My Job In 5, Kate Newcombe, Publishing Operations Controller, Simon & Schuster UK

My Job In 5, Kate Newcombe, Publishing Operations Controller, Simon & Schuster UK

Describe your role.

My role is very analytical and responsive. As publishing operations controller I am responsible for the children's and US distributed inventory and print on demand. I have to know our key children's titles in order to forecast reprints correctly, anticipating demand, predicting the time it will take titles to print, and considering how our stock holding volume and value will affect the company as a whole.

What's the best thing about your role?

Working with the various departments. I mainly work with production and sales, but communicate with marketing/publicity and editorial as well. It gives you a real insight into the business as a whole. I also liaise with our US, Australian and Indian offi ces.

Which new titles are you working on?

I don't get to work on any books specifi cally, but our top titles this year, for which I anticipate many reprints are: Supertato by Sue Hendra and The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss.

How do you manage such a large inventory?

Pre-emptive alerts on orders from certain customers, good attention to detail and organisation, forward planning with sales. A number of reports allow me to keep an eye on the stock movement, along with a live system, which enables me to check on orders like key titles coming in during the day. It is also useful to know the list and the titles that are constant sellers, along with details on how long titles take to reprint.

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

Work hard, be determined and never give up! You will get your break if you are passionate enough. When you are interning, do not be afraid to ask questions – it is the only way you will learn and may even open up more opportunities. However your situation may seem at the moment, it will all change once you get that fi rst job and you will wonder why you worried so much. Stick at it!