After my first internship at a literary agency, I put together a free-flowing post about what I learned. Well, now that I am at Bloomsbury, I want to do the same thing as I go, but share it with my readers since I'm quickly discovering that many of you aspire to do the same thing that I am doing now! With 7 months under my belt and several more to go, I think now's a good time to start recording my thoughts! This post series will be posted on Sunday's whenever I get the time and will be compromised exclusively of personal experiences, opinions, and topics I am allowed to talk about without jeopardizing my internship.
Hey guys! I didn't mean to have two Q&A posts so close together, but if you've been checking out my Twitter at all recently, my life has been super hectic lately. I moved out of my dorm room into a new one that I love, but because that subsequent week was so busy for me it took me nearly two weeks to properly unpack. And then I got sick, which would have been fine, but then the sickness kind of morphed into this nasty fever and I was literally sick for a week...and then midterms rolled around immediately upon getting better. But, now I am on Spring Break, so I can start focusing on blogging the way I typically do and post normally again. However, because of my inability to really buckle down prior to today, I needed a bit of a less in depth topic for ya'll tonight.
So...without further ado!
Please keep in mind that everything below is my own opinion from what I have witnessed and am allowed to talk about, not that of my employer.
As an intern, I have to prove to my bosses that I am trustworthy. I have to earn their trust. So, for example, I knew the new Lauren DeStefano title, A Curious Tale of the In-Between, and cover the third week of me being there in September even though it wasn't announced until late December (if I remember correctly). However, there are huge secrets that are kept strictly under wraps, like the title of Sarah J. Maas's fourth book in the Throne of Glass trilogy, Queen of Shadows, that I had to wait with the rest of the world to find out, and I was able to see the cover of that book about a week before the rest of the world. However, because I'm an intern, I was able to badger my boss with my personal guesses on what the title was, so I had an idea that it had "Queen" in it, but that was about it. Then, of course, there are secret projects, proposed ideas, behind-the-scenes experiences, mailings that I am preparing, and so much more that I can't talk about because I just shouldn't, and that comes with the job description. Do I want to scream from the roof-tops that I just sent A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES out to bloggers? (I mean, I did this months ago, so this is just an old example at this point) Of course I do! Can I? No. But will I be able to eventually? Yes! I take solace in that fact. After all, we're all book people and we just want to freak out over everything together, but my priorities as an intern will always take precedence to my book freak outs.
2. How much interaction do you have as an intern with authors at Bloomsbury? -@ReadWriteLove28
I wish I had a lot! Whenever an author visits the office while I am in office I get to say hello. The same typically goes for bloggers. If you mention you know me then you'll be brought by my cubicle if I don't stumble upon you beforehand. But that's how Bloomsbury chooses to work, you know. I help authors with blog tours and they are made aware that I am helping, but as an intern I have a lot to learn, so all guest post topics and Q&A's I expect are screened through my bosses first and they are the ones who send them directly to the author because, again, I am intern. I know how to be professional, but their actual publicist should be the one communicating with them in regards to things like this so that is what they do. When I go to signings and mention I am the Bloomsbury intern then they may know me from hearing my boss mention me or seeing something on Twitter. Who knows...I may have even written their galley letter! I don't get a lot of direct author access aside from what I have as a blogger through Twitter and stuff, but in retrospect, that is to be expected in the end. Hope this answers your question!
3. What is it like reviewing books for the publisher you work for? -Anonymous
So, I actually sat down with my boss and asked about her thoughts reviewing books. And she said that I still read as a blogger so I have the right to share my thoughts. Obviously, since I am an intern, I will only share positive thoughts while in my internship, but with that in mind I have not read any Bloomsbury book I would not rate positively yet. I pick the books I choose to read selectively to avoid this. I haven't event posted my Heir of Fire review despite its positivity because I was hired two days after I finished reading it and was unsure of their stance on this. However, I know that when I move to another house to intern in the future, all reviews will most likely be held until after I complete the internship. This is a unique situation because my boss happened to know me as a blogger first and because waiting 9 months to post thoughts from September will be hard because for some my thoughts may be considered irrelevant at that point.
4. On Netgalley do you see all our previously submitted reviews? -Anonymous
Well, we see your previously submitted review ratio, so the technical answer to this question is yes. If you have a 100% approval rating and you have a 7% submitted review ratio, then that can sway opinions if you aren't reviewing what you are granted access to. Also, we see every review you specifically submit for our publishing house as they filter in.
