My Placement at Scottish Wedding Directory

IMG_5338I love all things fashion and beauty, so when the opportunity to spend my placement at Scottish Wedding Directory cropped up, I jumped at the opportunity. While my placement may have involved quite a bit of travel, it was definitely worth it. I spent the first week in the main DC Thomson office in Dundee before heading to Glasgow for my second week to work with the Editor and Online Features Editor.

If you’ve ever been inside the DC Thomson Kingsway office then you know that place is a complete maze, and I definitely got lost on more than one occasion. However, if you look out for the giant Dennis the Menace costume you’ll find the main office for most of the company’s publications. The office has a great atmosphere with so many different types of magazines and newspapers in the one place, from Shout magazine to The People’s Friend. And in one corner you’ll find the Scottish Wedding Directory team.

During my time in Dundee I got to develop my design skills working on fashion spreads and Continue reading “My Placement at Scottish Wedding Directory”

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Back to School at Blackwell’s

Founded in 1879 by Benjamin Henry Blackwell, famous academic retailer Blackwell’s is a fascinating business to spend time within. The Southbridge Blackwell’s in Edinburgh has its own history. They took over the location from James Thin in 2002 when the company went into administration.  The Edinburgh shop, while proud of its heritage, makes a marked effort to survive in difficult and challenging times for the industry.

I spent my time as a part of the Back to Schools team working to provide children with the books they need for the coming year. Part of the annual scheme is to buy back second hand books. These books are then used to fulfil orders that request second-hand over new.

Used with the kind permission of Blackwell's
Used with the kind permission of Blackwell’s

As part of the back to schools team I split my time between the back office and the academic floor. In the back office I booked the bought second-hand stock into the system and created orders that required this second-hand stock. Working on the academic floor gave me a chance to interact with the customers and work on the till. I also moved stock to create the schools display and put together orders that request new books.

Working at Blackwell’s is a great way to learn more about the final step in publishing – the selling. Arguably the most important part of the process, it is useful experience to learn what customers really want. In this case, this experience consists of secondary school pupils in Edinburgh and the textbooks used by the private schools.

This insight is invaluable as it is rarely that publishers can see directly which books are wanted by customers. Some titles are in high demand but have been declared out of print by the publisher. I wonder if that would be the case if they had seen the demand.

It’s great to have a chance to see publishing from all sides, and it’s important to see the industry as a whole to bring fresh ideas to future projects and working at Blackwell’s has given me a great insight into the final step of the academic publishing process.

Placement at Luath Press

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One of three desks where I would work.
Battling my way through the masses of early bird festival-goers towards Edinburgh Castle, I completely missed the entrance to Luath Press on what was to be my first day there. Indeed, it is easy to miss the little offshoot from the main street where, upon being promptly buzzed in, you climb up several flights of stairs to be met by a vibrant, well-oiled machine of an office. I was greeted by Danielle, who was also completing a work placement, and who would, along with the staff at Luath, help me along my way over the course of the next week.
After being introduced to director Gavin MacDougall, who brought me up to speed with what Luath Press is all about, I was handed a long list of tasks I would hopefully be able to complete during my time there. Unfortunately, given the short duration of my placement, it would be impossible to complete them all; however, I feel that, upon leaving on my last afternoon, I had been able to tackle quite a few. Given that Luath Press is a relatively small publisher, I knew that I would probably get to dabble in different departments over the course of the week. Having focused on editorial during my time at Napier, I was quite nervous to jump into tasks relating to marketing and production such as creating AI sheets, press releases, press lists, posters, and marketing plans.
However, after a few hiccups I was thoroughly enjoying it; I noticed how learning by doing allowed for a speedy increase in my confidence and capabilities when using certain programs and constructing certain documents. It was especially great to realise you were immediately accepted as part of a team and entrusted with real, significant tasks instead of ‘practice’ tasks. It was obvious throughout the placement that the team were expert multi-taskers and communicated with one another effectively and efficiently.
I completely enjoyed the fact that you didn’t know what to expect every morning upon arriving in the attic (more than a little out of breath) – in one week alone I saw a journalist, three authors, countless delivery men, and many books pass through the door.
All in all, I am delighted to have completed my work placement at Luath Press and am especially grateful for the support and patience of its staff; I hope to cross paths with them again soon.

Placement at Luath Press

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It was a Tuesday, around five in the afternoon, when I received an email with the opportunity of a placement at Luath Press starting… the next day! I knew that Luath Press was an independent Scottish publisher based in the historical Royal Mile, and those reasons were enough for me to make a move and try to secure the placement, which I fortunately did.

With not much preparation time, the next morning I headed to Luath’s office a little bit anxious. However, as I was walking along the Royal Mile, which was crowded with summer tourists, I found myself thinking about how I would usually be part of them. This time though, I was walking there for an entirely different reason, and it was after that thought that my anxiety became excitement.

