Monday, July 28, 2008

Changes at BookEnds

I’m gearing up to head out to RWA National on Wednesday, but before I go I wanted to tell you about all of the exciting changes that have been happening here at BookEnds. To really put it into perspective, though, I’m going to have to give you some backstory, so please bear with me.

In May we lost our assistant, which was disappointing because we really liked her and she did a great job (she completely reorganized us in so many incredible ways), but she was moving on to something different and we wished her well. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for us, though. Holly, our intern, was graduating and looking for a full-time job as an editor. Now obviously we couldn’t offer that, but we could offer a temporary assistant position (and resume builder) while she looked for a job and we looked for a permanent assistant. It worked out great. Holly transitioned smoothly into the job and kept us on track, giving us time to look for someone new at our leisure and giving her experience in the career she wanted while looking for a job.

Well, Friday was Holly’s last day and we wish her well and are thrilled for her. A few weeks ago I learned of an opening for an editorial assistant position at St. Martin’s Press, immediately sent Holly’s resume over, and she did the rest. Wowed them with her experience and love of publishing and got the job. This is, as far as I know, our first real BookEnds success story and we are all very excited. Someday I hope to report on Publisher’s Marketplace that I sold a book to Holly, a former BookEnds intern. How cool will that be?

So what are we doing in the meantime? Well, once again the stars aligned for us. Katelynn, our summer intern, was perusing the want ads when she coincidentally came across the one I had posted for an assistant. Figuring she might as well give it a shot, she sent me an email letting me know that while she still has a year left at college, she is looking for a part-time position (at this point we feel we only need a part-time assistant as well as interns) and wondered if we would consider her. Why not? Of course we would. So officially, Katelynn is no longer the BookEnds intern, but now the BookEnds assistant.

This entire experience has been so cool. Everything fell into place for everyone and we couldn’t be happier. What it’s reminded me is how much of life is timing, perseverance, and the willingness to give something a shot because, well, you never know. Hiring an assistant in publishing is not unlike getting a book published. You need to stick with it, write and take those chances. You need to jump at the opportunities whenever they arise, even if you aren’t sure it’s going to work out, and sometimes you just have to have the right timing.

So we wish Holly the very best of luck and can’t wait to hear from her in her new role as editor (I better be one of her first lunch appointments when she starts taking agents to lunch), and we re-welcome Katelynn, who is enthusiastic and organized, and what more do we need in an assistant?



Chessie said...

Congratulations everyone, on all your new beginnings!

Robena Grant said...

Synchronisity, isn't it amazing? Deepak Chopra always says luck is preparedness meeting opportunity. None of these success stories would have eventuated if the people concerned hadn't done thier homework and been prepared to jump when the opportunity came knocking.

Chumplet said...

It's so nice when everything falls into place like that. Your intern already knew the ins and outs of your business and the change should be seamless.

At our newspaper, we post available jobs internally as well as putting them up in our papers and websites. It gives many of us a lot of opportunities for lateral movement while searching for the perfect niche.

Maybe someday I'll slide laterally into the editorial department, who knows?

JES said...

Don't you just love it when all the stars and constellations line up just right?

Congratulations all around!

Julie Weathers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate Douglas said...

Congratulations to Holly and to Katelynn--and, to BookEnds. So much of the good stuff in life is based on timing and luck, but perseverance plays just as big a part. I love hearing stories where things work just right!

See you in San Francisco. And, for anyone in the Bay Area, remember that there will be a huge literacy book signing Wednesday, July 30 at the SF Marriott from 5:30-7:30. LOTS of your favorite authors!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Julie "was not trained or educated"! I hope by now you are at least paper trained! That must have been messy. And looks like you got some schoolin' cuz ya sure rite so good;)


Just_Me said...

Congragulations to all of you, it sounds like life is flowing smoothly on your end of the world. :o)

Vicki said...

Congrats to everyone. It's wonderful when everything falls into place and you know it's what was meant to be. :)

Bella Andre said...

What a great story!!!! Thanks for sharing.
;-) Bella

Anonymous said...

Life is all about attitude....and that's what I love about Bookends: honest and optimistic.

Travis Erwin said...

Sometimes Karma does smile on those who deserve her favor. Congrats to all.

Jules Viernes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Routine Internal Office Workings (RIOW)?


Low comment count not surprising.

Julie Weathers said...

"Routine Internal Office Workings (RIOW)?


Low comment count not surprising."

How novel. Someone anon being snippy.

Let's see, what did I learn from this post? BookEnds is going to RWA. I'm not a romance writer, but to those who are this is definitely something to keep in mind.

Their intern wasn't some bubblegum popping temp who spent most of her day painting her fingernails. She was a highly qualified educated young woman who is now an assistant editor at a publisher. Hmmmm. Tells me the quality of intern they had.

Summer intern is now assistant and is also pursuing a degree with one year left.

So, the new assistant is already familiar with the workings of BookEnds and so there shouldn't be any down time while she is being acclimated.

Yay! More queries get processed.

It also tells me they do have interns and assistants and that's a plus in my books. Always nice when agents have qualified help so they aren't quite so snowed.

Sorry this wasn't your perfect blog, Anonimouse, but some people found it interesting. And, as far as comment count being the criteria for validity. Yeah, I know I always go by that.

TerriRainer said...

I am a constant lurker, but I came out of hiding to agree with Julie...well said!

I think ANY peek into an agents professional life is just one more clue to the elusive contract.

Now off I go back to the corner to lurk and take notes!

Thanks for taking the time to put "Anonimouse" (brilliant Julie, just brilliant) to sleep, and for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us.

:) Terri

Usman said...

The fact the Bookends is so generous, in how they treat their interns and assistants, speaks highly of you guys.
I know many businesses clam up when someone is about to leave.

imabooklova said...

I just have to say "thank you" to Jessica and everyone else for their welcome. I'm excited to be continuing at BookEnds and eternally grateful for the opportunity!

imabooklova said...

This is Katelynn, by the way.

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