While getting a book out to the right people in order to spread awareness of the important subjects discussed is an incredibly important part of Island Press’ mission statement, finding authors who exemplify Island Press’ desires to inspire change regarding environmental issues is both necessary and rewarding.
I previously interned with Island Press in spring 2017 in the Publicity department and spent my fall 2017 semester in the Editorial department. Working in editorial gave me a chance to see a completely different side of the publishing process and work with books and projects that were not fully completed yet. This semester, my tasks included, but were certainly not limited to: reading proposals, attending and taking notes at meetings where we discussed potential books to publish, learning the ins and outs of the beginning stages of a book’s life, and following books through to production.
Although essentially going backwards in the publishing process is not a traditional way to do things, I enjoyed interning for Island Press and was excited to come back to gain more insight and help myself decide where my interests lie for my future career. Island Press provided me with a great opportunity to see the projects I read about in the decision-to-publish meetings from my first semester grow into contracted books. My time in the publicity department was a great way to see just how important marketing and publicizing is and I used that knowledge and what I’d learned when reviewing potential books for the editorial department. For example, I would think about what journals a book would most likely be reviewed in and that would help me when crafting proposal reviews and describing how the book would be successful marketing and publicity-wise.
Not only was I assigned to various projects specifically related to book proposals and projects, but I also helped with obtaining permissions for art and photographs and reaching out to potential blurbers interested in supporting the books. Seeing just how much work is poured into every aspect of the editorial process and the difference between the pacing of the two departments I was a part of was definitely a learning process that I’m glad I had a chance to experience.