In these times when readers are responding to our books “more than ever,” when our authors—including Richard Blanco, Imani Perry, Robin DiAngelo, Dina Gilio-Whitaker, and Bettina Love—are appearing in the media, their ideas going viral on social media, their voices being heard on so many platforms, we thought it might be good to take a break to focus on some of the staff who work hard to find, shape, edit, produce, and promote those works. Our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books” introduces to you a member of our staff and gives you a behind-the-scenes look, department by department, at what goes on at our office. And not only our staff, but our interns, too!
This month, we introduce you to our production intern, Simran Rohira!
What drew you to publishing, Simran? How did you find your way to Beacon?
With an undergraduate degree in design and six years of teaching in a centre for speech and drama, I needed something that would amalgamate my interest in design and literature. After some research, I realised the design and production department of the publishing industry is the place for me.
In summer 2019, I was looking for a production internship in a publishing house whose ethics would match mine. After viewing the books published by Beacon and the inclusive nature of the publishing house, I applied and was called for an interview. And now I am a production intern.
What’s a typical day in the life of a production intern?
I love how busy it is here at Beacon. As a production intern, I always have something to do. Proofing revised manuscripts and jacket covers is something I thoroughly enjoy. Looking for the details and perfecting pieces has been a forte since I was eight years old, and I am glad to have found that in my career.
How much of what you learned in college have you found vital to your work?
In my first two semesters, I took applications in print publishing, copyediting, and book design and production, which are all very important skills for a production intern. I planned my classes in a way that I could hone all skills that are required to pursue a career in design and production.
What’s your advice to someone interested in entering the publishing field?
One must know that the publishing field has more departments than just editorial. One should browse through the departments and see where their skill set fits in, especially if you’re going to go to grad school to specialise in publishing. Interning before choosing a department also helps, and the number of internships in the publishing field is endless. (But so is the competition, so be on top of your game.)
What do you wish someone had told you about publishing when you were entering the industry?
That it’s highly competitive and there are too many people with the same skill sets. One has to plan out a way to stand out.
Favorite thing about Boston?
The public garden. It’s very soothing. And all the beautiful brides out around fall getting their pictures clicked.
Chinese! Dumpling Cafe, in Chinatown.
Favorite book ever?
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini.
What’s your commute like? What do you do to pass the time on your way into the office?
I travel by the MBTA (Maybe Bus or Train will Arrive), so a book is a must while I am travelling. I also catch up with parents, as they live in India, and that’s the only time I can speak with them (time difference and all that).