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Internships

Internship at Think Publishing

April 21st, 2017 by Sharna | Posted in Internships | Comments Off on Internship at Think Publishing
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Towards the beginning of the year, I applied for and was offered an editorial internship with Think Publishing, a membership communications agency. If you’re not sure what ‘membership communications agency’ really means (which I didn’t until I did some pre-application research!) it just means that they create publications on behalf of professional membership organisations, charities and corporations. These are usually magazines, books, e-newsletters, and online content channels.

Before I started, I was advised that my time as an editorial intern would include: article research and writing, phone interviews, interview transcription, image research and proof reading. Through the course of the internship, I did complete all of these tasks except for phone interviews, which I guess is a bit of a blessing because I don’t know how I would have fared at that.

The first big issue that I had to deal with on arrival, was an iMac. I purposefully do not use macs because I can’t get my head around them, they make no sense to me, and windows forever! But that’s all I had, so I had to just work around it, and quickly! But it was not as bad I expected it to be even considering the fact that one particular day the keyboard and InDesign stopped working. But apart from that.. spot on! (insert slightly sceptical face here).

 

I had the wonderful opportunity to actually work on a variety tasks for different organisations. This meant that my work load was different every day which, obviously, kept things far more interesting than reading the same publication day in/day out. The changes in tasks also helped me to develop more practical skills. Previously I had been an editorial intern (there’s clearly a theme here) at Sweet & Maxwell in London, and, yeah, I had different sections of work to do, but all I was doing was reading legal jargon and doing copy- and structural edits. At Think I got to write articles, do image and article research, as well as copy-editing and proofing. As much as copy-editing is my ambition, it was nice to put some of my other skills to use as well.

All in all, working at Think was a great experience! The whole experience allowed me to take in some of the new things I’ve learned on the course and it was so interesting to me that I found myself enjoying the other parts of publishing almost as much as my main interests (okay, maybe not as much, but pretty high up there!) I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone at Think, firstly for giving me the opportunity, and for being helpful when I needed help and being very supportive of me in general.

by Sharna Vincent

Visiting Speaker: Vikki Reilly, Birlinn Books.

March 14th, 2017 by Rachel | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting Speaker: Vikki Reilly, Birlinn Books.
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Last Thursday we welcomed Vikki Reilly from Birlinn Books, one of Scotland’s leading independent publishers. The talk covered her experience working in a sales team, getting into the publishing industry, and advice about internships.

Birlinn and being part of the Sales team

Although Birlinn are a fairly small publisher with a team of around 20 employees, they punch significantly above their weight, publishing around 160 titles a year. One of their more  distinguishing features is that they proudly publish books that tell the stories of all of Scotland – not just the central belt. This leads to a more national conversation, which can only benefit the book industry in Scotland.

Vikki works specifically in the sales department, and provided us with some valuable insight into working in this sector:

  • Nurture your relationships with booksellers.
  • Be trustworthy – people can tell when you’re lying.
  • Know what market a book sells best in.
  • The best way to sell a book is face-to-face, and sales teams are developing more now as publishers begin to recognise this (hooray!).

Getting into the industry

Vikki talked us through her experience of getting into the publishing industry, including completing the MLitt in Publishing Studies at Stirling University and interning for several publishers, including Canongate. But her presentation emphasised that it is crucial to expand your frame of reference. One of her main pieces of advice was to “never underestimate what you can learn on a shop floor.” Taking on jobs in music shops and bookstores is useful, and will enhance your ability to relate to other people’s interests, which is useful in publishing. Additionally, her presentation stressed that people rarely have a singular career path in publishing now, so be flexible and don’t let good opportunities pass you by.

