Publishing & Production Co-ordinator
Book Dash is a South African not-for-profit, social impact publisher of new, high-quality African picturebooks for young children. Our overarching vision is that “Every child should own a hundred books by the age of five”.
To that end, Book Dash gathers creative professionals who volunteer to create new, African storybooks that anyone can freely translate and distribute. We employ our unique, 12-hour publishing methodology to create beautiful new books in just one day. Then, we share the books with the world, digitally-first and then in print format for children and families to own. Book Dash started in 2014 and has achieved significant growth in the past 8 years. In 2023, we will distribute our 3 millionth book to a child. See more and read all the books at bookdash.org.
We’re known for being bold, impactful, innovative and open. For more details on our work, see bookdash.org/what-we-do/how-we-do-it. We’re based in Cape Town, but work with partners nationally and internationally for a global footprint.
Book Dash is looking for a Publishing and Production Co-ordinator to co-ordinate our publishing and production work, including book-finishing and publishing, translation projects, file and metadata systems, and print and distribution management.
Cape Town, Woodstock. In-office position with flexibility for work-from-home options
More about the role & how to apply
Watch the video below for an idea of who we’re looking for.
Read the full job advert below, or view and download it as a PDF here.
This is a co-ordinator level, implementation role which means it requires great organisation, good judgement, flexible, analytical thinking, persistence beyond the obvious, problem-solving, gathering and presenting data in coherent formats to inform decision-making by management. The role may be consulted in management-level decision-making but will not be solely responsible for it.*
Book Dash is run by a small, high impact core team. The role would be managed primarily by the Director, but may take direction from the Executive Director and Digital Publishing Manager, and will work closely with the Administrator on certain tasks.
Book Dash has 186 original titles and an additional 515 translations in our catalogue. On average, we publish 20 new titles per year, plus about 80 new translations. We print 800,000+ books per year, working with 170+ partners all over the country, and our output is growing steadily.
Key areas of responsibility
- Book-finishing and publication: incl. liaising with the creative teams, designer, publishing the books online
- Translation layout project co-ordination: incl. communications between translators and briefing designers
- Content and metadata systems: incl. updating and maintaining content and metadata systems.
- Production/print-run management: incl. sourcing quotes, updating files as needed, approving proofs, preparing print job spec sheets and communicating with the printers.
- Distribution and logistics management: incl. creating distribution schedules, packing sheets and communicating with printer and couriers for mostly local, country-wide deliveries.
*If the candidate has sufficient prior experience in a management-level role, this will be considered in the appointment and contracting process.
Qualifications & experience
- 4+ years’ experience working in an office environment in a similar role
- Excellent computer skills. Specifically:
- Experience working with a form of the below (specific training will be provided)
- publishing/title-management system (e.g. Bookmaster, Consonance)
- project-management systems (e.g. Trello, Asana, Monday.com, BaseCamp)
- content-management systems, filing taxonomies and naming conventions (AWS, Dropbox, Google Drive)
- Great knowledge of Acrobat Pro, and a working knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop and/or Illustrator would be advantageous.
- Working knowledge and experience with Google Workspace or Microsoft Office (specifically Excel/Google Sheet – working with formulas, filtering, VLOOKUP, macros etc)
- Experience working with a form of the below (specific training will be provided)
- Unendorsed Code 08/B driving licence
Competencies and personal qualities
Our ideal candidate
- is a calm, positive, approachable person who thinks systematically and can communicate information both clearly and sensitively (verbally and in writing)
- can liaise comfortably with everyone in the Book Dash publishing and production chain: from creative volunteers and designers to couriers and printers
- takes pride in their work, is technically-skilled, proactive, curious and meticulous
- derives satisfaction from working within and maintaining well-run, efficient systems and projects and enjoys finding neat solutions to problems as they arise
- works well in a small team, but can also work independently by managing their time and priorities according to discussions with the rest of the team
- has a high degree of integrity and is willing to get involved outside of specific areas of responsibility where needed, to support Book Dash’s mandate
- is generally a happy presence, has a sense of humour and a passion for the work that Book Dash does
All Book Dash team members are guided by the Code of Conduct to which they agree.
Email the following information to email@example.com with your full name and “Publishing & Production Co-ordinator” as the subject line:
- Name & Surname
- City of residence
- 1-2 page letter of motivation: This should highlight why you’re best-suited for this role, and mention all skills, experience and education that would make you the perfect fit.
- Attach an up-to-date CV with references & contact details. Note that we will only refer to CVs for shortlisted candidates, so anything you’d like us to know needs to be in your written letter of motivation.
Book Dash strives to be a diverse and equitable organisation. Preference will be given to South African black candidates as defined by the B-BBEE Act.
- Applications are open from 1 March until midnight SAST on Sunday 19 March 2023
- Interviews & practical assessments are planned for 27 March 2023
- Please accept your application as unsuccessful if you have not heard from us by 1 April 2023
Offer & Compensation
Exact start date, salary offer and additional benefits will be discussed with the preferred candidate informed by experience and skillset.
Update: Please note that this application process closed on 30 July. We are not accepting any new applications as we’re currently in the review process.
1 July 2021: Book Dash Board Member Positions advertisement
Book Dash is a South African-based social-impact publisher of children’s books. Our vision is that “Every child should own a hundred books by the age of five”, and our innovative publishing model (driven by professional creative volunteers) allows us to produce an abundance of books at a fraction of the usual cost.
We have printed and distributed 1.5 million physical books to children under five in South Africa, and our books are read by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe on free reading platforms, and adapted in many different ways. We’re a registered NPO and PBO. More at bookdash.org.
