Want to know what it’s like to work in book marketing at a publishing company? Well we asked our intern Lisa, who recently joined us, to share her experiences so far, and how she ended up travelling from Germany to join us in Sydney!
I can’t really pinpoint the moment when I decided to come to Australia. It must have been an inner desire to travel and also watching that documentary about Oz whilst sitting on a cozy coach in New York two and a half years ago. Being from Germany, Australia has always been this far away, mystery place on the other side of the world ruled by kangaroos, surfers and awesome weather. As a child I thought, if I started digging a hole in Germany and made it through all the dirt and soil, I would eventually end up in Australia. Years later (also wiser), after sitting on an airplane for 28 hours, I know, this is not how it works.
I started studying Bookselling and Publishing Management at the University of Applied Science, Leipzig, Germany, two years ago and the internship is part of my studies. Usually students stay in Germany and work for a publishing company there. But I am not usual! I set my mind on going overseas for a 5-month internship, the only problem was I didn’t really know any publishing companies beside the big, international, well-known ones. Hence I asked the omniscient internet and Allen & Unwin was the first company to pop up. I searched the website and really liked the profile so I sent out an application. Two months and a few e-mails later, I finally got the e-mail confirming that I got the internship.
Having a publishing background, and having already done an internship at a German publisher, I knew what I would get myself into – at least that was the theory. So here I was five months later, jetlagged, overwhelmed by basically everything and starting as the new marketing intern at Allen & Unwin.
I have to say the A&U team couldn’t have given me a better welcome on my first day at work. Everybody was so friendly, asked questions and there was cake. Everybody who knows the insides of Allen & Unwin knows that we love cake here (see below for some of September’s selection). And I was more than happy with that.
Ever since then I tried to contribute something to the company, which mostly turned out to be mail outs! It sounds worse than it actually was, because I didn’t even know how to write an Australian postal address correctly so it could be properly delivered. But doing that, I learned all the Australian states and territories within the first three days!
I also started to get the hang of Photoshop by designing digital assets, picked winners for Facebook competitions, and attended numerous meetings relating to the marketing of books.
I am not really sure what I expected, but now that I am a few weeks in, I realize that publishing here isn’t that different after all – except that everything is in English (which can be a challenge at times since English isn’t my first language, in case you haven’t noticed yet).
But I sure can say that I am enjoying my time at A&U and I am looking forward to the next few months.
We’ve loved having Lisa with us over the past month, particularly as she’s become a Photoshop whiz! For a different insight into life in a Publishing House, read the story of Se’s day as a publisher after winning a Girlfriend Magazine competition.