Internships

Birlinn offer an internship programme where interns spend 3 months at a time with them, and Vikki informed us that they have a space coming up in April. During these 3 months interns can get the most out of the experience and gain new skills. Vikki offered some useful advice for all the existing and future interns out there:

  • Don’t go in there with a sense of entitlement, (there’s nothing wrong with making a cup of tea occasionally).
  • While it can be difficult, try not to be too shy! You will get more from your experience by asking questions and being enthusiastic – people like it when you take an interest.
  • Remember that everyone is still learning, not just you. Meaning, no question is too stupid (this was definitely reassuring to hear).

At the end of the presentation we were provided with lovely catalogues of Birlinn’s titles as of 2016 (and cake). Overall, the presentation was lively and engaging, and I think most people left the room feeling really inspired.

– by Rachel Patrick

Internships Anonymous @ Publishing 101

March 13th, 2017 by rachel_mccann | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Internships Anonymous @ Publishing 101
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The Internships Anonymous panel at the recent SYP Scotland’s Publishing 101 conference (3rd March 2017) provided some valuable insight into ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ of publishing internships.

Unfortunately, paid internships are hard to find in publishing, which is problematic as it limits the number of people who can afford to undertake unpaid internships. However, it can’t be denied that internships are vital in gaining experience, and give you an edge in applying for publishing jobs so it is helpful to try and do as many as possible.

Luckily, the Internships Anonymous panel provided a number of tips to help you secure that all-important internship:

  • Get in touch! Some places such as the Scottish Book Trust don’t advertise their internships, so there is no harm in sending an email to enquire;
  • Attend as many events as possible: this way you can keep up to date with everything that is happening in the industry. Most importantly, use these events as networking opportunities and talk to as many people as you can. Who knows where a simple conversation could lead?
  • Volunteer where and when you can: book shops and book festivals are excellent opportunities to learn more about the industry. If you have any free time, then you have time to find some relevant experience;
  • Remember: all experience is relevant experience, so just keep volunteering and applying for everything.

The following are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your internship, once you’ve managed to pin one down:

  • Remember that you are not there to do someone else’s job for them: you are supposed to be learning, not replacing a paid position;
  • Stuffing envelopes, making tea and walking the manager’s dog are not publishing skills, and therefore are not acceptable for an internship (no matter how cute the dog is);
  • Show off your talent and passion. Make the most of your time with the company and they will remember you;
  • The Scottish publishing industry is small and it is important to remember that everyone knows each other and talks to each other about their interns. That means if you impress in an internship, it could lead to something else. Likewise, if you make a bad impression, it could impact further internship and employment opportunities;
  • Proper guidance and feedback is crucial because you won’t learn anything otherwise. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you are being asked to do something you are unfamiliar with. It’s better to ask for help than to mess up completely.

In some instances, an internship can result in a paid job, but does that make a bad internship worth it? The final, and most important, piece of advice from the Internships Anonymous panel was that it is ok to say no, especially if you feel like you’re being exploited, or what you are being asked to do makes you uncomfortable.

– By Rachel McCann

 

Morven Gow, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 7th, 2016 by morven_gow | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Morven Gow, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-17
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htln29im

“How brave of you.” “How inspiring!” “I’d love to do that – good on you!”
Reactions to news that I have signed up to be one of the first humans trying to grow spinach in a cloche on Mars? Or perhaps to an announcement that I am contemplating a fire-walk, swimming Loch Lomond, and cycling the world? Neither of those. I find myself a Hero for the Middle-Aged Worker simply by returning to Uni.
What has brought me here to study publishing at Stirling? I wanted to shake up my skills and go back to the future, to focus on writing. After 30 years planning and buying advertising campaigns, with some PR experience, working on campaigns for some of Scotland’s bastions of culture (National Museums, National Galleries, National Library), newspaper publishers, retailers, banks, whiskies, political, and public health campaigns, I thought I would brush up my writing skills to suit the digital age adding what is known in the trade as content marketing to the skills I could offer my employer and my clients. A quick Google brought me to the Publishing Scotland website, and information about a day course on the subject. But I wanted something with more depth. I read information on the site about PG courses in publishing, and although I discounted the idea at the time, a small persistent voice (coupled with the louder voices of my friends) kept asking, “why not? Books are a passion for you, and you love a beautifully designed hip posh mag”. After a meeting with the course director, Frances, the idea blossomed, I applied – and here I am, loving my new life as a student on a well respected course, thinking new thoughts, on a beautiful campus, with fellow students from all over the world.
Now that the course has begun, I can see that the Publishing Studies course will repurpose me for the next stage in my life – rather like a classic G Plan chair, reupholstered and reoiled.
Officially self-employed, I am a consultant for my previous company combining blog writing and communication advice with media planning and buying, and looking for some experience in book and magazine marketing from publishers before I graduate, with an eye to moving into that area as a consultant at the end of the course.

