Tag Archives: Q&A

Kayleigh Pullinger: Interview with a Book Designer

This is an interview with Kayleigh Pullinger, Designer at emc design. emc design is the largest design agency dedicated to book publishing in the UK. Kayleigh joined emc in 2017 after earning her designer’s stripes in the big city. Although new to book design, she is excited to learn new skills and over the moon that she can now spend more time with her lopsided pet rabbit (Bobbity) instead of commuting.

1) How did you start your career? And do you have any tips for people wanting to cross over from graphic to book design?

My first job was working as an in-house designer for a charity, followed by two jobs working for design agencies with clients varying from independent start-ups to big FTSE100 corporates.

My tips to those who’d like to cross over from graphic design to book design would be to familiarise yourself with inDesign as much as possible, and brush up on your basic Photoshop skills. Knowing the software that you’ll use day in day out will speed you up and free some headspace for getting creative with the realia (realia is the term used for images on the page, used to illustrate a language learning point). Start looking at the world around you, which, as designers, you probably do anyway. Take notice of how websites work, what makes an online article look different to one in a magazine? Study the pizza menu next time you’re out and about and make a mental note of how the menu is designed. All these little things help in really unexpected places.

2) What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your job?

My favourite part of my job is definitely styling realia, closely followed by a good stint of text formatting. I love how quickly you can go from a completely unstyled page of text to something visually engaging. I have to say that my least favourite part of my job is checking my own proofs, as I’m terrified of missing a big blunder.

3) If you could travel five years back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t panic if what you’re doing feels unfulfilling at the time, it’s all a learning curve, and eventually you’ll end up doing something that engages you properly. Take your time over every job, no matter how small. Get off the internet and go out into the world more, to museums and galleries and concerts and even just down the road.

4) Who do you admire and why?

Jessica Hische is my hero. She’s a lettering artist and illustrator, which is a far cry from what I do, but her career path and drive inspire me. She also keeps a lot of personal projects on the boil, which I think really helps keeps your creative cogs oiled. Oh, and she can code too!

5) Will you be at London Book Fair and if so, what are you most looking forward to? 

I won’t be personally this year, but some of my emc design colleagues are going down, so feel free to say hello to John and Ben.

Bonus Q: What book characters would you invite to your fantasy literary dinner party?

Being a child of the Harry Potter generation, I’m definitely inviting Albus Dumbledore, Luna Lovegood and Dobby. Let’s also throw in Anne Elliot, Lyra and  Marvin the Paranoid Android to mix it up a bit.

Thanks Kayleigh for taking the time to answer our questions! You’ve made me want to try my hand at book design now…

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Is a Publishing MA right for me?

A Publishing MA can be a big boost to your CV, due to the technical and theoretical knowledge it can give you, as well as the practical work experience you will gain. It is by no means a prerequisite for a job in publishing, but it can help when you enter an over-saturated job market. However, it’s not for everyone and lots of people get into the industry via other means, such as internships and work experience. Before you apply, you should consider whether the course is right for you.

What universities offer a Publishing MA course?

Some universities which offer the course include:

Things to consider

Cost

Fees vary between universities, but are usually around £6,000-£10,000. You will also need to fund living expenses. UK postgraduate students can apply for a loan of up to £10,280 (https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/what-youll-get), and there are various bursaries available. See the websites of individual courses for more information about the financial support they can offer.

You may want to work part-time during your MA; however, if your course includes full-time work experience placements as well as studying, then consider whether you will have time to work alongside it.

What does the course cover?

What sectors of the publishing industry does the course look at – trade? Academic? STM? And what job roles/departments will you learn about – editorial? Production? Marketing?

If you are not 100% sure which area you want to go into, a Publishing MA can be a great way of finding our more information about areas you may not have previously considered. Then you can make an informed decision about your future career path rather than going in blind.

Links to publishing houses

What publishing houses does the course have links with? Ask where previous students have done placements and consider whether these are the types of companies you want to work for. Work placements and contacts at top companies are one of the most valuable components of publishing courses.

Other things to think about

  • Are you the kind of person who likes working in an academic environment? Are you prepared for the exams and/or dissertation or would you rather gain your skills on the job?
  • Will this help you get a foot in the door or increase your future earning potential?
  • Have you already done some work experience in the publishing industry? This can help you make sure this is the right career for you – before you spend any money.

