Work Placement at Edinburgh University Press

When trying to crack the publishing industry, I think work experience does you a world of good. For me, MSc Publishing’s focus on giving students the opportunity to go out and put into practice what they’ve learnt was one of the main attractions prior to joining Edinburgh Napier way back in September.

As soon as the time came to organise a placement, Edinburgh University Press (EUP) was at the top of my list. EUP is one of the leading university presses in the UK, and specialises in producing academic books and journals across a wide range of Humanities and Social Sciences subjects to the highest standard. As a History undergraduate, I regularly used EUP’s books, so relished the chance of getting to help the team produce its latest titles.

Whilst working at EUP, I was based in the Production department where I was supervised by Ian, the Head of Production, as well as Gavin, Digital Production Controller and MSc Publishing alumnus. Over the course of my ten weeks as a production intern, I worked closely with Ian and Gavin as they taught me the ins and outs of the production process, whilst fuelling me with an abundance of tea, leaving me with what I believe is a more well-rounded understanding of production than simply typesetting and cover design. Consequently, I was able to get well and truly stuck into the production process, and learnt new skills such as converting covers from Hardbacks and PPC (Printed Paper Case) to Paperbacks and how to send books to print. Whilst adding to my new skills every week, I put into practice existing ones like proofreading; a personal highlight for me was being able to work on two sets of proofs for the Scottish Historical Review, where I was completely in my element.

But, as important as production is, editorial and marketing are equally important functions to the publishing process. During my placement, I was able to spend time with both Anna, the Head of Marketing, and Nicola, Head of Editorial where I was able to obtain a better grasp on their roles within the company. It’s invaluable to be able to pick the brains of those who make everything at EUP happen, and by having an almost mastermind-esque conversation where the special subject is EUP, I believe I’ve come away with a more solid understanding of the day-to-day running of a company.  These opportunities gave me the chance to develop a more holistic understanding of the publishing process as a whole which was hugely beneficial, especially when departments work so closely together in modern publishing.

EUP’s nomination for Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year for the 2018 British Book Awards shows there are few better to learn from in Scotland. I’ve had a brilliant time on placement at EUP, a company full of lovely people who’ve been incredibly helpful and supportive from week one, no doubt a great place to have got my first taste of publishing.

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Bookie Updates: Submission Day!!

The whole team is busily beavering away, finishing up for the submission of both of our book projects for our final assessment – which will ultimately decide whether our books will be sent to our chosen printer, Bell and Bain!! We are all so excited for finally reaching this point, regardless of all the stressful days and numerous obstacles which have come our way – we are so close we can almost see the books!! When we look back on what we have managed to achieve: editing, financing, producing, negotiating rights and marketing TWO books in just 13 weeks – I can speak for all of us in saying how proud we are of ourselves and every member of our little Wednesday Team!!!

 

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In recent weeks we have been able to finalise so many things, from confirming the support of Cordelia Fine and Helen Sutherland who are providing a foreword and an author biography for one of our projects (GO Rights Team!), The Day Boy and The Night Girl – for more details check out our Project page: The Day Boy and The Night Girl – through to the production of the covers for both books, which are looking amazing. A  big well done to our awesome production team!!

Collectively we have done so much to pull together and we have been able to achieve so much!! The Publishing Degree Show is coming up very soon and is open to the public from Friday 23rd of May until the 1st of June. You are all welcome to come along and see this year’s projects. There are also opportunities for you to get involved and vote for our selected covers for Ah Dinnae Ken. There will be four to choose from and we would love to hear what you think about them and vote for the winner.

This is a sample of one of the covers that will be on show for Ah Dinnae Ken:

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And one for The Day Boy and The Night Girl:

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We are also continuing to approach independent bookshops across Edinburgh and even researching retailers further afield; however, our sales are strongly dependent on your interest. Therefore, if you are really interested in getting a copy of our illustrated edition we would love to hear from you, and hear which bookshops are convenient for you and which you would be interested in purchasing from.

If we can find reassure bookshops of the interest that exists, we can create more sales and make them more accessible to you. Please send us a comment or a Facebook message if there is anywhere you are particularly interested in. Any bookshops interested in buying a number of copies please feel free to contact us also.

 

Pushkin Prizes Update

Pushkin Prizes 2014

Everyone on the team is delighted to say that we have now taken delivery of the 2014 Pushkin Prizes winners’ work! For those interested in how we are working here, we can briefly outline the process we are working to.

When the winners’ work came to us, we scanned them into our computers using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software; this meant that we could edit the work on a word processor quicker than if we had typed out each winner’s work individually.

Editorial

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Once we have converted the work into digital format, it enables the editorial team to begin their work. This begins with a quick read through to make sure that the OCR software hasn’t made any glaring errors or mistakes. Once this is done they print out a copy of the work and do a ‘copy edit’. This is where they write on the paper to flag things such as spelling errors or issues with sentence structure. Then, these changes are made and logged on the digital copy. Next, the team apply a ‘house style’ to the work, so that there is one uniform format throughout each piece of work. After this, the work will be proof read a number of times in preparation for being handed over to our production team! What is important through the entire process is that the entrants’ work is kept authentic. It is their work and we want to keep it that way, so that they can still be proud of their work in ten years’ time.

