According to the New York Times, 81 percent of Americans claim it is a dream of theirs to write a book, but how many of those ever end up published? I was honored to spend the summer helping writers who truly were dedicated to this goal as an editorial intern for Wise Ink Creative Publishing in Minneapolis, MN.
Wise Ink was founded in 2012 and thus is a relatively new member of the publishing community in the Twin Cities. While the company is still small—just four permanent staff members—I quickly came to value the close-knit atmosphere within the office and the witty banter that ensued among coworkers. I also soon realized it was an advantageous time to be interning for Wise Ink—working for this budding company offered me insights not only into the world of publishing, but also into the opportunities and challenges of growing a business. I consistently was invited to participate in company strategy meetings and to voice my opinions on ways the company could reach new markets. This factor was an unanticipated learning experience for me, but aligned well with my academic concentration in management studies.
My tasks as an editorial intern included improving the company’s social media presence, creating marketing resources for authors, and composing posts for the company’s blog, but my favorite task was completing final reviews of book manuscripts. Over the course of the summer I poured through pages of historical fiction, self-help, and young adult fiction, among others. I thrive during detail-oriented projects, and I found it secretly thrilling to locate grammar and punctuation mistakes a paid professional had missed.
In addition to the skills I developed for copyediting and proofreading, I also learned to use social media more effectively to educate the public about indie publishing. Prior to landing an internship with Wise Ink, I myself had limited knowledge of the term “indie publishing.” I now know it is a growing niche within the industry, but it only recently has become a respectable publishing option for authors. Many people still believe the indie publishing process involves self-editing and designing one’s own book cover. In reality, indie authors often use the same host of resources traditionally-published authors are provided. The key difference between indie and traditional publishing is control: Indie authors have exclusive rights to their work at the end of the publishing process.
Ultimately, interning for Wise Ink attuned me to the changing needs of modern authors, whose jobs do not end with the completion of a manuscript. Today’s indie authors need support with their book launches, advertising, marketing, and social media management in order to be noticed by the public.
Receiving the Sigma Tau Delta Summer Internship Stipend truly made my summer internship experience possible. The financial support ensured I had viable transportation to and from the Minneapolis office each day for the unpaid internship. As a student who typically depends upon her summer earnings to cover the cost of textbooks and tuition, Sigma Tau Delta’s assistance also reduced my need for educational loans.
Spending a summer in the Wise Ink office certainly sparked my curiosity in the different types of publishing available in the modern day. I now have a grasp on indie publishing, and am eager to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of traditional publishing as well. Perhaps most importantly, interning for a publishing company reconnected me with my creative roots and inspired me to refocus on my own writing goals. Interacting with local writers in particular renewed my determination to leave the ranks of the 81 percent who merely aspire to be authors, and to constructively work toward publishing a book of my own.
Sigma Tau Delta Summer Internship Stipend
Application Period: February 1 – March 21
Sigma Tau Delta offers funding for current undergraduate and graduate student members accepting non- or low-paying summer internships. The Summer Internship Stipend is a competitive program providing a limited number of stipends of up to $1,500 each.
The internship must involve working for an “organization” while being directed by a supervisor/mentor within that organization, and the internship’s duties must be consistent with the applicant’s level of education, area of study, and career goals. Financial need will be taken into consideration. Applicants are responsible for obtaining and providing verification of the internship. Decisions will be made by May 2.