For more information about getting into publishing, please see our Work Experience and Entry-Level Resources page.

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Claire Carrington-Smith

Introducing our new Oxford-based consultant, Claire Carrington-Smith! Claire, along with Alice Crick, works on roles outside of London and the Home Counties.

Claire sitting in front of afternoon tea with lots of cakesWhich literary figure would you be?

Definitely Matilda Woodworm, because like me, she is a bookworm. Matilda also taught me about feminism, as both Matilda and Miss Honey are strong female characters, and were very inspiring to me growing up. Roald Dahl was one of my favourite authors as a child, and I remember wanting to be just like Matilda!

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?

Other than Matilda’s telekinetic super power, I would also love to be able to time travel to a magical and distant land like Lucy in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. This the first book I remember falling in love with I was a child, and it’s still is one of my favourites.

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

The past year has been very eventful as well as moving house I left publishing to working as a Recruitment Consultant at Atwood Tate! Leaving publishing after 10 years was such a big decision, but I am so excited to be here and the new challenge it brings. I’m really enjoying it so far.

What is on your birthday wish list?

It sounds really boring, but I have just had my birthday and I got a running jacket and some new trainers as I have just started running. It’s definitely a new years’ resolution I hope to keep up!

Claire Carrington-Smith is responsible for Editorial, Production, Production Editorial, Design, Distribution & Operations roles in all sectors (excluding B2B) in all UK locations outside of London, Home Counties and East Anglia.

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants cover, go to the “Meet the Team” page:

https://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/about/meet-the-team.aspx

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Q&A Round Up

Last week was the Publishers Association’s #workinpublishing week! We did a Q&A on Twitter – if you missed it, you can catch up here.

Q: What are the key features recruiters look for in a CV and Cover Letter when recruiting for entry level publishing jobs?

A: Office/admin experience is useful across the board, as are work experience, internships or temp roles in publishing houses! A well written, clear and concise cover letter will also get you a long way.

Q: How important do you think events like literary events and trade shows are?

A: Getting to know people at industry events can be really useful, especially as you can get a feel for different roles and sectors! Having said that, it’s not compulsory, so if you don’t live in London and you can’t get to events easily, don’t worry!

Q: When considering a job offer, it’s not just about salary. What else should candidates be thinking about?

A: Consider what’s important to you – the commute time, flexible working opportunities, training/professional development and company benefits!

Q: What are the most desirable additional tools to have experience in?

A: It depends on the role! But skills like InDesign, social media, general admin/database experience are useful for a lot of publishing work.

Q: I have a lot of volunteer experience with indie pubs, and I’m starting to look for my first publishing job. What would you say my next step should be?

A: Sounds like you should start applying for entry-level roles! You’d also be a great temping candidate, which can sometimes lead to long term roles.

Q: how can I make myself stand out from the hundreds of other graduates when applying for jobs?

A: Make your cover letter stand out by talking about your work experience, any temp roles, admin experience, and extracurricular interests which give you transferable skills!

Q: Are entry level publishing roles hard to come by? I feel like I haven’t seen many around since I graduated.

A: Entry-level roles are VERY competitive so get filled quickly, but a great way to get your foot in the door is through temping! Register with us for temping opportunities and we may be able to help.

Q: What are the most in demand roles in publishing?

A: Most people want to work in editorial, but publishers are always looking for Commissioning Editors and Production Controllers!

Q: What are your top tips for writing a good CV?

A: Be clear and concise, use bullet points, and put most relevant experience at the top! No long paragraphs please! For more tips see our blog post here.

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Guest Post: What will defy, embrace or become a disruption in scholarly publishing?

We are thrilled to bring you a guest post on our blog from Jessica Edwards, as she reflects her thoughts on the BookMachine’s recent event, ‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’.

What will defy, embrace or become a disruption in scholarly publishing?

