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What makes a business relationship successful

From tiny acorns, mighty oaks grow. Or, in this case, apple pips to orchards!

Throughout our 20 years in business, we have been fortunate to build up a team of freelancers whom we trust and can rely upon, who also share our attention to detail and exacting standards. Editorially, Jane Taylor (Coast Publishing Services) is our first port of call should we be needing editorial services and are fortunate to have built an extremely strong working relationship.


We asked Jane if she would kindly write a few words about her experience of working with Wild Apple Design. As always Jane delivered, here’s what she had to say…


When Rebecca mentioned to me recently that 2023 marks 20 years of Wild Apple Design being in business, it struck me that I was about to hit a similar milestone. I started my career in ELT publishing in November 2003 when I first joined the Latin America team at Macmillan in Oxford. It was the perfect combination for me: a whole new exciting professional world with all sorts of publishing opportunities on offer, plus close links to Latin America, which related to my love for travel and time spent in that region a few years previously.


My 10+ years at Macmillan brought me lots of professional success and experience, and I held a number of positions in editorial and operational project management throughout that time. I also travelled to Mexico quite frequently and worked closely with colleagues there, which added immensely to my experience and knowledge of the market. A constant throughout that period was Wild Apple Design since they worked on multiple projects for us. They were a highly-respected supplier and always delivered work of the utmost quality. From developing design concepts and covers to delivering proof stages and illustrations across multiple levels and components to tight deadlines on our complex projects, they were always extremely professional and a pleasure to work with. I also recall how the team would get very excited about in-house meetings with someone from WAD, since they would invariably bring some Dorset apple cake with them from Dorset to Oxford, and often sent other goodies too.


When I left Macmillan in 2014, became a freelance ELT Project Manager and moved to Dorset myself, Wild Apple Design were among the first colleagues I contacted to see if there was any way we could work together. Aside from the great experience I’d had with them in-house, there aren’t many ELT freelancers in this part of the world, so it was good to know we might be able to physically meet up for work-related matters – or just a social catch-up – from time to time.


And so began a new partnership… Since then, we have worked on a number of projects together, offering a range of services to publishers from the manuscript stage through to the delivery of final files. I run the schedules and editorial side of things, whilst Rebecca and Sam develop the proofs and manage artwork commissioning and photo research. We all liaise closely with the client so that everyone is aware of priorities, etc. and we can deal with issues quickly. The material we’ve worked on to date has been aimed at a range of markets and we have adapted as needed in line with their individual requirements.


Given that between us, we have around 60 years of experience in ELT publishing, we are confident we know what we are doing! The repeat business we’ve received reflects that. And since we are a small but effective team, we’re able to be flexible in terms of workflow/process/scale and like to develop close working relationships with the individual team members at the client’s end, be they internal or freelance.


Congratulations to Rebecca and Sam on 20 years of Wild Apple Design! It’s no small feat, particularly in current times where ELT publishing is undergoing huge changes, budgets are becoming tighter, schedules shorter, and ELT publishing services are seeing an ever-growing number of big packagers successfully joining the market. We recognise that we can’t always compete with them in terms of scale for some of the larger projects out there but, 20 years on, we have confidence in being able to continue offering a reliable, quality service – based on the benefit of our extensive experience – for many more years to come yet.


Jane Taylor, Coast Publishing Services


Thank you Jane for these kind words and we just want to reiterate, that as a team, we feel Wild Apple Design & Coast Publishing Services make a formidable combination, if you have a project, you feel could benefit from our experience and expertise, then please do get in touch.

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