The Next Piece in the Puzzle

On Monday I start an internship with a publishing company in north London called Quarto. This is their 2008 catalogue--you may not be able to see it very well from this picture, but the watercolor cover is thick and beautiful and drew my eye immediately when I walked into their office, which is located in a modern-looking refurbished brewery.

Quarto publishes illustrated nonfiction books internationally. Their process is a reversal from most publishing companies, since most of the traditional companies rely on submitted manuscripts and don't have to find authors. Quarto comes up with an idea first. They research markets and decide if the topic will sell and if it can be sold internationally--not just in Britain (for example, they won't create a book about baseball, even though the States is their biggest market, because a book on Baseball won't sell in all countries). Once they have an idea, they seek out an expert on the topic and commission them and our designers/editors to put together a synopsis and three-page layout for book fairs. Then they pitch it to a traditional publishing company to see if they would be interested in buying it, and if they do, voila! They go ahead and finish the book. In the end Quarto owns the copyright, but the publishing company publishes it.

Needless to say I'm excited about the prospect of finally working with publishing professionals and being a part of the book creation process, since it's been my dream for so long. Even if it's an internship. Have to start somewhere! (And a little extra money will help pad my shoe and travel fund :)

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