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Muggle-Born.net is a (mostly) young adult book review blog run by Cialina.

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My friend Anne had to film a short documentary on a person of interest. And that person happened to be me. Watch her video about me, highlighting my internship experiences at major publishing houses & literary agency. Also, see me nerd out hard at the Strand.

For more about my internship experiences, make sure to check out my Internly Insights posts!

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It’s that time of the year again! It’s time to apply for internships! Below are some tips for you future interns on what to do before applying and when you apply.

Yes, now is the time to start your search. Deadlines are coming up fast.

Before You Apply:

  1. Do your research! I’ve probably stressed this a million times before. Do your research about whatever publisher or agency you are applying for. Make sure it is a good fit. Make sure they publish books that you like to read or at least interested in working with. You are doing free labor (while learning something at the same time) – the least you can do is make sure that you enjoy the work that you’ll be doing. The atmosphere of a children’s publisher will definitely be quite different from an adult publisher.
  2. Check out the deadlines way in advance! This means checking up for internships an entire semester before. I knew I wanted a paid spring internship this year. I didn’t want to miss any deadlines because they vary across the board. I checked as early as mid-October for application deadlines to various publishing houses and wrote them on my calendar. You always have to think way ahead when applying for an internship. A deadline for the spring can be as early as January 1st.

When You Apply:

  1. Proofread your resume and cover letter! Typos are bad news. Especially when you want to work in publishing. Make sure your cover letter is addressed to the right people. You don’t want to miss an opportunity just because you didn’t look over your work. This is common sense, but it has to be addressed. :P
  2. Include social media and blogging! I already had my blog as part of my resume. I thought it was relevant to the field of publishing and I thought that it’s good to point out how dedicated I am to children’s literature and reading. It might seem silly to list it in a resume, but it isn’t! I’ve been asked about my blog every time I’ve come in for an interview. Trust me, it helps. Furthermore, if you have a section for Additional Skills, don’t hesitate to put down Social Networking as one of your skills. This was a tip that I learned from attending an internship information session of a Big Publisher.
  3. Do more research! Look up the specific publisher you are applying for. It helps to look at their titles and backlist. I always make sure to pick up at least 3 books from the publisher just so I know firsthand if I like the titles that they represent. Most likely, they will ask you the last few books that you’ve read and it always helps to mention a title that they have published.
  4. Don’t get discouraged! If it is the first time you are applying for an internship and your experience is limited, I would really encourage you to apply to as many as possible. During my initial search for an internship, I applied to 13 different companies – including many magazine publications. I heard back from maybe 2 or 3. I only got an interview from 1, which ended up being my first internship. If you don’t get an internship this semester, hopefully you’ll have a next one…

Good luck on the search, fellow future interns! I wish you the best of luck, and I’ll keep you updated in a few weeks to see how I fared.

Questions? Comments? I’ll address anything you’re wondering about internship-related things all at my next Internly Insights post!

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No, I don’t have a new internship. I promised myself a break from working in publishing. This semester, I am actually learning about publishing in an entirely new way: from the classroom.

Promoting books is hard work! But it’s also an experiment. I know there’s lots of debate as to whether or not bloggers make a difference. My publishing classmates and I are working extremely hard outside the classroom to promote NAMELESS by Kyle Chais (Karen Hunter Publishing, January 2012). We were divided into three groups to see who can get the most Twitter / Facebook followers & Amazon views in the next three weeks. Week 1 is my group’s week to dominate Twitter.

Since book blogging is what I know, this is the market I decided to target. So it will be really interesting to see if reaching out book bloggers will make a difference. There is very, very little known about Kyle and NAMELESS. Can book bloggers really have an impact on this 20-year-old’s life?  I guess we’ll have to find out.

Here’s what I learned during my first week as a “publicist”:

  1. Contact with the author is important! I’m not only selling the book; I’m also trying to sell the author.
  2. But after a while, the publicist really needs to be the one to take control of social media outlets (in my case Twitter). I have to work with what I have. Establish new connections, forge already existing connections (such as connections with Simon & Schuster imprints) to maximize Twitter exposure.
  3. Compiling a list of bloggers is actually really time-consuming. I don’t follow a lot of other fellow bloggers who review adult paranormal / urban fantasy so I actually had to go out and look for them. My favorite tool: The Book Blogger Directory.
  4. Writing a press release is kind of fun. But certain publishers follow certain formats when writing one up, so follow the template.
  5. Canned responses on GMail is my best friend. I don’t know what I would have done without it. It made sending 50+ press releases in one night manageable.
  6. Everything is easier said and done. Despite all my hard work, the only thing I can really do is sit back and try to see if my efforts paid off. And refresh every five seconds.

So the verdict? Twitter is actually a hard platform to make a jump-start out of. Not as many people use  twitter at the moment, even if it doesn’t seem like it for non book blogger folks. People are still predominantly on Facebook. Maybe people are more inclined to follow a Facebook page after all.

But: I did learn that book bloggers do make an impact, even if it did reflect just a tiny bit, it was something. Based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, we saw an increased interest of Nameless. We got comments from readers who were genuinely interested in picking up the book. Bloggers who tweeted about the giveaway did generate some traffic to our Twitter page, but it wasn’t as substantial as we hoped. Lastly, I didn’t really expect any response from book bloggers regarding review copies, but hey! I actually got replies. The prompt responses that I received truly made me excited that other people were excited about this book!

We didn’t get the amount of Twitter followers that we aimed for, but our team made a lot of progress of actually getting the word out to the people who care about books!

So want to help me out? This week, my group is in charge of the Nameless Facebook Page! Don’t forget to hit “LIKE!”

Like NAMELESS on Facebook

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I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.
- Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

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