Please note: This placement was carried out by Gaia Poggiogalli, who is also the author of the article below.
For my placement I worked at Fledgling Press, a young Edinburgh publishing house specializing in first time authors. As the new management comes from various backgrounds unrelated to the publishing industry, my relationship with them was very different from the one an intern expects to have with their bosses. I was expected to speak my mind and give my opinion on everything discussed during our weekly meeting – a daunting prospect when you don’t know exactly what you’re doing but it was the best way to dive in the industry.
Since everyone at Fledgling Press is learning, I’ve been given the opportunity to work in different departments and on a variety of tasks, from editorial to marketing, from design to sales. In my time with them I experienced first-hand what it means being an new, small, independent publisher in Scotland, the difficulties of having your books stocked by the big retailers and the art of balancing effective design and print run with your financials. Being an independent however gives you the freedom to be original, to think out of the box to stand out instead of following what the big guys are doing – it means that your limitations must become your strong point and creativity your sharpest weapon.
While back in January I was dreaming of dynamic offices and shiny suits, of professionals showing you how the work is done from your seat in the copy room, I now believe that the best training comes from small independents, where surviving makes you quick minded and every copy sold is done so proudly.