It is officially the Christmas holidays. All university assignments have been handed in and the last day at my internship has been had.
Today was not just my last day at Berghahn but my supervisor’s too, who is moving to Bloomsbury Academic to start a new career with their Journals team. I will be interested to see more of Bloomsbury Academic’s design, what I’ve seen so far is quite pleasing but that is a thought for another entry.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began my foray into the world of Academic publishing; I didn’t know how it would compare to my time in the trade-world of Phaidon. It turned out to be rather different, the books I was working on/researching for/scanning for/correcting/etc had a completely different market. They were not the sort of books I would expect someone to walk into a shop and pick up on a whim. (Though, neither were Phaidon’s titles but you’re more likely to see them on a stand at Waterstone’s.) No, these books were meant for course reading and academics; something I found particularly helpful in our Marketing Plan, an assignment in which we had to market an academic art book.
My time at Berghahn was a bit of everything, some production, editorial, a lot of marketing, as well as a few trips to the post office with manuscripts to send out to readers (and much, much more). Another difference, while at Phaidon I was strictly a Sales and Marketing intern, dwelling on the fourth floor, but at Berghahn, as I have said, I did a bit of everything. The Berghahn office is small and shared with Baseline Arts. There are 8 computers (two of which sharing a desk) and everything is done on the one floor. You learn a lot about all of the departments just from listening. Berghahn isn’t just books, it also publishes journals so there was even more experience to be had. I also spent a lot of time listening to Baseline, while working on my various tasks, so I wasn’t simply learning about one company but two.
One slightly more amusing difference that I noticed both at Berghahn and when being interviewed for other internships in Oxford back in September is that people who work in academic publishers seem to wear more earthy colours whereas Phaidonites wore brighter clothing. Perhaps, it’s an Oxford thing rather than a Academic/Trade division but regardless, it made me smile.
I loved both Berghahn and Phaidon for very different reasons and would not say one was better than the other. I’m eager to get into another internship for the second semester but will be very grateful of the rest over the holidays. I quite like the idea of doing nothing for a few weeks.