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The production team have already been working away for weeks creating a template and layout of the book all ready for when the competition winners’ work comes in. As well as this they have been creating some amazing potential cover designs. Once they get the work in from the editorial team they can place the raw text into the blank layouts. Then they apply the design house style so that the text is in the correct typeface and size, as well as making the such things as chapter headings and page numbers look good.

These processes are still on going whilst we build up to publication. We will keep you updated with more information about the project, behind the scenes looks and pictures. For other updates follow @EdNapierPublish.

Meet the Maisie/Pushkin Team

Hello. We thought it was about time we introduced ourselves.

We’re students on the MSc Publishing studies programme at Edinburgh Napier University and we’ve recently started working on some exciting new projects for Merchiston Publishing, the University’s long established in-house publisher.

We are one of two groups working on four different projects for Merchiston Publishing this year. Our team are in charge of two of these projects – The Pushkin Prizes Anthology 2014 and Maisie and the Night Visitor. To find out more about both projects, visit our Live Projects pages for The Pushkin Prizes Anthology 2014 and Maisie and the Night Visitor. You can also follow the @EdNapierPublish twitter to keep up to date with all of our projects.

Project Managers

Georgia Walters and Eve Scott

Heading up the team are our enthusiastic, organised and committed Project Managers, Eve and Georgia. As the driving force behind our team, both Eve and Georgia have been instrumental in getting both projects going and we have every faith that their determination and passion will carry us through any challenges we may face. Georgia is taking the lead on The Pushkin Prizes Anthology 2014 and Eve, who has been a Maisie fan since she was young, is in charge of Maisie and the Night Visitor.

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Here’s what they had to say about the projects –

Georgia Walters (PM) The Pushkin Prizes Anthology 2014-

“I’m honoured to be part of the team publishing the latest Pushkin Prizes anthology. Fraser Ross Associates has generously allowed us free reign in showcasing 2014’s winners, and we hope to do justice to the 26-year history of the prizes whilst adding our own new design and ideas. As students ourselves it’s lovely to be helping to inspire the creativity of our younger counterparts.”

Eve Scott (PM) Maisie and the Night Visitor-

“When I learned that Merchiston Publishing focuses on Scottish authors, the Maisie series seemed like a perfect fit. I grew up with it so it’s really exciting to have the opportunity to add a title to such a fantastic series. We’re working closely with the author to add some special content to this tale and we’re looking forward to launching this special limited edition to celebrate 30 ‘amaising’ years!”

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Team: Keara Donnachie (DM), Saskia van der Lingen, Chris Byrne and Annie King

Our super editorial team are ready to battle against poorly constructed sentences and excessive use of exclamation marks! They are involved in everything content-related, from the initial stages of adding content, right the way through to editing that content to make sure it is of the best possible quality. Armed with red pens and a sharp eye for detail, they are ready to catch any rogue commas that may threaten our projects.

Production

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Team: Gaby Barrios (DM), Alix Thomazi, Laura Will and Melissa LoParco

Our lovely production team are the artsy, creative types behind the projects. They’re in charge of making sure the projects look great. They think you should always judge a book by its cover, so they have one of the most important jobs. With their InDesign shortcuts memorised they are ready to go and they have already started work on some fantastic covers for both projects.

Finance/Rights

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Anastasia Gorgan (Rights DM), Harriet Leslie, Doug Sloan (Finance DM) and Xin Dong

Arguably the most important decision makers, these guys are there to make sure we are following all the rules and to stop marketing from spending all their money on a helicopter trip. They have the difficult task of budgeting, contacting printers and dealing with contracts. We’ll let you in on a secret: we’re not quite sure what they get up to, but we imagine that when they aren’t dealing with finances and rights they’re off fighting crime or something equally impressive . . .

Marketing

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Team: Becky Brown, Leanne Butchart, Michele Cheng, Jack Evans (DM) and Candice Sooknarine

Lastly, it’s us: the marketing team. Or as we like to be known, the five marketeers! You’ll hear a lot from us over the next few months as we promote our exciting new projects. Armed with nothing more than enthusiasm and an endless supply of cat puns, we hope to act as the mascots for our projects and can’t wait to show off the work done by the rest of our team members. We’ll be tweeting, posting, organising events, creating videos and just generally being enthusiastic about everything (especially that helicopter trip!).

That’s all for now.

Stay tuned for more updates about our projects soon!

 

Inside Main Point Books
Photograph by Ewelina Wasacz

People going in and out, stopping in wonder, browsing through the shelves, chatting or celebrating the silence – this is how it looks like here every day. There are works by Walter Scott or Leo Tolstoy waiting to be read again. There is art, feminism, travel, and sport books ready to be picked up. People from all walks of life are drawn to this place. No wonder. It’s magical.

