This week’s Day in the Life is from Jo Marjoribanks, who graduated from Stirling’s postgraduate MLitt Publishing course in 2013, and now works for Witherby Publishing Group!
Witherby Publishing Group is a niche publisher producing regulatory, technical and operational books for the shipping industry. I started out as an intern working on a large research project, which was a bit intimidating at first since I knew next to nothing about shipping or the wealth of topics which can be written about. It turns out that a lot more goes on at sea than you might think! After nine months as an intern I took on the role of Publishing Quality Controller, which I absolutely love.
As QC I’m responsible for ensuring that publications are quality checked for errors, accuracy and consistency. I use checklists to make sure that I don’t miss anything and, if any changes are needed, I create PDF mark-ups with instructions for our typesetters in India. These could be anything from minor text amendments to changing the layout of a page or inserting new text and images. I make sure that all the requested edits have been made correctly and follow up on any outstanding queries.
Although I work with books at all stages in the publication process, the ones I enjoy working on the most are those which are almost ready to go to print. I’m the last person to thoroughly check the text before printing, so this is my chance to weed out any remaining errors and get the book as close to perfect as possible, which is very satisfying.
My job role is not limited to QC work and I enjoy the mix of tasks I’m given alongside my regular responsibilities. For example, within the last month, I’ve done a small research project for one of our directors, issued copyright infringement notices to websites publishing our eBooks illegally, and updated two books to take into account the latest legislation and advances in the shipping industry.
As well as enjoying the job itself, I’m very lucky to be working with fantastic colleagues. They’re the perfect mix of hardworking, knowledgeable and fun to be around and I learn from them all the time. We’re so dedicated that we once used an icing pen to correct a mistake on a chocolate champagne bottle we had ordered to celebrate the launch of a new book! We’re a small team working closely together which provides a great environment for sharing knowledge, advice and opinions.
When I first started at Witherbys I worried that my lack of shipping knowledge would mean that I wouldn’t be very useful, but I have learned that enthusiasm, the willingness to learn new things and the knowledge I gained from my publishing degree have been more than enough for me to become a valuable member of the team.