5. Do you care if a reviewer sends in a review before it is live (because they scheduled it for release day which is a month away) or after its live? -@OnStarshipsBlog
I think this is more up to the reviewers! From personal experience, live links are always the most useful. These are links we can note in our files so we can go back to them whenever we want, and they're also easier to promote via social media if we so choose. Sending in a review pasted in an e-mail is cool to read, but it's not something that can be easily noted anywhere. So I think it's best to send in live links once they go up, and as for Netgalley reviews I think it's best to paste in your review once you write it and then update your review with the live link once it is live. If you send us the link for the live review, but the live review doesn't go up in a month, it could get lost in our e-mail in that month.
6. Do you look at the number of comments on a review if the blogger sends a live link? Should I wait a day until there are comments to come off better? -@OnStarshipsBlog
I've actually never thought about this! When I read reviews sent in from bloggers, I look more for content and what they have to say than the amount of comments the reviews get! So I would say this is perhaps a worry that is not at all necessary. :o
7. How is your publishing degree getting applied to your internship? -@chbreadsYA
For those of you who don't know, I'm on track to get an accelerated MS in Publishing. So I'll be in schools for 5 years instead of 4, but I'll come out of it with a terminating degree that typically takes 6 years to obtain, sometimes 7 or 8 if they are in graduate school while working full-time. As for how this degree is helping me intern, it isn't. I can't officially start my graduate level courses until Fall 2016 (the beginning of my senior year), so until then it's just my Bachelors degrees that are helping me intern. A lot of what I am learning in the classroom can be applied to my internship somehow, but also my on-campus jobs are helping me with communication skills and such. My Masters degree is not necessary to get hired in this industry, a BA would be fine, but it's something I am choosing to do for multiple reasons...
1. It's a program offered at my college and my scholarships extend. As someone who does enjoy academics, it's an opportunity worth taking advantage of in my opinion because I would never return to school once I'm officially graduating.
2. It does give me more in-depth experiences to help base my future career choices off of.
3. I would hope it makes me stand out among a pool of applicants.
4. It just shows I am more knowledgeable about the industry because I have a degree in Publishing on top of one in English and my two minors.
5. Part of me has always wanted a Masters degree, and when I expressed this to my father who was in school for 7 years to obtain a judicial degree to be an attorney and a mother who was unable to graduate from college a mere semester short because of financial reasons, they both backed me up and understood my desire for this to happen.
Now...those reasons listed above are not guaranteed, but they are how I would hope obtaining this degree would translate in the real-world, which is why I am doing it. So, my experiences in another 2 years are what will be affected directly by my publishing degree, but until then the personal experiences I am bringing to the table are just things I have learned in any regular college programs and through various other jobs and work experiences.
8. What has this internship helped you decide about your future career? -@AwkwordlyEmma
Internships are so perfect because they help you decide about your future careers, whether it's the right place for you or not and such. This internship actually taught me a lot. It confirmed my beliefs that I belong in a publishing house, it also confirmed my thoughts that I belong within a children's imprint, though I am curious about experiencing adult because they differ greatly. Lastly, I also discovered that I love publicity and marketing a lot more than I initially thought I did since I don't consider myself a business-minded person, but I do want to experience marketing more directly to decide which of these departments I truly belong in. After observing other departments firsthand, I can say that editorial of any kind simply is not for me, nor is finance because numbers and I don't get along, and art was never an option because I would pity any author that would get a cover designed by me. Stick figures galore!
The best piece of advice I can give any college student is to intern, no matter what your chosen future career field is. It can bring real experiences you may not like to life, make you realize that what you want to do is within a different department, or re-affirm your initial thoughts in the very beginning. It's good to learn what your future may be like, and that's an opportunity that should always be taken advantage of, in my opinion.
9. Biggest mistake when applying for an internship? -@everybookaworld
I'm not entirely sure! I've had a few HR representatives from houses visit my campus in the past, and they're very adamant about grammar and proofreading. Cover letters and resumes are read, after all. But the worst mistake is to, I don't know, send a little to Hachette that opens with a "Dear Bloomsbury" or something. Reading those extra few times even if your eyes are glazing over may be worth it before you hit send. Also listening to their guidelines is always important because they are there for a reason.
If you have any questions that you want answered or perhaps something you think will be a great post topic, fill out this form! Don't forget to comment below with any further questions and, of course, your general thoughts! <3 I'm very happy to be back once again!