Duke University Press produces 120 books a year on subjects such as Latin American studies, literary theory and criticism, history, cultural studies, Asian studies, film and television studies, and anthropology. Duke Press is known for publishing cutting-edge, interdisciplinary scholarship. Our primary audience is academic: professors in the field; graduate students; and freelance scholars. However, some of our books are part of the trade market and end up displayed prominently at bookstores.
Our department consists of three editors, an associate editor, two assistant editors, two editorial associates and one editorial assistant. We are in acquisitions, which means that we rarely copyedit or work with the manuscript line by line. We review and solicit manuscripts, decide which books we will publish, then correspond with the author in the long process of revision and preparation of the manuscript for production. Each manuscript under consideration has to be sent out to two readers for peer review, usually twice, before the author turns in a final draft. Once the editor, the reviewers, and the author are satisfied that the manuscript is ready to go, it must pass the Editorial Advisory Board, made up of Duke professors.
The Interns’ Work
As an intern, you will do work similar to that done by the editorial associates and editorial assistant. A great deal of that work is administrative (which is true of book publishing in general). You will be involved in the review and revision process, while also doing some filing, copying and mailing. You will be working on our database, logging in and rejecting manuscripts, as well as preparing manuscripts to be sent to readers. You may be called on to correspond by e-mail and phone with reviewers and authors, and help us prepare packets for the Board (which means doing some Internet research and sometimes writing a summary of a book’s argument). You will also be invited to attend the weekly marketing launch meeting, which will give you some insight into how a book is publicized to reach its target audience, and into the business side of publishing.
The internship provides early exposure to some of the cutting-edge academic work that our authors produce. In addition to learning how an academic book is brought into the public, you will also obtain excellent experience with publishing terminology and protocol. A solid internship experience means that you will have a great reference for entering the publishing world. Many of our editorial interns have gone on to publishing careers at university presses and at trade houses in New York City.
Duke U. Press also publishes The World Reader series, a set of unique books that combine academic writing, journalism, literature, art, cartoons, and even recipes from various countries, cities, and regions. This series includes The Cuba Reader, The Indonesia Reader, The Alaska Native Reader, The Mexico Reader and many others. We have recently published The Ghana Reader and are working on readers for Colombia, Burma, and Vietnam now; India, Colombia, and Havana are on their way.
World Reader interns negotiate contract terms with publishers in and outside the United States, research copyright law and intellectual property for each Reader’s country, track down individual or corporate copyright holders across the world, and assess when public domain and fair use are applicable for a particular selection (so that rights are not required). Working on these fascinating books requires stellar communication skills, creativity, an enthusiasm for puzzle-solving (often in the form of internet research), and a lot of attention to detail (directed at keeping track of permissions, art, and production issues for the many pieces that go into these books).
Positions Open for Academic Year 2015-16
General Department and World Reader Interns: Positions available for grad students and undergrads to split time between general editorial duties and World Reader responsibilities, and also to focus solely on general editorial duties. Please send your cover letter and resume to Elizabeth Ault at firstname.lastname@example.org.