Student Information

Student Name

Haoqian Ding




Internship Information

Company/Organization: Penguin Random House

Mentor(s):Anne Diaz

Topic of Internship


Background Information

Penguin Random House Publishing Group LLC is located in a 684 foot penthouse and business tower in the heart of New York City, just a few blocks from both Central Park and Times Square. The history of the company is as follows: In 1925, businessmen Bennett Cerf and Donald S. Klopfer bought “The Modern Library of the World's Best Books” from Boni & Liveright, a trade-book publisher established in 1917. Eventually, the two friends decided to rename the company Random House. For many years, Penguin, founded by Sir Allen Lane in London in 1935, and Random House operated as two separate publishing companies. Both companies were divided into multiple subgroups (such as Penguin Classics, Signet Classics, Random House Children’s, Knopf Doubleday and so on) which are then divided into imprints. Doubleday was founded in 1897 and Alfred A. Knopf was founded in 1915, and was purchased by Random House in 1960 for three million dollars. With the incorporation of so many subgroups and imprints together, Random House became the world’s largest trade-book publishing company starting in the 1990s and in 2013, the merging of Penguin and Random House created an even larger opportunity for the company to appeal to readers worldwide.

Summary of Internship

As the marketing intern at Penguin Random House - Knopf Doubleday, I work on a variety of different projects. Once a book is bound and complete, the process of publishing is far from being done. It is vital to give the work of literature plenty of attention and advertisement. One of the main ways to attain this publicity is through book bloggers. In this stage, book bloggers with large numbers of followers are sent early editions of books and are asked by the publisher to read and critique the book. In a sense, this is almost like a free advertisement. During my time as an intern at PRH, I have worked on numerous book blog projects including handling surveys, organizing spreadsheets of social media followings and researching new blogs. It is vital to find and contact bloggers who are interested in receiving new books and willing to spend the time to write critical reviews. In addition to book blog projects, I have done many book and advertising mailings, which is when I fill large envelopes with an advance reading copy or posters and bookmarks and label them to be sent out to reviewers addresses such as bloggers, independent bookstores or papers, such as The New York Times. In addition to this, I also work with entering book giveaways into Goodreads. Giveaways allow more people to find out about books and oftentimes, after a giveaway winner reads the book they have won, they will post a review to Goodreads therefore allowing the novel to be advertised to a large scale of people due to the popularity of Goodreads’ website. I have also worked with posting expected costs for advertising into the myHouse database system which is basically a system with all of PRH’s expected financial uses, future giveaways, novel information and so on. In the myHouse system, I will enter the amount of posters that need to be printed. Then, I will go through a binder of past invoices to find a similar pricing and enter this expected amount into the system. Then, once the posters are printed, another reviewer will go through the database and enter the actual costs into another section. So far, one of the most interesting things that I have seen was while I was filing past invoices for advertisements. PRH advertises its publications through many major companies and publications such as Time Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times, Facebook, Google and so on. While working with these invoices, I noted the prices of such advertising. For just a month of a quarter-page advertising in The New York Times, the prices can be as high as $150,000. Normally, I would not even think about such things, but these prices of such advertising really helps to show how important it is to have a clever and able marketing team. Through working at Alfred A. Knopf I learned the invaluable qualities of media in marketing. All in all, during my time as an intern for the world’s largest trade-book publishing company, I have learned that every little task done in marketing is vital and could possibly make or break a powerful company’s budget. Through the small duties that I have performed at my internship, I have gained a better understanding of both the behind-the-scenes of what seems to be like an everyday, influential corporation as well as the type of career I wish to pursue in the future.

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