Jingyun Wu, MSc in International Publishing Management 2012-13

January 20th, 2013 by Jingyun Wu | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Jingyun Wu, MSc in International Publishing Management 2012-13

With an excellent academic record, I was admitted into Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, majoring in Printing Engineering. Its high teaching quality and rich research atmosphere has created many opportunities for my personal growth and academic studies in 2008. By learning compulsory modules, such as Introduction to Printing, Image Processing and Plate-Making Technology, Introduction to Printing Device, Principle of Printing, Post-press Technology, TV Directing and Editing, Fine Arts, Photography and Original Preparation, etc, I have established a solid academic foundation. With my painstaking efforts, I ranked the top 2 in my class. As a good return for my outstanding performance, I was honorable awarded the Three Goods Student, the Third-class Scholarship, the Second-class Scholarship, the First-class Scholarship respectively. And I also obtained the ISO9000 Quality Management System Internal Auditor Qualification Certificate. Meanwhile thanks to my teachers, they not only taught my professional knowledge, but also cultivated my independent thinking and problem solving ability.

The education I received in our university benefited me a lot. I developed adequate proficiency in theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The study of English language has developed proficiency in listening, speaking, writing, reading and translation which will allow me to actively participate in further higher education in the U.K. In my spare time, I also read lots of books including Publishing Regulations, Toward Media, British and American Media Collection, Fundamentals of Communication, Journalism and Communication and so on. Additionally, I also served as Secretary of the Youth League Branch Committee in my class, and I have done lots of work for my classmates.

In order to put theoretical knowledge into practice and accumulated related working experience to enrich myself, in summer 2011, it was my great honor to have the opportunity to do an internship in Jiangxi Academic Publishing House for about two months. As intern editor, I was in charge of editing and proofreading. During this period, I have a certain understanding of publishing industry. Directed by experienced colleagues, I gained not only extra-curriculum theoretical knowledge but also some valuable hands-on experience. Meanwhile I widened my professional prospective, mastered interpersonal skills and well developed teamwork spirit.

Then I applied for the University of Stirling and have became a postgraduate student in International Publishing Mangement. I have the opportunity to widen and deepen my understanding and recognition in this domain, I appreciate it very much. I find that this program has a reputation for academic excellence. The course arrangement and teaching mode of my school attracts me deeply. After graduation from this university, I hope to come back and work as editor, and do preparation for my long term aim to have my own publishing house in the future.

Aija Oksman, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-14

January 19th, 2013 by Aija | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Aija Oksman, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-14
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As I completed my Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, I was left with a conundrum of what to do next. Having been a expatriate since twelve years, I planned to keep at it, and hence I arrived in Edinburgh. I set up my humble home in Edinburgh city and began my studies at Stirling. I had lived in Ireland before, and had truly enjoyed the general jovial atmosphere I experienced there – and after some queries, I was informed Scotland is much, much better – and in all aspects nonetheless. Shocking, eh?

As I have a strong passion for literature and theatre, and anything to do with the written and spoken word in any form – be it poetry, songs, fiction, ghost writing or anything else – and having learned foreign langauges since I was very young, I have always appreciated the fine nuances of languages that make them unique. My goal is one day to be able to work with minority and translation literatures as I believe that is where my strength lies. But on the road there, I wish to expand my abilities and knowledge as much and have it as varied as humanly possible. And enjoy my life whilst doing it.

Miriam Denise Knafla, MLitt Publishing Studies 2012-2013

January 18th, 2013 by Miriam Knafla | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Miriam Denise Knafla, MLitt Publishing Studies 2012-2013


What I love about Scotland is the fact that people give thanks to bus drivers when they get off the bus; you have a destination, you get there safe, so you appreciate the drivers work. The best appreciation I could imagine to receive as a – hopefully soon-to-be – employee in the publishing industry, would be the knowledge that I helped making somebody’s day with a great book.

