The Guardian University Guide is probably the most labour-intensive book we’ve produced to date. But, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Ain’t that how it goes?
This year we were in charge of the text while Two Associates designed the cover. Our task involved updating all of the core details – like university application submission dates, fees and statistics; coordinating the updates of over a hundred university profiles (which means dealing with each and every press office and tracking and recording their responses); updating the tables and statistics; sourcing hundreds of student and teacher quotations to accompany the text; marking up the manuscript; typesetting (thanks Nicky and Dennis) and doing a final proofread. All of this was done in parallel with the team at Guardian Online (Alice Woolley and Katie Shimmon especially) who produce the online version, and with Matt Hiely-Rayner who provides the statistical information.
To add one further challenge, all this has to be done in a small window to ensure the book is up-to-date when it’s published and this year the general election was held right in the middle of that window. I think we can probably withstand any level of editorial complexity after the experience.