The Digital Era of Publishing

Hello readers!

As a new intern at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press, I will be writing under the pen name of Aphra Beauhn, the feisty, forward-thinking female playwright and novelist. After taking a 17thCentury British Literature class this past spring, I came to greatly admire Behn’s spunky interpretation of literature as not only a source of entertainment but also a powerful tool for social reflection and change.

I am currently a rising senior at Union College, a small liberal arts school in Upstate New York, working towards a double major in English and Classics. When my junior year recently came to a close, I received a flood of questions about my career plans for post-graduation. As an avid reader with a passion for language, publishing has always been the natural answer for me. While I have gained in my personal life a love for how stories build, evolve, and eventually come to touch their audience in different ways, my educational background has taught me how valuable it is to think and rethink critically about writing, craft a plausible argument, and effectively communicate ideas to a vast array of readers.

More often than not, I’ve been told that I’m going into an “impractical” field or better yet, that print publishing is dying in the age of iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and an infinite number of writing outlets on the internet that are available to just about anyone who wishes to publish. The term publishing for many of my peers now refers to posting a picture on Instagram or capturing a cool Snapchat story. I wholeheartedly agree that the digital era is upon us and gaining momentum with each day.

However, I don’t believe that there is any less of a demand for well-written books. Technology has provided new distractions and entertainment for sure, but it hasn’t taken away the power of literature to create a new vision and understanding of the world. Rather than “dying,” the industry is simply moving into uncharted territory. After two internships in publishing, what I have come to love most about this industry is that it is constantly changing and growing regardless of whether technology is in play or not. To me, the digital age provides an opportunity to develop creative approaches to writing that will reach more audiences and unveil new voices.

During the first few weeks of my internship at Beaufort Books/Spencer Hill Press, I was assigned a variety of tasks, everything from promoting books on social media platforms to updating metadata for past and upcoming titles. What has become evident to me so far is that the digital era provides a new means to market literature in increasingly dynamic and innovative ways. As the summer progresses, I am so excited to work at a company that is still dedicated to publishing high-quality books which are both compelling and impactful, fit for the fast-paced, ever-evolving industry.

Publishing may no longer represent the once romantic vision of a library full of beautifully bound books, but it still serves as a guide to the people, places, and things of everyday life.

Until next time,
Aphra Beauhn

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.