My undergrad studies in English literature and language – which I did back at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg ,Germany – were pretty much based on theoretical knowledge, I would be lost in the working world after my Bachelor’s degree to be honest. A few weeks into the Publishing Studies programme at the University of Stirling and I already feel much more confident and eager to get out there – to put in my two pennies worth. My focal point in publishing right at this moment would be children’s and young adult’s literature; after I graduated from school, I volunteered to do a social year at an integrated kindergarten in Bremen where I was in charge to help a deaf three-year-old boy through his day. Seeing him and the other children interact, him teaching all of us his language and ways to communicate with him, simply amazed me. Children are great people. And what I wish for is to contribute in the process of them becoming great adults.

You might ask yourself now, why not work at a kindergarten then, why do I choose to work in publishing? To be honest, I don’t really have an answer to that question. It is a gut feeling. Ever since 11th grade I knew that I wanted to work in the media. It’s got to be a virus of my generation; “What do you want to do as your professional career after school?” – “Well, I don’t know, probably something with media.” Well, yes, I’m one of those guys. So, I was never really sure whether all this was just some mainstream interest I shared, until I did an internship at the Schardt publishing company last year for four months. Ever since, I know that it is not mainstream, it is my stream I am following. And luckily it brought me here, to Stirling.

Add me on LinkedIn. Follow me on Twitter.

“It is still about the Physical Book” – Meeting Scott Coning

January 16th, 2013 by Miriam Knafla | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on “It is still about the Physical Book” – Meeting Scott Coning
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As the semester 1 came to an end, Scott Coning, Managing Director of Better World Books, visited us on the 29th of November as the last speaker of the year to talk about the disrupted book market, the importance of discoverability and the positive prospect that the physical book is not going to die.

“If I leave you with more questions than answers, I’ll have done my job.”

Because that is exactly the state the publishing industry is in right now. Market disruption challenges everyone and nobody knows where we are going. The merger of Penguin Random House shows plainly that even the big players feel challenged and look for ways to survive. Scott proposes that publishers need to reorganise and get flexible; they have to reassure authors that they are worth while, put a lot of effort into meta-data management and guarantee the broadest possible reach for their products. At that, what has to be acknowledged is that every market is different, not just language-wise.

He also advises publishers to combine strengths with their competitors; share content and platforms in order to reach more customers. Furthermore, publishers should try to print as close to the customer as possible and reduce the many handlings of a book in its manufacturing process to the end-customer. Of course, due to such cost-saving measures warehouses have to cut down as not as many books go through. Bookstores, as well, need to reassess what consumers want, at what time and to what price. What is a book worth nowadays? Should content be free?

What he criticises about the online-buying trend is the loss of discoverability. How should customers discover books “when all they have is a search box?” Bookshops are all about the atmosphere, people usually go there in the hope to find a good read. The publishing dilemma is that with fewer bookstores there are fewer show rooms, less face to face enthusiasm and, hence, fewer channels to bring books to the consumer.

The blatant reality is that 72 bookshops closed last year; a trend that is about to deprive entire communities of one of their major and crucial ways to access books.

Scott suggested the idea that e-books are a welcome device to promote more reading. “It is still about the physical book,” though. The challenging question, however, is how to get it to the customer? It is the opportunity for bright minds and innovative thought to give the disrupted industry a new structure.

-Miriam Knafla

“Better World Books collects and sells books online, matching purchases with donations book for book, and contributing a portion of all revenues to literacy initiatives. It recently surpassed $10 million (£6 million) raised for literacy … [Scott] Coning [came] to Better World Books from leading UK book retailer Waterstone’s, where he worked for over 12 years overseeing operations as wide-ranging as customer service, branch management, and business strategy.” (source: Better World Books)

Talis S. Archdeacon, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

January 16th, 2013 by tsarchdeacon | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Talis S. Archdeacon, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-2013
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Most people reading these student profiles already know what a dynamic and fascinating industry publishing is, with never-before-imagined possibilities and innovative new technologies at every turn. There’s no need to tell you how a profound love of stories in all forms – fiction and non-fiction, long and short, in books and magazines – irresistibly draws us all into the world of publishing.

