Position Description
Press Vanderbilt University Press
Production and Design
Book Design and Production Specialist


The Book Design and Production specialist is responsible for the design of approximately 30 book projects per year, mostly print and some electronic. This includes the interior and jacket design of monographs in all disciplines; trade books; and illustrated books in art, science, and anthropology.


Vanderbilt University Press publishes books for scholarly and general audiences in a variety of disciplines. The Book Design and Production specialist will be part of the seven-member Press team that acquires, edits, designs, and produces all books published in the program.


Duties and Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities:


  • Text design for new manuscripts, including preparation of typographic specifications and layouts, which includes the implementation of interior design templates and the review and approval of all stages of proofs throughout the typesetting and printing process.
  • Be familiar with printer and manufacturing templates and prepare all files to specific project needs. Approve soft and electronic proofs from printers on a regular basis.
  • Designs covers, including preparation of comprehensive sketches and cover mechanicals in Adobe InDesign, image research, and negotiation of related permissions and fees. Considers priorities of marketing, sales, publicity, acquisitions editors, and authors as conveyed at jacket design meetings.
  • Typesets books using Adobe InDesign, with print-ready PDFs, web-ready PDFs, XML files, and valid ePubs as final deliverables. Prepares electronic books for dissemination to various platforms.
  • Prepares printer-ready cover mechanicals for jacketed, hardcover, and paperback formats, converts jacket files from jacket format to paperback or printed hardcover format, and adapts jacket files for imports, co-pubs, and re-releases.
  • Makes corrections to proofs in response to author and editor proof review; works with editorial in finalizing proof corrections and indexes.
  • Reviews all proofs on time and with care; adheres to project schedules and prioritizes work based on organization needs and deadlines.
  • Exhibits business communication within a professional environment.
  • Size/crop/prepare printer-ready interior text art, both grayscale and four color; performs light redesigns for art that doesn’t meet specifications.
  • Produces collateral/ancillary products as needed, including two catalogs annually, advertisements, and series flyers.
  • Completes all other duties as assigned or requested for the general support of the organization.
  • Analyzes manuscripts and supplied image files for design and production requirements and prepares them for design, typesetting, and production.
  • Develops strategies for processing, production, and archiving of digital assets.
  • Recommends changes and offer creative ideas; obtain editorial input and approval with some managerial guidance.
  • Oversees and supervises design interns and works with occasional freelance vendors for individual projects as needed.


Profile of an Ideal Candidate


  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited institution of higher education is necessary.
  • MA/MS in liberal or graphic arts from an accredited institution of higher education is preferred.
  • Three years of experience in journal or book publishing production is necessary.
  • Competence with Adobe InDesign, Adobe PhotoShop, and Adobe Illustrator is necessary. Quark XPress, Oxygen, Sublime is preferred. Knowledge of XML workflows is preferred.
  • Foreign language skill is preferred. HTML or XML knowledge is preferred.
  • Excellent communication skills and attention to detail is necessary.
  • Familiarity with a major style manual, Chicago preferred, and experience with production workflows is necessary. Supervisory experience; experience working in a cross-platform digital production environment; and project management experience is preferred.


About Vanderbilt Benefits

In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview.


About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university’s students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2019 (Forbes).


Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students.  We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.



Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.


Please direct all applications with a resume and cover letter through the Vanderbilt hiring portal:


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