Thoughts from BookMachine’s latest event

‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’

By Jessica Edwards

The Jam Factory, Oxford, 7 September 2017

Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta

Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta

Last Thursday, as I trundled slowly towards Oxford (kicking myself for accidentally catching a slow train – who knew there were quite so many stations between Reading and Oxford?!) I wondered what was in store at BookMachine’s latest event, ‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’. Arriving at The Jam Factory, I scanned the room of busily-networking people and took a deep breath. Although I’ve now worked in publishing for over 2 years, and always enjoy chatting to inspired publishing-types, a few seconds of panic always descends when, turning from the table of beverages, glass in hand, the reality hits that one must shuffle into a group at random and strike up a conversation. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to approach two lovely individuals from Atwood Tate – Claire Louise Kemp and Alice Crick. Not only were they extremely friendly, our conversation (and Claire Louise spotting me scribbling notes during the panel discussion) led to the suggestion, offer, and composition of this blog post!

My name’s Jess Edwards, and I’m currently Marketing Executive at Gale, a Cengage Company. Gale creates digital resources (from journal and eBook databases to digital archives) for academic, special, school and government libraries worldwide. Consequently, when the advert for BookMachine’s scholarly publishing seminar popped into my inbox, it not only looked interesting but extremely relevant to my current position, and I quickly purchased an early-bird ticket!

There were four engaging speakers on the panel. Phill Jones, Director of Innovation at Digital Science, a company who invest and nurture research start-ups creating software to aid scientific research; Charlie Rapple, Sales & Marketing Director and co-founder of Kudos, a platform which increases research impact by driving discovery and facilitating the sharing of academic work; Byron Russell, Head of Ingenta Connect, a publisher-facing content management system that enables publishers to convert, store and deliver digital content; and Duncan Campbell, Director of Digital Licensing and Sales Partnerships at John Wiley & Sons, ranked ninth on the Publisher’s Weekly list of the world’s 50 largest publishers, 2017. Bringing together speakers (and an audience) from both large, established publishers and newer, often technology-based start-ups, led to some interesting discussion on the relationships between the two; the responsibilities of each; and whether one or the other is best placed to cope with the disruptive forces in publishing – or themselves be disruptive.

The discussion generated by the panel was wide-ranging and insightful, broadening my understanding of the challenges, relationships and roles in publishing beyond my own. It made me think more deeply about the hugely influential and clearly disruptive issues looming over the industry, as well as the ideas and innovations which currently exist around the edges of the industry, meeting niche requirements today, but which could, in time, disrupt, engulf or evolve the whole publishing landscape.

Insights and topics of discussion that I found particularly intriguing include:

  • The symbiotic relationship between start-ups and established publishers

The opening discussion about innovation in publishing included the suggestion that it is more difficult for established companies to innovate – something easier for new-comers. However, there was also an agreement that innovation is a necessity at every tier of the industry. The conversation moved on to the common practice of publishers supporting innovation elsewhere; encouraging and funding the technological start-ups often responsible for floating fresh new ideas. The arguments were put forward that these start-ups rely on funding and support from the publishing establishment, who had a responsibility to nurture them. Yet the establishment in turn rely on the innovation of the start-ups for their own development and evolution – often acquiring them down-the-line as part of their innovation strategy – thus the relationship could be described as cyclical or symbiotic.

  • Piracy V. Green OA

Although I was relatively familiar with the term ‘Open Access’, I was not with ‘Green OA’. (This was one of the things I was inspired to google following the event, and consequently am now aware of both green and gold OA!) Reference to green OA was made in discussion of the threat and disruptive nature of piracy in the publishing industry. There was also consideration of how attitudes towards sharing have changed over time – and where the fine line now sits between piracy and OA. It was suggested that in the past, if one academic was to email an article to another based elsewhere, it would have been seen by publishers as an infringement of copyright. Now, perceptions of sharing have evolved, with the industry instead taking an observational approach; monitoring such behaviours with the intent to better understand the market. The distinction was made, however, and agreed upon unanimously by the panel, that sharing on a need-to-know basis remains different from mass-uploads by networks such as Sci-Hub. Yet it was also recognised that such ‘dark’ enterprises are also examples of innovation forcing the publishing industry to evolve. The disruptive impact of such ‘dark’ innovation was nicely summarised by Phill Jones: ‘It has forced the agenda, but at the same time, it’s not the solution.’

It’s testament to how packed, insightful and content-rich the discussion was that I could go on…! However, this blog post is already heading towards classification as a tome, so I won’t elaborate on the other interesting discussions, though will squeeze in that these included the impact of new business models such as ‘Netflix for journal articles’(!), how a trend towards trans-disciplinary research and developments in research evaluation will affect publishing, and the future of Discovery Systems.

