It’s that time again – Intern Time! Beau has just finished his stint as the black dog intern, and he’s left us with very clean dishes and a parting blog. Thanks Beau!
As a media communications student at the University of Melbourne, part of my degree requires a hands-on placement in the media industry. Thanks to Maryann, I was given a glimpse behind the scenes of an independent book publisher.
Unlike corporate publishers, BDB provided a very intimate work environment. Not intimate in the sackable offence sense, moreso how close the departments were to each other. If I was to walk into the next room I could move between the editors’ office to talk to the publicist. This gave me great exposure to the many processes which were underway.
Before I began the internship at BDB, I expected that I would be working on one book. However on my first day I came to realise how much of a juggling act the editing profession really is. I was given a few drafts to proofread, did some fact checking for the non-fiction titles and perused through potential submissions and generated a readers report for the works I believed were promising. There were at least four books underway at the one time, all in various stages of production.
The weekly meetings provided a great insight into what the various departments were working.
There were the usual coffee runs, boiling the teapot and washing the dishes, however the amount of editorial work that I was allowed to become involved in was overwhelming. Melissa and Sophie (the editors) definitely needed a hand, especially when the press dates loomed so close!
All in all the experience at BDB was a great eye opener. The publishing industry is far from being a breezy job, evident from the amount of time the editors invested in their books – including a very extensive period of staying back late and coming in early to get the job done. Everyone at BDB should be commended for the great work they’ve been doing, and for persevering to keep the independent companies going, in a day where the publishing industry appears to have been taken over by the corporates.