Non bookish

Interning in a publishing house ~ Week 1

Hi guys ! Here I come with a new weekly(ish) concept ! First, you must know I’m a book publishing student in France. I have studied in class for 6 months (September till March) and I have to intern for at least 3 months in a bookish company (bookstore, publishing house, library) to finish my year. Of course, all this has been disrupted by Coronavirus this year.

I was supposed to intern for 5 months in a publishing house, but obviously, I haven’t been able to start in April as was supposed to happen. However, I somehow managed to keep the internship. I was pretty surprised as I was entirely convinced it would fall through, especially since it’s a paid internship.

In the end, I was able to start interning mid-June. As we’re all book lovers here, I figured it would be interesting to share my experience in a book publishing house ! I find it interesting to take a peek behind the curtains of how books are thought and made, so I hope you’ll find it interesting too. Of course, this is a recounting of my personal experience, and I can’t say all publishing houses work the same as this one ! Here we go for the tale of my first week of internship !

I started the week with a 2-day meeting. I came in on Monday, stressing out because I didn’t know if I was dressed properly hahaha. I met with my tutor, the CEO of the company, one of the managers, and several authors/artists. I didn’t know any of them besides my tutor and the CEO, so I was terrified of the meeting.
Fortunately, the mood lightened quickly thanks to everyone introducing themselves in the warmest way, and being told it was my first day. Everyone was really supportive, and that was a great welcoming. The meeting started, and I was utterly LOST. I hadn’t been told what the meeting was about, or why all the people mentionned above were working together. It took me a day to even start understanding what was going on. I just pretended I knew what I was doing and kept writing in my notebook 😂

Second day was a little better, as I knew everyone and had a slight idea of what was going on. I was also very happy to have been allowed to give my opinion on little things, even though I’d only been there for a day. I found myself extremely at ease with everyone, and I worry I might have been too enthusisast, but overall, day 2 went well too.

Third day was when I got unsettled. I had to get an office, and work on some databases. Mostly, I called companies trying to figure who was in charge of communication there. That’s definitely when I realized calling people is exhausting and takes soooooooooooooooooo much time ! That’s insane !
I also had a hard time that day with coworkers. During the first two days I didn’t meet my coworkers, and haven’t been introduced to them. I found myself quite shy, and didn’t know what to tell the others, so I spent the day mostly by myself.

The end of the week was also trying for me, as I was given work involving InDesign. InDesign is the software publishers use to structure the way books look (size of pages, fonts, placement of text, and a lot more), create marketing visuals etc… I have been working on this software in uni, but really not much, and I found myself a little lost trying to understand how to do what I wanted. The good news is that during those two days I managed to man up and introduce myself to most of my coworkers, and I was glad to see most are very likeable and include me at lunch etc…

Overall, it was a busy week, in which I kind of was thrown blindly, but it was a good insight to what the world of publishing is, and a great way for me to see how quickly I can adapt to an unknown situation. I also had to figure out a lot of things for myself, but I’m glad I had people to help me through it from time to time.

Something I also learned is that most of the time, you don’t really know what you’re going to do the next week, or even the next day. I knew publishing was a fast-paced environment but I hadn’t realized how much ! At this point, I’m looking forward to the next week, and can’t wait to see what it has in store for me !

That’s it for today ! I know the construction is a little messy right now, but I’ll try to make it a little better for the next weeks ! I hope you still enjoyed reading about this first week in a publishing house !

Thanks for reading,
See you soon,
Jade ❤

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