We were pleased to offer Abbie-Leigh Smith an internship in our office for four weeks. Abbie is a talented master’s student in Publishing at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. She shares her experience as follows:
“Over the past 4 weeks I have had the opportunity to complete a work experience placement at Windhorse Publications. It was my first experience working in a small non-profit press, and my first time learning about a publishing house as a whole rather than sticking to one department. I have received valuable insights into the requirements and necessary stages of publishing, including proof reading manuscripts, checking proofs of book covers and marketing and creating buzz for upcoming books.
I spent the majority of my time assisting in marketing, particularly researching blogs, websites, societies, and podcasts to receive a review copy of The Dark Side of the Mirror: Forgetting the Self in Dogen’s Genjo Koan by David Brazier. I also did research for potential reviewers for From Now to Eternity: A Buddhist Enquiry into the Nature of Time by Vajragupta. I took time to get to know each of the books, start to understand their target audience and curate a list of potential reviewers to go alongside the reviews spreadsheet that Windhorse already uses. This task made me think about the wide variety of books that can be produced by even a small publisher, as well as the varying audiences that different books may have, and how to bring awareness of the product to each particular audience.
Using the information that I had collected of potential contacts to receive review copies, I was set the task of drafting an email to distribute. Once again, this seemingly small task gave me the opportunity to practise persuasive writing in a way that conveys the excitement that the publisher has for a particular book, and stir this kind of excitement in the recipient. I found this particularly exciting when I discovered that we had received several positive responses, showing how quickly communicating with an audience can have a helpful effect.
I also got a chance to use a range of publishing software, which I had not used previously or had not yet used in such detail. I spent time finding average sales figures for several books and CD titles, worked out the minimum level of stock required for each book, and set up the alerts on the sales database. I also edited several books’ picture galleries in the content management system to add a ‘see inside’ element to each book, allowing customers to read the first 10-15 pages of each book. As an MA Publishing student, I found that gaining hands-on experience with WordPress for business purposes was incredibly helpful, given that I have heard so much about publishing software on my course. I have used WordPress previously, but only in an editorial role. It was extremely helpful to see the website from a marketing and sales perspective.
My time at Windhorse Publications has been undoubtedly helpful, with every member of staff quick to help me with any given tasks, explain the inner workings of a small non-profit publishing house, and help me learn about the publishing industry as a whole. I was made to feel very welcomed, and this placement has certainly fuelled my desire to become an editor. The passion each member of the Windhorse team has for their work is truly inspiring, and I am so grateful for the experience that I have received.”
We thank Abbie for her hard work and enthusiasm. She was a pleasure to have in the office.
The Windhorse Publications Team