Work Experience at Troubador Publishing

5th July, 2024

5 min read

Work Experience at Troubador Publishing

Work Experience at Troubador Publishing

Written by:

Troubador Publishing

Every now and then the Troubador team welcomes a student, graduate or aspiring publisher to our office to learn the ropes about all things self-publishing. This week we had Ethan join us for the whole week. He was given a variety of tasks, projects and presentations to complete and has written a summary of his week in this news article.

The following has been written by Ethan, a student at a Leicestershire college.

Starting this evaluation with a brief overview of my week at Troubador Publishing. Starting the week on Monday morning I was very excited to get going on the tasks and projects I was shown before starting my week's work experience. After having a tour of the vast facilities I was introduced to the Troubador team including those in the warehouse. I was initially very happy with the reception and was immediately welcomed and made to feel at home. After settling in and logging into all necessary programs and completing health and safety papers I was given a brief overview of each department and what they do to produce and help authors publish books. From Monday to Wednesday, I was stationed at the desks with the production team.

Initially, I was very happy about this as it is in the industry that I would like to work in later in life. It was interesting, to say the least. I found it interesting to sit back and listen in to the conversations that the production team not only had with themselves and others in the department but also the telephone calls that they would have with authors. From Thursday to Friday, I sat with the marketing and digital department. This was a completely different experience from what I had before with the production department. Within the two days I spent with the marketing and digital department I learnt a lot from taking photos for Amazon pack shots and learning how to upload them to Amazon and Booksonix. 

Significant tasks and projects set over the week

Summer Reads campaign

The main initial project I was set on Monday morning was the “Summer Reads campaign.” This was the project that in all the spare time I had within the week when I wasn't with a specialist completing a task I was focusing on. The main aim of this task was to create a presentation that I would present to the senior members of staff on Friday morning in the boardroom. The contents of this included a social media campaign including graphics that I would create myself in different graphically based software such as Photoshop and Canva. As I am currently studying Graphic design this was right up my street. After completing all the research and production on this I presented this and answered any questions from the senior staff at Trouador who gave me constructive feedback of how to improve for next time.

Cover Design

On Wednesday morning when I arrived in the office I was given some time to get myself ready and get logged in then it was straight into looking at how to make a professional front cover. To do this task I was placed with Troubador designers, Part of the production team. At first, I watched the designer and how they started their titles. This was very interesting due to the fact there is consistency in all covers because of this. I was next shown where to access key materials such as stock images which were gathered from Adobe stock. This is something that I had never done before and was fascinated with the process and professionalism of the covers of books. I was next given two briefs and was told to have a go at creating some covers of my own. I thoroughly enjoyed this and was given good tips and tricks from the experienced designers on how to improve. 

Webinar with the marketing team 

On Tuesday morning I was invited by the marketing team to sit in on their monthly author webinar. This is a chance for authors to talk to the marketing team directly and have them answer any questions that they might have while their book is in the process of being published. During this meeting, the senior members of the marketing team spoke about the relationship between the author and the bookstore. And how significant this can be on the amount of sales a book has. While I was sitting in the background of the meeting I was busy making notes about how this happens and the processes also. The meeting went on for about an hour and after coming out of it I felt like I had learnt a lot about the behind-the-scenes about what goes on when an author has finished a book and the distribution sides of these.

Editorial and proofreads

One of the first things that I had been set to do on Monday after talking with the whole editorial team was a proofreading task. This is a task that new employees and freelancers who are interested in editorial will have to take. It has a range of different types of errors such as spelling mistakes, punctuation errors and grammar mistakes. It was up to me to slowly go through this and find them. Initially, I found this quite difficult as English was never really my thing. After I had finished the task I handed it back to the editorial team for them to go through it with me and find where I went wrong and how I could have improved this. Overall the editorial team were very helpful through the whole process and was happy to help when I got stuck.

Amazon pack shots

On Thursday I was instructed that today I would be taking photos for Amazon of my selected books and learning how to upload them to Amazon and Booksonix. Talking about the books in question, there were some that were picked out for me at the start of the week. These included; The Wainwright Boys, Manhunting in Manhattan, The Italian Restaurant, King Of The Courts, The Dartington Bride and All I’ll Ever Need. These books range from a selection of genres so I had variation. Going back to the packshots I was shown how to use the lights and light box and got to work taking pictures of each book in different ways. This ranged from top-down shots to just simply a stack of the book collection. The images I didn't end up using were eventually used within the summer reads campaign as primary images. After I uploaded the images to Google drive I was next shown by the team how to make them into 3d book designs on Photoshop and distribute them accordingly. This is done using templates previously created. I ended my day doing the Amazon packshots by learning how to upload them to Amazon using specific techniques. Overall I enjoyed my day learning about the distribution of books and e-books on Amazon.

Final thoughts

I'd like to conclude this summary about my week at Troubador by explaining how amazing an experience it has been going from a college one week studying subjects that staff at Troubador have previously studied to being part of the team helping and learning different things about the world of book publishing and distribution. I would definitely be open to coming back to Troubador to learn more things and get involved with the friendly staff again.