Designed by Apple in California

November 18th, 2016 by Sharna | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Designed by Apple in California
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designed-by-apple-in-california-1Apple Inc. is pretty much known by everyone at this point in time, but if you don’t know, Apple is a technology company founded in Cupertino, California, in 1976 (that’s right, Apple is 40 years old!). They supply all sorts of tech products: iMac, iPhone, iPad, iPod, basically iEverything. But this post is not a tech post, it’s a publishing post, because Apple have released a coffee-table book entitled Designed by Apple in California. Perhaps not the catchiest title, but it does tell you mostly what you need to know; it’s a book featuring 450 images, depicting Apple products over the last 20 years.

Designed by Apple in California is available in two sizes: small and large. Both are pretty highly priced; the small one will cost you $199 (£160.04) and the large version will set you back $299 (£240.46). To me, that seems a little obnoxious on Apple’s part; they’re going to charge you $300 to show off how nice their stuff looks. But enough about my personal opinions of Apple’s pricing strategy, let’s have a look at what that money will get you.designed-by-apple-in-california-2

The book is published by Apple themselves. Apparently, it’s been in development for 8 years. It’s printed on specially milled, custom-dyed paper with gilded matte silver edges, using 8 CMYK colour separations, and low-ghost ink. This type of ink is less likely to transfer or show through on the other side (hence ghost) and it also yellows less than regular ink. Probably a good call, considering the whole book is colour photographs – you do not want that seeping through onto the other side. Both volumes of Designed by Apple in California are white, linen-bound hardcovers, which mimics the sleek effects of Apple’s tech products.

Credit where credit’s due, it does look like a beautiful design book. You can’t fault the quality of the product and the effort that has gone in to the design and production of Designed by Apple in California, but my issue with it in general is simply: why? You can quite easily imagine it gracing a fancy, modern house or perhaps the Apple offices, but I just don’t really see it appealing to anyone else. It has also been noted by some that the book is really just Jony Ive (Apple’s chief designer) giving himself a bit of a pat on the back for his lovely design work.

All in all, it is a beautiful looking piece of work, but in my opinion, it seems unjustified and somewhat self-indulgent. But, being that Apple products are adored by so many, I’m more than certain that the limited supply it will sell itself, and that Apple will probably think about making another one, some 20 years in the future.



Photos from Apple.

By Sharna Vincent

Publishing Ireland Trade Day 2016

November 17th, 2016 by claire_furey | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing Ireland Trade Day 2016

The fourth annual Publishing Ireland Trade Day took place on 11th November, the weekend of the Dublin Book Festival. The theme this year was #ReachingReaders. Irish publishers are small. Output varies from 1 or 2 titles per year to 20, and turnover is generally less than a quarter of a million per year. With this in mind, Publishing Ireland encourages the publishers to come together and support each other.

Bookshop at the Trade Day

Trade Day bookshop

First up was Kathy Foley, Content Marketing Manager at Twitter. Kathy highlighted the importance of Twitter for small companies:

  1. Your readers want to engage with you. 68% of people surveyed had already purchased a product due to seeing it on Twitter. Recommendations on Twitter come from people you admire and trust. It’s important to get experts/influencers to tweet about your books.
  2. The tools you need are already available to you: profile, cover photo, keywords in description, pinned tweet, and analytics. Have an overall strategy, and plan tweets.
  3. Hit the right balance. For every tweet pushing a sale, have 4 with general chat and interaction.

Next was a panel led by Peter O’Connell, a book publicist, on the ways of getting your books noticed by traditional media.

Barbara Feeney, a researcher for The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk FM, discussed how she chooses books to review for the show:

  • Catalogues (time-consuming)
  • Receiving pitches, books by post, press releases, reviews. Ensure email is targeted specifically to Barbara/the show.
  • The timeline is important. Authors are often booked for the show up to 3 months in advance.

They look for

  • an engaging author, who is a good communicator
  • a book that is relevant to their audience in some way
  • interesting, obscure, peculiar subjects.

They won’t interview someone that has just recently been on another show. If the author is considered an expert on a particular topic, they may be invited back to contribute to other discussions on said topic, which is further publicity for the book.

