B.A. Candidate in English, 2013
Summer Intern at Heyday Institute
Read about our summer research projects on the OutWest student blog. Throughout the summer, the Center's interns and Research Assistants will be sending in virtual postcards, snapshots and reports on their summer work.
What I enjoyed:
1. Meetings. I was able to attend different types of meetings and observe how various parts of a publishing company work together. At marketing meetings, the publicity and events directors would meet with authors to discuss possible marketing strategies. At development meetings, the board of directors, publisher, development director, and events director would meet to discuss fundraising events for the organization. My favorites were launch meetings. There, everyone would get together to discuss book cover designs and titles. It was interesting to hear about the politics in making book covers. For example, if an author was working on a biography with the person the book is about, it is better to have just the author’s name on the book rather than adding “by.”
2. Experience. I received a lot of hands on experience in writing pitch letters and press releases for books. I was also able to have a lot of control over the events planning project for Soul Calling, being able to decide where and when I wanted events. Whenever I needed guidance, I knew I could ask my supervisors for help.
3. The environment. Although I had a main project to work on, every day was a surprise. For example, one day when I came to work Malcolm walked into the office and asked me to make a diorama of old California when current extinct animals were still alive. For the rest of the morning, I played with animal cutouts and fake grass. I was also able to attend events, such as the after party for the News for Native California Anniversary and Basket celebration. There, I was able to meet many people from the Heyday community.
1. It’s all about who you know. Develop relationships where you can help each other reach both of your goals.
2. Check the addresses. Double-check mailing addresses you receive from the database and from the author. This saves money since sometimes packages are returned because it was sent to the wrong location or because the person you sent it to isn’t working there anymore.
3. Presentation. I like to think that book reviewers are more likely to look at pretty packages and press releases. I enjoyed putting together professional and colorful press releases as well as putting together press packages. I also think giving a “sneak peak” of the book whenever possible is always important.
1. The more publicity the better. One of the reasons why publicity and events work together is because venues are more likely to book an author because they are popular. Sometimes, it is useful to use a book’s New York Times article to persuade people to hold an event for the author.
2. Personal is better. Businesses usually skip formal letters of invitation. What I found worked better was spending two minutes to personalize an email and being direct with what I wanted. I would start emails with a greeting by name followed by telling them that I would like to propose an event.
3. Email works. Although calling by phone is a great for fast communication, people who you call sometimes need to look at their calendar or are not ready to answer. Suggest that you communicate through email and confirm the event there.
Heyday Institute and the Publishing Process:
Before this internship, I knew I wanted to work in the publishing industry and thought I could only do so through becoming an editor. While at Heyday, I realized there are many aspects of publishing that I could possibly get involved in; the marketing and events aspect became more appealing to me. One of the main reasons I would love to work in the publishing industry is because I would be able to get a “sneak peak” of a book before it gets published. Working with marketing and events would allow me to still experience this but also apply what I’ve learned about events planning from my previous jobs. I am excited to build upon my experiences at Heyday, and discover new ways I can use my skills in the publishing industry.
Read more at the Out West Blog for Summer Interns »