I can be found at@Morv60 on Twitter and at Morven Gow on LinkedIn

Marketing and Publicity and PaperLove

June 24th, 2015 by Courtney Murphy | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Marketing and Publicity and PaperLove
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Rachel Hazell, a.k.a. the Traveling Bookbinder

Rachel Hazell, a.k.a. the Traveling Bookbinder

I interned for Rachel Hazell, a bookbinder and paper artist based in Edinburgh. Rachel has been a self-employed book artist since 1998 when she founded her first company, Hazell Designs Books. She is passionate about books but more than anything else she’s passionate about paper itself. Her strong drive to share her passion for paper with others has taken her around the world: she has taught bookbinding and book art workshops in Scotland, Paris, Venice, California, and as far afield as Antarctica.

My work as an intern primarily involved marketing and publicity for PaperLove, Rachel’s online paper art course. The PaperLove e-course is five-week class that explores a range of paper art and paper craft. It is advertised as a course “Developed to enable everyone, no matter where they live, to work with Rachel to develop their creativity through the medium of paper”. Each week of the course is devoted to a specific theme or craft. The themes for each of the five weeks are: paper, collage, word, book, and mail. You can learn more about the course here.

The PaperLove e-course runs two times each year. As soon as my internship began in January I started

Countdown to PaperLove

Countdown to PaperLove

working to promote the March run of the course. Working with a limited marketing budget Rachel and I focused on using social media and electronic word-of-mouth marketing as a way of reaching potential “PaperLovers”. We used Instagram to host giveaways and to advertise the course. (The Society of Young Publishers recently did a feature on Rachel’s delightful Instagram account here.) On Facebook we used the Paperphilia page to share free DIY tutorials as a way of giving potential students the chance to try out paper crafts and get a sense of Rachel’s teaching style.

A large part of my internship consisted of liaising with artists and bloggers who helped to promote PaperLove. I contacted paper artists, collage artists, bookbinders, and bloggers all over the world and worked with them to get publicity for PaperLove. We offered interested artists a five-day PaperLove sampler course and requested that in exchange for the sampler they write a feature about PaperLove on their blog. Artists all over the world took part, including a visual artist based in London, U.K.; a paper artist and author in Delaware, U.S.A.; and a jeweler and crafter in Bucharest, Romania. It was interesting to see what each artist did with the sampler class projects, and the features these artists wrote really helped to extend Rachel’s reach and to spread the word about PaperLove. I also worked to get PaperLove onto craft websites and community sites. It was exciting to see PaperLove featured on CraftGossip.com. CraftGossip did two features on Rachel’s paper art: one feature on PaperLove and a second feature on Rachel’s DIY tutorial on how to make Mini Post Books.

Lemongrass soap lovingly wrapped in book text

Lemongrass soap lovingly wrapped in book text

Interning for a book and paper artist was never ever boring. While much of my work was done from home on my laptop, whenever I went into Edinburgh to meet with Rachel at her studio I got to take a break from my laptop and busy myself with whatever crafty tasks needed doing. One day I used pages cut from old second hand books to wrap up bars of soap for Bed with a View, Rachel’s literary-themed studio apartment retreat in Edinburgh’s Old Town. The next day upon my arrival at the studio I was presented with one of Rachel’s literary sculptures and asked to count the number of blossoms in a paper “bookquet”—a bouquet of flowers custom made from the pages of a book.

