I really lucked out with a placement at Bright Red Publishing. The Edinburgh-based educational publishing team–responsible for the SQA Past Paper contract and a range of revision guides–run an interesting and innovative business from an office in the trendy West End. The company has a big presence on the Scottish Educational marketplace. Despite this, the team is very small and a placement in the Bright Red office means working directly with the three directors: John MacPherson, Richard Bass and Alan Grierson. Such close proximity to the bosses was slightly intimidating at first (I mean these guys started this huge brand themselves just 5 years ago – pretty huge, huh?). However it didn’t take long for them to make me feel welcome and their encouraging attitude was the biggest benefit of this placement.
Because of the size of the company, my duties have been completely varied. From spending afternoons stuffing envelopes, checking proofs, interviewing teachers and tweeting to re-designing their e-newsletter – I have experienced tasks from most parts of the work flow process and gained a real feeling of working in a small publishing house.
On one of my first days last September, I was asked to read over a manuscript for their latest publishing venture; a general study/revision guide called Learn to Learn. I was asked to offer my opinion on the title which, thankfully, I thought was great. During my time at the company, this title has been developed. Most recently, I have been involved in its marketing – with mail outs, through the newsletter and on social media. Last month, the book came back from the printers. Seeing the transformation of the initial proofs to the final, printed book and knowing that I have played a part, however small, in the process of producing this product was brilliant. That is the process of publishing and now, more than ever, I really want to be in the business. The act of producing and selling something tangible that is useful, practical and marketable is amazing and I look forward to a career in the industry (hopefully in a small educational publishing company like Bright Red Publishing).