The Real World

This month we said goodbye to Neha Thanki, our wonderful intern. We were sad to see her go. She’s moved on to Scholastic Canada and we wish her well. Here is her take on her time with us this fall and winter.

At publishing school I played with words, mock data, theoretical marketing plans, made-up income statements and other items born from my imagination. When I joined BookNet Canada as a shiny-faced intern, I was given entry to the magical kingdom of real (I mean, really real) data. I’d like to tell you a little bit about how I swung like a monkey from tree to tree, where the trees were actually fantastic projects.

My education began with research studies during a heady fall filled with literary awards and continued into a winter filled with Monthly SalesData Market Reports and (drum roll, please) The Canadian Book MarketCategorically detailing and evaluating sales in the Canadian market was fascinating insight into buying behaviour for a n00b like me. Compiling the weekly bestseller lists for the Globe, National Post, and CBC were an added bonus for my inquisitiveness about sales and marketing workings within the industry. Canada really, really loves Quinoa. And Canada really, really has to get its bibliographic data right to make it work for us. I now understand that creating ONIX files is basically like a text-based adventure game once you dive in to the datahonest!

The other side of playing with all this data involved getting a peek at how it’s harnessed. My background is mostly in I.T. but my love of books pervades all, and there was a time when I wondered how I’d ever get the two to fit together. Giving a helping hand to testing sweet tools like BNC CataList and BNC SalesData helped me realize the complimentary relationship between the two by seeing how BNC uses tech to address the industry’s supply-chain demands.

I’m ending my internship term at BookNet Canada with an incredible amount of practical knowledge into the inner workings of publishing companies, book retailers and distributors, and the relationships between them. In an industry that’s rolling on unpredictable high seas, this knowledge is, to say the very least, invaluable. Get thee behind me, seasickness!

I’d like to give a huge “Thank you!” to everyone at BookNet Canada for their tutelage and for their undying (hyuk, hyuk) love of all things zombie related. So long, BookNet, I’ll catch you on the flip side.