Virtual internship breakdown

Caleigh Minshall

You may remember the summer internship breakdown that I wrote at the end of August. It’s a handy guide if you ever find yourself working in the shop of a small publisher, but chances are (especially if you are working for the fairly remote PQ) you’ll be doing a virtual internship. So I thought you might appreciate another breakdown, this time outlining my internet work from September 10 (when I stopped going to the shop) to December 31. The work, as you’ll see, is very different in a lot of ways.

Just like last time, this won’t be an entirely accurate representation of either my work or of what you may end up doing, for PQ or someone else. And it isn’t meant to be an exact representation, anyway – for that you can just see my time sheet! For one thing I’m not being very careful with my math here (that would take too long and a blog just isn’t worth it), and for another I’m excluding the tiny tasks that end up taking up large chunks of the day (and hence my hours) just because of volume.

All that being said … Here’s my very rough approximation of the hours I spent on large projects for the past four months!

September 10 – 31

  • WorldCat sales campaigns & library contact lists: 22.5 hours
  • Tip sheets for Spring 2011 titles: 22 hours (this included reading the manuscripts if I hadn’t read them yet)
  • Reading guides: 19 hours
  • Blog-related things (categories, tags, writing): 9.5 hours
  • Google AdWords: 9 hours
  • Canadian literature professor contact list: 9 hours
  • Emailing webmasters to update their PQ links: 9 hours
  • Updating PExOD author biographies: 4 hours
  • Catalogue copy: 2 hours
  • And various other, smaller tasks – emails, website updates, PExOD tweaks, catalogue photos, submissions, etc.


  • Onix problems (especially Bowker & Biblioshare) / website & PExOD updates: 25.5 hours
  • Worldcat / Email sales campaigns / contact lists: 22.75 hours
  • Typesetting: 22 hours
  • Reading guides: 13 hours
  • Blog-related (includes preparing Tim’s blogs for WordPress): 12.75 hours
  • Tip sheets: 12.25 hours
  • Submission (reading manuscripts): 5.5 hours
  • Tracking down sales data of My Other Women for Pauline Carey: 5.25 hours
  • Google AdWords (includes training): 5 hours
  • Devil’s Artisan blog & Rogues Gallery: 4 hours
  • Emailing webmasters to update PQ links: 2.25 hours
  • Catalogue copy: 1.75 hours
  • And other small tasks.


  • Worldcat sales campaigns: 31.25 hours
  • Blog-related: 18.5 hours
  • PExOD & website updates: 17.5 hours
  • Reading guides: 13 hours
  • AdWords: 12.75 hours
  • Bowker & other Onix problems: 12.75 hours
  • Canada Council application: 11.25 hours
  • Emailing webmasters to update PQ links: 5.5 hours
  • Research on Cistercian monks: 5 hours
  • Google Books: 1.25 hours
  • There were a ton of little things for this month, so the hours here won’t reflect the hours I actually put in: uploading reviews and interviews, editing my article for CBBAG, submissions, creating headers for the website, fixing problems on Zinio, etc. etc.


  • Reading guides: 90.75 hours*
  • Worldcat / library contacts / other sales campaigns: 29.25 hours
  • Blog-related: 10 hours
  • Home page: 4 hours
  • Ontario Arts Council marketing: 3 hours
  • Facebook White Papers: 2 hours
  • AdWords: 2 hours
  • Twitter: 1.25 hour
  • LPG spreadsheet: 1.25 hours
  • There were also some reviews, emails and work done in anticipation of Tim needing a new intern after I leave at the end of March.

* December was a big travel month for me, so reading guides were extra convenient during this month since I could read and write questions wherever I was. Unfortunately in December I also finished all of the books I had been planning to create reading guides for this year, so from January until the end I’ll not be making any guides at all. (Sigh!)

And so, there you have it. Many people have asked me how I’ve managed to keep my Canadian internship while living in France, and the truth is that there’s really no end to the work that can be done over the web. I keep a fairly long, continually updated list of ideas and projects to turn to (and to strike off when completed – very satisfying!) if I ever need a change of pace in my job. This is particularly true these days, since metadata is seemingly posing problems for everybody everywhere, and there’s nothing for it but to buckle down and start fixing mistakes in the database, which I can access very easily over the internet.

As a university friend once said to me (while preparing herself for an all-nighter of Red Bull and Wordsworth), ‘Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it!’

About Caleigh

Intern at the Porcupine's Quill.
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2 Responses to Virtual internship breakdown

  1. Pingback: The Porcupine’s Quill

  2. Nice post!
    I cant share this link :
    Am i doing it wrong ?


The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.