The Value of the Hands-On Experience

It’s pretty remarkable how much hard work and careful thought goes into the process of publishing a book and advertising a book launch. When you hear about a new book or see advertising for a book launch, it’s hard to imagine how much work goes into the process of putting all of the things together to make the event and launch a success.

To prepare for the launch of Joe O’Conner’s book Why Poetry, there was a lot of work we had to do to get the books ready for distribution, set up the space for the book launch event, and advertise the event to the public. The process was long and took a lot of work, but it really paid off.

To get the books ready for distribution, we had to piece everything together ourselves. A few teams of students focused on formatting the layout of the book to ensure simplicity and clarity. As a class, we learned how to screen-print the covers of the books and sew the entire book together. This process took a while and learning how to bind and create the books was challenging at first until we got the hang of the process. Seeing the books come together at the end was incredibly rewarding.

Screen-printed cover of Why Poetry? // Photo by Johanna Philips

There were a lot of critical aspects to assembling the space for the book launch as well to ensure that all key components are in line for a successful event. Photographers have to be booked, food has to be ordered, a room has to be booked, and materials have to be set up to make a successful event.

The aspect of the book launch that I was involved in was the advertising. I helped to write the press release that would be used to publicize the event to the community. It was a bit daunting to write because it was an important aspect of publicizing, but it was interesting to be a part of.

This process of creating the book from scratch and setting up a publishing event was something incredibly valuable. This experience is not one that a lot of college students are able to take part in, and for someone who is interested in potentially pursuing a career in publishing in the future, helping with this event is something really special.

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