So I’ve just had my very first work experience at a publishing house and I’d thought I’d take this time to collect my thoughts and give you a small load down of what I’ve been up to. There’s a lot I could babble on and on about but I’ve tried to make this post as cut back as possible, yet also put in all the thanks required.
Of course, everything you’ll now read will be off my experience. My first experience. I have no idea what it’ll be like next time and it’ll differ to the place and person. But here’s what I went through at Macmillan in two weeks whilst I worked with the adult publicity team. I won’t be doing a day by day break down because much of the activities are repeats and/or are spread over all the several days.
2. Book post.
4. Help stickering and flapping books for a book signing with Peter James in the office with people from the sales team at Macmillan.
5. Gathering book details.
6. Editors meeting.
1. A repeat of everything above (minus number 4 and 6)
2. Ordering books.
3. Creating flyers for an author book launch.
4. Creating spreadsheets.
Typical office jobs, but who knew offices could be so fun? I knew that I’d be eager to do anything and everything as long as it was something that involved books (I have been waiting three years for this moment so being in the building was enough for me), but it was a shock when I found myself packing my 200th or so book into an envelope and still find myself singing happily.
If anything, this first time truly exceeded my expectations. The atmosphere of the office and the office in general was lovely, with huge windows that let in all the light and an open plan modern layout. It took me a while to settle in but I was fortunate to have someone else on work experience at the same time, which helped immensely. It was really nice to have someone to talk to throughout the whole experience and somewhat reassuring to know that she had the same thoughts as me.
I am so grateful that although I never went up to people to ask the more general questions about publishing (because I never wanted to disturb them from their work), they knew and almost created that time for me. During the time where I helped the sales team, it was interesting to hear about what they do and I learnt a significant amount about sales between supermarkets and discount shops work. I also had chances to talk with two people in the publicity team about how they got where they got and the whole bigger picture of what the publicity team do. Thank you to Rory and Ruth from sales and Kate and Sam from publicity for all the information and advice and inspiration.
There is nothing I would really change about my two weeks. It would have been nicer to have sat in a publicity department meeting, maybe another editors meeting, to get a better feel of what they’re like. Then there’s the general ‘not to shy away’ business, which was hard enough as it was… Especially because I’m a pretty hyper person when it comes to books, yet completely shy with new people and just throw in the whole professional business in the mix and I’m a wreck. There’s a balance you have to find, which I managed to keep until the last 20 minutes of the whole two weeks work experience… Original thoughts of who and what I was like had been changed drastically in those last moments. Thankfully there weren’t many people left in the office at that time.
All in all, I had a crazily amazing and lovely time. I wish I didn’t have to leave. Macmillan, if you ever need any help, feel free to contact me. I will work for free.
Thank you to Macmillan for offering me this work experience, thank you to the publicity team for keeping me busy and a *huge* thank you to Sam for guiding me through the two weeks, putting up with my questions and telling me to try the coffee machine downstairs. Thank you thank you thank you.
I hope there’ll be an opportunity to see everyone again.