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Gillian Hall

MLitt in Publishing Studies

Gillian's story

After completing my undergraduate degree in English Studies, it became clear that if I wanted to pursue a career in such a competitive industry as publishing, I would need a further specialist degree in the subject, in order to stand out from the crowd.

Although I already had an editorial career in mind, the Publishing Studies course at Stirling gave me the chance to study all aspects of the industry, from marketing and editorial to design and production, as well as providing me with invaluable advice on how to build an impressive CV.

Fortunately I was able to do some work experience at an Edinburgh publishing house during the course. I would encourage all students to do this if their circumstances allow it, since it's vital that future employers see you are committed and willing to put in the extra effort.

I now work as a Proofreader for the UK's biggest typesetting company, Palimpsest Book Production Ltd. Our clients include Penguin, HarperCollins, Hodder and Stoughton, Random House and Little, Brown. I've had the opportunity to work on high-profile titles by authors such as Stephen King, Cecelia Ahern and George R. R. Martin.

One of the things I like most about my job is that we typeset all kinds of books; one day I'll be proofreading a celebrity autobiography, the next I'll be working on a non-fiction title. I'm also involved in making sure Ebook files get to the publishers by their deadlines, as there is currently a massive demand to get both backlist and frontlist titles converted as quickly as possible.

I couldn’t be a Proofreader if I didn’t have a passion for books – it can be very intensive and we often have to work to the publishers’ tight schedules. However, I wouldn't be where I am if I hadn't studied at Stirling – the course lecturers keep on top of current industry issues and I was encouraged to do the same.

So as well as being thoroughly enjoyable and well-equipped, my course allowed me to progress towards a successful and exciting career.

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