All-in-all, I highly recommend anyone interested in learning more about a particular area of publishing, or the industry in general, goes along to a BookMachine event. Absorb what the experts have to say – it will almost certainly come in useful in the not-so-distant future – and meander your way into a conversation during the networking drinks – who knows what connections you’ll make, you might even end up writing a blog post for somebody!

A little like Where’s Wally…spot me in the stripey top! Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta.

A little like Where’s Wally…spot me in the stripey top! Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta.

Nb. All views are my own, and not those of Gale, Atwood Tate, or BookMachine. If I have misrepresented any of the discussion or speakers’ arguments, this is down to my own misunderstanding.

Twitter @Jessica2Edwards

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicaedwards1/

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Academic Book Week (#AcBookWeek)

Academic Book Week

Academic Book Week – 23rd-28th January

From the 23rd – 28th of January it is Academic Book Week (#AcBookWeek)! The world of Publishing will be celebrating the diversity, innovation and influence of Academic Books!

Here at Atwood Tate we thought we would take part by informing you about the Academic Publishing sector!

During the week we shall be running some small events to coincide with the official #AcBookWeek events, which you can read about here! All the events have been officiated by Midas PR who are running the event along with the Publisher’s Association, the British Library and many others!

What Are We Doing?

On Monday 23rd we will be releasing specifically themed Instagram posts about working in Academic Publishing and the skills required to enter.

On Tuesday 24th, our two academic publishing consultants: Christina Dimitriadi & Lisa Smars will be running a Twitter Q&A! From 12:30-1:00pm! Use the hashtag #AcBookWeek and tag @AtwoodTate to take part! They will be answering all your questions on CVs, Skills, the Academic sector and more!

On Wednesday 25th we shall be releasing further Instagram photos and filming our YouTube video! As well as releasing an Academic Publishing Infographic!

On Thursday 26th we will have a special guest post from an Academic Publishing Professional on our blog!

And finally, on Friday 27th we will be releasing a YouTube video about the Academic Sector!

If you have any questions, or want to get involved with #AcBookWeek, make sure you follow the hashtag and the official Academic Book Week twitter page!

This is the perfect time to ask your questions and network with professionals in the publishing sector! As well as attend events about academic publishing and receive discounts on academic books!

We can’t wait to take part!

Are you going to join in with #AcBookWeek? Let us know on any of our social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

And be sure to keep your eye on our own Twitter feed and blog as we participate in this fun week!

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Blogmas: Day 21

Blogmas: Day 21

We’re into the final countdown of Christmas now as it’s Day 21! Today is jam-packed with work!

It is also the last day of our Twitter Q&As! We will be answering questions from 12:30-1:30pm about any publishing subject you wish: Work Experience, CVs, Interviews…anything! Tag @AtwoodTate or use the hashtag #AskAtwood!

We will also be releasing a new blog post! So watch out for that!

Let us know if you’re excited for Christmas on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram!

Not long now until Christmas!

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Blogmas: Day 20

Blogmas: Day 20

Today is the last day of our Instagram Competitions so make sure you’ve head over there and take part to win a prize! We will also be active on Twitter and continuing to work on all registrations, jobs and future positions! We’re going to be busy but we’re always free for a chat if you need some advice on registering, a job or work experience advice!

We’ll be getting ready for tomorrow’s Q&A as well! So if you do have any outstanding question feel free to ask away then, on  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

Merry Christmas!

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Where to Find Work Experience in Publishing

where-to-find-work-experience-in-publishing

For the last two weeks we have been running a Twitter Q&A every Wednesday and most of the questions have been about ‘Where to Find Work Experience in Publishing’

In a previous blog post about Work Experience we mentioned most companies require a minimum of 3-6 months’ work experience within publishing before considering applications for part-time or permanent entry-level roles. This is because Publishing is an incredibly popular business and entry-level roles are heavily applied for! Some of the larger publishers can get between 20 and 200 applications for any entry-level position, with editorial roles being the most popular!

If you really want to make your CV stand out then you need to get some work experience.

