Over the years, a number of interns have come and gone, offering their invaluable support behind the scenes here at Linen Press.
After just a short time at the helm of our social media channels, April Smyth landed herself a fantastic opportunity elsewhere. Here she reflects on her experience as an intern…
I started an MSc Publishing degree back in September and one of the first pieces of career-enhancing advice we were given was: get on Twitter. I was already an avid tweeter but it wasn’t until I saw a social media internship advertised for Linen Press that I fully realised the significance of active membership as a tool for marketing and advertising in the publishing community. The tweet read:
‘Love women’s writing? Love living online? Be actively involved w a small indie press? Fab social media intern needed asap!’
Yes, yes, yes! It sounded just like me. I was someone who delved deeply into female writing in my undergrad years. My dissertation was on Stevie Smith and Ingeborg Bachman. I was excited about the idea of working for the UK’s only independent women’s press. “But wait… this press is based in London!” My dreams of working for Linen Press vanished.
However, I soon discovered that the internship could be worked remotely. This in itself is one of the many ways LP promotes diversity of voice. Unfortunately, the publishing industry is largely based in London and, with London prices, unless you’re wealthy or have relatives who can house you, you’re screwed. Allowing interns and employees to work remotely opens the industry to a plethora of voices from working-class students to single parents. With advances in technology, there’s really no reason for this not to be on offer. Yes, you miss the ‘water cooler chat’ but, with video calls, cloud systems, file transfer sites and old-fashioned email, you and your colleagues don’t have to be in the same office for work to get done.
Knowing that, I eagerly applied! Since joining the Linen Press team, I have been fortunate to be involved with a variety of different aspects of the publishing process. Predominantly, I have been managing their Twitter feed and implementing a marketing campaign for Karen Kao’s debut novel, The Dancing Girl and the Turtle.
However, it’s been a lot more than just tweeting. I have provided feedback and criticism for author submissions. I’ve created graphics for social media and I’ve actively put together a marketing strategy with an author and the rest of the team. I’ve felt that my voice has been valued every breath of the way.
One of my favourite aspects of this internship was putting together some author videos for the upcoming campaign for Sometimes A River Song. We had discussed the idea of video marketing in a Skype meeting and I volunteered to create them. I edited and created ‘Author Confession’ videos during my placement at Scottish Book Trust and I wanted to make something similar for Linen Press. I put my Adobe Creative Cloud knowledge to good use and I am really proud of the finished result!
My time with Linen Press has come to an end because I was recently offered a job with The Publishing Bureau, but I loved every minute of my experience. I’ve met lots of interesting and talented women and I’ve built my confidence as a publisher-to-be.