It was such a privilege to work with Rachel on promoting the PaperLove course. I learnt so much about marketing and publicity while working alongside Rachel and her PR, branding, and long-term strategy person. I also learnt a lot about paper: I now know all about European paper making methods, the history of writing implements, and I’ve mastered some basic paper folding and bookbinding techniques. My internship with Rachel Hazell has truly been a highlight of my year on the M.Litt. course.

My Internship with Eland Publishing

May 5th, 2015 by Helen Griffin | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on My Internship with Eland Publishing
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Eland BadgeIn February of this year I had the opportunity to work for Eland Publishing, one of the foremost publishers of classic travel writing in the world. Eland is a very small and determinedly independent publisher located in Exmouth Market in London. The publishing house is owned by travel writers Rose Baring, John Hatt and Barnaby Rogerson, run with the assistance of a team of self-motivated freelancers: Jennie Paterson [website creation] Antony Gray [typesetting and page design] and Stephanie Allen [Publicity Director]. Eland’s mission statement is to keep the great works of travel literature in print.

Eland Picture 1I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to work for Eland because everything was run from one small attic room that had a bohemian, dusty sort of air to it, spread around large piles of books. The office was everything you imagine a publishing house should look like. All meetings and every aspect of book production was covered in this tiny little space and so I was able to see and hear all the work and planning that goes in to every stage of the book making process. I was also able to meet and have conversations with some incredibly interesting travel writers, who in a larger publishing house would have most likely been tucked away in private offices to have their meetings.

 

GoddessThroughout my internship I was able to sink my teeth into some real publishing activities such as organising and attending a book launch for their newest release: The Living Goddess by Isabella Tree. I also had the exciting job of cataloguing all of the entries for the Stanford-Dolman Best Travel Book of the Year Award, which meant that I was the first person to see all the potential candidates for the award.

 

Eland Picture 2Barnaby and Rose were both excellent people to work with. I was the first intern they had ever taken on and so I was very appreciative of how welcoming and enthusiastic they were to ensure that I would gain as much experience as possible from this work experience. They would explain the reasoning and importance behind every task I was completing and how each contributed to the overall running of their business. They would also involve me in all of their meetings and engage me in the conversation so that I was not just a mere spectator to the activity.

Eland Picture 7My time at Eland allowed me to develop a fine eye for detail and gave me the confidence to voice my own ideas when I felt I could contribute. I am very grateful to Barnaby and Rose for the support I was given throughout my time at Eland. This experience gave me a broad understanding of the work that goes into book production and showed me the pride they felt for the content they were producing. It was a privilege to work for a company who strive to keep classic travel literature in print and to be able to say, that for a while, I was a part of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Internship with Floris Books

April 29th, 2015 by Callum Mitchell Walker | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on My Internship with Floris Books
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9781782501824In February of this year I began a  4-month internship with Edinburgh based children’s and non-fiction publisher Floris Books and have greatly benefitted from this experience by enhancing my classroom learning in a professional environment. Mainly focused in the marketing department, I learned valuable new skills and was able to improve the abilities I had prior to my time interning. Although most of my tasks were marketing focused, one benefit of Floris being a small publisher is that I was given the opportunity to work on a wide range of tasks across other departments too and develop a greater understanding of the ways in which departments work together to optimize the effective running of company procedures.

Although Floris are a small Scottish publisher, they publish a wide range of non-fiction titles in areas such as biodynamics and holistic health as well as their popular children’s books. I was able to work on many projects across the different lists published by Floris and enjoyed working on marketing different books to different groups of readers.

