Interning for a Small Publishing House

By Sarah Waites, intern

The number one piece of advice I’ve been given about the publishing industry is to be flexible. You’re more likely to succeed if you keep yourself open to the idea of working in many different parts of the industry. Working at Bright Sky Press has shown me that I’m fully capable of being flexible.

Since Bright Sky Press is such a small publishing house, I got the chance to do a little bit of everything. I got to write copy for inside cover flaps, back covers, and email blasts. I got to copy edit manuscripts in as diverse a range of genres from memoirs to cookbooks. I got to discover how Bright Sky Press and other small businesses use social media for publicity, and I got to bring in my artistic background by taking the daily Instagram photos.

And I loved every minute of it.

Writing copy felt incredibly exciting, especially when there was the chance that it might appear on the book itself. And even if none of what I wrote makes the cut, I can rest assured that in copyediting I prevented typos and grammar errors from slipping through the cracks. Copyediting gives me a strange sense of satisfaction, although I’ll admit that it can make my head spin after four hours of closely scrutinizing text. Still, I love the feeling that someday the manuscripts I worked on will be books I can hold in my hand.

While I think I could have a satisfying career in editing, I also enjoyed my tasks relating to marketing and publicity. I had tons of fun coming up with innovative ideas for email blasts, and it’s a skill that would be widely applicable. Plus, I like the idea of bringing in more of my artistic side. Even if I’m not the one creating the art or design for a book, I’d love to learn more about the process a publishing house goes through hiring freelance artists.

Interning for Bright Sky Press let me realize that I enjoy working in so many different aspects of the publishing industry. In turn, this has let me realize that I might prefer working for a smaller publishing house, where I’d be more likely to handle a wide variety of work than in one of the Big Five companies. Now I know that I can do marketing or editing or publicity and that I can work with a wide range of genres, from children’s books to tabletop photo books. I am so thankful that Bright Sky Press gave me these opportunities and let me realize that working with books is definitely in my future.

Bright Sky Press, where Texas Meets Books.