You may ask ‘What are you doing here’? I’m being lucky, I answer. I’m having a great pleasure working for Jennie Renton, the owner of Main Point Books, which is an independent bookshop. As it happens, Jennie is also a founder of Textualities.net, a website dedicated to books and writing, and a freelancer involved in production, editorial and publicity activities.

When imaging my placement I thought of someone passionate and knowledgeable about publishing who would show me their craft. And this is exactly who Jennie is. However, I also pictured this person as someone working in a formal, modern, spacious office full of Macs and other technologically-advanced devices. I couldn’t be more wrong when it turned out to be a lovely bookshop, with a friendly atmosphere and hi-tech gadgets kept to minimum. I prefer this cosiness much more to a typical office environment.

My placement is a basket full of development opportunities. One day I work on internal page design for a football book that is just about to be published. InDesign, action! Another day I find myself helping out with the biggest purchase ever made in the shop by one of the top hotels in Edinburgh stocking up their Scottish-themed library. But that is not all. There is also the production side to my placement when I oversee the progress of publication of Edinburgh Review, a literary magazine released three times a year by the University of Edinburgh. The quality of work of both well-known and unknown writers is outstanding. My job is to design the internal pages of the magazine. One busy afternoon I also have a chance to uncover the complex process of copy-editing.

All these activities create a unique opportunity to discover  and learn different aspects of publishing business. I’m never bored here. How can I be if there are so many interesting tasks to complete? I work in various locations: Jennie’s shop, Edinburgh Review’s office, the Napier University campuses, which adds to the general excitement of my placement. Before I started this unforgettable journey through joys and challenges of a freelancer’s work I had not expected to be involved in so many activities. They truly allowed me to get a taste of a real-life ups and downs of working in the industry.

If you feel like having a good read and an enjoyable conversation get up and pop in to  this superb bookshop at 77 Bread Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AH or get yourself a cup of tea and enter the online world of literature at http://textualities.net/.

Work placement at Archaeology Scotland

Ever thought of becoming an archaeologist? Well, I have, when I was a little girl and watched all of the Indiana Jones movies: I wanted to go in search of the Lost Ark with Harrison Ford and ride a motorcycle with Sean Connery, while running away from the Nazis. For a while I was convinced my archaeological desire would not come true – how could it? I grew up and left my childhood dream behind and started a publishing course, which, as it turned out, I truly enjoy. You couldn’t go further away from archaeology, could you? Well, that’s where fate came in to prove me wrong as I did my publishing placement with Archaeology Scotland and got first hand experience of what modern archaeologists do, while being able to deepen my knowledge of publishing design processes.

As I said, I did my placement with Archaeology Scotland, a voluntary membership organisation that looks after maintaining the archaeological heritage and research in Scotland. The task I was entrusted with was re-designing the latest issue of their eponymous membership magazine and looking into ways of making that content available online and establishing whether the newly re-defined format could bring the printing costs down.

What I enjoyed the most was the designer freedom to create a brand new issue from scratch, to be able to decide on the organisation of the textual and visual elements on a page and to make sure it all comes in together nicely and is consistent across the issue. In addition to all that, which was all very hands-on and practical from day one, I also had to deliver a presentation reporting on my work progress to the editorial sub-group which included the company’s President. This was a little more challenging, but most definitely beneficial for my presentation confidence skills.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my working experience there as I was exposed to some of the actual publishing problems, while learning more about the work of real-life Indiana Joneses (well, they might think they are). I got lucky, I must say – I got the best out of both worlds. Minus the baddies, luckily.

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If you are interested in Archaeology Scotland’s activities, visit their webpage, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Working at the Teaching Fellows

It’s the smell of ink, that moment when you open the box for the first time and peer inside, which just adds to the excitement. Picking out that first copy and holding it up to the light thinking, I helped make this. I finally held in my hands the finished product. A mix of emotions of pride, happiness and just a little relief making the weeks of hard work, the stress and frustration, just melt away into memory. At the end of the day, it was all worth it.

My placement at The Teaching Fellows Journal (tfj) has been an exciting experience. The tfj is part of the Teaching Fellows Scheme at Edinburgh Napier University, created in 1997 and exists to better promote the importance of learning and teaching at the university. The journal is distributed throughout the university to inform the Teaching Fellows community on the activities of their colleagues, including conference reports, diary dates and other important information.

image courtesy from Teaching Fellows
Editorial meeting at the tfj

My role within the tfj has been to help in the production of the latest issue of the journal. This involved a variety of tasks such as, designing the layouts of the articles, liaising with the editors, contributors and external printers, alongside making recommendations on how the production process of future journals can be improved. What attracted me to this placement was the chance to get involved with a project comprised of a small team. I felt this would give me more opportunities to test out and further broaden the skills the MSc Publishing course has equipped me with. As the journal needed to be produced in a very short period of time, it was like being thrown into the deep end! Whilst this caused stress, having to juggle university, placement and a part-time job, my experience at the tfj has been an invaluable one. The chance to work on a project and hold the finished product in my hands is ultimately why I want to work in publishing.

It’s the smell of ink.

The tfj can be viewed online at the Edinburgh Napier Education Exchange (ENEE) or alternatively Here.