As Scotland’s premier scholarly publisher of books and journals, and one of the leading university presses in the UK, Edinburgh University Press enjoys high regard in the world of academic publishing. On 13 June 2013, a glorious new chapter in their 50-year history began to be written, as I headed off to begin my placement in their marketing department, eager to implement the theoretical knowledge and practical skills gained from the first two trimesters of the MSc Publishing studies course at Edinburgh Napier University.
Under the expert guidance of Catriona Murray, I had the opportunity to get involved with many aspects of the publishing process during the course of my placement. After an initial meeting to discuss the responsibilities I was to assume, the first task I was given was to design an advert to showcase three Gothic Studies textbooks, and it was satisfying to be able to utilise the InDesign skills I have acquired during the course. Over the next ten days I researched press contacts for forthcoming titles, sent out advance copies to potential reviewers, researched new academic contacts for forthcoming textbooks, designed placeholder ads for the EUP website, created press releases for several titles, and also engaged with social media platforms to generate wider interest in new publications. I was also fortunate enough to be allowed to sit in on a number of departmental meetings, which gave me a useful overview of how an academic publishing house works as an overall business, and an insight into the issues each department must take into account when considering new titles.
Everyone in the marketing department was more than willing to offer help and point me in the right direction, and it was heartening to see that two former students from the course had managed to gain employment as marketing assistants at EUP. In addition to the valuable assistance they provided, Andrew and Zuzana were also able to empathise with the onerous task of having to write a dissertation over the summer months, which was much appreciated!
My time at Edinburgh University Press was thoroughly enjoyable and I am grateful to everyone there for making me feel welcome. I learned a lot and it has been an extremely beneficial experience, and I look forward to utilising the knowledge and skills I have gained during my time there.
To find out more about Edinburgh University Press, please visit their website here.