Charlene Fernandes has been working at The Quarto Group for two months and is currently Campaign Assistant for the Children’s Marketing Team
Why did you want to get into publishing?
I saw the position advertised on the Creative Access website. After I graduated, I spent a lot of time applying for jobs and internships, and my friend came across this company called Creative Access, which works towards making sure Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic candidates are being represented fairly in the media and arts sectors in the UK.
I hesitated before applying for the job as, by this point, I had just confirmed a two-month internship with another UK publisher, but the position at Quarto was for a much longer period of time and a consultant from Creative Access encouraged me to pursue it, so, I applied.
I got an interview and found out I had the job within two weeks! I left my other internship one month early – thankfully, they were very understanding and happy that I had landed a job.
I have always wanted to work in the publishing industry, and have been trying to get as much experience as possible since starting University. With my love of books and my flair for the creative, I thought publishing would be the ideal industry to enter, to do what I love as a profession. So far I haven’t been disappointed!
What do you currently do?
I am currently the Campaigns Assistant for all Children’s imprints in the UK. I compose the weekly updates on what media coverage we’ve got for our books, send out preview mailings, make sure the Bookseller has all our titles for the monthly previews, sort out the World Book Day and Young Libraries Group monthly competitions, post on social media, and of course run campaigns for the books I look after. This includes: creating a press release, a mailing list and a review list for the book. Also, maintaining social media coverage and creating attention-grabbing campaigns. I have created Christmas guides and I’m now working on our attendance at a couple of London fairs.
What’s been your best publishing experience so far?
So far, in the last 4-5 weeks since I started, I guess the best part would be corresponding with a book columnist at The Sun. I had just created a press release for 50 Wacky Things Humans Do, published by Walter Foster Jr., and sent it off to potential reviewers, when I got a response from The Sun, requesting a look at the spreads.
They liked it and wanted to feature it as soon as possible! They pushed it for the meeting the next day and got back to me saying the book would be in the paper soon. This was gratifying. Though not having written the book, and merely working to promote it, I felt immensely happy to be part of this book’s journey into the world, and especially on to a national newspaper!
What are your publishing career ambitions?
Honestly? I love what I do, so I’d want to stay in Marketing, but I’m not opposed to venturing into other departments!
What’s the best thing about working at Quarto?
The books! I love seeing what my team, and the Editorial and Sales teams have come up with for the books. I’ve seen books with interactive covers, and books with musical and pull out features. Books with beautiful illustrations that still manage to educate and entertain. And I have seen the amazing ideas my team have generated to promote their books: Enchanting owl topiaries for The Night Gardener, published by Lincoln Children’s Books, book standees, activity pages, huge cut outs— It’s amazing!
The other thing I LOVE: The size of my desk! It sounds silly, but I love having the space to work creatively.
What’s your favourite Quarto book?
My current favourite is Illumanatomy, published by Wide Eyed Editions. I was fascinated by the whole concept of it (you see three different images with the supplied viewer), and I can’t help but tell people about it!
Behind the scenes