An Introduction to Jenna

Who are you, and why are you writing this blog?

I’m currently a student completing my honours in English Literature. I’m also an intern with a small publisher called Odyssey Books. In my spare time I’m usually reading or chasing down lame puns.

This blog was an idea developed as part of my internship. I came into this industry knowing very little about the inner workings of publishing, especially as I’m originally from a more literary background. I was aware of basic editing, and what makes a book worth publishing, but not much to do with marketing, producing books or working with authors and designers. I realised that the questions I kept bombarding my boss with were probably questions many others had previously asked, or were curious about, whether or not they were interested in entering the industry, as an editor, an author, or something else entirely. I thought a blog about what I’m learning would not only be a great way for my boss to see just how much I’m absorbing by following her around, but also for others to learn a bit more about what really goes on in publishing.

So, how DID you become a publishing intern?

Ha! Actually, on a complete chance. I was starting to feel the itch of working in something completely unrelated to what I’m studying, and what I love doing. I started furiously googling, trying to find anything related to books and writing. I stumbled across an advertisement for Odyssey and applied, even though I thought I had absolutely no chance, with almost zero experience. I had to send of a resume, and a sample of my writing, and after that it was a phone conversation with my boss, before we got straight down to work! 

Give us a snapshot of a day as an intern?

What’s so incredible about being a publishing intern with a small press is that absolutely every day is different. Like all of Odyssey’s interns, I work remotely, so a lot of work is done at odd hours. The advantage of this is that I can turn up to work (ok, my computer) in my pyjamas, and my boss will never know the difference! Any given day can involve sorting through submissions from prospective authors, writing up recommendations on whether to publish certain ones, editing manuscripts that are waiting to be published, reviewing books that have already been published, coming up with concepts for cover designs, or researching and outlining marketing opportunities, whether for individual books, or Odyssey as a whole. I tend to spend the most time on reviewing submissions and editing, as those are my stronger suits, although I am loving learning about marketing, an area I’d rarely been exposed to before.

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