Hello! I’m Mina, the New Draft Intern. For the last three months, I’ve been working in the different departments here at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. From assisting primary agents, the International Rights Department, the Film and TV department, I’ve been gaining a thorough insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes into getting a book published. I’m currently with the International Rights Department, and here’s what my typical day looks like:
I aim to get to the office by 9am every morning – and more often than not, with an iced chai latte in hand. Being based in Clapham Common, it’s hard to ignore the dozens of coffee shops we have here – all of them alluring me in with the promise of the best iced latte I’ve had yet.
9am: The first thing I do is work through my inbox and respond to emails. These will mainly consist of sending out cover approvals to our authors for their international editions, asking for publication dates from publishers, and receiving requests to post out production copies of our books to other publishers.
10am: I’m also responsible for keeping track of new translation rights that have been sold, making sure to update various spreadsheets, our database, and our website. There’s a lot of admin-based stuff to do in the Rights department but for someone doing their first office job, it’s a good place to start. With these all logged, I go onto drafting some of these deals and send them out to the publishers for an initial review, making any changes needed, and sending out the final contracts for signature.
11am: On Tuesdays we have our weekly team meeting where our agents discuss what they’re currently up to – this might involve editing a client’s work, negotiating a contract, or searching for new clients to sign. These meetings give me a better idea of what’s going on within our team, but as a newbie, the discussions also demystify my understanding of the industry, and really help me feel part of a community.
2pm: After lunch, my desk will have accumulated a stack of international copies that have come through the post, and I’ll process them so that they can be welcomed to their new home on our bookshelves. The pile of books are accompanied by royalty statements that need to be scanned, sorted, and emailed to the right people. Coming into this role, I had no idea how the sales of a book were made – from hardcover sales, to paperback, audio, eBook, and royalties – it’s been invaluable to learn how an author earns a living from writing.
And with that, it’s 5pm and time to go home. On my commute, I tend to get some agency reading done, whether that’s a new submission that has come into our main inbox or one of our published books.
Besides working with the International Rights team, I’ve also been working for many other departments and across the business as a whole. It’s been really rewarding to assist in championing our talented authors by creating news posts and social media content, hosting celebratory drinks, and helping our authors get the best deals across the world. But perhaps more on this in another post! I love being part of this team, and I can’t wait to see where this internship will take me!