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Working at Usborne
A happy and healthy place to work
Find out more about the different roles and teams at Usborne
It takes a lot of people to publish a book. The author and illustrator might be the first people who spring to mind, but publishing is a whole industry full of people working away behind the scenes. Here's what they all do:
Question: When is an editor not an editor? Answer: At Usborne, where our editors also actually write our books! Usborne editor/writers aren't experts in the subjects they're writing about (which could be anything from earthworms to philosophy): their superpower is to be brilliant at communicating with kids. They work closely with subject-area experts to make sure everything is accurate. They make the complex, simple, and the simple, interesting. Their job is to write books in an infectious, enthusiastic way that will make knowledge simply irresistible. By taking the fear out of big topics, they aim to show readers that they can tackle pretty much anything, when it's explained in the right way.
Our fiction team are editors in a more traditional sense: searching out the best stories from brilliant writers through literary agents, and then working with authors word by word, chapter by chapter, to make their books be as good as they possibly can be.
You can make a book by writing the words and then adding the pictures. Or you can draw the pictures and then add some text... But we believe that the very best books are the ones where the words and pictures work together in total harmony. And for that, you need brilliant, visionary designers. Our designers and editors work together right from the very start of a book, when it's nothing more than an idea. Together, they sketch, jot notes, cut, paste, and talk until every word, and every lift-the-flap, is just right. The design team then has the amazing job of finding the very best illustrators, from all over the world, who then make the characters, settings and ideas come to life.
The unsung heroes of any publishing house, the production team are the people who bring books to life. Their colleagues in editorial and design hand over meticulously crafted words and pictures, but they're only computer files. The production department add the paper, ink, sparkles and magic required to make them into real books that you can hold in your hand, put on your shelf, and read over and over again. Because our books are for children, they're made to withstand plenty of love, and the production team also make sure they've been through all the necessary safety tests. Finally, they are also responsible for getting our books where they need to be, all over the world.
There's no point making amazing books if you can't get them to their readers. We have two sales teams selling Usborne books in English around the world: one for the UK and Ireland, and another (called export sales) to the rest of the world. Both sell to trade customers including wholesalers, bookshops, online retailers, museums and art galleries, supermarkets, farm shops and more. Whenever you see an Usborne book in a shop, anywhere around the world, it's thanks to our sales people.
Marketing and Publicity
This team is all about shouting from the rooftops about how brilliant our books are. Their role is to connect books and readers, so they support the sales teams getting Usborne books into shops and then help readers know what to look out for. People might buy books in shops because they've seen an advert on the bus, read a review in the newspaper, seen a post on social media, or watched an author on TV. The marketing and publicity team are responsible for finding as many of those opportunities as possible.
Our digital team make sure this website, that you're reading right now, looks tip-top at all times, and is the best possible way to find out all you need to know about Usborne books and the people that make them. They're also in charge of all of our eBooks.
Foreign Language Publishing
This department is pretty much unique to Usborne, and is responsible for publishing our books in French, German, Italian, Korean, Dutch, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan and Chinese. Like a publisher-within-a-publisher, this team is made up of editors, designers, sales, marketing and digital roles. They arrange all the translations, design the new text, and work with partner publishers to arrange for the books to be sold and promoted in their relevant countries.
Our foreign rights team license Usborne books to publishers all over the world, who translate them and publish them under their own names and logos. So far they've sold our books in over 130 languages and dialects in this way.
Usborne Books at Home
Usborne Books at Home is the social-selling division of Usborne Publishing in the UK and Europe. The Usborne Books at Home head office team are Usborne staff members who support, motivate and inspire a community of self-employed Independent Usborne Organisers, who share our award-winning children’s books at events, schools and online. Usborne Books at Home roles include marketing, design, customer services and stock control.
Finance, HR, IT and facilities
Last but by no means least, no internationally-successful organisation is anything without its operational teams, including an accounts department, human resources, IT and tech, and the people who look after our offices in London, Wolverhampton and Oxford, and our health and safety.