Come work with us
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS FAQ
What type of person are we looking for?
We're looking for a person (or a small number of people) to assist our existing designer and Dostoyevsky Wannabe co-founder Victoria Brown. Suitable people would need a reasonably advanced knowledge of Photoshop (to know about layers, paths, shapes, brushes, making selections, colour palettes, textures, etc) so obviously you'd need access to Photoshop. You'd also need to know the basics of print resolution and about getting work ready for print as well as getting work ready for web.
The work is all unpaid (all of Dostoyevsky Wannabe is zero-budget and therefore no one makes any money - including our main designer) so this might suit either somebody who is trying to add to their design portfolio or to a designer who just likes designing book covers because they enjoy it and maybe likes the way we do things.
You'd need to be someone who could chat to the writers who we work with and who have books coming out with us (chat via email usually) and also liaise with Victoria and with other Dostoyevsky Wananabe designers to get a sense of the kind of cover that we all collectively have in mind. We like writers to be happy about their book covers because....well, they spend a lot of time writing their books, but at the end of the day they're writers and not designers so quite often they're willing to defer to your design expertise.
What type of person are we NOT looking for?
For anyone who does get in touch, it's probably just best to be honest about what you can do. You don't need to be a Photoshop genius, we could perhaps still work with you if you're still learning some of the finer points (paths panel, shapes, etc - you can probably watch a tutorial and brush up on some of that stuff anyway) but we are looking for someone who can take work off our hands so we do need someone who pretty much knows their stuff.
This isn't really a job advert or one of those mythical things that strange career obsessed people call 'an opportunity' For us a job is paid and this isn't, so it's probably best to see it as a collaboration that could hopefully be useful for your portfolio in order to get other paid work or just see it as something that you feel like collaborating with us on. We're basically just really cool, nice people. We're not corporate weirdos, it's more of a co-operative. The secret is probably to go to corporate weirdos to get paid and come to us to do something more enjoyable.
Oh, and this is kind of obvious to us, but if you're racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or any of that then we almost certainly won't get on.
What's in it for me? Do I get design credit?
Yeah if we're happy with your skills then we'd be happy for you to work on covers in collaboration with both Victoria and our writers. Of course you'd then get credit within the books themselves and online.
Generally though, we do have quite a particular aesthetic and Victoria is responsible for all of the book cover design and would have to have the final tick on any cover that went out because she's effectively the art-director for Dostoyevsky Wannabe (just don't call her that because we take a more casual approach to things). It would be your design credit though with Vikki in the background as art-direction.
So why would I want to work with Dostoyevsky Wannabe?
We're not going to do all that CV crap where we sell ourselves as the best thing in the world but suffice to say we're doing ok. We publish books from writers internationally and we've recently been nominated for the Republic of Consciousness Prize (see article in the Guardian here). We also have a few events potentially coming up this year in Manchester, Brooklyn, Madrid, London, Amsterdam and more, all of which may involve opportunities for designing/helping to design online flyers (again, you'd be credited properly).
Is it just book covers?
Mostly it's book covers but potentially also poster design/flyer design for online things from time to time. We're pretty much a co-operative so if you have any ideas of you own to run by us that we think fits with what we do then we'd listen.
Since the role is unpaid, how much time would it take up?
Due to the fact that Dostoyevsky Wannabe is zero-budget, we have to take quite a flexible approach both to what we (the founders) do and to how we work with writers. We don't go around bullshitting everyone and pretending to do things yesterday, we're realistic. This would be the same for how we'd work with designers. We're maybe looking for 1-3 people to work casually and collaboratively on this (but directed by Victoria) and we can be flexible up to a point but probably not to the point of vast procrastination or dealing with people who disappear for five weeks in an incommunicado fashion but still pretty flexible. For instance, if something came up for you and you couldn't do something that you'd said you could do but then couldn't, or just wanted to drop out from, then it'd be better just to let us know as much as possible in advance so that we could re-schedule. There's no point you treating it like a job or anything and making an excuses because it's unpaid and it isn't a job. Basically, honesty is the easiest way forward for everyone. That way we can keep things running smoothly without anyone feeling weird or bad about anything.
Essentially, what happens is that we try and stick as close as possible to release dates of books based on what we've said to writers.
Do I need to live in Manchester, UK?
No, the work is done remotely. Probably keeping in touch via Slack (or even email but preferably via Slack). We would quite like to work with people from the UK but we could work with someone from another country because...you know the internet. Sadly, we only speak English though so...
If you are in Manchester then great, we can get a coffee from time to time.
EDITING/LAYOUT DESIGN FAQ
What type of person are we looking for?
Basically, similar to the above but for book interior design and not book cover design. You would need to know how to set up and use paragraph Styles and character styles in Indesign, know how to use the pages panel and master pages and all that, basically to work with our existing Indesign templates (so you'd need to have access to Indesign). You'd need to know MS Word (or Open Office) and maybe Google Docs and have access to some or all and be able to format documents correctly for print. Essentially this is transforming the manuscripts sent to us by our writer's (usually compiled on a word processing programme) and formatting them ready for print.
The type of person who we are NOT looking for?
We're not really looking for literary editors, as such, but for people who can format and typeset. No proofreading is required (the writers do that). You'd get appropriate credit for interior design in the book and online.
HOW CAN I OFFER MY SERVICES FOR ANY OF THESE THINGS?
Please email email@example.com and say hello, tell us a bit about yourself (name, where you're from, where you currently live, etc) send some links/attachments to previous work (either portfolio work done for yourself or work out there in the real world), tell us what you can and can't do in Photoshop or Indesign (depending on which of the above you're interested in helping with). Let us know your Facebook or Twitter or whatever. The usual things.
You don't need to pretend it's a job interview or anything because it's not a job.