We want to give you the chance to learn a little more about what a job entails in the many areas of publishing, with a focus on showing what a big industry our wee country has to offer. Claire McCann takes us through her day-to-day work with Alban Books!
This is supposed to be sneak peek into the daily life of a publisher, but I don’t technically work in a publishing house. Alban Books is a book distribution company that deals primarily with religious books from the US that need representation in the UK and Europe. As a marketing assistant, that is where I step in.
The role I play is to help the marketing manager to promote our titles to trade. As with most who find themselves in publishing jobs, I was previously a bookseller and worked in both independent and large chain stores. It is perhaps for this reason that I find the task of advertising to booksellers so riveting! What makes them pick a particular book based on a brief synopsis and a cover?
On a regular day in the office I can be found updating our main database with any new title information fed to us from our publishers. This could mean I will need to create a new advanced information sheet, or modify one I have previously made, and then ensure that the new version is sent to the relevant people. At the beginning of the season when we have a collection of about 120 titles, I collate and print the AI sheets depending on the requirements of the trade buyers, and I put together spreadsheets with all of the in-depth title information to send on to the customer.
Another large part of my job is website maintenance, which I thought was going to be scary! Before I got the job I had never done any behind-the-scenes website work except for my personal blog and I didn’t know if I was tech savvy enough to handle the nitty gritty of a company website. However I needn’t have worried, as it is really straight forward and I love fixing up the pages so that they look attractive.
The best part about my job as marketing assistant at Alban, however, is my amazing team. I am lucky enough to work with a brilliantly small group of people who are great at combining hard work and professionalism with humour, radio competitions and copious amounts of tea and biscuits.