ThunderStone Books Internship

October 6th, 2015 by Hannah Elizabeth Roberts | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on ThunderStone Books Internship
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Thunderstone Books LogoIn the early summer of this year I was offered a three month marketing internship with independent publisher ThunderStone Books.

Robert and Rachel Noorda began Thunderstone Books in 2013 to help meet the need for cultural and language education in an increasingly global and interconnected world. They now publish educational children’s books in areas such as language learning and science.

As ThunderStone Books are a relatively small publisher, Rob and Rachel do the majority of their daily tasks themselves. From proofing manuscripts to organising visits to schools and book launches. For me, this was great opportunity to see how the world of small, independent publishing worked and Rob and Rachel were very hands-on with me from the beginning.

One of my main duties was to increase their social media interactions and out put by essentially, taking over their Facebook and Twitter pages and posting about various publishing related events and important dates such as the pre-order dates for their new title Meh. This was an essential task and one that Rob and Rachel didn’t always have the time to dedicate their energy towards. Therefore, social media quickly became the focus of my internship with ThunderStone Books.

I created a social media schedule from the list of key dates that Rob and Rachel provided me with and got to work, making sure I never missed a notification or opportunity to tweet. Which, as a 22-year old, was relatively easy as my smart phone is very rarely out of my sight!

I enjoyed this part of my internship as not only was I helping to get ThunderStone Books more likes, followers and re-tweets, I was also part of a stimulating and educational publishing network. Being in charge of their social media for three months also gave me great confidence in my ability to utilize social media in a professional context.

Unfortunately, I was unable to fulfill the task of arranging press coverage for the launch of the publisher’s new title Meh due to ill health in late July. I deeply regret this and wish I could have had the experience under my belt. However, Rob and Rachel were very understanding and did a great job in organising media for the launch of Meh.

Picture of 'Meh' by Deborah Malcolm. Credit: Hannah Roberts

Picture of ‘Meh’ by Deborah Malcolm. Credit: Hannah Roberts

When it came to the launch of Meh in August, I spent the day live-tweeting and posting pictures of the event in the Livingstone branch of  Waterstones. This was a fantastic event with a great turn out and impressive media coverage via STV and other organisations. The copies of Meh sold impressively quickly. So much so, that Rob had to go and pick up more to sell!

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being at the launch of Meh. It was a brilliant opportunity to gain insight in to the organisation of book launches and how they are perceived by the author and readers alike. I even got my copy of Meh signed by the author Deborah Malcolm. (Buy Meh here).

To summarise, my internship with Rob and Rachel at ThunderStone Books was an incredibly insightful and rewarding experience both personally and professionally. I have gained valuable experiences from their decision to take me on as an intern and have also built a like-minded professional relationship and friendship with them which I hope will last for many years to come!




Bell & Bain: A Firsthand Look Inside Printing

October 5th, 2015 by Hannah Fields | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Bell & Bain: A Firsthand Look Inside Printing
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Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

Bell & Bain, one of Scotland’s oldest established printing companies, welcomed my fellow University of Stirling Publishing Studies classmates and myself into their offices on Thursday, Oct. 1.

Our outing to Glasgow’s prized printers began with a brief, yet enlightening, presentation detailing both the history and inner workings of the company, with all information being delivered by Bell & Bain Sales Director Designate Derek Kenny and Business Services Coordinator Kenneth Shepherdson.

Bell & Bain, founded in 1831 by James Bell and Andrew Bain, specializes in the printing and binding of business, educational, financial, religious, medical, and scientific books and journals. The company services around 600 clients, with 95 percent of them being publishing companies. Not only does Bell & Bain pride itself on being both environmentally and socially aware, it also aims to be “the printer of choice” for customers by providing quality products and services.

Following the presentation we were split into two groups and given a tour of where the magic happens—the Bell & Bain printing factory. For me, this was the most interesting part of the visit. When one picks up a book at a local retailer, it’s easy not to give a second thought to how it was produced. Having the firsthand experience of watching the book printing process, from aluminum plates to paper to binding, gave me a new appreciation for the publications that I too often pass idly by.

However, this process of print and digital publishing isn’t done in one place. Bell & Bain owns an additional warehouse where its paperbacks, hardbacks, and journals are printed. It would be almost naïve to expect anything less of a company that has been serving the masses for generations. Our tour of the second location wasn’t as lengthy, as the company is in the process of renovation and transfer of office space. Despite all of this, I admire the Bell & Bain staff’s ability to effectively produce products alongside what many would deem bothersome conditions.

All in all, I’d say our trip to Bell & Bain was well worth the time. I’d also like to give a very special thanks to Derek Kenny and Kenneth Shepherdson for setting aside time in their busy schedules to give us a tour, answer our questions, and provide lunch for our group. Bell & Bain is inarguably a class act in the publishing industry.