My Internship with Freight Books

April 8th, 2016 | Posted in Internships | Comments Off on My Internship with Freight Books

Freight-Books-logo-largeI have had the opportunity to work as a marketing and editorial intern for Freight Books, winner of the 2015 Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Award, since January this year. Freight Books are an independent publisher based in Glasgow who publish a range of titles including literary fiction, crime, non-fiction, and humour. The team consists of Adrian Searle, publisher and commissioning editor; Robbie Guillory, assistant publisher; and Laura Waddell, digital marketing executive as full-time workers as well as part-time worker Fiona Brownlee who manages foreign rights. Archie, the office dog, provides motivation and happiness throughout a stressful working day.


The team of Freight Books share their office with their sister company Freight Design, who are responsible for all things design-y at Freight! This includes designing covers (based on┬áconstant feedback from Adrian) and typesetting all of Freight’s books. For me, this meant that I was not able to gain experience in the design process of publishing, but as an intern in two departments, I have certainly gained a lot of hands-on experience!


My tasks ranged from packaging and mailing proofs to proof-reading publications, such as Gutter, Freight’s magazine of new Scottish writing. I also read an unsolicited manuscript and wrote a reader report, analysing strengths and weaknesses and stating whether I would publish it and why (or why not). In the marketing 28931288department, I have compiled spreadsheets over spreadsheets of marketing research, including an analysis of competitors’ online marketing campaigns or lists of contacts for possible reviews of forthcoming titles. At the moment, I use OmniPage 18 to digitalize two novels; this means scanning every page, converting it into a text document, and then going through it manually to correct all mistakes in both spelling and format.


My time at Freight Books has given me invaluable experience and great insight into the everyday working life of a small, independent publisher. It has highlighted my key skills – concentrated, independent working, and my close eye for detail – but it has also shown me which skills I still need to improve on, for example not changing the format of poetry too much while proof-reading, or how important knowledge of Scots is when working for a Scottish publisher! (The last part is something that, for a German native speaker, does not come naturally…)


The team at Freight has been very open and welcoming, and have given me support and advice whenever I asked. I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with Freight Books, and the positive feedback I have received has given me confidence in my abilities. This internship has certainly shown me that I have chosen the right career path, and I am excited for my future in publishing!