Through the great volunteer work of Wallie Seto, a member of the Independent Publishers’ Association of Ontario (IPAO), we were able to attract an intern to help with editorial and ad sales for our magazine for a few weeks. As publishers who have to do everything ourselves, except for design and website creation, Mike and I always have tons on our plate. We’re grateful for all the help we can get.
While we’re at it, we should also acknowledge the efforts of Dale Sproule of Canadian Newcomer, another member of IPAO, who brought us together with Nicole Thornburrow of Ryerson University, who has been helping us out with beautiful design work for months. She also came out to staff our booth at the Guelph Organic Conference in January.
Here are some thoughts of our editorial intern Amanda Grant, who’s our newest guest blogger.
As a student in Centennial College’s Book and Magazine Publishing program, it is required that I complete an internship after courses end. As a resident of the Niagara region (Smithville!), I have grown up surrounded by all the Escarpment has to offer. That is why when the opportunity arose for me to become an intern at Niagara Escarpment Views, I took it.
Writing is something I have always loved to do and because of my recent schooling on publishing, I grew more curious about the magazine industry, especially those who start their own publications. Who better to ask than Gloria Hildebrandt, co-publisher of Niagara Escarpment Views? I asked Gloria for any advice she could give to me, a new member of the publishing community.
The first thing I wanted to know was what are some of the dos and don’ts of the job.
“Do be persistent and never give up. You can’t take negatives personally; they’re usually more about the person giving them than about you. Try to work for balance in your life; you can work around the clock on a magazine and never get ahead. Don’t expect perfection, as it’s human to make mistakes. Communicate with people as quickly as possible. Bad news, especially, is better when given swiftly. Do know about copyright and libel. Do maintain the integrity of your editorial vision and business ethics. Read all kinds of magazines regularly. Take some courses in magazine journalism, even courses outside your main focus, such as design or business if “all” you want to do is write or edit. Start creating a portfolio of published work. Query editors of magazines you’d like to write for or ask for brief information interviews. Build a network of contacts of interesting people. Use social media to comment on publications.”
Being the owner and co-publisher of Niagara Escarpment Views comes with some perks, but it isn’t all fun. As I discovered from Gloria, being the boss means taking on the responsibility of tasks you may not like.
“I like the creativity of developing editorial content but after five years of doing this steadily, I’m starting to dislike copyediting. I like assigning space for ad orders and documenting the running tally of sales, but I used to loathe making sales calls. Now that our magazine is well known for high quality and good customer service, ad space is starting to sell itself, so I am starting to like selling! I like seeing our Facebook numbers and numbers of visitors to our website go up.”
One of the most important things Gloria told me was, “Get over any introversion or shyness you may have, as you have to be able to interact with a lot of different kinds of people when you’re a journalist.” This is some sound advice for someone like me, who is maybe a little on the quieter side, but eager to meet new people.
I am looking forward to working with both Gloria and Mike as I complete my internship and learn more about the Escarpment and the people who live here.
Have you been an intern? Have you had interns working for you? Or summer students? What has your experience been?