Women in Publishing – Production Speaker’s Event

On Wednesday evening, we braved the cold to attend the well known Women in Publishing monthly speaker event. This time the meeting was focussed around Production; its past, present and future and accordingly, Women in Publishing lined up two fantastic guest speakers: Fiona Mcintosh, Group Production Director at Orion Publishing Group and Louise Morrin Boyle, the former Vice President of Production at Haymarket Media in New York.


Fiona kicked off the discussions and with a career that began in the late seventies, she was able to give a great overview of production through the decades and how the major advancements in technology have affected production processes and continue to do so today. According to Fiona, the biggest change has been in the physicality of the job; processes are now far more focussed on digital as well as increasing the overall efficiency and speed of completing projects. Whilst the processes and the end products have changed and diversified, the emphasis is still on the content. With the onset of digital, the initial feeling was that one day eBooks and other platforms might be the end of print; it is clear that consumers still enjoy the physical book and the mix of print and digital seem to be beginning to balance each other out as the market matures and becomes accustomed to both mediums. Louise discussed how exciting production can be as it gives you the opportunity to get involved in so many different aspects of the publishing process. It offers the chance not only to work on the preparation of content for print and digital publication, but to also be at the forefront of driving innovation with regards to the type of media platforms engaged and to influence the platforms that will be developed for content publication in the future.

Fiona went on to discuss skills required for candidates getting into a production role; it is an area that is less publicised than other sectors of publishing but one that is hugely rewarding. Production departments are crying out for organised, innovative and personable problem solvers who want to help others and support the fantastic content being produced. Louise entered into the industry with an enthusiastic and willing to work hard attitude; she would highly encourage anyone looking to build a career in production to share this attitude. She extolled her experience with production departments describing how if you show this willingness to learn, you will be given the opportunity to grow with the department and continually develop your skills. She also added that the production department is often described as the ‘glue’ that pulls together all the different departments and individuals involved within the organisation to create the final product.

We are in such an exciting time within the industry at the moment, as Fiona pointed out, we are in the middle of that point that people will look back upon and say, ‘this is where everything changed’. This is our opportunity to make our mark and to influence the exciting future ahead in how people consume content for years to come.

For more information on production roles and to discuss the type of skills publishers are looking for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via our website or at admin@inspiredselection.com.

Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about.  We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter