Saturday, 13 January 2018

My Week-Long Internship at Little Tiger Group

No rest for the wicked, I came back from Paris (read about that here!) and immediately began my week-long internship at Little Tiger Group in London. It comprises of four imprints: Little Tiger, Stripes, Caterpillar and 360 Degrees. I was travelling to and from London every day, and by the end of it I was completely knackered, with a new hatred of public transport but also a fun and well-rounded week of publishing experience under my belt.

On Monday, I got to the office for 10am and read through all the information I would need, looking over the safety paperwork and getting the log-in details for various things. I had a few emails from Beth waiting in my inbox, one of which was a list of Little Tiger children's books which had been nominated for a prize and needed mailing to the judges. I've heard a few publishing interns (and publishing people themselves) say that they find mailings really tedious, but I actually quite enjoyed it. I'm so used to being on the receiving end of them that it was nice to be the one putting the books into envelopes and popping their address labels on.

I also had to schedule some tweets for the Little Tiger account, promoting an exhibition:

I learned how to use BooksoniX, which is a database used to collate all the information you could possibly need about a book. Information is pulled from BooksoniX to do everything from creating a product page on a retailer's website like Waterstones, to creating press releases, to simply providing the best quality image of a book's jacket.

On Tuesday, I was pulling together press coverage of Little Tiger Group books and adding it all to a spreadsheet before filing it away. Fun fact: some of my reviews were already on there, and if you're a book blogger who's covered one of their books, you probably are too! When I wrote a press release later in the week, the press tracker was really handy for grabbing quotes from others.

Then I went with Charlie and Beth to a meeting with someone from a well-known books website and watched as they expertly pitched books for coverage. After we got back to the office, I started hunting for Halloween-themed props for an Instagram photo I needed to take for the Stripes account, and was promptly sent out with a fiver for a pumpkin. On Halloween. I've been somewhat involved in bits and pieces of this industry for a few years but nothing has ever made me feel more publish-y than rushing around west London looking for the perfect pumpkin for one social media photo. To add to the drama, I was half-relying on Google Maps with just 1% of phone battery. Amber Kirk-Ford: living life on the edge since 1998.

I had Wednesday off for a birthday surprise my parents had arranged ages ago (which funnily enough ended up being in London anyway) but was back at 10am sharp on Thursday morning. This wasn't at the office but a cafe in Victoria for a meeting. Again, Charlie and Beth (this time joined by Lauren, the brand director) pitched their books and their authors over coffees and croissants. Irrelevant but quite funny: on my way there, I stopped to check Google Maps and looked up to see that I was right outside the doors of one of the head offices for where I actually work (you know, my actual job, not the dream job I got to have for the week...) The place haunts me, clearly.

When we got back and I'd had lunch, I wrote the copy for an autumnal competition to go live on the Little Tiger blog, which involved me Googling random facts about hedgehogs; someone has to think of competition questions, guys, and this time it was moi. After that was the comms meeting, which is a long communications meeting that happens every so often where departments get together and update each other on where they are with certain books and what's happening going forward. It lasted a few hours and it was fascinating to hear about coverage highlights (including blogs, Twitter chats, Instagrams, vlogs), their stats, and how they'd impacted sales.

And then it was Friday, my last day. And the worst day for trains, it seemed, with the one I was on deciding to terminate with no replacement. Yay!... When I eventually got into the office, I added some more coverage to the press tracker and wrote an entire press release for We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty and Ryan Wheatcroft. I also got to create the #UKYAHomeBook photo challenge run by the Stripes Instagram account which was so much fun! I came up with each day's prompt and then wrote a design brief to be sent to the arty people who make pretty things. It's probably my favourite thing that I worked on during the week. Look, das meeeeeee.

I did lots of other things too, and I'm kicking myself for not writing a quick recap every evening to make this blog post easier to write, but here's the bulk of it at least. It was such an interesting time and I'm so grateful to the team at Little Tiger for welcoming me into their office for the week. As well as the above, I got to hear about some great looking 2018 titles, and the ones I'm most excited for at the moment are: Girl Thursday by Joanna Nadin (described as being along the same lines as Louise Rennison), The Eye of the North by Sinead O'Hart, and How to Write a Love Story by Katy Cannon.

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  1. Ahh this sounds like SUCH A FUN WEEK! *_* Loved reading this post, Amber!

  2. It sounds like you got to do some great stuff! Its weird to think of all my reviews being on spreadsheets everywhere