9781782501251-3At the start of my internship I was warmly welcomed by the lovely Floris team and was introduced to the extensive Floris tea collection that I was encouraged to enjoy as often as I liked, before getting straight down to work. Throughout my internship I was able to work on a wide variety of tasks for the marketing department including writing press releases, drafting advance information sheets and designing promotional materials for events. I was unaware before my internship how often I would be utilizing my InDesign abilities in creating marketing materials and my first few weeks interning encouraged me too really practice these skills. However my tasks were not restricted to marketing, as I gained valuable editorial experience proofreading content and reading and reporting on submissions for the Floris annual Kelpies Prize, which encourages Scottish writing for children. I also helped assist the Floris team at the awards ceremony for the Kelpies Design and Illustration Prize, which awarded designers and illustrators who reimaged the cover of a classic children’s book in the Kelpies range of Scottish children’s fiction.

I’m very grateful for my time spent at Floris as I have received support, guidance and feedback from such a dynamic company. I have learned many essential skills that will benefit me in my future career from a fantastic, passionate small team. My internship has given me much more confidence in my abilities and has encouraged me to work on other skills to improve my employability when looking for my first job in the publishing industry. This experience has been completely invaluable to me by providing me with a hands-on approach to publishing practices and helped me to feel more enthusiastic than ever before about my future endeavours.

Interning with Think Publishing

April 29th, 2015 by Leia Forster | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Interning with Think Publishing
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think logoIn January 2015, I began to intern with the award-winning content and publishing agency Think. Founded in 1999, Think Publishing employs more than 60 members of staff, work with over 40 clients and have offices in London and Glasgow. I was lucky enough to work in the editorial department of the Glasgow branch which produces a number of great magazines for a variety of organisations.

During my time at Think I believe I learned a great deal about magazine publishing as well as gaining insight into the workings of an office environment. I quickly found that the inner workings of a magazine publisher were quite different to that of a book publisher. On my first day I was presented with strange magazine terminology such as ‘furniture’ and ‘copy’, but I caught on quickly. I found myself intrigued by what could be considered a somewhat unconventional business model in the realms of publishing – client funded publications. Trade fiction publishers essentially gamble with every publication they choose to publish. They invest money in these publications and rely greatly on their commercial success. Think’s business model provides a secure financial platform to support the publications that they print for their clients.            scotland in trust

While I was at Think I worked on a number of magazines such as Scotland in Trust, Historic Scotland, Escape, Splash and Legion Scotland. Tasks included the transcription of interviews, research for features, writing content for magazines, sourcing images and coming up with ideas for future features. I found that there were far more opportunities to undertake creative tasks than could be expected in typical book publishing editorial roles, and one of the most rewarding parts of the internship was being able to produce a piece of copy and watch it progress through different stages before finally being included in the magazine.

Despite working primarily on editorial tasks, Think’s office environment allowed me insight into all the different roles and tasks involved in the creation of a magazine. The open layout of the office meant that I could look across the room and watch the designers working on magazine covers and spreads. Being able to observe staff interactions and listen to office discussions was very useful and my time spent doing feature research was never wasted as I found myself leaving the office on a daily basis with a new selection of random facts and knowledge.

I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to intern with Think, and this insight into the world of magazine publishing has given me the confidence to consider magazine publishing as a potential career path to follow upon completing the course.

 

My Internship with Glasgow Women’s Library

April 8th, 2015 by Kena Nicole Longabaugh | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on My Internship with Glasgow Women’s Library
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photo 3In November of last year, I began a publishing internship with Glasgow Women’s Library. Located in Glasgow’s East End, GWL acts as a lending library, historical archive and provider of services and programmes for women across Scotland. The mission of the library is ‘to celebrate the lives and achievements of women, champion their historical, cultural and political contributions and act as a catalyst to eradicate the gender gap that contributes to widespread inequalities in Scotland’. Unique as the only women’s library in Scotland, GWL aims to provide a welcoming and productive space for women from all walks of life; a warm smile and offer of tea is almost guaranteed when you walk through the doors.

