The Intern #2

by admin

For anyone who has not read my first blog post, my name is Janine and I’m currently the editorial intern for Avon Romance.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. That’s what I’ve been told since I was in ‘Library’ class in second grade. I didn’t listen then and I still don’t. If the cover doesn’t catch my eye…I’m not reading it. It’s the sad sad truth, but there’s no way around it. Don’t lie to yourselves; I know most of you do it, too.

The cover is at least as important as the title. Think about it. The cover of a book has so many jobs. It’s one photo that has to be eye grabbing, stir up interest in the reader, and encompass what is happening in the book. Even in a time where many people have e-readers, covers are essential! When you’re online and looking for your next book to read I know you’re comparing the covers of the suggested books.

That’s a lot of pressure for the person making the decision on the cover!

This week I had the opportunity to sit in on a cover meeting. That’s probably not what it’s called, but I’m trying to pick up as much as I can (It’s hard to retain what everything is called when you’re so excited!). You get the idea. We walked in and an entire team was siting at the table. The team presented the editor (my amazing manager!) with six possible cover designs, but even that wasn’t the end. There was a little negotiation and eventually a combination of two of the proposed covers was chosen. For the next book, there must have been over 15 options to choose from! First of all, I was absolutely amazed at how the team had been able to come up with that many varying cover options. Second of all, I felt a lot of pressure to pick one and I wasn’t even making the decision. In the end, it was decided that none of the options had the right feel for the book in question and the editor made a suggestion for a completely different cover possibility. I thought the suggestion was spot on.

The meeting may not have lasted long but I felt like I learned so much just in that short amount of time. I gained a whole new appreciation for covers and the people who design them. The team must have spent a long time coming up with what they believed would be good cover possibilities. I also saw a show of command and confidence that must come with experience in the field. I would have felt obligated to pick from the options handed to me, especially because of the sheer number of options, but none of them would have fit right. For her to be able to come up with a completely different idea that so wonderfully conveyed the message put me in awe.


I have a lot of learning to do. But that’s what this internship is about. It’s about learning and watching. Have I mentioned that this internship is the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me?

It definitely is!

The meeting isn’t the only thing I’ve done so far. I’ve read through a few manuscripts and through the impulse submissions. I also learned how to write a rejection letter. It’s definitely not easy. When we write one, we give some constructive criticism to try to make the submission better. It’s amazing to see how much the people here respect everyone, even those whose work they choose not to take.

Every day I’m learning something new, reading more, and doing more. This is the first summer I haven’t dreaded going to work. I actually look forward to it! I love doing this and I’m just so glad I get to do it for 8 more weeks!

Now I have to go look through some books and pick out lines. An intern’s job is never done!

Until next time,

Janine P.