18 February, 2010

Monster Update, Part I

Hello, my darlings. I'm afraid I haven't been able to write in awhile. There's not enough Internet for me to check my email, let alone update this blog. So I'm taking to writing this all out offline and will update it as soon as I get a chance. (Today is the 13th of February, just for reference, so we'll see how long this takes to get posted...)

So I'm well into my internship at Discovered Authors publishing, and so far I really love it. The place itself is a single room office in Bloomsbury (It's a room in Bloomsbury! Like the song in The Boyfriend! Iroquois drama kids will get the joke, everyone else, just disregard.) and it's directly across the street from the stunning British Museum. Just google search what it looks like and imagine it full sized, viewable from the window. Yeah, it's that gorgeous and awesome. The office itself is a tiny room in a very old building. There's a few desks, a fridge, and some filing cabinets. I'm one of four or so people who work there, and the company just relocated, so decoration is pretty sparse. But eventually we're going to have a sofa and bookshelves, and probably some art done by Hannah, one of my colleagues who does cover design and typesetting.

I've been doing a lot of submissions critiques, which means I read the submissions sent to the company by amateur authors and critique them. Basically, I get to choose whether or not they are published. We publish most things at DA, just under different imprints, which means we offer more funding based on how good the book is, and publish it under a different name if it's not the greatest. The worst ones are more of an assisted self-publishing plan, in which the author pays for most of the services themselves and then receives royalties when their book is released. The good ones receive editing, marketing, etc in a package from us. My only issue with reading submissions is that I'm not supposed to read the entire book, just the beginning, a section in the middle, and the end, to check for style continuity. But everyone who knows me at all knows that I am physically incapable of putting a book down once I've started it without reading the entire thing. I've taken to copying the manuscripts to my flash drive or desktop to read at home in my spare time... hehe. I am never without reading material!

I've been helping a lot with marketing, since DA's marketing guru just left the company and no one else knows what to do about it. I've a title (well, several) for my shiny new email address, Marketing Assistant, (also editorial assistant or publishing assistant depending what I am working on at the time or who I am talking to.) and I'm basically taking over marketing for a few accounts, meaning I make a lot of phone calls (nerve wracking!) and have to be really vigilant on deadlines and what kind of audience the book is intended for. I have to come up with ideas for creative ways to market the book, or perhaps even market the author as a selling point. I have to keep up a running email correspondence with all the authors I'm working for, and they are all extremely sensitive about everything, and seem to think their work is the only thing I have to do. Sorry, but I can't spend 24/7 on your account! (One of the authors I'm working for is named Paul Rudd. Like, the actor. Like, the guy in Anchorman who uses sex panther cologne. Only I've never actually seen him, since he's quite Lemony Snickety about his identity, so I can't be sure. But I feel like his refusal to be known by his real name and real identity as an author is incriminating. I am convinced he is Paul Rudd the actor.) The whole thing is hard, and scary, but I'm getting the hang of it, although I feel a little weird about it because these authors think I'm a professional, and I'm actually just an intern who's never done this before! Thank God for my mad improvisational skillz!

I've also started doing some editorial work, which is my FAVORITE so far. There are two types of editorial jobs I do: a basic poof-read and a more in depth enhanced edit. For a basic proof-read I check the manuscript for spelling and grammar errors. I'm basically a human spell check. For an enhanced edit, I go a lot more in depth. I do the basic spelling and grammar stuff obviously, but I also check for content, characterization, plot, continuity, and offer my own suggestions, such as where to tighten up or elaborate, or whether a certain chapter is even relevant, etc etc. I really love doing this, it's like uber active reading, or like when I read a book and decide that something really annoys me about it, but in this scenario, I HAVE THE POWER TO TELL THE AUTHOR IT NEEDS TO CHANGE. It's so cool. Sometimes it sucks because some of the books I read are only for a basic edit, but are not the greatest, and I really want to do an enhanced edit but I'm not allowed to due to the several hundred pound price difference... so that's pretty silly.

DA is turning out to be pretty awesome, as you may have guessed by my rave review. I basically get to sit in a cosy office and read books and drink tea. ALL DAY! It's like what I do in my spare time! Only I could potentially be paid for this, if I weren't an intern! As it is, I'm getting credit for it! I really love everything about the publishing world so far, except for the fact that it's so static. As much as I love reading books, I wish there were a more active aspect of the job.

Let's see, what else has been going on here...

Well, classes are going quite well, I still really like them. We've been seeing about two shows or so per week, which is awesome, as a lot of them are really amazing productions. One of my housemates, Emily, liked the production of Richard III we saw so much that she emailed the actor who plays Richard, and they're now in contact on Facebook. We saw Priscilla Queen of the Desert last night, and it was the most AMAZING show I've seen in a long, long time. A disco show about a group of drag queens on a bus, it was soo much fun. We had the most awful seats, in about the last row on the highest balcony, but even the restricted view didn't stop me from having the time of my life. It was just such a fun show. I wanted to sing along to pretty much everything, and the costumes were hilarious. Absolutely spectacular. If anyone ever gets the chance to see it, I highly recommend it. I'd see it again if tickets weren't so expensive...

Next month we'll be having spring break, and we're going to Rome and Athens for ten days, which should be entirely amazing. We're going to try and get in a day trip to Venice whilst we're there. Travel is very cheap within Europe, and with the exchange rate lowering (£1 is worth $1.50 now instead of $1.70 or so! Woohoo!) we're going to take full advantage of it.

Within London, we've been checking out a lot of different areas of the city. Last weekend we ventured out to Portobello Market and Camden Market, which are both these amazing (and HUGE) open air street markets that sell everything you could think of. Clothes, accessories, baked goods, souvenirs, food, crafts, art... it's all there, and it's all so cool. Easy to spend a lot of money though, so I went to them with very little in my pockets so that I would only buy things I really wanted. (Some cute cheap dresses, a donut as big as my head, and a really great hat that I wear nonstop.) Portobello sold all these really cool antiques, like old brass keys, gaudy jewelry that will probably be back in style in a year or so, hand-painted china teacups with gold rims, photographs from forgotten weddings or family gatherings, real silverware, some in mismatched sets, ancient books with tissue-thin pages, old cameras (which Lauren practically drooled over), and random little things like buttons or lace handkerchiefs. I loved it, and I wish I were rich enough to buy some of those things, especially those books!

And this past weekend, Emily and Lauren's friend from Norway, Stian, came to stay with us. He was funny, and I quite enjoyed hanging out with him. Also, he and my mother absolutely love each other, apparently, from the reactions I got from each of them based on a thirty second Skype interaction...

1 comment:

  1. 你可以從外表的美來評論一朵花或一隻蝴蝶,但你不能這樣來評論一個人........................................