Tuesday, 16 October 2012

My Work Experience - Publishing

So I am currently sat at my desk at my work experience placement taking a break (ahem) from doing a bit of events promotion, so I thought I would write a quick post about my time here.

I am working at a small independent publishing house, called Comma Press, located in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. This particular publishing house specialises in publishing collections and anthologies of short stories. I've known for a couple of years that working in publishing is something I wanted to do after I left university, but had little knowledge of the industry. After looking around and applying for a handful of internships in London, I decided to try contacting independent publishers back up north.

I mailed around, with a concise covering letter and my CV attached, explaining what I wanted to gain from a work experience placement with each publisher. Comma were extremely friendly and helpful and arranged a start date for me.

I have been working here since the beginning of September, mainly helping with events promotion (using social networking - Twitter, Facebook etc) and sending out email invitations.
I have also been proof-reading material for upcoming publications. This may sound dull, but it is my favourite part of the job! 

I am overjoyed to be a part of Comma, as they have been extremely accommodating and flexible. I currently work here one day a week.

Tips when looking for work experience:
  • If/when emailing a company you want to work for be clear and concise. No waffling (a bit rich coming from me, I know). State your case and availability.
  • Have a decent CV ready to send out - I highly doubt my CV is anywhere near as good as it should be, but it has all the necessities on there. Also explain in your email why a placement at the particular company would be beneficial to you - tailor each email to each particular company - make it personal and professional.
  • Be flexible - I know this can sometimes be tough, but the company has no obligation to offer you any placement, so if possible, work when is best for the company. I am extremely lucky that my current placement is very flexible and take into account the fact I am a third year student, and therefore cannot work as often as I would like.
  • Be persistent. I emailed a different publishing house in February looking for work experience, however, they were booked up until the end of July. Instead of accepting this, I emailed again in June and got myself a few days work experience in November.
I hope this has been interesting/informative (if not I have a couple of beauty posts due later this week so keep an eye out for them!)

Thanks for reading x


  1. Great tips, it sounds like you are gaining some really valuable experience and having fun too! Keep up the good work xxx

  2. An interesting post, it sounds like great experience - I completed a publishing internship at Simon and Schuster and loved it.

    Proof-reading was one of my favourite things to do too, I found it exciting knowing I was part of the process before general publication and could get sneak peaks of future bestsellers!

    Best of luck for the rest of your placement,

    Stacey x



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