Working in Publishing: An interview with Ant Simnica

June 9, 2015, Article by Mr Book in Books, Careers

All this week we’re taking a look at the world of publishing and, more specifically, careers in the industry.

Today we’re talking to Ant Simnica, digital operations manager at Hachette UK. Over to Ant to tell us more about life in the mysterious world of digital ops…


Hello there Ant. To those who may not know, can you tell us a little bit about your role in digital ops?

I work in the team that oversee post-production digital activity for the group. This ranges from managing the supply chain of digital content, being the primary digital contact for publishers, retail partners and suppliers, as well as coordinating integration and improvement of business processes for digital publishing.

And how did you end up working in this position?

I started out in the production department and was lucky enough to join right at the beginning of the digital boom in book publishing. I was tasked with looking after the ebook production schedule alongside my print work, before moving into a digital-only role and then onto Group Digital where I am now.

Publishing has changed a lot in the last few years, and continues to evolve. What impact has this had on your career, and the nature of your job?

When I was on the publishing side of the business, we were always looking at what we could do that was different or better than what was already out there and this was most interesting on the digital side. I think that was good for me, because I am now partly responsible for making sure these things we want to publish are done so with maximum efficiency. We are now publishing more content, in more ways and faster than ever, and it is interesting to be at the end of the business that delivers that content rather than at the originating end.

What would you say are the best parts of your job? And, dare we ask, the worst?

The best part is seeing things work the way you intended. A lot of time is spent trouble-shooting and so to keep a limit on this we are always looking at how best we can change what we do to improve what already happens. The worst part is professing the importance of the less glamorous aspects of publishing (spreadsheets, spreadsheets, spreadsheets) to the publishers – there’s a limit on the number of horrified faces I can take each day.

If an aspiring ops manager came to you looking for advice on getting into the industry, what tips would you give them?

Be interested in everything. One of my biggest regrets is that I wasn’t confident enough to ask anyone about anything when I first came into the industry. I think one of the most important things is to understand who does what and why, as it all helps to piece together how what you do affects them and vice versa. And one of the best things about publishing is that most people are always more than happy to answer any questions.

Finally, if you could describe the life of an ops manager in just 3 words, what would they be?

Always. Double. Check.


If you’re interested in a career in publishing, why not apply to attend the latest Hachette UK Insight Into Publishing event? It’s on the 1st July, and applications close on June 14th. Apply here!

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