The Last Hey Day

You would never expect how much work goes into a neatly stuffed, white, standard-sized envelope—from the tri-folded subscription letter inside to the “media mail” postage mark in the corner, it takes time, energy, and a surprising amount of skill to produce it. One might even call it a mini book. After all, everything written here at Heyday has to (or had to at some point) go through the editorial department, even if it is only a News from Native California subscription renewal letter. Then of course it has to be printed, and then folded using the efficient yet terrifying folding machine, then stuffed into an envelope with a return envelope, then the envelope must be addressed, sealed with a sponge-tipped bottle of water, run through the postage machine for 44 cents, and at last mailed on the walk home. Impressed, right? For the past three months the invisible hands behind all this (at least for some of the mailings) belonged to the three marketing and publicity interns at Heyday—Trisha, Arielle, and me.

Of course that wasn’t everything we did. I also worked particularly on promoting the upcoming work by Scott Lankford, Tahoe beneath the Surface: Hidden Stories of America’s Largest Mountain Lake. I discovered how to craft pitch letters for both media and events, who to send them to, and the difference between them. I learned the value of an elevator pitch (“while author Scott Lankford explores Lake Tahoe’s heritage, he reveals that Lake Tahoe is a lens through which to reexamine the whole of American history”) to catch the eyes of newspaper, magazine, and radio station staffers. I used Firefox, Filemaker Pro, and Cisionpoint, covering the full range of stalking databases from amateur to professional. With the help of Susan, Heyday’s marketing and publicity director, I pared down the massive list of media contacts for Tahoe beneath the Surface, discriminating between the places that would need galleys (early marketing materials) and those that could wait to receive the finished book. For events, I researched ideal places that would highlight various aspects of the book, from travel to conservation. I even helped construct a marketing plan, which includes a promotional interactive map and virtual walking tour for the places in Scott’s book.

Between Tahoe beneath the Surface, mailings, meetings with authors, finding contacts, and uploading event descriptions to the website, I discovered the least exciting but maybe the most useful thing. While the complex process of publishing a book is stimulating, for me the act of presenting the creation is not so invigorating as creating it myself.

When I first attempted to find Heyday’s cozy and rather hidden office for my interview (it took me the greater part of half an hour), I didn’t quite understand everything that went on inside it. I felt exhilarated to be so close to the publishing process and hopeful that I could glean wisdom from it. So as I finish my last day here at Heyday, I will take the knowledge I have gained with me and apply it to my own writing-whether or not I decide to return to the publishing world. But for now, I’ll say goodbye.

Emily (Sales and Marketing Intern)


  1. says

    The last hey day.. Keen 🙂

  2. says

    The last hey day.. WTF? 🙂

  3. says

    The last hey day.. Smashing 🙂