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What's new this month? August 2017

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Diana, an MA publishing student, getting a taste of the real world of publishing. 

We really enjoyed our time with the talented students who joined us for work experience this summer. Following her internship, Diana, a student from the University of Central Lancashire, kindly shared her thoughts with us about working at VP. 

We’re thrilled she felt at home here and we hope her experience encourages other aspiring publishers to get in touch with us about work-placement opportunities. 


My time at Vertebrate Publishing

Before I started my work placement at Vertebrate Publishing, I heard stories about what interns have to do when they take part in these experiences. Nonetheless, when I came here on my first day, I came with an open mind, ready to learn and wanting to impress. I knew that I was going to be working with a small team, which was exactly what I wanted, as this way I would be able to learn more about what happens inside a publishing house. 

My expectations for my time in here did not go further than wanting to make the best of it, enjoy my time here and learn as much as I could from professionals in the industry. I wanted the placement to focus more on the editorial department, as that is where I hope to be working in the near future. I wanted to gain editing skills that would be helpful for my career. 

Nothing could have prepared me for the experience I had here for the past three weeks. I felt welcome and included in the team from day one. I did not feel like an outsider or that I was bothering anyone when I had doubts or questions that might have been basic to them. I think that is what surprised me the most, their willingness to pass on their knowledge and experience to me. Another surprise I had was the responsibility I was given from the moment I walked in, which gave me the confidence necessary to do my work. 

My first task here was editing the final two chapters of a manuscript, which scared me as I did not have much experience working with manuscripts outside of what I learned during my course. I found it difficult at first, as I did not have the right confidence just yet. But I got the encouragement necessary to procede and finish the task.  

During these three weeks, what I enjoyed the most was working in editorial with out-of-print books that are going to be republished in ebook format. It was such a responsibility to go through those books to spot typos, following the style guide and writing their blurbs. I am glad that Camilla trusted in me enough to give me such responsibilities and her patience to explain to me how she would edit certain parts of the book. She also taught me the art of writing a blurb. Camilla saw my weakness in writing blurbs and challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and write them. Not only did she read the blurbs but she always made constructive and helpful comments to help me improve.

The task I found more difficult during my time in here was trying to come up with new ideas for a marketing plan. As I only had experience with marketing fiction books, trying to find something creative for non-fiction books was difficult. Nonetheless, I also really enjoyed it because it took me out of my comfort zone and as Neale Donald Walsch said, ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone’. 

Being at Vertebrate Publishing for the past three weeks has taught me so many valuable things. I did not have any doubts about it before I came here, but if I did, I would be absolutely sure now that publishing is the industry I want to be working in, especially the editorial department. 

I could not have asked for a better first experience in the industry and I hope in the future I am lucky enough to have a team just as great as this one. For that, I want to say thank you to this amazing team: to Jon, Jane, John, Lorna and Sophie for making me feel welcome and let me be part of the team for three weeks. A special thank you to Camilla: you taught me a lot of things that I am going to take with me for the rest of my life and I thank you for your patience. You were a great mentor and I only wish to, one day, be half as talented as you.  

Diana Alves, 6 July 2017


If you interested in applying for work experience at Vertebrate, please contact

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