Feedback - Fiona Bradbury, MA Publishing
I found out I’d gained a children’s publicity internship at Oxford University Press during a quick email check at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and had to restrain myself from jumping into the air. On return to Oxford, I started at Oxford Children’s Books and began learning the ropes of working in a busy children’s publishing office.
Supported and supervised by a couple of Brookes MA alumni over the course of six months, I learned essential administrative tasks, from ordering office stock to sorting email queries and preparing show cards or itineraries for author events, ranging from school visits to literary festivals. As I quickly discovered, mailing is integral to marketing, whether sending posters to schools, press cuttings to authors or packaging bound proofs and press releases for committees, columnists and book bloggers. The book cupboard (or ‘book cave’) downstairs, along with ample stashes of children’s book posters, bookmarks and postcards ensured we had plenty of mailing material to hand, along with a convenient gratis order system. Coordinating a blog tour for one author was another fascinating learning curve, entailing research on YA bloggers, soliciting interest and establishing a schedule before mailing proof copies, competition material, a tour banner and features from the author herself to be published on the blogs. I also wrote and formatted several press releases and helped to manage regular ‘publicity round-ups’ of various press quotes and book coverage to keep on record.
Working at Oxford University Press was an inspirational experience and I was lucky enough to work under the supervision of a friendly, encouraging and supportive team. The building in Walton Street is classically beautiful and imposingly grand (with a lovely cafeteria, too). A variety of publicity tasks ensured that my intern experience with Oxford University Press became an all-round insight into everything that a job in marketing entailed, from writing promotional copy to photocopying press cuttings to keep on file. I gleaned from my internship a strong taste of what it was like to work at assistant level in a busy children’s publishing office and the experience was invaluable.
Posted on 07 Apr 2014 around 10am