By Lake Falconer
The publishing industry, people will tell you, is a very competitive industry.
Picture a scene for me, yes I know I’m a blog post and I’m being a tad presumptuous, but humour me for a moment. A group of literature students are asked, ‘how many of you plan to go into publishing?’ More than a few of them raise their hands.
It’s not surprising that this industry is quite competitive, I mean, who wouldn’t want to work with literature? A great number of people have more or less the same thought, which means that any prospective publisher has a vital grail to quest for: work experience.
I was lucky enough to secure a sales and publicity internship at the Lutterworth Press, an independent publishing house in the heart of Cambridge. Arriving on my first day was quite daunting. Warily, I stepped into the lobby of the glittering tower block of – only joking, the Lutterworth Press is a really welcoming place. The atmosphere in a small (but amazing) press is very friendly, I felt at home almost immediately. It’s also a great way to get a grasp on the industry. When all the relevant people and departments are nearby, it makes it way easier to figure out what’s what. Best of all, there’s a good deal of variety in the kind of tasks an intern can be expected to do.
I arrived just in time to help publicise Swallows, Amazons and Coots: A Reading of Arthur Ransome by Julian Lovelock. I have fond childhood memories of Swallows and Amazons, so I was pretty excited. To help share this new book with its target audience, I lent a hand with copywriting, which was a prime opportunity to use every nautical pun I could think of. I also got some experience of building a (#lutterworthy) social media following, which basically involved finding other people who like Arthur Ransome and joining in with their enthusiasm!
Other tasks involved designing publicity material, creating a competition, and dealing with review copies. I also got to help with the sales side of things, which involved researching and contacting potential customers and maintaining databases. By the end of my internship, I even managed to get the better of Adobe Indesign and convince the office printer to do as I told it (lest printer ink splatter the walls).
Of course, there’s more to any office than just the day to day tasks: the people in the office. My time here has gone by bewilderingly quickly, and I’ll be very sorry to leave. Working with a bunch of awesome people has been a great way to get experience, and have some fun at the same time. I soon became known as the office brioche roll fanatic. As you can probaby gather from other blog posts and the company facebook, a lot of baked goods find their way in here (nearly as many as books sometimes). Thanks everyone!
If you’re considering an intership with the Lutterworth Press / James Clarke and Co. you should definitely go for it!