Emily LaBeaume is an English student at The College of New Jersey.
By Emily LaBeaume
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I jump in my car, wearing jeans and a sweater, and drive less than 10 minutes from my house to my internship in Gillette, N.J., where I work in a cozy, book-filled office. BookEnds, LLC is a literary agency representing multiple genres of books from erotic romance to books on business advice, Westerns to an array of Complete Idiot’s guides.
The bulk of the experience I get out of my internship comes on Tuesday mornings, when agents Jessica, Kim, their assistant Lauren and I sit down for a weekly meeting. Riggins, Jessica’s dog and BookEnds’ mascot, participates by sleeping nearby. During this meeting, I get to hear news from (and ask questions about) the agency’s business and the publishing industry in general.
Armed with my Macbook and Kindle, I spend the rest of my 9-5 time at BookEnds working on various projects. Some projects have included finding reviews for books, updating foreign rights information and even helping draw up a detailed book synopsis to pitch to clients. Agents not only represent books they discover through queries, but also come up with their own book concepts to match to existing clients.
Both Jessica and Kim also keep me happily busy reading queries, proposals and full manuscripts by authors seeking their representation. I spend time reading during lunch, when I’m low on projects and at home. After I’m done reading, I write a one- or two-page reader report outlining the story’s plot and reasons why I would or would not recommend it for the BookEnds’ bookshelf.
I applied to several publishing houses and literary agencies to gain experience and complete my credit requirements for an English degree from TCNJ. And I know I made the right move in choosing BookEnds. The close work environment has really enabled me to learn a lot about my field of interest. And I look forward to learning more before my time is up in May!