Work Experience Bursary Scheme: Headlines Publishers

Headline Publishers Publicity department work experience, Part 1-

So, for a while now I have been very excited about being given the opportunity to work within the publicity department of a publishing house. The publishing company that I am working in for the next two weeks is Headline, some authors you may have heard of are Martina Cole and Tasmina Perry (frequently found on ‘bestsellers’ lists). If you haven’t heard of them then I am sure you will be familiar with the celebrities who’s autobiographies they handle; Jonny Wilkinson, Tulisa and Carol Vorderman to name a few. Within this company I will be working in the publicity department, this means I will be able to view first hand what an author’s publicist does and how the department works, and hopefully have a go myself…

Day 1-
After a rainy tube commute I arrived at Headline’s offices. Once I’d got to grip with the very confusing and hi-tech lift system, I was in and sat at a desk in the publicity department. After being introduced to the email system and being taught the appropriate style of response I was put to work! The first job of the day was to skim through ALL the weekends’ newspapers and magazines with the hope of finding (positive!) reviews or mentions of any books published by Headline. Once this was done I was given the task of researching murder mystery novels based on trains. This task was set so that one of the publicists in the office could use examples of other literature whilst pitching the author’s new novel from this genre.

Once this was done I was introduced to the extremely fiddly Adobe In-design programme. This is basically an advanced mixture of Microsoft publisher/paint. I was designing things called ‘showcards’, which to you and I are the pieces of cardboard hanging in bookshop windows or propped up on tables at author signings.The rest of the day I spent doing a menial, but also therapeutic, job of putting books in envelopes and addressing them to loads of newspaper and magazine book reviewers. I have to admit I got quite excited when I realised they were going to my favourite magazines!

So after my first day, I had got to grips the email system, the Adobe In-design system and the office in general. The staff were welcoming and friendly and I really enjoyed my first day at Headline. I left the office at 5 and did what any girl would do if they were let loose in London…shop!

Day 2-
My second day at Headline started in a similar fashion to my first as I was given the task of skimming magazines looking for mentions of Headline publications. I found a few reviews of some of the ‘chick-lits’ that Headline publish, all of which were very positive! I then answered general enquiry emails and sent out a few copies of books at reviewers requests.

I was then given the task of entering all the details of one author’s book-tour details into the general Headline calendar. This was interesting as I got to view the type of events an author would attend and see the work entailed whilst organising book-tours. I spent the rest of the day designing more showcards and fliers for author book-signings and other events. By the end of the day I felt I had improved my In-design skills and was quite impressed with the designs I had created (if I do say so myself!).

Again, I left the office having enjoyed my day…so far, so good!

About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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