Where to Find Work Experience in Publishing

  • Atwood Tate, as a company, do not handle work experience placements but we do have a Temps Team! Our temp’s team can help you get a paid temporary job, starting tomorrow in some cases, all you need have is a small amount of admin skills or equivalent. Temps are paid weekly and can have work lasting from a fortnight to three months. To get in contact with our team and learn more about how they can help you, email Michael, their team administrator: michaellawlor@atwoodtate.co.uk
  • Twitter: A lot of people say they struggle to use twitter to find work experience but it’s all about following the right people and making connections online! For example: If you want to work at a Literary Agency follow the Literary Agents and the company pages! They are more likely to post work experience placements on twitter to gather interest from people who are clearly interested in them! It is the same for publishing companies, particularly smaller publishing houses. You can also follow certain pages which are dedicated to helping people finding jobs and work experience within publishing, for example: @PubInterns and @BookJobsUK and specific job pages for publishing houses and academic presses!
  • Facebook: Another Social Media site. A lot of the bigger named trade publishing houses have specific Work Experience Vacancies pages on Facebook. They advertise anywhere from fortnightly to yearly with opportunities for interns and work experience, from yearlong schemes to two week placements! It is well worth seeing which publishing houses are on Facebook and finding their Work Experience pages!
  • BA/MA Courses: This is not always a viable option, but if you want to learn more about publishing in an academic way or within a learning environment you can apply for multiple BA/MA courses all over the UK. Some come with guaranteed Work Experience placements as part of the modules. You get a broad overview of Publishing within these courses and will usually graduate with many skills across multiple publishing sectors and job roles. They will not guarantee you a full-time publishing position straight away upon graduation though.
  • Company Pages: Nearly all companies will post Work Experience schemes on their websites. We recommend you keep an eye on smaller, more independent, publishing houses across all sectors from trade to B2B to gain some experience. These schemes are normally less over-subscribed and in some cases can last longer than an average fortnight placement.
  • Blogs: Much like Twitter there are several blogs dedicated to finding Work Experience within publishing. To name a few: Diary of a Publishing Professional and Publishing Interns. They release weekly to monthly bulletins of all of the latest entry-level roles and work experience placements going across Book Publishing, Magazines, B2B and Newspapers across the whole of the UK.
  • The Society of Young Publishers: Open to anyone with under 10 years publishing experience. There is an annual fee to join the society but you are given access to a private jobs board with work experience and entry level roles, as well as tickets to publishing events where you can network with other publishing professionals and more! If you want to know if Networking is helpful read our blog on the subject here! It is well worth joining the SYP if you are sure you want to work within publishing.
  • Jobs Boards: Last, but not least, jobs boards. You can get job alerts from many of these jobs boards which you can tailor to the positions that you want, i.e. Publishing or B2B or Editorial etc. There are also specific job boards to Publishing as well as the standard job boards. Example: Guardian, Reed, PublishingScotland, Oxford Brookes Publishing Board, Indeed, The Bookseller and more!

We hope that these tips will help you know where to find work experience in publishing!

If you have any more questions comment below or join us for our next/last Q&A of 2016 on Wednesday 21st December at 12:30pm on Twitter. Use the hashtag #AskAtwood or tag @AtwoodTate!

Let us know what you think on our social media sites too: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or Instagram.

 

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Blogmas: Day 14

Not long to go until Christmas Day! Have you got your Christmas Jumpers ready for the 16th of December? Remember it’s Christmas Jumper Day and here at Atwood Tate we’ll be rocking our jumpers to raise money for Sav the Children!

For today though we will focusing on several things:

  • Our Twitter Q&A at 12:30-1:30pm – we’ll be answering all of your questions on publishing, work experience, CVs and more! Come on over to Twitter, tag us in a post @atwoodtate or use the hashtag #AskAtwood!
  • A New Blog Post – another blogpost will be going up today – To Be Confirmed – so watch this space!
  • Instagram Advent Calendar – we’ll be posting another fact about Atwood Tate to go and check that out!

Not to mention our Christmas Giveaway – only 2 days to go! Make sure you enter before Midnight tomorrow to have a chance of winning a Huge Stocking of Christmas Goodies!

All you have to do is follow us on Twitter and re-tweet the Giveaway and, for extra entries, like us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn!

Merry Christmas!

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