution process. It was a fascinating experience, and made me consider employment in areas of the publishing industry which I previously knew nothing about. We were able to speak to large distributors such as Lomond and Bookspeed, and learn about the lifespan of a book once it leaves the publishing house. I’m a very sociable person, and for me a face-to-face aspect is essential in any job I might do, so the sales route is potentially very interesting to me.
We were also able to watch some of the seminars which took place throughout the day. One which was particularly relevant to me in my role as Marketing Intern, was Rene Looper’s talk on how to effectively use social media to grow your business. He gave some fascinating insights on not only how to grow your follower count, but how to maximise engagement from the followers that you already have. Although we learnt a lot from Rene’s talk, I think that we interns already have a generational advantage in this area, as many of the other attendees seemed quite bemused by hashtags and insta stories!
The trade fair also provided an opportunity for Alison and I to create some promotional content for The Wee Book Company’s social media channels. A few short and snappy videos of the day (with an emphasis on the new product award that the company won!) did well on Twitter, and gave us plenty of ideas for further promotional content. It was after the trade fair that we decided to set up an Instagram, which we used to connect with other traders we had met at the fair. We were certainly putting Rene’s advice to good use!
I am incredibly grateful to The Wee Book Company for taking us along on this exciting day, for not only did I learn lots about sales and distribution, but the experience provided plenty of content and marketing opportunities, allowing me to hone my PR skills and giving us ideas for future promotional projects.
Thank you to The Wee Book Company, to Scot Trade Fair and to my fellow interns Alison and Angus for such a fun and informative day!