What you can expect to be asked in an interview for an internship in book publishing.
Introducing … Lauren Bisom, Picador Intern
Picador’s fall intern, Lauren Bisom, received her BA in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara (and so far she doesn’t regret trading in her beaches for the teeming sea of yellow taxis). Previously, she’d interned with St. Martin’s Press and Oxford University Press in their marketing departments.
Here are some of the questions we asked Lauren in her interview. We’re pretty sure this is what many aspiring publishing interns can expect in theirs.
What are you studying now and why did you decide to study it?
I am currently working on my M.S. in Publishing at NYU. With my classes all in the evening, I am surrounded by the book industry from 9am to 9pm. Although I rely on my internships to teach me the more practical side of publishing, my program grants me the opportunity to learn from publishing professional who work in different departments throughout the Big Six. Through them, I am able to better grasp the monumental changes that are occurring throughout the industry and participate in an active discussion on where it is going.
What’s been your favorite class and why?
So far, my favorite class has been Children’s Book Publishing. It was amazing in part because of the subject matter (who doesn’t want to be assigned the latest Caldecott to read for homework?), but also because my instructor, the incredible publisher Justin Chanda of Simon & Schuster Kids, was so passionate. This semester it’s looking to be my Advanced Law Contracts course; for me at least, so much is contingent on an enthusiastic professor.
If you were to plan a semester within your current area of study, what class would you include?
My program focuses heavily on digital media, marketing, and editing. Currently there are no courses offered in publicity, which seems a bit odd. Also, I find more and more job postings (especially in the area of marketing) require knowledge of CSS and HTML. I wish my program required us to take a class on it the first semester, before we have to start applying for full time positions.
Last few great books you’ve read?
I just finished THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. His entire series set in a fictional, gothic Barcelona is beautifully haunting.
SHINE SHINE SHINE by debut novelist Lydia Netzer defies genre classification.
Out later this month is another debut, STORMDANCER by Jay Kristoff which I loved mostly because it is the first Japanese Steampunk novel that I have ever come across.
And next on my list is Eugenides’ THE MARRIAGE PLOT (which I’m embarrassed I haven’t read yet).
Last literary event you went to and enjoyed? What made it great?
I have recently been to a few Tor.com events, which are conveniently held in the bar beneath my apartment. I love the mix of people that their parties always seem to bring together. Earlier this summer I also attended a reading of comedian Dave Hill’s book TASTEFUL NUDES at McNally Jackson. His friend Ira Glass from NPR’s This American Life interviewed him during the reading. They were hilarious together.
What attracted you to Picador?
Other imprints at Macmillan refer to Picador as the ‘literary’ imprint, which I guess has a romantic appeal to any English major. The fact that NOBODY has a bad word to say about the Picador team, and that I would be able to work with the publicity, marketing, AND editorial departments is also very attractive. I’m most excited for the diversity that this position offers.
What Picador books stood out to you before starting your internship with us?
As I mentioned before, Jeffery Eugenides has been on my to-read list for a while, so I was excited when I found out Picador would be publishing the paperback of THE MARRIAGE PLOT in the fall. I also knew that you publish a range of collected interviews and short stories. Jorge Luis Borges is one of my all-time favorite writers and can be found in a few of your anthologies. THE RED TENT and RUNNING WITH SCISSORS are two other Picador books that I’ve had on my bedroom shelf for years and I relied heavily on Susan Sontag’s ON PHOTOGRAPHY for an academic paper in college.
Stay tuned for more posts from Lauren about her interning experience with Picador.