By Alexandria Drzazgowski
1. Living in New York City
Most (almost all) publishing jobs in the United States are located in New York City, specifically in Manhattan. Because of this, in order to get a publishing internship, I had to move to the city! I never considered myself a city person, so I was really nervous about making the move (especially by myself), but it ended up being the best thing I have ever done with my life—no exaggeration. New York City was incredible. I ate way more food than anyone ever should, met incredible people, and often walked thirteen miles a day on the weekends because there was so much to explore. This blog post would go on forever if I started talking about all of the great things about New York City, so just know that it was amazing.
2. Reading as much as possible
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that anyone who is considering working in publishing really loves to read. As an agent at a literary agency, it was my job to read through all of the manuscripts that were sent to the company on a daily basis. This could include anything from prose to nonfiction to poetry, and I really did see it all. There were always at least three hundred emails in our inbox waiting for me to look over, so there was never a lack of manuscripts to read.
3. Getting the scoop on new books before anyone else
In order to be successful in publishing, you have to know what’s coming up in the field. Everyone in my office used Publishers Marketplace, which told us about book deals, contract signings, and any other exciting events as soon as they happened. A new book by a celebrity was coming out? I knew about it first. The next book in my favorite series was announced? I was the first to know.
4. The laid-back work environment
I can’t speak for all companies in the publishing world, but at least for my internship, the work environment was very laid back. Everyone was always busy and there was always work to do, but the environment never felt like that. There was no dress code, and I could talk to the owners of the company like they were my coworkers.
5. Attending awesome events
Normally, when a book is released, there is an event to celebrate. While I was there, my company threw two book release parties and one book reading. I was able to celebrate literature in black-tie attire at a hotel in Times Square. I even chatted with the fashion director of Vogue about her job while attending an event in her Manhattan home. Not only were these parties a great way to celebrate the hard work of my coworkers, but I also felt pretty glamorous getting to attend them.
6. Free books
You would think that with reading for eight hours every day, I would leave the office not wanting to look at another book. So not true. In publishing, when a company works on a book, they generally get to keep a few copies for themselves, and if you’re a lucky intern like I was, you get to take them home and keep them. I may have gone a bit overboard (like hoarder-level overboard), because I took more than eighty books back to Michigan with me. That’s two and a half tubs of books, so it looks like I won’t be short on titles anytime soon.