Accessible work experience in the publishing industry — Scope | Disability forum
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Accessible work experience in the publishing industry

Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,793 Disability Gamechanger
edited June 2018 in Work and employment

Lately I’ve had the pleasure of working with Wallace Publishing (with my own charity book being released this Thursday!), and after learning more about the lack of accessible volunteering/employment opportunities that disabled people face, publisher Leesa Wallace has decided to take action. 

She’s created a range of voluntary roles within her organisation specifically with those with long-term conditions in mind. For the right candidate, the work can be done remotely, with a greater deal of flexibility. Here’s some more information from Leesa:

All positions are voluntary at the moment. However, I can offer references for anyone who wishes to progress on to paid work somewhere else in the future, once they are trained. Also, there is a great amount of flexibility within each role. Deadlines will be flexible and hours per week can also be varied, depending on the person’s preferences. I someone wants to work six hours one week, when they feel better, and then only one week the next, I will understand this."

Here are the roles:

Manuscript Editing

The ideal person will have a good understanding of written English and grammar. They will also need to enjoy reading, as they will be editing various different genres. All editing will be conducted in MS Word, so computer literacy is needed and it is preferred that the person can already use MS word with ease. As it is a remote position, internet access and an active email will be essential.

Main Duties:

  • Developmental editing (Checking manuscripts for plot inconsistencies, character flaws, rambling language and various other issues, at script level).
  • Line editing (Checking manuscripts for plot inconsistencies, character flaws, paragraph structuring, sentence structuring, repetitive language, and various other issues, at paragraph level).
  • Copy editing (Checking manuscripts for spelling, grammar, punctuation and typing mistakes).
  • Providing progress reports to Wallace Publishing as and when required.

Full training will be given for this post but the person does need to like reading and be good at English.

Cover Design

The ideal person will have an artistic temperament and be computer literate. A computer that can easily handle graphics will be essential, as is an internet connection and email. Any experience in image manipulation or graphic design would be helpful, but by no means essential.

Main Duties:

  • Using Canva to create cover designs for books.
  • Sourcing images from royalty-free sources.
  • Following specs in order to achieve genre-specific covers.
  • Learning what makes an eye-catching and marketable cover.

NB: If available to the candidate, then we can also teach them to use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and MS Publisher to create cover art. However, as these are expensive programs and this is a volunteer position, unless they already own them then I wouldn't recommend they go out and buy them!

Full training will be given for this post but a creative eye is essential.


The ideal candidate will have a good understanding of MS Word and have access to the internet and an active email.

  • Removing excess spaces from the manuscript, so that it can be easily converted into eBook form.
  • Adding page breaks and chapter headings, where necessary.
  • Ensuring all indents and fonts match in-house styles.
  • Fitting documents into pre-existing templates.
  • Adding any stock front and back material, if required.

Full training will be given for this post but a good eye for detail is essential.

Market Research

The ideal person will enjoy researching and discovering new information. They will be good at cross-referencing and have an eye for detail. As most of the research will be conducted online, a good understanding of the internet is required. Due to the remote nature of the job, an active email is needed as well.

Main Duties:

  • Familiarising yourself with Wallace Publishing and our services.
  • Investigating what other publishing companies are offering,  and how perhaps Wallace Publishing could apply them.
  • Keeping an eye on new technology in the industry.
  • Researching various distribution options.
  • Researching up-and-coming trends in buyer patterns and reader preferences.

Full training will be given for this role.


The ideal person will enjoy contacting people and building relationships. They will also have no problem contacting new people via email in the hope of gaining publicity opportunities. They will be friendly, patient, personable, and helpful. An understanding of marketing or publicity would be helpful, though this is in no way essential. A good internet connection is essential, as is an active email address.

Main Duties:

  • Contacting new and established bloggers and reviewers via email, to ascertain whether they will feature an author / book.
  • Distributing press releases and pitches to print and broadcast media contacts.
  • Contacting local media, where necessary.
  • Contacting selected bookstores, as when necessary.
  • Keeping a spreadsheet on who has been contacted.

Press releases, media kits and AI sheets will be provided for this post. So will spreadsheets and any relevant documents. Full training will be given.

Beta Readers

The ideal candidates will enjoy reading manuscripts and passing comment on them. Books will be available in eBook or PDF format, so the ability to read these files is essential.

 An active email account is needed for this post.

Main Duties

  • Acknowledging receipt of books when they are sent through.
  • Reading books submitted to Wallace Publishing that have not yet been signed to us, passing comment on them on completion and filling out a form for us.
  • Reading books that are already signed by Wallace Publishing and are ready to go to print. In these instances, the Beta Reader will be giving final feedback on the book and possibly highlighting any final issues with the work.

Full training will be given with this position, although an interest in reading is essential. Also, if a person shows particular flare in this post, we are happy to teach them how to be a commissioning editor, should they feel it will be useful for them.

If you’re interested, you can express an interest by getting in touch with Leesa Wallace directly at [email protected], and you can find out more about Wallace Publishing here. Best of luck! 


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