Read more »

Vintage Books Reveal Newly Designed Russian Classics

November 17th, 2016 by therese_campbell | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Vintage Books Reveal Newly Designed Russian Classics
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With autumn slowly passing and the winter months soon upon us, curling up with an old classic, by the warmth of a roaring fire – or only-slightly-working radiator if you’re a student – is the perfect way to end a cold and dreary evening.

The Vintage Russian Collection
With these winter evenings in mind, Vintage Books have recently revealed on Facebook and Twitter, a series of newly designed Russian classics. To mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the series will be released in January, 2017, and will include six texts by authors such as Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Mikhail Bulgakov. Readers will be given the chance to delve into post and pre-revolutionary Russia once more with these exquisitely designed books.

In an interview with Waterstones, Suzanne Dean, Creative Director at Vintage, discussed her inspiration for the books unique covers. She explained that while republishing classical texts was tricky – there are so many editions already available – her aim was to create a series that readers would ‘cherish, collect and keep.’ She wanted to give each novel a contemporary twist whilst also conveying the era in which they were written. A mesh of different patterns can be found on each cover, with some being taken from and inspired by traditional Russian dress. The different tones of red used on each book give them all an individuality while simultaneously bringing a unity to the collection.

The intention to ‘evoke the essence of each novel’ in their design certainly comes through and each carefully considered colour and pattern breathes new life into these timeless classics. Any true book-lover would be proud to have this beautifully designed series as part of their collection.

Waterstones is currently the only bookshop to stock the series and all six books can be pre-ordered before their general release in January.

by Therese Campbell

Visit to Booksource

November 16th, 2016 by helene_fosse | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visit to Booksource
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It was one of the first truly cold mornings of the year – the soul destroying, mind numbing kind of cold that makes you want to slip into a coma just to get away from it. The whole Publishing cohort was standing outside Pathfoot waiting for the bus to show up, all in a severe state of zombie due to lack of sleep. We all had three assignments to finish with two days left until the last deadline. The mood was a bit depressing. It was dark. It wasn’t great.

When the bus showed up, my rarely awakened competitive instinct roared into life as if this was the most important task I ever had to do – get on that bus FIRST. Why? Who can tell. I don’t mess around with warmth and comfort. They’re very precious to me.

Anyway, five minutes later I woke up and we were at Booksource, situated in a small retail park-looking area in Cambuslang, Glasgow. Stepping out of that bus was heartbreaking, but we did, and dragged our feet into the reception where we were warmly welcomed by Jim O’Donnell, operations director, and Louise Morris, customer service director.

As a booksource-2distribution hub for more than 85 publishers, Booksource operate out of their 42,000 sq ft warehouse, which holds around 4 million units across 10,000 titles. Breaking up into two groups, we set out on the Booksource Adventure. As part of group A, I entered the warehouse where we were told it could get OUTRAGEOUSLY cold in winter. -25 degrees Celsius or something ridiculous like that. My brain could not compute. It wasn’t too bad at the moment however (though I was glad I wore thermals that day), so I quite happily followed my group as we delved into the massive room.

It was literally stacked from floor to (dizzyingly high) ceiling with books. We beheld the wet dream of every book-lover with continuous squeals of excitement and did not hold back when Jim said we could even touch the books (and that if anything went wrong, hbooksource-1e would blame it on the employees. I liked Jim a lot). We walked between the high shelves much like the Israelites crossing the Red Sea guided by Moses (Jim).

The bottom two shelves (about hip and eye-hight) were stacked with a wide variety of books. From there on up, there were mostly cardboard boxes on pallets. This was to accommodate picking, and every night the bottom two shelves would be restocked from the boxes so that there were always loose books to hand. There was no easily discernible system (for an outsider to see at least) as to where books were placed. Different titles from the same publishing house were scattered all around; fiction, non-fiction and academic books were happily mixed together; there was no alphabetical (or other) system. Jim explained that one reason for this was that some books, such as Cicerone Press’ travel books, could not be placed together due to the similarity of their covers.

As we came to the end of the warehouse tour, we knew we had to go upstairs and go to a short lecture on Booksource. We were all a little bit disappointed as we really just wanted to stay in the warehouse forever, burrowing into the shelves, making book forts and never ever leave. Ever.