I entered the building and climbed the narrow staircase towards the attic, where the office is located, to discover a little place with a really big personality. The office shouted in every corner that books – a lot of books – were being created in there.

As soon as I arrived Gavin MacDougall, Director of Luath Press, received me at his desk, and less than 10 minutes after I already had a long list of activities that would keep me busy throughout my placement. Then, a member of Luath’s staff showed me the organisation of the computer files, and forty minutes after my arrival I was working on my first task. This efficiency showed me the experience that the company has while working with interns, and how comfortable they feel with them around.

For the last two weeks I’ve been busy updating events, creating AI sheets, order forms, press releases, promotional material, proposing marketing plans, blurbs, reading manuscripts, and every now and then changing desks; that is how dynamic my experience with Luath has been.

Heading towards the end of my placement, I feel very pleased with what I have achieved and learned. Luath Press showed me the day-to-day activities of an independent publisher; which, in Luath’s case, its magnitude extends much further than the size of its distinctive attic.

My Placement at Handspring Publishing

Have you ever thought about working for a company that publishes books on bodywork, yoga, osteopathy, pilates… Well to be true I did not, but after a look at their website, their products and a lovely interview, there I was, Editor Assistant at Handspring Publishing.

It is quite scary when you realise how little you know about their publishing subject, and also very exciting to work for a rather new and small company.

In a small house like Handspring Publishing you feel more quickly integrated because you are not another intern among the other, in fact you are the first one they ever had!!!

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At Handspring Publishing you better like every aspect of the publishing world because every day is a new challenge and you find yourself working with someone different every time. You will need to be creative as you will have to promote some books about things you have never done, know you way around excel and discover new softawares and this is just the beginning because you are better like, skyping, writing, reading, searching, database, mailing, contributors agreement, debating on subject, long board meeting, secretly looking what Biotensegrity mean and realising how little you did listen in physics class…

In fact if you are not willing to discover fully Handspring Publishing do not go there, because never in your life will you find such a lovely team always to answer any of your questions, help you with everything and never losing patience when you do not understand.

Those ten days went so fast, that it might be the reason why I will definitely stay a bit longer.

Placement at Wyvex Media-Scottish Field Magazine

A Placement at an Edinburgh based magazine, albeit one that is 110 years old was an opportunity, which I grabbed, with both hands. Scottish Field may have a highly discerning readership, but the atmosphere in the office, which is shared with other Wyvex Media Publications, could not have been more welcoming.

At no point was I made to feel like an intern, instead I was given the job of sales support assistant, and I was made to feel part of the team straight away. This was helped by the fact that Brian Cameron, Sales Director invited me in a few days before the formal start to the placement to meet the team and find out more about the role I would be performing. I worked alongside the advertising sales team, chasing up product shots, images and copy to be featured in the June issue of the magazine. I was given my own desk, email and phone on the first day and it was a fantastic way to immerse myself in the magazine publishing environment. It was great to be able to liaise with clients myself, and I also learnt so much about the media sales process just from being surrounded by other staff.

I was also given the chance to devise ideas, research and write articles for the upcoming Town and Country Living Supplement for the July Issue of the magazine. I helped proofread and source pictures for this publication, a great way to practice editorial skills in a live environment.

I have to say the best aspect of my placement was seeing the schedule of a monthly magazine publisher, deadlines are vital and everyone works extremely hard. It wasn’t all work and no play though as I was invited along to work lunches and after work drinks, as well as being introduced to delicious Hummingbird Cake by brilliant baker Rachel.

I was asked to extend the placement to a 3rd week so I could follow through on the work I had been doing, and I was more than happy to do this. A great team, a really interesting magazine and a fantastic experience .

My Placement at Oh Really / Word of Mouth Publishers

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Image courtesy of Oh Really Creative Solutions

Contact:
http://www.ohreally.co.uk/contact/
https://www.facebook.com/LocalsGuidetoGlasgowhttps://twitter.com/LocalsGuidetoEd

When initially it came to choosing my placement company, my focus was a little different from the majority of my fellow publishing students. My experiences to date include a number of group projects I have been involved in at Edinburgh Napier, as well as my existing experience producing my own blogs. I have been exposed to many marketing opportunities, and interest in this area of publishing encouraged me to delve further into the sector to gain more experience.

Upon my discovery of Oh Really as a placement option I felt that it would be perfect. As it is a combination of companies – Oh Really Creative Solutions, a PR and Marketing company and Word of Mouth Travels Publishing – run solely by Mr Owen O’Leary, it represented the perfect environment to gain as much experience as possible, not only of the publishing industry but the extended creative industries. Word of Mouth Travels to date have produced two books The Locals Guide to Edinburgh and The Locals Guide to Glasgow. These travel guides have taken an entirely new approach to the traditional tour guide. They have also taken advantage of a niche in the travel market which has been in decline in recent years due to the growth of tablets and portable internet devices. … Continue reading “My Placement at Oh Really / Word of Mouth Publishers”