Going into my undergraduate degree I was most excited for the final year. When I was applying back in college, I saw that we would have the option of a classic dissertation, or a placement either in academia or a cultural institution, and I knew which one of those options I wanted to do. My final year began in 2020; need I say anything further? The university, and just about the rest of the world, closed and did not reopen until a month before my studies ended. I never got to do a placement, and I felt cheated out of the chance to combine my theoretical studies with real world experience.
When choosing a postgraduate course, a placement was a must for me. Location was the second deciding factor, and so Edinburgh Napier University in beautiful Scotland, still in the North but far enough from home to push me out of my comfort zone, was the perfect choice for me. I made the move, began my studies, and started contacting publishing companies as soon as September. The rejection emails started to flood in as, unfortunately, due to “work from home” still being in full force for most of the industry, a lot of companies were not taking on interns, especially the smaller presses. It wasn’t until December that I got an interview, and subsequently an offer.
Jasami Publishing Ltd. is the publishers that I have been working with since January, they offered a handful of students remote internships in a variety of departments. An independent press ran by Michèle Smith, I worked under Paula Weir who was the Marketing Director until her departure in March. As a social media intern, I was assigned a children’s book, Charlie and Lola: A Tale of Two Squirrels, a sequel to a previous title, due to be released in June. With the advice of Paula, I started to create social media content, focusing on Instagram due to its visual nature. I created 3 posts to reveal the title in April, and am now working on 9 posts that will be released around the publication date. With fortnightly meetings via WhatsApp we kept up to date and ensured we were both happy with the direction we were taking.
I never really considered marketing and social media for children’s books, of course seven-year-olds are not using the social media themselves so it is important to consider the parents instead, whilst still making the posts fun, colourful and child friendly. It helped that the book is about two very cute squirrels and their animal friends, and the author Sheralee Ryan was eager to provide lots of photos and videos.
It has been helpful to have an insight into an independent publisher, and also to social media in a professional sense. I do not think it will be the route I pursue as I would like to work with words more, and I am still trying to source an editing internship. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed my time so far and look forward to seeing the rest of my content on the Jasami page in June.