For the past four weeks I’ve had the pleasure of interning with Windhorse Publications. Apart from giving me an excellent insight into what goes on in a publisher’s office, I’ve also found it a great way to link between things I am learning at university (I am studying an MA in Publishing), and applying these to real situations. I’m thrilled to be going away with a number of new skills and insightful information, but I’m hoping I’ll also be leaving behind some useful information that everyone at Windhorse will continue to use once I have left.

When a book is published, you often don’t think of all the work that goes on behind the physical copy, but there’s so much more than meets the eye. I’ve been doing a number of research tasks during my time here, helping to gather information for new titles. I’ve been working with a number of new books Windhorse Publications is releasing in the future, in particular, Mindful Emotion and Mindfully Facing Disease and Death. For these I researched books with similar topics and looked into authors and figures that could potentially provide endorsements for these new titles. I’m currently writing my own book proposal as part of one of my modules this term at university, and know that it is hugely important that the author is marketable in order for the book to sell well. I’m sure that providing this information will be useful for the future releases of these books, and it also gave me a great opportunity to look into some topics which I had a very basic understanding of!

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Bookseller FutureBook conference at the Mermaid in London. I was actually volunteering there, but it gave me a fantastic opportunity to hear from some speakers about the future for publishers, and gave me some great information which I’ve been able to share back here at Windhorse Publications. Firstly, I was really interested to hear so many of the speakers talk about the shifting focus of attention now being on the reader. Looking towards the future, the speakers thought that publishers should be building a close relationship with their readers, specifically focusing on providing them with the right products and understanding more thoroughly what the reader wants. It was also commented on by many of the speakers that publishers should be trying to reach out to new and current customers in as many ways as they can, whether it be through social media or regular newsletters, but also in using a variety of forms through which to provide content. It seems like there is a massive opportunity in the future for an increase in production of audio books. At present audio rights are sitting dormant and although audio books are expensive to produce, they are still an option for smaller companies wanting to expand the ways they are engaging their readers. The whole day was extremely interesting, and showed that the publishing industry is definitely beginning to change the way it operates.

I’ve really enjoyed working with such a friendly team, and thoroughly admire the work they do. I’ve learnt a lot from my four weeks and have really appreciated the opportunity they have given me to help them in their work. The experience has been brilliant, and I look forward to watching the growing amount of fantastic books that are joining their list.