Bursting the Bubble [Week 12]

Bursting the Bubble

Looking back on my previous Bursting the Bubble posts I’m amazed at how much fun I had, how many authors I met, how many events I was apart of, how many wonderful people I got to work with, and how hard I actually worked! Week 12, my final week, was all about the race to the finish line. There was a lot to do in the seemingly short four-day week BUT it somehow all got done. Thursday was a little sad to say the least. I know I am going to miss the subway ride to work, walking up the steps from King Station and having the beautiful sun blind me to the point that I nearly trip, walking into my little cubicle and getting to work. I’m going to miss the people at Random House, as well as, just being in Toronto.

As I sit back and re-read my own journey, I can’t help but notice how much I’ve grown and changed thanks to this internship. I went from the girl who never took the subway on her own to the girl who feels completely comfortable and confident with exploring the city by herself. I’m not afraid to wander around and find new things, I’m not scared to hail my own cab if that’s the only way to get home, and I’m no longer afraid to jump in feet first to any situation. That’s what they do at Random House, they trust you enough to throw you right into work and I think that that trust is what allows you to gain confidence both at work and in other facets of your life.

On the subway ride home yesterday I couldn’t help but feel a little excitement well up inside me — there is still so much to see and learn, so much to experience. I’ve become the confident and independent woman I always thought I could be and I’m ready for the next step. I have a feeling that I will be back, back in Toronto (maybe even back at Random House). Even though I was sad to leave it’s not like I could be an intern forever, interning is just the first step. I want to advance and excel, and if I keep perusing my goals and working hard it will all fall into place.

Until my next adventure I’ll leave you with some photos from my final week.

Who knows, maybe this series will be back sometime — there’s always room for growth, change, and bursting your own bubble…

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Thank you to everyone who followed along with this journey and thank you to the entire Random House staff for this amazing opportunity.

Bursting the Bubble [Week 7]

Bursting the Bubble

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 industryThis 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.

jennie-rooney-port_2516546bAlso 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.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Bursting the Bubble [WEEK 1]

Book Reviews, Bursting the Bubble, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Toronto Adventures

I’m happy to call Random House of Canada my 9-5 home from Monday to Friday. The commute isn’t as awful as I thought it would be and I really enjoy taking the subway (believe it or not :P). I normally get a seat which gives me plenty of time to read and relax. I’ve also started walking around my work-hood if I arrive too early or even on my lunch. I’ve found some awesome coffee shops, some restaurants that I want to try, and I’ve started to appreciate the beauty that is Toronto. Yes, I still feel like a tourist but the best part about downtown is no one really cares if you’re taking pictures of buildings they see everyday, or staring in awe at the beautiful church, or smiling broadly when you hear the church bells ring — as long as you stay out of their way no one cares! I love the independence I feel when I’m walking around downtown. I love not knowing what I’ll discover when I walk down a new street. I love it all.

It’s been a busy week but I’m enjoying this whole publicity intern experience even more than I imagined. Yes, my days are filled with filing, answering emails, couriering, mailing out books, binding 900-page manuscripts, and lifting boxes of books but I actually enjoy it — even the binding. There’s something about the monotony of it that allows your whole body to relax and your mind to wander. It’s also placed in the mailroom, a central location in the office which ensures that you’ll always have someone to say hello to. There’s always someone to chat with about a book that you’ve read, there’s always someone to ask if you need help, and there’s a wicked book room that is my kind of heaven.

I’ve learned quite a bit this week but the highlight was helping out at the launch for The Juggler’s Children by Carolyn Abraham. The launch was a wonderful experience and I think I put all of the skills I learned at Caruso’s into good use. I enjoyed setting up the venue with my coworkers at the beautiful Ben McNally Books store and interacting with the attendees who were there to support Carolyn. As an aspiring writer who hopes to have her own launch one day, I got teary-eyed listening to her speech and seeing the happiness in her eyes. I hadn’t read her book yet and just hearing her speech made me want to pick up a copy — you could tell that she has a way with words. I’m sure I’ll have a review of The Juggler’s Children up this month.

Overall I’d say my first week was pretty fantastic. I’ve met some wonderful people, learned quite a bit, and I’m starting to feel more at home. I’m getting into my own little routine and rhythm that will ensure another great week (I hope). Although I know there will be more traffic, a few train delays, more paper-cuts, and more 900-page manuscripts to bind, I’m going to make the most of it — that’s the only way to burst the bubble.

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Love Always 

Vanessa Xo

Bursting the Bubble [New BLOG Series]

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Toronto Adventures

I start a twelve-week publicity internship with Random House Canada tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited!!!!!! <– notice that’s 6 exclamation points worth of excitement.  I’m even more excited to share this experience with all of YOU. So, I’ve decided to start my very first blog series called Bursting the Bubble. 

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I know the whole little girl, big city blog is a little redundant nowadays but this is a huge step for me. It might only be a three-month chapter of my life but it’s a very important one. So, every Saturday for the next 12 weeks I will be posting my thoughts, challenges, and feelings about the 9-5 life of a publicity intern in one the greatest publishing houses in the world — with a one week break when I go to Vancouver.

If all goes as planned the first post of this series will go up on April 6th!

Until then, I’ll be blogging, working, and embracing this new (life) chapter that I’m about to write.

Wish me luck 😉

Love Always

Vanessa Xo