And so my placement at Luath finished on Friday. I squeezed back past the white van, up the wee alley andĀ  was back into the real world again. Bagpipes faded into the distance as I made my way down the Royal Mile to the train station and I reflected on the interesting week I’d had.

I completed many varied tasks there: designed a book launch invitation, attended a book launch, wrote a blurb, rewrote the blurb, devised a marketing plan and a social media plan, researched an author for a profile page on Luath’s website to mention a few. But by far what I enjoyed most was proofreading manuscripts. Both were in their final stages so there were no major edits however there were some misspellingsĀ  and punctuation errors. I hadn’t realised that different publishers have their own ‘house style’ which took some concentration to digest. I think I’ll be more forgiving of any errors I read in books in future!

On leaving, I felt I had a much clearer understanding of the publishing world, the process from manuscript to print and the relationship between publisher/editor and writer. I would not now send a manuscript to a publisher that didn’t ‘fit’ what they print, I will always read the submission guidelines meticulously and I will never (not that I ever would have) address the cover letter with ‘Dear sirs’!

When I next walk past Luath Press on my way to Edinburgh Castle, I’ll feel privileged that I’ve been part of their world for a little while. In the meantime, I swear that I can still hear bagpipes playing!


What I did today at my placement

Luath. The most camouflaged Publishing Company in Scotland. If their aim is to avoid nuisance callers at the door, they have succeeded. According to Google maps, Luath is in the middle of the pavement. According to the manager of Camera Obscura next door, it is through a white door with no handle. Where it is I discover is down a wee alley, hidden behind a white van! And so I arrive slightly harassed and very apologetic to be greeted by the lovely Lauren who just brightened up my day. Nothing was too much trouble even the names she had to repeat because of my poor hearing.

I wasn’t at all sure what to expect but what I found was the most tranquil working environment. I think the piles of books, sheets of paper, manuscripts, more books etc serve as a kind of barricade to the world outside and it is easy to lose yourself here. It is such a different environment to work in from my previous job. You have time to and are encouraged to think and be creative and I loved it.

My first task wasn’t easy though. I had to create an invitation for a book launch in April. Simple. If you are adept with technology. I knew what I wanted to do, it just took me longer than I would have liked. The book is set in 1689 in Edinburgh and involves the gruesome discovery of a body. I knew exactly the image I wanted and I kept almost finding it except it had electric lights or a bicycle or something else inappropriate for the time however I eventually found what I needed. About an hour later, I had sussed how to change the text size, position, colour etc. I might not be quick but I am definitely determined.

I had time to read the book’s prologue and explore Luath’s website, getting a sense of the process to publication. I highlighted the tasks I would like to complete from a comprehensive list given to me by Lauren. With one already completed, I look forward to planning a Sales and Marketing Plan for an upcoming book as well as a Book Launch tomorrow, some Proof-reading on Wednesday and who knows what else for Thursday and Friday.

I do know that Day 1 has been really interesting and I have been made to feel very welcome. I can’t wait for the rest of the week.