We’re very proud of our books here at Oxford Australia, and we’re even more proud of the hard work that goes into creating the perfect textbook or digital product. There are a lot of different people involved in getting a book from conception to consumer; today in Spotlight On we introduce you to Amanda Louey, an Editor with our Secondary Education division.
Name: Amanda Louey
When did you start at Oxford: 1 April, 2014 (wasn’t an April Fool’s joke!)
Sum up your job in 3 words: Multitasker, grammar-fiend, lolly-addict (I cheated and listed three phrases!)
What are your day-to-day tasks?
I start my day by answering emails; these mostly have to do with my projects and communicating with freelancers, the publishers or Production/Design. I’ll then move onto my projects and my varied, but never-ending to-do list, which is a project in itself to keep track of! (Currently mine is in the form of a bullet journal because colouring in boxes makes me happy.) This may consist of proofreading marketing material, styling manuscripts, checking page layouts, preparing obooks (our digital books) or editing worksheets. In my down-time I’ll work on our team goal of improving our processes and seeing where we could improve efficiency, or cleaning out my inbox because too many unallocated items makes me anxious (slight OCD tendencies are the norm in Editorial, the lollies help with stress).
What product or project are you most proud of working on?
A senior English workbook titled ‘Senior English Skills Builder’ – it was the first project I managed on my own from start to finish!
What is your favourite thing about working in publishing?
Once I began studying my undergrad at uni, I knew the publishing industry was where I wanted to be. From there I tailored my course so that I would end up with skills I felt would be most valuable as an editor (i.e. numerous grammar units). Having recently been promoted from Editorial Assistant to Editor after a year at OUP, I feel like I’ve actually made it and all my hard work has paid off. I’m using the skills and knowledge I practised at uni and actually being a part of the publishing process is amazing, particularly one with such a clear purpose: to create and supply materials that allow the best of student learning. In relation to education publishing in particular, I love being able to dabble in each subject area – except Maths, that’s one thing that hasn’t changed since high school! I hope to have an impressive general knowledge trivia bank in the future!
What advice would you give to someone interested in a role like yours?
Internships are key. There are many independent presses that will often take voluntary interns. Even if it’s just an admin role, it allows you to experience the publishing process first hand and see which aspect might be the best fit for you. Publishing isn’t just about editors; there’s design, production, digital, marketing and business aspects that can each be broken down into individual roles and this isn’t necessary clear whilst you’re studying. Internships also help you kick start your network – everyone knows everyone in publishing – not to mention it’s great to list on your resume! Additionally look out for opportunities to dabble in small scale publishing such as newsletters, blogs and student magazines.
What are you reading right now?
I’m in-between books at the moment, but I just read ‘We are all completely beside ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler. A surprisingly great read centred around family – and I’ll say no more lest I spoil it for someone!