Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

Behind the Books, with Kaley Stewart

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When we think of the people behind the books we love, we generally think of writers. But many people work in a variety of professions to get those books onto your shelves. In our new series, Behind the Books, Open Book speaks with the printers, publicists, book sellers, book bloggers, event programmers and many others who work in the publishing industry.

Kaley Stewart has had a lifetime love affair with books, and it's one she hopes to continue with a career in the book industry. Her passion for reading led to the launch of Books Etc., her popular book review blog, in November 2010. Kaley is working on a publishing certificate from Ryerson University to complement her communications studies degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and her event management diploma from Conestoga College. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her bunny, Tonks, discovering new authors (especially Canadian ones), and meeting other book lovers.

Kaley has recently completed internships with both Random House Canada and Project Bookmark Canada. In her Behind the Books interview, she shares her experiences as an intern at Random House Canada, from envelope stuffing to celebrity sighting. Check back with Open Book in the coming weeks to find out about a different sort of internship with Project Bookmark Canada. In the meantime visit Kaley's blog, Books Etc., for some excellent reviews on a wide variety of books.

Open Book:

How long did you intern for Random House Canada?

Kaley Stewart:

I was at Random House as a publicity intern for twelve weeks from January to April.


What did an average work day look like for you?


The other publicity intern and I would mail books to reviewers (make labels, print press kit if needed, stuff envelopes), assist with launches and escort authors (setting up food/drink, pouring wine throughout the evening, calling bookstores to ensure they had stock for signing), create press releases and assemble manuscripts and press kits (photocopying, binding).


What was the best thing about your internship?


I loved seeing how a large publishing company worked and getting behind the scenes. As a blogger, I have a good idea of what books are coming up for publication but it wasn’t until I was at Random House that I really realized how far ahead of schedule things were. Getting to know which books were coming soon (or not so soon) was amazing. It wasn’t just hearing about the upcoming books either. Seeing how they went through the publication process, particularly with marketing and publicity, was really interesting.


Tell us about a memorable work experience.


It’s sort of a combination of experiences but meeting authors was so cool. I met three through the launches I helped at, another few when they were visiting the office, and I just saw a couple of others while I was in the halls. A lot of people get excited about celebrity sightings (though I did have one of those at a launch I helped at!) but to me, a total book nerd, meeting authors is an awesome experience.


When you were a kid, what was your dream job?


I wasn’t one of those kids who knew what she wanted to do when she grew up (and I always wonder if that’s my problem today…). I loved scribbling in notebooks and reading but had no idea what I could do with that. I also went through a brief phase of wanting to be in the WNBA!

For more Behind The Books interviews, please visit the Open Book Archives.

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