I started my career as a journalist about six years ago in Riga, Latvia. I moved up quickly and within a few years found myself editor-in-chief of the largest English-language newspaper in the Baltic States. After that I ran a local second-hand bookshop and attempted to launch a new publication – an entertainment listing service in three languages. Though that idea soon failed (I didn’t really know at that point how to deal with the many challenges of a start-up publication), my interest in publishing had been piqued and I was eager to get myself into the industry proper.

But how? I tried applying for a few jobs in a few different countries, but my disparate and tangential experience made it difficult. My academic degrees were unrelated to the field. I needed something to tie it all together.

The publishing programme at Stirling is the ideal way to do just that. I joined the master’s degree programme to help transfer my related skills in journalism and bookselling to publishing and to learn about the rapidly evolving market.

This is one of the most exciting times in history to be in publishing. We, the publishing students of today, are at the very forefront of these changing times and are nearly ready to take our places as the industry leaders of tomorrow.

Claudia Rhodes, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

January 15th, 2013 by Claudia Rhodes | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Claudia Rhodes, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

When I started studying cultural studies 4 years ago I didn’t even know that programs like Publishing Studies existed. I applied for a brand new program at the small University of Koblenz-Landau. Everything was still a bit chaotic and the organisation was not that great, but it still got me hyped for life as a student and got me interested in media studies.

After my undergrad I knew I wanted to do something new and different, so looked for similar programs for my Postgraduate. I found a book studies course (Buchwissenschaft) at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg in Bavaria and knew immediately, that that was a perfect way to connect my interest in media studies and my fascination and love for books. After I spent 3 years learning about the cultural importance of books, written knowledge and literature I had no problems explaining why I thought cultural studies and studies about books were connected. Apparently I managed to convince not only the staff in Erlangen but also the people who paid my grant.

Right from the start in Autumn 2011 I also knew that I would like to take this last opportunity for an exchange year and started planning it right away. The postgraduate was designed to last for two years and I didn’t want to waste any time, so I studied two semesters at once and simultaneously planned to go to a University somewhere in the UK. Scotland was my first choice because I had never been before and there were only a few Universities to check for fitting programs. I ended up finding Stirling pretty quickly and got in contact with the department of Publishing Studies. The program managed to convince me pretty quickly and I decided to apply.

“If it comes down to it, then eat the baby food” – Society of Young Publisher’s Internship Panel

January 14th, 2013 by Aija | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on “If it comes down to it, then eat the baby food” – Society of Young Publisher’s Internship Panel
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At the annual intern event of the Society of Young Publishers  junior staff members from various Scottish publishing houses gave, in a rare opportunity for us fledgling publishing students, insight and information on how to get one’s foot in in the publishing business. Sobering realities were spoken, albeit in warm tones.

The panel of eight, chaired by Dr. Padmini Ray Murray of Stirling University’s publishing studies, shared their labour intensive attempts of cracking into publishing – starting from advice on how to write a thorough research dissertation that can be used to one’s benefit when applying for a job, to some of the bittersweet intern experiences (such as having to promote a baby food cook book and actually having demonstrate the excellence of the cook book by eating some of the gourmet choices, and thus securing a rave recommendation) and with the comforting notion that a lot of luck is in question, and it might take months (or as in one case) about a year before a young publisher would land on their first job within an actual publishing house.

The key is to do as many internships as possible, to be social, hardworking and foremost, to be proactive. Nothing will be gained from sitting on one’s bum, waiting for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to just drop in your lap in the form of a job advert or offered internship through the (hopefully) varied connections. The general consensus between the panel was to be bold enough to contact publishers and publishing houses, big and small, and tell them you are available to work for a week or two weeks and to emphasize on top your already existing skills the fact that you are out to learn. Naturally this should go with a thorough knowledge of the publisher’s goals and previous titles, just so you can dazzle them with a proper explanation as to why you think they would be the best to provide you with invaluable experience.

