My Job In 5... Leah McDowell, Design and production manager Floris Books

My Job In 5... Leah McDowell, Design and production manager Floris Books

Describe your role

Extremely varied! Some days I’ll be commissioning and directing our illustrators though the children’s picture book process while designing children’s fiction and adult non-fiction layouts and covers. other days I’ll be knee-deep in Excel spreadsheets, managing production schedules and printers.

What do you like best about your role?

I love working with fledgling illustrators and seeing their work progress. that feeling of “meeting” one of our brand new picture books for the first time, fresh off the printing press, is brilliant too.

Which great new titles are you working on at the moment?

In autumn 2015 we’re launching a new children’s range for 6-8-year- olds and I’m working on one of the début series at the moment. the writing is hilarious and the illustrator is amplifying the humour tenfold. I’m also working on some new traditional Scottish tales picture books; we published the first three of these beautiful titles in September 2014 and the next ones are going to be even more stunning.

What is your favourite part of the design process?

Those moments when you see an illustrator get excited about your concept. When they really engage with the brief and get all fired up, ready to knock my socks off with their work – that really inspires me.

What advice would you give those looking to work in the industry?

Engage with the industry now, even if you haven’t got a job in it just yet. See what publishers are doing and initiate personal projects that tackle an aspect of their work to show you’re interested and involved. Most importantly, get talking with people that work in the industry already (Society of Young Publishers events are perfect for this) as good contacts can be the reason you get that crucial first internship or job.