My role at the library was to provide publishing related support for a book titled Mixing The Colours: women speaking about sectarianism, an anthology of short stories and poems about women’s experiences with sectarianism in Scotland. More than sixteen writers contributed to the book, including commissioned authors Eleanor Thom, Denise Mina and Magi Gibson. The short stories and poems contained within the publication were collected through a series of creative writing workshops and discussions where women were encouraged to draw on experiences of sectarianism in their lives. The result is a moving narrative that is truly unique: Mixing The Colours: women speaking about sectarianism is the first ever published work written by and about women on the issue of sectarianism. The book was launched with a conference on 20th March that included performances by the contributing writers, discussions and a screening of the accompanying film of the same name. The entire project was spearheaded by the wonderful Rachel Thain-Gray, my internship mentor and the Project Development Worker for Mixing The Colours.

The authors of Mixing The Colours: women speaking about sectarianism

Several of the authors of Mixing The Colours: women speaking about sectarianism posing with the book.

During my time at the library, I worked on various editorial and marketing tasks for the Mixing The Colours publication. These included proofreading the manuscript, contacting book festivals, researching, designing an Advance Information sheet and copyright page, writing a press release and sending it to media outlets, blogging and planning for the conference.

The Mixing The Colours conference at St. Andrew’s in the Square in Glasgow.

I’m grateful to have been trusted with so much responsibility throughout my time at the library and for all the support I was given by Rachel, Rebecca and the rest of the Glasgow Women’s Library staff. The internship served as a broad introduction to the tasks involved in the overall production of a book and it was a privilege to work with an organisation with such strong values while developing my own skills as a publishing student. 

My Internship with Saraband

March 12th, 2015 by Jennifer Katherine Hamrick | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on My Internship with Saraband
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Paris KissI am currently interning at Saraband and I could not have asked for a better experience. Saraband is an independent publisher located in Glasgow with a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction titles as well as some literary apps. The publisher is very small, with only three employees: Sara Hunt (managing director), Craig Hillsley (who works satellite from London) and Laura Jones (a former Stirling MLitt student and current Saraband assistant). But for such a small publisher, they manage to do an incredible amount of work. Sometimes I think Sara must have clones of herself in order to accomplish everything she does in a single day!

Working with a small publisher is ideal for students because it means you get to dabble in every aspect of publishing. My very first day I got to go to a trade fair, start copyediting a nonfiction title, practice filling in metadata spreadsheets and learn about promoting titles on Amazon. We all work in the same room so I get to overhear very interesting and educational conversations such as when to send out press releases or how to coordinate sales reps’ expectations versus authors’ expectations. So far, I’ve been able to see a title through from copy-editing to cover design and hopefully to final production in the future.

What I like best about interning with Saraband is that I am welcome to ask any questions I want. Sara and Laura are both fantastic teachers and go above and beyond to make sure I am getting good experience from my time here. Sara always makes it a point to explain why we do things a certain way in publishing so that I can understand where these processes come from. And Laura has taken time away from her work to personally teach me about typesetting, a skill I was very desperate to improve upon. Thanks to her, I was able to improve my publishing dummy project and I now feel much more confident about setting up Eagle's Wayboth Word and InDesign documents for typesetting in the future.

One of my favorite tasks thus far has been to create book trailers for a couple of Saraband’s titles. I created very simple iMovie videos, but am interested in expanding my video-editing knowledge and exploring other video software programs. I was very happy to learn that the authors of the books for these videos were pleased with what I had created; it gave me a lot of confidence to have made something that both Saraband and the authors could use on social media. Moreover, I now have another skill to add to my CV with links to videos that I created.

This experience has been completely invaluable to me. Through this internship I have been able to gain the practical knowledge I need to enter the publishing industry, and I feel much more confident about my skills. Plus, by completing a variety of tasks, I now know with which area of publishing my skill sets and interests line up. I look forward to learning more as my internship progresses.

Jenny Hamrick