Freight Books is an award-winning independent publisher, founded by Adrian Searle as an offshoot of sister-company Freight Design. The company focuses on championing Scottish literary talent, both in their published titles and Gutter, a literary magazine of new Scottish writing. There were a lot of reasons I was determined experience working at freight; the quality of their fiction and non-fiction titles, the opportunity to contribute in a small way to a publisher based in my own city, and of course, their notoriously cute office dog, Archie.
I’d originally hoped to have the opportunity to work within the design department of Freight Books but after discussion with my supervisor, Laura Waddell, my placement was tailored more towards the marketing side of the business. This ended up being hugely interesting, as I got to witness first hand the resourcefulness that goes into marketing a range of very different titles effectively without the marketing budget of a major publisher.
Much of the marketing strategy for the titles I worked with focused on identifying interesting opportunities for creating content for relevant media so my research tasks involved such varied subjects as: L’Eroica communities, feminist online media, crime fiction book blogs and luxury travel sites. I also worked on publicising events like the Celtic: Keeping the Faith relaunch by exploring existing fansites and forums to reach an audience that may not already be engaged with Freight’s existing social media. I even got to indulge my interest in design by developing some social media graphics for a couple of upcoming titles.
Most of my most recent experience has occurred within a graphic-novel specific publisher, so it was really useful to go outside my comfort zone and gain some perspective from a very different publishing culture. I’m just diving into my post-postgraduate job search and it the seemingly inevitable pull of London can be disheartening but my 6 weeks at Freight have only reinforced my excitement about independent Scottish publishing, and my desire to be part of it.