When I started the publishing programme at Edinburgh Napier University, the placement module was the one I was excited about and also the least worried about. This might sound weird, because, like most of my peers, I started this programme to get more publishing experience. I wasn’t as nervous about this upcoming placement, however, because I spent last year interning at various publishing houses in the Netherlands and thus already had some experience.
I have been a book blogger since March 2013 and over the course of the fewpast years I have built relationships with various publishing houses within the UK. I have loved reviewing for Harper Collins, Abrams & Chronicle, Bloomsbury, and Bonnier Books in the past; and when the time came to secure a work placement, I sent a few emails to contacts I hadmade through my years of blogging. Two weeks later I secured my placement at Abrams & Chronicle Books in London.
Although I had not been nervous about the work placement up until that point, nerves seemed to kick in full force the moment I stepped on my flight to London. Although I had some previous publishing experience, all my publishing experience came from Dutch publishing houses and I started worrying that it would be different in the UK. I realised that aside from the department I would be doing my placement in (marketing and publicity) I actually did not know what to expect at all.
I realised the very first day that there weren’t any major differences between Dutch and UK publishing houses, aside from the language and the tea culture… I worked on a variety of tasks during my placement. Some of which I had experience with, such as proofing press releases, social media marketing, and sending out press and blogger mailings. There were also plenty of tasks that I hadn’t done before, such as creating Excel grids for upcoming releases and title updates, creating publicity and marketing plans, and doing title research for some of their upcoming titles.
I really enjoyed my placement and it was a very good first foray into the UK publishing industry. It also was a good reminder that every first day is a little nerve-wrecking, no matter where or how much experience you already have. Every company, whether it is in publishing or not, has a certain way of doing things. You’ll have to familiarise yourself with the system they work with and find your own place and workflow within the company.