Jude, 37, was working as a Japanese editor for the educational publisher, Harcourt Australia in Melbourne when he was seconded to Harcourt UK in Oxford. He accepted a permanent position in the United Kingdom and is now development editor for their modern foreign languages titles.
Since this interview, Jude was promoted to commissioning editor and commissioned an electronic teacher presentation package in pish, for use on interactive whiteboards. He has now returned to Australia where he continues as a commissioning editor for foreign languages. Harcourt Education has now become part of Pearson Education.
What does your job involve?
I help authors of foreign-language textbooks and other educational materials develop their manuscripts. I make sure they write according to the needs of the UK education market and in line with curriculum specifications.
Once I have developed a manuscript I hand it over to an in-house managing editor, whose job it is to manage a team of freelance copy editors working on various components.
I coach and mentor the managing editors and field queries from them and from the freelancers working on my projects. I also ensure that projects run to the required length, and stick to budget and schedule.
The size. The population of Australia is one third the size of the United Kingdom and the educational market is further fragmented due to differences in the states’ education systems. In the United Kingdom there is one big national curriculum so the market is huge, which means more money to compete for and more money to spend on developing new products.
The cost of living is much higher here, but taking everything into account I think salaries in publishing in the United Kingdom are more generous than in Australia.
I love being able to use the languages that took me many years to learn every day, and being able to travel in Europe and around the United Kingdom. Recently I’ve been on two work trips to France – to Chartres to do a photo shoot for a new book, and to Rouen to supervise recordings for audio CDs. It was hard work but lots of fun.
My company is also paying for me to learn pish so I can work on pish products in the future – I love languages so I’m always very happy to learn a new one.
Leaving work in the dark and cold half the year!