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On Interning at Island Press: Persistence and the Potomac

Islanders hit the Potomac for Fun Day 2014 (we Islanders hit the Potomac for Fun Day 2014 (we're the kayakers, not the paddleboarders—none of us were quite that adventurous). Photo credit Jason Leppig.

In this installment, Publicity Intern Shelby Howick gets books into readers' hands.

Interning at Island Press has been an exciting and eye opening experience for me. I’ve always known I wanted to be involved in the publishing industry, so to get hands on experience with an incredible team was a dream come true. The publicity intern position requires a fast learner! From day one I was reading page proofs, writing press materials and promoting newly released books via media outreach. The most important responsibility a publicity intern has is getting Island Press books into readers' hands. Reaching a designated target audience can be difficult at times, but persistence will pay off. Whether it’s mailing galleys, emailing interview pitches, or keeping track of current media clippings—everything is done to bring innovative, life-changing material to those who seek it. The most rewarding moment of my internship happened after I had written an interview pitch for one of our authors. Through media outreach, I ended up booking three separate radio interviews for him. It was a great moment knowing that my writing captured the importance of this author and his book. Throughout the length of my internship, I was able to create friendships with many staff members. We had an IP Fun Day—filled with games, great food and kayaking on the Potomac River. It’s reassuring, as a recent college graduate, to know that jobs are available with a passionate, fun, and hardworking company like Island Press. IP 101 was possibly my favorite day of the internship, like many others interns have mentioned before me. It was a chance to really get to know the publishing process and how a book transforms from a manuscript to the final “on-the-shelf” version. The many different departments within a publishing company are so fascinating—I hope I get to experience every single one of them. For anyone needing confirmation to hit the send button and apply for the publicity internship, I encourage you to do so. It was a wonderful, career changing move for me and I feel inspired to take on my future!