A Day in the Life of Josephine July 06 2012

After a brief hiatus, our A Day in the Life mini-series returns with Josephine, our newest intern! Read on to find out what high jinks our interns get up to everyday.
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My editor and supervisor, Ruth, warned me to always remain objective while evaluating a manuscript.

“Even if you like it, it might not sell. Or if a book bores you, you still have to read through everything,” she told me, in her wise motherly voice.

What this meant was that I would have use all the objective analytical skills at my command to evaluate the manuscript that she emailed me, no matter how much I liked or hated it. So I cuddled up on my seat with a nice steaming cup of Milo, and was quickly absorbed by the manuscript. To my colleagues it must have seemed like I was taking a nice, slow stroll through the park. As they passed by and saw me so comfortably sprawled in my seat, they eyed me with suspicion, and as I like to imagine, envy.

The previous intern had so much work to do,” Stefany, our in-house designer, accused me during lunch, when I seemed to have nodded off by accident at my desk. (I wasn’t really though, I was just resting my eyes. Honest).


“I wasn’t slacking! I was assessing a manuscript!” I cried. And they all nodded pacifyingly.

After I was done with reading, I began typing out my evaluation report about how the book depicted a protagonist’s journey through life, and while the characters were realistically portrayed, with touching moments, the prose style could be somewhat awkward and stilted.

As I valiantly fought to insert both the good and bad points of the story in my report, I also considered the four criteria that were used to judge a manuscript’s potential to be published––Personality, Prose, Plot and Profit. I decided that the manuscript scored points on Personality and Plot but none on the other two, and explained why.

I then sent the report to my editors, who would use my report to help with their evaluation process. They make the final decision of course; I’m just an intern after all. And that, folks, is the manuscript evaluation process for you.

If you are a hopeful author reading this, please do go ahead and submit your works. We’re very nice people and like the good and professional publishers we are; we try our best to help all aspiring authors achieve their dream of getting published!

If you are a hopeful intern reading this, and think that this is an exceedingly easy job, you haven’t heard about the other tasks. But don’t worry on that count either. Nothing a book-lover can’t handle.