Oh, and apparently CDs are still a thing. Mostly folk music, according to Jim. There were numerous shelves filled with CDs, which we approached with caution, not sure what those pre-historic round discs with the holes in them were.

As we climbed the stairs and entered the conference room however, it was decked out with tea, coffee and biscuits. Our spirits were thoroughly lifted, and although we did not quite forget about the warehouse, we were (I was at least) certainly content being in the warmth with handfuls of biscuits (and perhaps a few in the pocket for the drive to Bell and Bain) and hot beverages.

After settling down, Louise told us about the history and services of Booksource. Not only do they hold and distribute books, they also re-price, re-barcode-sticker (I’m making it a word) and jacket. They also provide POD (Print on Demand) and financial services. They have a website, InfoSource, which works as a reporting tool for publishers can use to keep track of everything from sales to stock to order processing. It is also possible to buy books directly from Booksource at They stock books, ebooks, CDs and DVDs. What do they not do?

All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and we exited the building in high spirits. And back on the bus we went…

Leonard Cohen-legendary poet-singer, dies age 82

November 15th, 2016 by siqi_cai | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Leonard Cohen-legendary poet-singer, dies age 82



“I am ready to die.” -A great poet said.

On 11 November 2016, we lost another almighty star of fiction, poetry, music, and acting. Leonard Cohen died at age 82. Compared with the other day the cheering news that Bob Dylan got the Nobel Prize in literature, it is, indeed, a depressing tale today. Some fans who were enchanted by Cohen’s husky voice and infectious lyrics even said: “Cohen should have been given the recent Nobel – not Dylan.” As an editor who may deal with text in the near future, I am here to say that Dylan’s musicianship is of the higher standard than Cohen, but in the aspect of the literature and art, Cohen is better than Dylan. It is the statement of only my opinion and I know some big fans of Dylan must be angered by this statement, the judges of the Nobel Prize in literature are no exception, but I will still say so. When I first listened to his songs, I was not only touched by his melodies but also shocked by his lyrics. It is no exaggeration to say that he is a troubadour who can sing to the depth of people’s souls. When he croons romantic songs and ballads while playing the guitar, there is just no way that we can deal with any more musical tenderness.

Leonard Cohen majored in English Literature and published eight poems and two novels. He won the highest honor in the Governor General’s Literary Awards for his poems, and the novel Beautiful Loser was known as the 60’s masterpiece.

“As far as I’m concerned, Leonard, you’re Number 1. I’m Number Zero.” Dylan once said to Cohen.

No matter who is better in literature and music between Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, they are great people in this day and age, they are worthy of respect.

In the last part of the article I want to attach a lyric from one of my favourite songs, please image the picture of a melancholy poem standing in front of the microphone, singing a love song Suzanne with his husky voice to people who are lost a loss:

“Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river,

You can hear the boats go by you can spend the night beside her,

And you know that she’s half crazy but that’s why you wanna be there,

And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China,

And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her,

Then she gets you on her wavelength and she lets the river answer,

That you’ve always been her lover.


And you want to travel with her,

And you want to travel blind,

And you know that she will trust you,

For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.


And Jesus was a sailor when He walked upon the water,

And He spent a long time watching from His lonely wooden tower,

And when He knew for certain only drowning men could see him,

He said “all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them,”

But He Himself was broken, long before the sky would open

Forsaken, almost human, He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone.”

Sharna Vincent, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-2017

November 15th, 2016 by Sharna | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Sharna Vincent, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-2017
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20161107_2128571At the tender age of 18, I thought (like most 18 year olds) that I knew what was best. Finishing up my A levels in Kent, I was adamant that I didn’t want to go to university and I was going to “find work” and “just live my life” and other relevant, angsty phrases you might hear from an 18-year-old. I worked as an office assistant during my gap year, and all I could think to myself was: I would much rather be doing something I’m passionate about. As much as I am grateful for that experience, I knew it wasn’t my calling.

From there, I went on to study my BA in English Language and Linguistics at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. I’ve always been known to be a bit of stickler for grammar and spelling. My first year housemates affectionately referred to me as the ‘grammar police’, but for three straight years, as soon as deadline time came about, I was the most sought after person.

