It’s early days but already writing students Missy Buchanan and Andy Southall have learnt a lot about the publishing process through their roles as interns with Escalator Press.
Escalator Press is the imprint set up in 2013 to publish work from people with a Whitireia connection. It’s published six books so far — one was in The Listener’s most memorable books of 2013 list, one made the NZ best seller list, one sold to Radio NZ for serialisation, and two have attracted enquiries from film companies.
In their roles as interns, Missy and Andy get to shadow the publishing process for this year’s crop — a young adult novel, a memoir and a poetry collection — as well as having specific roles within the Press.
Andy’s taking over administration and development of the Escalator website and will also be involved in other activities such as promotion of dump bins (those cardboard displays you see as you enter bookshops) and EBook marketing.
"Already I can see ways writers contribute to the success of their own book and that’ll help my own writing in the long term," he says.
Missy, who comes from a publishing background, says, "I’m familiar with the end product — ie a published book — but now I’m getting to see what goes on behind the scenes with promotion." Her role involves social media for Escalator Press (Facebook and Twitter), liaison person for festivals and publicity and keeping a record of stock and sales.’
Both Andy and Missy are clear however that their main goal this year is to finish their own novels and their internships have to fit with that.
Andy says, "Considering how much time and effort all the tutors, assessors etc devote to encouraging and supporting their students being an intern is good a way of giving something back."