Every person I’ve met in publishing has an interesting story to tell. A story that often starts with a lot of work and no pay, a lot of learning, a lot of growing, and a lot of MAKING a place for themselves in whichever publishing house they come across. This week I went to CanBPA’s Mentor Mash at Cadillac Lounge. CanPBA is The Canadian Book Professionals’ Association: providing professional development and building community within the Canadian book industry. This particular event was like speed-dating for interns/publishing students, where publishing veterans went from table to table to tell their story, to answer questions, and to give us an inside scoop to the publishing industry.
The mentors were:
Production: Valentina Capuani (Random House of Canada)
Sales: Sarah Labrie (Scholastic Canada)
Agent: Ali McDonald (The Rights Factory)
Publicity: Evan Munday (Coach House Books)
Design: Ingrid Paulson (Ingrid Paulson Design)
Digital Marketing: Lindsey Reeder (Random House of Canada) — Yay Lindsey!!
Editorial: Alana Wilcox (Coach House Books)
The event was a great eye opener and the perfect way to learn more about each sector of publishing. I found Ingrid Paulson’s story and talk particularly interesting. You don’t often think about how important a book cover is, or how it has to convey the novel’s entire message and a world of emotions. You don’t realize that authors write in colour, in shades, in night versus day. You don’t think about a book cover as an emotional experience for the author either, but it’s the first time they really realize that their book is being published.
Mostly what I gathered from the Mentor Mash is that publishing is full of hard work and pretty long hours. It’s important as a student or intern or someone who wants to get into publishing to make yourself an asset, to use whatever creativity you have to help the company, to get a book sold. It really helps if you’re passionate about books and reading.
Also this week, I met Jennie Rooney, the author of Red Joan. I was lucky enough to tag along while she and my colleague, Dan, went to sign stock. I find it extraordinary to meet authors — particularly if I’ve read their book. I hope I’ll be in their shoes someday and I find it interesting to meet the person behind the story. I had a great afternoon accompanying Jennie, she a wonderful person with quick wit and she has great taste in music. Jennie is an inspiring novelist (from what I can tell by Red Joan) and I am thoroughly interested in picking up her other books.
This week was a great one for me and I’m feeling really positive. I had the chance to ingest and digest a lot of information, to interact with many different people in the industry, and I even took the time to ask questions. I’m understanding how important it is to put yourself out there as an intern, how important it is to ask questions. Thanks to all of this information, I’m finally starting see where I want to be in the world of publishing. When I started this internship I wasn’t all that sure about Publicity, I wasn’t sure if I had the personality for it, but now I’m almost certain I could do it. I would also love to try my hand at Online/Digital Marketing — I love the combination of interacting with people online AND in person. I love the idea of spreading the word about a great book.
I love that this internship is opening my eyes to a world of possibilities that I didn’t know existed.