Often, one of the bigger worry of an intern is to just end up making coffee. At Vagabond Voices, a small publishing house based in Glasgow, the situation is exactly the opposite: Allan Cameron, director and founder, but also writer and translator, is always ready to welcome the staff with an excellent Italian coffee. His passion for Italy is also reflected in exciting conversations that we had in the sweet Lingua del Sì. But life at Vagabond Voices is not only inspiring dialogues sipping hot beverages, it is also hard work and the opportunity to achieve outstanding skills.
Vagabond Voices’ publications are focused on original books in English, translated novels from Europe and polemical and passionate works.
The company has entered the digital revolution, publishing both the backlist and the new titles in the e-book version, and the main task of my placement was to manage the conversions, creating the electronic releases.
Before starting to work with Vagabond Voices, my knowledge of the digital formats was relatively vague, but thanks to this great chance now I can use HTML code, write a CSS style sheet and add metadata. These words may be unknown to most people, but they represent the heart of an e-book and improve the reading experience.
I also had the occasion to learn some translation basics, writing a Readers Report of an Italian book and then discussing the issues regarding the adaptation in English.
Those skills are very valuable in the current marketplace, and working at Vagabond Voices allowed me to broaden my knowledge of two fascinating sectors: e-publications and translations.