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What's new this month? April 2018

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Our intern Sarah Gunton shares her experience of working at Vertebrate.

I have, since a young age, known that I wanted a career in the publishing industry. Through studying English at Loughborough University, I have been able to learn the theory behind publishing by taking relevant modules and develop my editing skills through writing essays; however, I am always keen to get more practical publishing experience in a workplace environment.

Interning at Vertebrate has offered me this – and so much more! Since the moment I got in contact with Vertebrate to enquire about interning, the team have been nothing but friendly and helpful. A few months before I was due to start my internship, Jon asked me which areas I wished to get experience in – this was really useful as I was given a list of tasks on arrival which related to everything that I wanted to try out.

I have particularly enjoyed the structure of my internship – the range of tasks that I was given meant that there was never a dull moment, as I was always learning something new.

My first week centred on marketing – Lorna gave me a variety of tasks, such as: creating blog posts about Vertebrate’s fiction titles, coming up with interview questions for authors, and pitching authors for events. I found this to be really exciting – I love reading the books, thinking of interesting discussion points and summarising the content. I was also able to add a few books to my personal ‘To Read List’ as I found myself getting completely absorbed in them (namely, Here be Dragons, Vertebrate’s April Book of the Month, which I wrote a blog introduction for). I also experienced sitting in on a marketing meeting which gave me a real insight into what is involved in the process of promoting a book.

I left my first week at Vertebrate with an increased passion for marketing – initially, I always envisioned myself specialising in editing, however I enjoyed implementing the marketing tasks so much that I now know this is an area I that want explore more.

At the start of my second week, I was given an editorial task: to strip out and edit the text of a title which will be converted to an ebook. While I did find some of this challenging (especially getting to grips with some of the formatting issues that come hand in hand with converting text), Camilla was really helpful and I was able to approach her with any questions that I had. Proofing and editing a manuscript requires a lot of concentration, but it was really useful to be able to work to a style guide. I also found this task to be really rewarding – it feels great when you spot an inconsistency that, as a reader, you may have bypassed (such as a missing comma or presentation inconsistency) as it shows your eye as an editor is improving!

I would like to end my post by saying thank you to everyone that I met during my placement: Jon, Lorna, Camilla, Sophie, Jane and John. You all made my experience very enjoyable and worthwhile! I know the skills I have learnt during my time here will be so valuable for my future career aspirations and I am leaving my placement with even more excitement and determination to enter the publishing industry.

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