Week 6: Westview Press

August 5th, 2013

Tyler VanderGaast ’15, Waln Fellow in Publishing

I’m so glad that it’s August! I love August because not only are you finishing up your summer, but you get to start looking forward to a new year. I am so excited to head back to Cornell and share about my internship and see what some of my classmates have been up to this summer.

During my sixth week at Westview, I worked on several new tasks. Our office is sending several people next week to the ASA (American Sociology Association) conference in New York City to network, market our new titles, and make Westview’s presence known to the scholars in that field. I helped Katie in marketing pack supplies to ship to the conference, and I also helped her put together some flyers and materials to pass out while she’s there. Westview does several conferences each year, differing in size and location. For example, the Middle East conference is fairly well attended (especially with recent cultural and political shifts worldwide), but it pales in comparison to the size of the history conference- you wouldn’t believe how many professors nationally that teach history. Conferences are a great chance not only for travel (all over the country!) but to get our name and titles out there.

One of the perks of being an intern at Westview is that oddly, we have access to a lot of books! Each of the imprints under the Perseus Books umbrella publishes a different type of book- from textbooks to guidebooks to cookbooks to joke books to comic books. (Interesting fact: the longest running best selling title at Perseus Books is called My Pregnancy.) With each new book that comes out, galley copies are ordered before the final printing. A galley is the first sort of sample, prototype book to come out- very simple binding, nothing fancy, and they may contain typos and undergo changes before the final edition. Lucky for me, I get full run of the free galley copy bookshelf- this has led to a lot of new book discoveries and has filled up a lot of the space on my desk!

 One Thursday, I sat down with Victoria to go over one of her end of the month procedures- and it turned out to be a lot more interesting than it sounded! Westview’s website is connected to Google Analytics, and every month, a report is pulled from that program. Google Analytics basically tracks all of the information about your website- specific site traffic, how many users come from search engines versus directly typing in the url, which times of day are most popular, and how long the average user stayed on each page. Comparing this report to previous months’ reports is incredibly helpful to see which pages are most popular, which pages might need updates or improvements, and how users are finding our name. Gathering data like this can help a company make appropriate changes and improve efficiency when it comes to online operations.

One of the other nice things about being here in the summer is the half day every Friday! In the afternoon, I’ve been able to see quite a bit of Boulder. Only having a bike with me, it’s a little intimidating trying to navigate the busy city; luckily Boulder has a fantastic trail system with bike paths everywhere. You can always recognize the bike paths because they look like very wide sidewalks running parallel to the road. Boulder is one of the greenest places I’ve ever been to- and I mean that in the literal sense! There is a ton of foliage and natural areas in the city. For instance, on my way to work every morning, I get to pass by these little guys! Wild prairie dogs are pretty common, even in the city. (Even better when they don’t run in front of my bike)

There are also natural protected pond areas near Westview. It really is a beautiful city, especially in the summer.

Until next week!

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