Interestingly enough, many in the panel mentioned how applying for smaller companies is in many ways a better opportunity, as big publishing houses have enough to deal with as it is and often do not need interns in the way smaller companies are able and willing to take a youngling in with open arms — especially if they are willing to work, FOR FREE.

Armed with new motivation and more hands-on information (it is always good to know others have struggled as well) on how to secure an internship and further on, a career in publishing the students filed out to the Edinburgh dusk, ready to try out their own publishing wings as soon as possible – secured with the conviction of actually being ready to eat that baby food, if it comes down to it.

Xiaomu Lin, MSc International Publishing Management 2012-2013

January 14th, 2013 by Xiaomu Lin | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Xiaomu Lin, MSc International Publishing Management 2012-2013


Chinese MonicaHi! I am Xiaomu Lin, and you may call me Monica. I am one of this year’s students on the MSc in International Publishing Management. Before I come to the UK, I have already worked for four years in a top Chinese publishing press, as a senior media manager in the marketing department. To be a excellent commercial publisher is my aim. I love everything about books and take a great interesting in publishing. In my spare time, I like reading, watching films and travelling, as a  backpacker.

If you want to communicate, please add me on Facebook : Xiaomu Lin.

AHRC Studentship Grant – Perspectives of a Current Holder

January 13th, 2013 by Joanne Marjoribanks | Posted in Blog | 1 Comment
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If you’re planning on studying in the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and COmmunication in 2013-14 and are a Home or EU student, you may be eligible for an AHRC studentship. Joanne Marjoribanks, a current studentship holder, writes about her award:

The award of the AHRC studentship grant has been of enormous benefit to me as I have progressed with the MLitt Publishing Studies course.

I have often thought of scholarships as being very competitive with complex and demanding application requirements, therefore I was initially reluctant to apply. However, after further consideration I decided to pursue it. Thankfully, the application process was not as complicated as I thought it would be, and both my course director Claire Squires and Sheilah Greig in the Graduate Office were very helpful. I was absolutely delighted when I found out that I had been selected to receive grant funding. Considering that I almost didn’t apply and that I wasn’t at all confident in my chances, I was even more grateful that I had been chosen. It just goes to show that you should try for things even if you don’t think you’ll be successful.

I was very pleasantly surprised at the level of funding which has been allocated to me. It has paid my tuition fees in full, which, without the grant I would have had to drain my personal savings account to pay for. Being able to retain my savings is obviously a great advantage for my future, especially in this economic climate. Payment of my tuition fees alone would have been a huge help; however, the addition of a quarterly stipend is proving to be an even greater benefit to my studies.

Throughout my academic career, I have found that I work best when I have peace and quiet in my own space. The grant money is enabling me to rent a very comfortable flat by myself in Bridge of Allan, which has provided me with a productive environment for my studies. Furthermore, the grant funding has meant that it is not necessary for me to have a part-time job to pay for my living costs. This has obviously been very beneficial, as I have more time to focus on my studies. The extra time also allows me to get involved in other activities related to publishing, such as attending events run by the Society of Young Publishers, which serve to enhance my experience of the publishing industry while at university.

The grant continues to be a great help to me in pursuing the completion of my degree, and I’m sure it will be a great asset to my CV as well. I would strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to apply for it. You never know, you might have a better chance than you think

Lina P. Langlee, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

January 13th, 2013 by Lina Langlee | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Lina P. Langlee, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

My interest in books was evoked during summer holidays when I was six or seven years old. This was the summer when I discovered the Nancy Drew series, and consequentially pestered my father to read several of the novels out aloud for me. I was stuck in the world of literature, and have been ever since.

I am originally from Sweden but decided to move to Scotland to further my studies. There is nothing that makes you want to stay in with your books more than the Scottish weather! I did my Undergraduate at the University of Glasgow, where I graduated with a First in ‘Business & Management/ Comparative Literature’.  This joint honours, despite being a bit of a mouthful, sums up my interests quite well. And, I figure, what better way to mix business and literature – business and pleasure if you will- than with entering the world of publishing?