empty chairs around a conference table

What the Heck is Happening?

Having a job while being a student has always been the norm for me. I have done many jobs, some of them full-time while trying to get through each term, and I learned many things from those jobs that I can use in my everyday life, like speaking to someone in my “customer service” voice to get things done or hide my annoyance. However, this is my first in-class, for-credit job that has everything to do with me being able to graduate at the end of fall term 2022.

The hustle and bustle of a new job is always hard to adjust to and can be quite overwhelming. Rarely do you find yourself with people who actually teach you, who walk you through things properly, and who have a range of knowledge about the job, not just what they do individually. But, and stay with me here, what if those people existed? And you actually learn what you are supposed to do rather than making it up as you go?

The art of book publishing has always been an elusive pipe dream, mostly because I never really understood what happens and what the process really is. No, it’s not just sending your book off to the company and being told yes or no and having the book immediately go to print, which is what my naive mind thought. Here are a couple of things that the team has taught me, and what I get to do for the book we are publishing:

  1. The world of book publishing isn’t just about publishing books. Marketing, networking, designing, editing, and creating digital content are just a few of the things that happen for a book being published. It’s not just about putting the words on paper and sticking it in a few bookstores. A lot happens behind the scenes, and a lot more happens behind those scenes!
  2. Each manuscript is read by multiple people before it even goes to development. Your fate is never decided by just one person. In fact, everything is checked and double-checked before a manuscript goes to development.
  3. The lingo! I have been learning abbreviations and terms from day one. When I sat in on my first meeting, I was learning a brand new vocabulary, and to be honest, it was thrilling! At one point my manager stopped mid-sentence, realizing I had no idea what was happening, and went through every term she just used so I could understand. And now, learning as I go, I find myself using these terms when I talk about my day with my friends and family, and I also have to stop and explain these terms.
  4. The most important thing I have learned is that your team is everything. Everyone there pulls their weight and more because each person understands the importance of the job. Having deadlines and assignments while also having to be flexible with each setback is pretty difficult, but as a team, your goal is the same and everyone knows it.

I was assigned to a team that was in the beginning stages of the process and was working to find ways to promote their book, and it has been such a great learning experience with the grad students. As an undergrad still trying to figure out what she wants to do, this has been a great term.

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