Copyediting comes easy to me. I find mistakes everywhere; I find it’s either something you just see, or it’s not. I’ve been doing ad hoc editing work for one company for about 5 years now and I’ve also completed a work placement scheme with Sweet and Maxwell; both experiences have shown me that this is what I’m really good at. This may even be my ‘calling’ (although people say that a lot and I’m not even sure it has any real merit as a saying).

So anyway, here I am now, at the University of Stirling, 4 years older than when I left school (and not an awful lot wiser) studying for a masters in Publishing in order to become a more rounded and knowledgeable member of the industry. I look forward to the rest of the course and to establishing myself as a copyeditor in the future.

If you’re interested, take a quick look at my LinkedIn profile or have a glance at my Twitter and get in touch!

Puyu Cheng, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 15th, 2016 by Puyu Cheng | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Puyu Cheng, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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Hi, I’m Puyu. I come from Beijing, the capital of China. From a young age, I wished to have the opportunity to study aboard. Now I am studying in Stirling, which is the best experience in my life.

When I was an undergraduate student, my major was editing and publishing. To be honest, this major was chosen by my parents, and they think the subject is very suitable for me. So I was just following my parents’ wishes. However, after studying some courses, I think this subject is really interesting. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, so learning how to produce a book is always attractive to me.

As I was saying, studying abroad is one of my dreams. So when I graduated from college, I was wondering if I could go abroad for a master’s degree program. My parents have always told me that they will support any decision I make concerning my future. Therefore, thanks to my parents, I had the opportunity to come here to study.

The reason why I chose to study here is that there is a cooperative project between my university in China and the University of Stirling. So I believe it’s a wonderful chance that I can study publishing in depth. I am very glad that I chose the University of Stirling, which is known for future career prospects for the graduates and there is the most beautiful campus that I have ever seen. Also learning here is a challenge for me, due to the fact that English is not my first language and the teaching methods in UK are quite different from China. But I’m excited to face these challenges. It is good for me to learn some new approaches.

When I graduate, I aspire to work for a fashion magazine in china. Actually, in last summer, I worked as an intern in Marie Claire magazine, which is one of the most famous fashion magazines in China. And that experience was really interesting. So I want to be a fashion editor in the future. I hope my experience in Stirling can help me to pursue my career goals.

Find me on Instagram and LinkedIn.

A Book With Only One Sentence Won the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize

November 14th, 2016 by Yun HAO | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on A Book With Only One Sentence Won the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize
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%e5%b1%8f%e5%b9%95%e5%bf%ab%e7%85%a7-2016-11-11-12-54-35Irish novelist Mike McCormack won the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize with£10,000 prize money for his book Solar Bones on 9th November 2016. The book’s narrative focuses a “man’s experience when his world threatens to fall apart” and how his memories came to live and flowed to him on Irish traditional festival, All Souls Day. The book’s writing style is its most distinct feature. There are no chapters, full stops, or speech marks, instead simply telling an ordinary story in one unbroken sentence “in the most extraordinary words.” The book has a quality of attention that caused Blake Morrison, the chair of the judges, to proclaim the novel “a masterpiece” and sta%e5%b1%8f%e5%b9%95%e5%bf%ab%e7%85%a7-2016-11-11-12-54-13nd out of the shortlist of six remarkable books for the prize this year.

The Goldsmiths Prize was launched in 2013, in association with the New Statesman, aiming “to reward fiction that breaks the mould or opens up new possibilities for the novel form.” The prize is significant because it greatly encouraged the development of creative literature. For readers, the award saves time and money for them to directly get access to the most outstanding works from abundant unknown experimental novels, as well as reduces risks of picking up a bad one. It also helps readers better understand and realize the value of the books. For experimental novels writer, their subjective initiatives are significantly activated by the prize, since they know the value of their works has increased chances to be spot and admired.

