Q & A with Elise Menzies, Publishing Intern

Elise Menzies has been part of the SUP team from April to June. She has since finished her Master of Publishing degree and has gone travelling. She is now based in London.

A photo of Elise Menzies

What have you been working on at SUP?

I’ve been lucky enough to work on a range of projects and tasks throughout my internship. From the editorial side of publishing I’ve been able to proofread manuscripts, provide corrections using mark-up symbols, take in corrections, write blurbs for completed texts and give summary notes for style issues in manuscripts that have been submitted. While I’ve completed various editorial tasks over the course of my internship I’ve also been able to work on aspects of marketing in publishing through drafting email templates on Mail Chimp, sourcing contacts/publications for a new release text, specifically a Chinese-Australian book, The Poison of Polygamy by Wong Shee Ping translated by Ely Finch, and identifying key selling points for these new releases. I’ve also worked on aspects of design throughout my internship by using InDesign to draft flyers and create book covers.

I’ve also had the chance to work on ebooks, both the production and distribution of them by examining the layout and identifying any errors before uploading these corrected versions to the appropriate outlets. Volume 3 of Letters to Australia by Julius Stone was one ebook I uploaded to both Google books and iBooks.  

What has been the best part of the role? How about the most challenging?

I’ve just loved being able to gain practical experience that is relevant to what I’m currently studying. Being able to proofread unpublished manuscripts and provide corrections has been the best part for me as I’m passionate about editing and have loved being part of this particular process in publishing. The most challenging part would have been gaining an understanding of IGP (the software that is used at SUP to format both their print and ebook text) as it was a software that I was not previously familiar with. However, with the help I’ve been given at SUP I am now comfortable using IGP and have found it extremely beneficial in learning how to format a text and get it ready for publication!

Has anything surprised you about SUP/scholarly publishing?

I think just witnessing the amount of work that goes into the production of a scholarly text has surprised me. While I have learnt about the publishing process, it’s extremely different to actually being in the environment and beginning to understand the importance of deadlines and co-operation in a publishing team in the workplace. It has opened my eyes in that way, and the whole team has been amazing and patient in teaching me about each element in the publishing process.

What skills have you used most during your internship?

I have probably used my editing skills the most during this internship, from picking up on grammatical errors to identifying any inconsistencies in a text, these skills have aided me the most throughout this experience. I was also able to use some of the skills I’ve gained recently with InDesign which has helped me more in terms of the creative side of things.

What was your dream job when you were 12? What is your dream job now?

I wanted to be a chef! While I still love to cook, my ambitions have definitely shifted over the years. My dream job ever since I was 17 has been to work as an editor in trade fiction. However, this internship has broadened my mind to consider pursuing a career in the field of scholarly publishing. Either way, whether trade or scholarly, my dream job is to contribute to the publishing of books.

You have to take a week-long road trip with a fictional or historical character. Who do you choose and why?

Might be slightly embarrassing but I’m a massive Harry Potter nerd so probably Fred and George Weasley (I think they practically count as one!) There’d never be a dull moment which I believe is a requirement when going on a week-long road trip.

What are you planning to do next?

This was my final semester in my Masters of Publishing so I’ll be graduating soon which is exciting! I’m moving to London since I’ve finished studying and plan on travelling around Europe and the UK before settling in London. After researching the book market and with the knowledge I’ve gained in my degree, I know that the book publishing industry in the UK is quite large so I’m eager to try my luck and hopefully get some experience in that market!