Learning press work from scratch

Liesa-Marie Tells Us What She Experienced in Her Traineeship in the Press Department

Why did you decide on a traineeship at Rowohlt?

The main reason I decided on a traineeship at Rowohlt was that the publishing house is very renowned and offers a wide-ranging book program. Some novels, for example "Takeshis Haut" by Lucy Fricke, "Tschick" by Wolfgang Herrndorf or also the historical novels by Philippa Gregory, I had already known for a few years, and they really excited me. But the location was also a factor. I am from north Germany and really wanted to work in or close to Hamburg.

What are the most important skills for a traineeship in the press department?

Organization and a structured, service-oriented work style is very important. In a traineeship in the press department, you work on your own book projects but also in daily operations, you take on admin tasks and also deal with, among other things, the daily sending out of review copies and the maintenance of the address database for press distribution lists. At the same time, you should be communicative and have a feel for texts. It's also very helpful, if you already have PR experience from an internship and a university degree or journalistic training. As I had already completed a three-month internship in the press department at another publishing house in addition to my literature studies, I already knew how the press department in a book publishing house works, before I started my traineeship.

What was the most important project for you and your team?

During my traineeship, there were many very important projects which the press officers supervised and implemented. I clearly remember a press event for the author Laura Malina Seiler in the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg. With about 600 guests, this was a large event. I assisted the responsible press officer in the planning, implementation and follow-up. Before the actual event, this included the targeted press distribution of the book to certain journalists or the author's contacts. On the night of the event, I looked after the journalists on site and took photos for social media.

What did you especially value about your work as a trainee at Rowohlt?

First and foremost the team, from which I learned a lot. Also, during my time at Rowohlt, I had the feeling that my work was appreciated by my colleagues. But I also really liked that I was able to take part in the Leipziger Buchmesse and other events (e.g. book launches or the Hamburger Krimifestival), and accompany and assist the press officers there in their work. This gave me another perspective of press work. And it was also great to meet some authors at the tradeshow.

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Liesa-Marie

Trainee at Rowohlt

"...the publishing house is very renowned and offers a wide-ranging book program."