We’re hoping to shed a little more light on what working in the publishing industry entails, and that Scotland is a thriving place to work. Heather McDaid talks about being publishing assistant at Bright Red Publishing!
The SYP mentoring scheme brought me to Bright Red, Scotland’s leading independent educational publisher, and months down the line I’m lucky to have gone from an intern to a freelancer and publishing assistant. The fun of being a publishing assistant in a small team is that you really do get to be a part of everything, from editorial and marketing to customer service to signing off on new study guides.
The mix of areas that comes with this position means that you get experience in a lot of areas. Whether it’s finding and sending invoices, preparing sales material, sourcing images or hand-packing study guides and posting them off, you’re definitely kept busy.
In a company like Bright Red, the content is ever-changing. One day you may be doing corrections in Spanish or proofing a cover for the next book. I’ve worked on Chemistry, Human Biology, French, Spanish – the list could go on, and it means that while many of the processes are the same, there’s always something new, and you learn some fun facts along the way.
I lean more on social media and marketing, so I’m often scrolling through Twitter for news stories and setting up online campaigns across there and Facebook. The Digital Zone is my other main responsibility. Their online resource is home to over 25,000 registered users, allowing students to view information, tests and activities in several subjects across Higher, Advanced Higher and N5, and I generate the content from all new Bright Red books to put on there. Each book takes hours on hours of coding, but luckily I’m of the Myspace generation where writing and tweaking HTML coding seems to be quite fun. Or maybe I’m on my own there. The real battle is a topic like Chemistry, where you have to code some huge formulas that HTML isn’t equipped for. It’s tough, but you get there eventually!
During my course, I was told time and time again the value of being on a small team in being able to see all aspects of a company and how it runs, and it’s true!