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