The prize also has important meanings and impacts on publishers. After all, the bridge between authors and readers can hardly be established without them. Large publishers, however, tend to be conservative and reluctant to publish creative literature, based on the considerations of unknown market, whereas small and independent publishers have long been the engines of creative literature. The confusing fact that none of the winners in the past four years come from England may indicate the point because small publishers in Scotland and Ireland are more willing to support the new form novels compared to those London-based large publishers. Solar Bones, for example, is published by Tramp, one of Ireland’s small independent publishing houses in Ireland. The author and winner, McCormack, called on more publishers to take the risk with experimental authors: “It’s about time the prize-giving community honored experimental works and time that mainstream publishers started honoring their readership by saying: ‘Here are experimental books’.” The words reflect experimental novel writers’ difficult situations when contacting large publishers. A more obvious example is the winner in 2013, Eimear McBride, the author of A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing. She also struggled to find a publisher. It had taken her nine years before the book appeared from the tiny, independent Galley Beggar Press.

The Goldsmiths Prize may reduce the anxieties and pressures of large publishers and new-form novel writers since the prize has proved that experimental writing can find a large and appreciative readership in its fourth year. Regarding customer comments on Amazon, you will find that most readers spoke highly of the new form novels. Experimental novels are of significant value because it extends literature to art, focusing the feelings and thoughts that words and formats convey in novel ways. With the prize’s recognition, an increasing number of readers will come to know and understand its value; large publishers will be more willing to publish experimental novels with a clearer market, and innovative culture industry will be further facilitated.


The Irish Times, New Statesman, The Guardian

 by Yun HAO

Mette Vebert Olesen – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 14th, 2016 by mette_olesen | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Mette Vebert Olesen – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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For as long as I can remember, I have loved books and all that they represent. For me, books gave me an opportunity to travel to foreign and far away lands, and they made me fly through time and space with my new 72363_10208104222105422_6287528146829705713_nbest friends. I remember being thrilled every time I could convince my parents to take me to a bookstore, where I would spend all of my hard-earned allowance. But it was all worth it. When I moved here, I had promised myself not to buy too many books, but that resolution has already been shot to bits. Bookshops are just so much better here, and I have to research the newest publications. At least that is what I tell myself.

I did my bachelor’s degree in English and Organisational Management at Aalborg University in Denmark, and I learned a tremendous amount there. Though I have always loved literature, my courses in project management and corporate theories gave me a broader insight into the corporate side of the industry, which has produced so many of my most beloved belongings. And that is really what got me thinking about doing a degree in publishing. After some research, I found the perfect fit in the Stirling program and was thankfully accepted.

I have worked as a volunteer and coordinator for the Danish Refugee Council and there I learned how to plan and organize an event and how to raise awareness for it. These are skills that I hope to make use of in my future career.

I hope to have a future career in either marketing, the editorial field or as a literary agent. Truth be told, I began this course thinking that it was editorial or nothing, but just a few months in, I have already opened up to so many other ideas. Ideally, I would love to remain in the UK after finishing my degree, but I’m exploring other options as well, thanks to Brexit.

Yun HAO, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 14th, 2016 by Yun HAO | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Yun HAO, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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I was born in a small city beside the East China Sea, grew up in Beijing, went to university in Hong Kong, and finally came to Stirling in the UK. This is me, Yun HAO, a Chinese girl with a mixed culture background, having a broad range of interests and always being curious about the world. I love literature, art, anime, and stargazing. I am very interested in politics, history, philosophy, nature and business. I just love to explore and experience new worlds. This strong curiosity about the world and my abundant hobbies may be the start of my interest in publishing industry. Too many interesting things are waiting for us to explore, and that’s precisely the reason why we need books.

My undergraduate major was Government and International Politics. Thanks to the subject, I’ve accumulated some knowledge of social science, which may be a good foundation for me to work with publishers in the field. The subject, however, also made me realize that it is no use for me to think and talk about empty ideas only. To better realize the value of my life, I shall be devoted to a more practical cause for the sake of people’s happiness. The publishing industry fits me best, I believe, since I am patient, careful, passionate, and have a sound knowledge of social science and can write essays in Chinese well. What’s more, I am a person who believes in the value of culture.

I’m very happy to study at the University of Stirling and regard it as the first step to the publishing industry. I  treasure this precious opportunity and am determined to learn as much as I can, so as to reinvigorate publishing industry in China as a qualified editor with the knowledge and experiences of the West’s publishing industry. China’s publishing industry is facing significant challenges from the new technology and new business models, but I believe that the challenge can be both threats and opportunities. My life will be meaningful if I am a part of the effort to successfully transfer the challenge into opportunities, even if a tiny part.