Image Credits: sasint

I have known that I wanted to work in the publishing industry since the moment I picked up Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant, read the acknowledgements section and dreamed of seeing my name there. One of the main reasons I chose to study at Napier University was their placement module during the second semester. The opportunity to work with publishing professionals who would share their knowledge of the industry sounded like a dream come true and a terrific opportunity, as the industry is notoriously hard to get into. We were encouraged from the first day to polish our CVs and start contacting people as soon as possible if we were to intern with the publishing company we wanted.

Emailing publishers to ask them if they were able to take me on for ten weeks was a daunting task. I was mostly worried about three things when messaging companies. Firstly, was my email suitable enough? I knew I needed to come off as approachable and enthusiastic about both their work and the industry as a whole. Secondly, I was worried about my lack of experience. While I knew that the point of this course and this placement module was to gain experience, I doubted that any publisher would want to take on someone who knew next to nothing about the industry. I was also worried that since English is my second language, publishers would be even more reluctant to take me on. While I am fluent in English, I was afraid that my Greek name might make publishers think twice before taking me on.

It is a vital aspect of reading that we all read books from different cultures

Despite all my fears, I emailed every single publisher whose work I could picture myself working on. However, I was not prepared for the rejection part of the process. While I knew that not all publishers would be taking on interns and that there was a lot of competition, I felt dejected every time I either did not hear back or was told that due to certain circumstances they were not able to take on any interns this year. In the end, the course advertised multiple internship positions with Jasami Publishing Ltd, a publishing company dedicated to bringing stories from new authors to life, and after an interview with Michele Smith and Paula Weir, I was offered a one-year contract with them. The interview process was not as nerve-wracking as I expected it to be, both Michele and Paula were lovely to speak to and while they did ask publishing-related questions, they were also interested in me as a person. They were both very enthusiastic about my being bilingual and encouraged me to look at the translating sector of the industry. In the end, it was decided that I would work on editing the next instalment in their YA fantasy series and translating some of their already published books into Greek, while also recommending a Greek book that would translate well into English.

Image Credits: Jasami Publishing Ltd Logo

During these last ten weeks, I have worked on a variety of projects. I began by translating their children’s book, Bernie the Bear: You Can’t Go There, into Greek, which was more difficult than I was expecting it to be. As it was a children’s book, it had a lot of rhyming, which was very difficult to translate as many words and phrases did not even have a corresponding Greek word or phrase. While some rhyming was easy to translate into Greek, a lot of the time I had to decide when to loosely translate in order to keep the rhyming and when to completely ignore the rhyming if I were to maintain the flow of the story. After speaking to the rest of the translating team, they all expressed the same difficulties, but we all agreed that it was more important to keep the flow of the story and its morals than the rhyming. This was an eye-opening experience, which has helped me further understand the complications that arise when wanting to translate a novel and I am excited to learn more about the translating sector of the publishing industry, as I believe that it is a vital aspect of reading that we all read books from different cultures. My next translating project, The Life of Charlie Ryan, is another children’s book, but does not have rhyming which makes me believe it will be an easier process. I have also been able to read the first two instalments of the YA fantasy series, Hell’s Dauhter, and meet author Trinity-Rose Crane, as I will be in charge of editing her third novel. This is going to be an amazing opportunity, as I have always wanted to be involved in the process of creating a world.

Image Credits: Jasami Publishing Ltd

Working for Jasami has been a privilege, as I have been able to gain valuable experience of the publishing industry and has helped me realise where my passions and ambitions lie. I would encourage other publishing hopefuls to contact as many publishers as they can, as one of the most important things I have learned from this experience is that everyone is friendly and wants to see you succeed.

Special thanks to Michele Smith for letting me join her company and to Catherine Grace, Paula A. Weird and Holly Richards for letting me translate their book.