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


Do we have the right to copy?

The publishing industry relies on it; it’s an income stream that we can’t do without. It generates revenue that can be re-invested for innovation and it protects our hard work. So why are so many of us still so unsure about copyright legislation? What is legal and what isn’t, and how can I be sure? How can I gain the right to copy pieces of text? If it’s online, does that make it free? Instead of hiding under the blanket with these questions, Inspired Selection attended a fantastic meeting held by Women In Publishing which stared these questions straight in the face.

Emma House (Director of Publisher Relations at the Publishers Association) and Madeline Pow (International Rights Manager at the CLA) talked us through the issues of copyright and piracy and discussed how we can battle the shared uncertainty that we have about the matter. As with any uncertainty, the most effective solution will be Education; as a public, we need to be educated about the dangers and the importance of copyright. The film industry has managed to do it well with trailers before the film starts in the cinema warning us against piracy but it may be difficult to replicate this in the publishing industry. Following the Hargreaves report in 2011, the UK Government is launching a website for this purpose which acts as a one stop shop for businesses and individuals to find everything they need to know about copyright.

Emma explained to us the key drivers that motivate copyright infringement and neatly brought these into three areas: cost, convenience and speed. The sad fact of the matter is that many of us a) prioritise these motivators over quality and legitimacy and b) that illegitimate content is cheaper, easier and quicker, or at least seems so, than legitimate content. With this in mind, publishers need to make sure that they’re delivering content with the consumer in mind and thinking about how the consumer is going to want to engage with the content. We need to create products that mean that there is little motivation for copyright infringement.

The Publishers Association and the CLA are not only fighting the battle against copyright infringement in the UK but are also tackling piracy overseas. The challenge with this is that other governments may have different priorities but these fantastic organisations are teaming up with parallel bodies in other countries to get right behind the problem to those printing the material, rather than targeting the symptom, in this case the consumer.

Without enforcement of copyright the publishing industry would be vulnerable and wouldn’t be able to pay the bills. So next time you’re reading something online, or looking at copies of Harry Potter being sold when on holiday, think about the industry that we’re all in and we all love and question where you’re money is going.