Getting a foot in the door of the book industry

IF you are thinking about working in the book industry, or if you already have a foot in the door, but you want to sharpen your skills, then NB Publishers can help.
Starting in September, the new NB Akademie, an initiative of NB Publishers, will present a series of short courses about different aspects of the book publishing industry to established freelancers and newcomers.

This year’s programme includes eight courses, five aimed at wordsmiths and three aimed at designers. The Cape Town courses will be presented in September and the Pretoria courses in October.

The workshops are:
How to proofread a text: experienced editor, proofreader and translator Louise Steyn will show participants how to approach the task of proofreading.
Learn which dictionaries and reference works to use, how to approach variants, and how proofreading differs from editing. The course is aimed at novices and experienced freelancers who work in Afrikaans.

Make a fiction text press ready: What are editors allowed to do? How do you improve a text without changing the author’s voice? Experienced text editor, Suzette Kotzé-Myburgh, shows you how in this workshop aimed at beginners and experienced freelancers who work in Afrikaans.

Edit a recipe book: Where does one start when editing a recipe book? How do you give guidance to the author? Experienced editor, Anita van Zyl, gives practical tips in this workshop aimed at those who work with Afrikaans text.

Edit narrative nonfiction: When should one shorten text? Where do you draw the line between rewriting and good editing? Is Google your best friend when checking facts? André le Roux, an editor who has been specialising in nonfiction for the past 40 years, will show you how. The course is aimed at those who work with Afrikaans text.

• How to design a book cover: Do you spend hours in bookshops admiring the new trends in book cover design? Then this is the workshop for you. Hanneke du Toit will show you how to interpret the publisher’s brief, how to approach designs for different genres, and how to use photographs, images and typography. The course will be presented in English.

• How to design an electronic book 101: You might be a seasoned book designer, but where do you start designing an ebook? Wouter Reinders understands the challenges of designing an ebook. After this workshop, you will be able to produce a faultless e-publication. The workshop is aimed at beginners, but knowledge of InDesign is a prerequisite. The course will be presented in English.

How to design a book: Despite recent technological advances in book publishing, designing a book remains a singular art form. How do you decide which font to select? What style should you follow when designing a business book? Should the design inside reflect the cover? Nazli Jacobs and Wouter Reinders will guide you through this process. Knowledge of InDesign 6 is a prerequisite. The course will be presented in English.

• How to check an ebook: The book industry needs freelancers with the skill to check e-books. Someone that will ensure that the table of contents is set up correctly, and that ebook and other images display properly on Adobe Digital Editions on your desktop and other mobile devices. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from Surene Esterhuizen and Suzaan Hauman. The course will be presented in English.

Nèlleke de Jager, publisher at Human & Rousseau and coordinator of NB Akademie, said the book industry is always in need of good freelancers.

“We are crossing our fingers that NB Akademie will train a whole new generation of freelancers for the industry. Hopefully the programme will encourage newcomers and those with experience to attend our exciting courses,” she added.

For inquiries and to register go to


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