I’m on a mission this weekend – I’m looking for summer help with The Write Life Magazine. Interns in fact. Things have been ramping up with the publication (issue 2 is out today!) and it’s time to find excited, young writerly people to help with content, social media and PR.
And this gave me this great idea that authors could use a little help in those areas too, right? Who doesn’t want an extra pair of hands to help get the non-writing related stuff done?
I know that internships get a bad rap. The common view is that it’s going to be all coffee-making, photocopying and stuffing envelopes; in other words, cheap or free labor.
I actually experienced a completely different kind of internship a few years back that truly rocked my world. 3 months working for an organization that threw me in the deep end, gave me responsibilities that forced me to learn new skills fast, and taught me a lot about time management and professional relationships. Most importantly of all, it gave me a taste of what I did and didn’t want in a job, and funnily enough, it was during those 3 months that I discovered how much I loved writing.
I also walked away with something new and exciting to put on my resume, a fantastic reference, and some pretty amazing contacts. (people, not eyesight-correctors :))
I think that in an economy such as this, when many university students struggle to find work during the summer holidays, hiring an intern is not only a great opportunity for you, it’s a brilliant experience and opportunity for them.
Authors can use a little help on their websites, social media, marketing as well as aspects of the writing process such as research and fact-checking. And students can learn more about self-publishing, marketing and careers in writing. All of which would make for a pretty exciting and fruitful internship methinks. Here are 5 places I am posting classifieds for help wanted – perhaps you might find a wonderful intern for your book marketing in one of these places, too.
1. Intern Sushi, Free.
Intern Sushi provides both interns and companies with a multimedia platform to find each other through. You have to sign up and answer a few question, but it’s free to post your listing.
2. Craigslist, Free – $75
Craigslist has a section ‘Gigs’, where you can post for an intern for free. If you don’t get much traction here, there is the option to post under the Jobs section. The cost of posting here varies between $10-$75 depending on your location. See here http://www.craigslist.org/about/help/posting_fees (US info only).
3. A university career site, Cost varies
I’m lucky to live in a city with several great universities, and I’ve been looking into the most prestigious one’s career website. The cost to post here is $25 for 30 days, and it allows you to choose the majors you want to hear from. For me, that’s English, Communications, and PR students. Look for something similar in your town or city.
4. Student newspaper, $10+
The same university I mentioned above has a daily newspaper that gets distributed around campus. It allows you to write a classified for about $10.
5. Fliers in local coffee shop, Cost of printing
If you want to get offline and catch students in their natural environment, there’s always a coffee shop, student union, or other hang out that students naturally gravitate to! Why not leave a flier or a poster with your email address asking them to get in touch with a resume and cover letter? Be sure to ask with the owner of the establishment before posting or leaving anything, as some places have strict rules about what can be displayed.
Internships are a great way to offer students meaningful, practical work experience that relates to their studies or career choice. Don’t forget though, to check out the criteria for the Department of Labor in your country. Here are the US guidelines: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm
See you next week!
*Flier image by elizaIO, used under the Creative Commons by-sa 2.0 on Flikr.
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.