The first step on the publishing ladder for many is an internship, so this week we hear from Justine Bottles, who has been interning with Floris Books this year.
For publishing postgraduate students wanting to break into Scotland’s vibrant publishing industry, internships and work placements are essential. When I began the MSc Publishing course at Edinburgh Napier University, I didn’t have a set idea of what I wanted to do but knew I needed to gain work experience in order to become hireable. I decided to explore marketing and with my love of children’s literature, working with children’s books made a lot of sense. When an internship opened up at Floris Books, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me. Armed with fresh InDesign skills and a vague sense of what a marketing department actually did, I threw myself into the wonderful world of children’s publishing.
My tea-fueled days at Floris were never boring. On a given day I could be compiling review lists and sending gratis copies to reviewers and booksellers, designing marketing materials, or assisting with social media planning. I input and helped track monthly sales and customer data, wrote blog posts aimed at teachers and readers alike, and designed flyers and posters for Floris authors and books. I quickly learned that Floris, like many other publishers, does not focus on a single genre. In addition to a wide variety of children’s books, they produce a number of books on education, parenting, history, and spirituality.
The Kelpies imprint, which focuses on children’s books with a Scottish flavour, launched five picture books in March, and I was brought on to lend a hand at the launch event. For the first time, I was able to interact with the customer base the marketing team works so hard on connecting with. I helped create marketing materials for the event and had the chance to see how the entire Floris staff pulls together as a team to make such an event run smoothly. Watching the success of the Picture Kelpies launch showed me how important such events are to building the author-publisher relationship and the early sales figures for each book.
Over the course of my placement at Floris, I was able to practice and expand my established skill set as well as explore the inner workings of a children’s publisher in Edinburgh. I learned that marketing is an essential and incredibly creative aspect of publishing that allows readers to directly interact with the their next favorite book.
I am glad to have been able to work with the marvellous and talented folks of Floris Books.