This summer, we had an intern named Ethan S. work with us at Bard Press. I asked him to write a short summary of his short time at the press. -Todd
Over the last 12 weeks, I worked as an in-person intern at Bard Press. I will start secondary schooling, in a couple of weeks at Portland Community College to get a transfer degree, towards earning a Mechanical Engineering degree. I plan on seeking work in the Solar Energy industry.
Prior to this internship, I had no job experience of any kind, so starting this before college has been a useful experience.
During my internship I was given projects that asked the question “Does this variable affect sales?”
Here are some examples of what I worked on:
- Annual Best Recommended book lists – I compiled a list of books recommended as the top books of the year by media outlets and retailers to find the most highly recommended books of the last few years. Trying to answer if awards make any difference in sales after they’re awarded. Answer: no, they didn’t affect sales any noticeable amount after they were awarded.
- Number of Copies Sold Bestseller Sales Rank – We looked at data from Bookscan on the top 50 books of the last decade to see what the average amount of books sold to reach the #1 and #10 ranked spots over a year was. This project was to see how being ranked affected book sales/how high sales had to reach in order to rank. The sales to reach the #1 rank spot is wildly more variable, depending on the time of the year, than the #10 slot.
- Title Word Clouds – We looked at titles and subtitles from books in the leadership category to determine the frequency of certain words. The most common titles had “leader”, “leadership”, and “leads” in them; what you would expect a leadership book to say. There were no irregular patterns of note.
- Executive Summary Review – The point of this project was to look into other executive summaries on The ONE Thing and see what works and what doesn’t. Bard Press has been thinking about releasing their own executive summaries for the books they publish. I determined an executive summary benefits when the writing style matches that of the book. A good summary also combines the format of several of the investigated summaries: listing the main points of the book and then a chapter by chapter summary.
- Researching Amazon’s Search Engine – I then researched Amazon’s listing algorithm, A10, to see if modifying The ONE Thing’s Amazon listing somehow could increase sales. I found that the best thing to do was use “backend keywords”, additional search terms manually added to the listing. These are opposed to “frontend keywords” like the title and words in the listing’s description.
- Salesforce Outreach – During my internship, the company was transitioning distribution to Two Rivers at Ingram. To get the new salesforce familiar with our publishing program, we sent copies of Little Red Book of Selling and The ONE Thing, as a way for them to familiarize them with the books we publish. I had to find/order the boxes, fold them together, package the books to keep them safe while shipping, and develop a way to easily compile labels for all the 21 packages (which I did via Google Doc extension).
- Business Book Acceleration Project – I got data from Bookscan on about 8 successful business books and retrieved weekly data on the number of copies sold for the first 12 months they were out. I then compared their sales growth to one another via a line graph.
- Intern Blog Post – And, of course, my final project was this one. Writing about what I’ve done over the course of my internship just like my predecessor.
Overall, the biggest things I learned were:
- The need to ask important questions to keep a project moving ahead.
- Being proactive in asking for more work as I completed what was assigned.
- And how to write descriptions of the work I did to describe its importance to the company and relevance to employers.