My desk with the window looking out onto to colourful streets of Paisley
My desk with the view of the colourful streets of Paisley

Paisley is known by most in the west of Scotland by reputation only and you would be forgiven for not knowing that a dynamic and friendly group of people run a successful publishing company right in the heart of the town. I am glad to be in on that secret now and have immensely enjoyed my time at Scotland’s number one educational publisher.

Hodder Gibson has been leading the way in terms of the changes to the secondary school curriculum in Scotland, publishing past papers, model papers, textbooks and study guides which are trusted by the teachers, pupils and parents who use them. As a subsidiary of Hachette, Hodder Gibson has the advantage of being plugged into the enormous production and marketing resources of a large company, whilst remaining a small and flexible unit that is able to respond quickly to the market’s needs. Indeed, the way that the Paisley office has been first to adapt to the change in curriculum in Scotland has also meant that some of their textbooks have been among the bestselling titles for all of Hodder Education in recent months. …

Hodder Gibson is different from the other imprints in the company because it is so small and tailored towards the Scottish market. During my time there I was lucky to be able to deal with enquiries from teachers and parents, key in orders or look up stock numbers using the computer program VISTA – all things that those working at Hodder Education in London would rarely be required to do.

Over the course of my placement I was taken under the wing of John, Elizabeth and Ella who each gave me tasks to do and often took me through various processes involved in publishing. I learned so much in 9 days, and feel much more confident about my abilities. I was shown how they put a book into production, was taken along to a meeting with authors pitching an idea, sat in on a ‘run through’ with the Production Controller at Hodder Education and learned a lot about budgeting, the costing of a book and reprint estimates. I was shown how to use the franking machine, and, as John wanted me to tell you, was even allowed to close the shutters one day!

In amongst all the copyediting, proofreading, learning about work flow and using Biblio3, and the endless contracts and picture research, there was also the hooligans stealing sandwiches from Greggs, the man looking for a food bank, the discussion about whether we could take a picture of the two police cars that turned up outside for the Modern Studies cover, and the old lady who spoke to me on the phone for 20 minutes looking for books that would teach her how to use a computer. One thing is for certain: there’s never a dull moment at Hodder Gibson.