Book Dash is an ambitious organisation, established in 2014 and growing in impact yearly. To help us achieve our goals, the Book Dash team is seeking to appoint new Board members to bring fresh insights and new skill sets to the organisation. We are not necessarily looking for executive-level applicants with Board-level experience, but for capable, interested and committed people who can help us achieve our vision.
Who we’re looking for
Black South Africans* who have skills and experience in any of the following areas are invited to apply to join this award-winning non-profit organisation:
- Specialists in child development in general and ECD and early literacy in particular
- Specialists in reading promotion, language acquisition and/or multi-lingualism
- Specialists in diversifying across geographies
- Specialists in social impact with access to diverse areas of funding or partnerships
- Specialists in logistics and scaling (e.g. FMCG)
- Specialists in financial, legal or business management.
Book Dash’s core principles are listed below, and whoever wants to join our Board needs to be a believer in all of them:
- Ownership: Owning books is essential to a young child’s well-being and development.
- Abundance: A child needs to own many books in order to fall in love with reading.
- Representation: Young children need access to books in which they can read about characters that reflect their realities, in the language that they know best.
- Enjoyment: Our books are fun and engaging to create avid readers – they are not reading instruction materials.
- Openness: Book Dash books are published under a Creative Commons open license license. This means that there are no rights to sell, and no option of exclusivity: the books are a gift to the world, and are free for anyone to use, thereby drastically increasing their reach.
- Early impact: The earlier the intervention, the bigger the impact.
About the role
- Board members are not paid for their time and input.
- There are two scheduled Board meetings per year, as well as some subcommittee work.
- All meetings and work is conducted online, so candidates can be based anywhere, but would need reliable access to the internet.
- Terms for Board Members are 3 years long, with an initial probation period.
We are open to applications from people who believe in what we do, and feel that they can contribute meaningfully.
Process to apply
If you are interested in joining the Book Dash Board, please send a letter of motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the letter, please highlight relevant experience, explain why you would like to join the Book Dash Board, and what contribution you think you would make. You can include your CV should you wish, but should assume that we might only read your letter of motivation in the initial selection process.
We reserve the right to not appoint anyone.
*Although this is not a B-BBEE position, Book Dash is committed to increasing our diversity in decision-making positions in the organisation, and this includes (but is not limited to) racial diversity. As a result, we are seeking candidates as per the B-BBEE Act guidelines laid out in the act and detailed below:
“Black people is a generic term which means Africans, Coloureds and Indians–
- Who are citizens of the Republic of South Africa by birth or descent; or
- Who became citizens of the Republic of South Africa by naturalization.”
Book Dash is looking for a small team of tech-savvy graduates or freelancers available immediately for short term contract work within the month of February.
The job would comprise work on our WordPress site to upload all existing African language versions of our books for the world to enjoy.
There is no software development work or experience required for this job and you don’t need to be able to speak an African language to be able to do the work.
Book Dash is a South African, not-for-profit publisher of beautiful, African picturebooks for all to enjoy. Our vision is that “Every child should own one hundred books by the age of five”. You can read the books here: bookdash.org/books.
You’d be an ideal fit for this job if:
- You’re already familiar with working in WordPress
- You’re meticulous, pay attention to detail and enjoy following a structured workflow
- You have your own laptop and would be willing and able to work from a COVID-safe office location in Salt River, Cape Town
- Are available to work between the 17th – 23rd February, ideally full days (at least 25 hours, potentially more)
- Enjoy working in a team to get a job done
- Ideally, our vision resonates with you and you value the power of books to change lives
- Please note that there is no software development involved in this job, and experience in that field is therefore not required but an understanding of how websites work is preferable.
Outline of the job:
- You’ll be uploading multiple African language versions of Book Dash’s extensive library of picturebooks to our website, allowing them to be read by anyone
- You’ll need to follow the workflow provided and report to a team leader, correcting errors that come up
- You would be paid a rate/book uploaded and report on your progress to a team leader
- You’ll be provided with training, expected to have your own machine and ideally be able to work from a COVID-safe office in Salt River, Cape Town
- We’re also seeking a Team Leader who would have additional quality assurance responsibilities, and be responsible for keeping the project on track and the team working according to timelines provided.
Interested candidates must please email email@example.com with:
- your full name as the subject line
- a short explanation of prior experience, especially WordPress experience, and experience working in or managing a team, that would make you a good fit for this job
- at least one reference or testimonial from someone for whom you’ve done similar work
- any qualifications you feel relevant
Expression of interest is due by 3pm on Friday, 12th February 2021, but we may fill up spaces as appropriate candidates apply.
Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thess events were recorded as part of the Open Publishing Fest, 2020 – a decentralized public event that brings together communities supporting open source software, open content, and open publishing models. For more visit: openpublishingfest.org
Book Dash was involved in three exciting events:
- Book Dash and the power of open: We gather a couple of our incredible partners who re-use Book Dash books in all sorts of wonderful ways to tell us how the open license we use, powers their work too. Watch the recorded session here: youtu.be/XM5bptZVHbw
- Productivity, Sprints and Remoteness: We reflect on our Virtual Book Dash with Book Sprints and learn from their experience with virtual, fast-paced book-making, too. If you’re interested in the processes and tricks behind collaborative, book-making on a deadline, check out the session recording here: youtu.be/BfNbgG6FQBU
- Book Dash: Origins and Evolution: the Book Dash founders speak about the origins and the evolution of the innovative Book Dash model for producing new, African storybooks in just twelve hours. Missed it? Watch the event: youtu.be/cEAB7M7YDvU