http://www.lebenssalz.ch http://www.paulplaza.nl http://www.ostendsurfing.be http://www.qsneaker.nl http://www.wtcbentille.be http://www.thegooddeal.ch http://www.kantoorencreatief.nl

Visiting Speaker – Kathryn Ross

November 11th, 2016 by rachel_kay | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting Speaker – Kathryn Ross
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Last Thursday, our publishing class had the privilege of spending a few hours with literary agent Kathryn Ross. Alongside Lindsey Fraser, Kathryn runs Fraser Ross Associates Literary Agency and Consultancy (www.fraserross.co.uk), which the pair established in 2002.

logoKathryn didn’t take the traditional route to becoming a literary agent. She began as a secondary school English teacher, overseeing the school library, and eventually collaborating with the department head to set up a mobile bookstore in a van. When this venture did well, she left teaching and got a position running the children’s tent at the Edinburgh Book Festival, afterwards moving on to work at the Scottish Book Trust. Kathryn spent ten years here, where she met Lindsey and built up a long list of author and publishing contacts. Finally, with the encouragement of author Vivian French, the pair took the leap of setting up their own literary agency with Vivian as their first client.

Fourteen years down the line, she says her job is hard work, hugely rewarding (emotionally, although not always financially), and that she gets a lot of joy from seeing authors set off, and in helping them grow their careers. Fraser Ross Associates now represents about sixty-five writers and illustrators, most of whom work in children’s fiction (although some write across all age ranges and genres).

booksWriting for children is challenging. There’s a lot to accomplish in a short format, including fleshing out the characterisation, problems, and emotions that form a complete story. Children’s books must be equally appealing to parents- these are the buyers, and the ones who will be reading the book over and over. Children’s authors need to be good at summing up and pitching their content, and are now expected to do more marketing and publicity than ever before. An author’s success has increasingly come to depend on things like doing events and getting positive online reviews.

Agents are integral within this process, acting as sounding boards, cheerleaders, and business advisers to an author. This includes ideas development, networking, brand-building, and actively pursuing sub-rights. When taking clients on board, Kathryn and Lindsay look for long-term partnerships, where the content and the personalities both fit. Good communication is essential, as are trust, openness, and honesty, as everyone needs to be able to talk through ideas and problems.

Authors / illustrators and literary agents are often recommended to each other, one of the reasons that networking is vital. Kathryn and Lindsey also seek out new talent, such as by attending end-of-year college art shows. On top of this, they receive unsolicited manuscripts, about 200 per month. Many of these come via email, and Kathryn says she misses the physicality of receiving packages in the post- although she doesn’t miss the occasional extras, like glitter stars, crushed biscuits, melted toffees, etc. Kathryn has gotten some extremely creative submissions over the years, and was able to give us extensive, and often hilarious advice on what not to do, including why penguins and polar bear must never meet.

Each ‘day in the life’ of a literary agent is different, but typical tasks include:

  • Reminding publishers to pay invoices
  • Checking/negotiating contracts
  • Polishing submissions before they’re sent to editors – lots of editing!
  • Meeting with publishers, especially in London
  • Pushing for better royalties for her clients
  • Reading Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and The Bookseller
  • Attending launch parties
  • Negotiating permissions fees
  • Talking authors through outlines, edits, and cover design
  • Giving advice to cold callers
  • Informing authors of success / rejection
  • Discussing deadlines, delays, relationship problems, moving house, etc. with clients
  • Paying authors
  • Submitting manuscripts
  • Sending congratulations cards of all types
  • Reading unsolicited submissions
  • Attending book fairs, especially Bologna
  • Reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, … and emails.

Many thanks to Kathryn for sharing her time with us, and for bringing back the nostalgia of story time for us Masters students!

Yangrui Wu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 11th, 2016 by yangrui_wu | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Yangrui Wu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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Hi, my name is Yangrui, but you can call me Riri which is easy to read and remember. I come from Beijing, the capital of China. It is a fantastic opportunity for me to study in the University of Stirling, not only I can study publishing, but also can improve my English as well.img_7292

I graduated from the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication in July of this year, and then came to Stirling to start a new postgraduate study career. To be honest, starting a new life for me is not easy, for I never left home for such a long time, I have to adapt to a new environment hardly. And language is a big challenge  for me, because I am afraid to cause trouble for classmates, but I am trying my best to practice my English, but it’s really upset me sometimes, but I won’t give up. I hope through one year study, my English can promote.

I studied publishing and editing during my undergraduate time, so publishing is no stranger to me, but I have barely approached publishing marketing and business, so it is a totally new field to me. After I graduate from Stirling, I will engage in publication-related work, especially in publishing trade, for I am really interested in it, that is the reason why I come here for a further education. I love reading romance novels and music or fashion magazines, and I pay a lot attention to music and fashion, if I could work in a job related to this, I will be very lucky and happy.

In a sentence, I hope I can have a colorful year, learn a lot, and experience a different culture. In the future days, I can use the knowledge that I have learned in work and life.

Isabella Pioli, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-2017

November 11th, 2016 by isabella_pioli | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Isabella Pioli, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-2017
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I suppose I starfb_img_1476973281373ted to think about going into publishing in the stereotypical way most literature lovers do: I loved books, I loved to read, yada-yada; the quintessential cliché of all people going into publishing. And so, I thought editing because that was the only position I knew that was easily defined. I started to do some peer editing in high school, reading creative writing by friends, essays, and college entrance portfolios. I continued editing into college and, at that point, reading a novel or two every week for class, I lost my love for reading. Reading became a chore, and even when I found a book with a promising premise, I could not turn off that part of my brain that constantly critiqued and found fault. Almost finished with college, my prospective career was no longer an option; there was no way I would change something that brought me joy into a duty, an obligation. My senior year of college, I had yet to fulfil the studio art requirement of my art history major. My advisor recommended taking Book Production and it was there that I found publishing was still a prospective career, something that I could enjoy, something that would constantly challenge me and continuously inspire me: to do better, to think outside of the box, to not limit myself, to push me out of my comfort zone.

I have always had a creative thought process and many of my friends use me as a sounding-board for ideas and inspiration. In Book Production, I found my strengths come together. I learned how to typeset by hand, and that margins are the foundation of the page. I began my love affair with Baskerville, and discovered why sans-serif annoyed me. I found that getting messy and covered in ink was just as much fun as engine gunk and transmission lubricant. Most of all, I discovered that it combined the two things I love most: words and art. With renewed purpose, I left undergrad absolutely exhausted, but I knew that more was still to come.

I went into the world for a year, working at a structural engineering firm doing everything the President needed from me, while trying to maintain the CFO’s sanity. I learned how easy it can be to lose yourself in your job, how unhealthy that can be, and how necessary it is to balance work and life; I eventually left and went to work for myself. I knew people who had gone on to PhDs that needed help doing their literature reviews, and I started to work as a research assistant. I learned how to parse through information with a heightened form of discernment that I had never been able to apply to my own academia. It allowed me to see what was essential and what was unnecessary.

I am using this year to learn as much as I can, not just from class and the assigned reading, but from self-teaching. I created my own website to begin to get a feel for graphic design. I am participating in NaNoWriMo, so that I can understand some of the stress a writer goes through. I am challenging myself to do the unexpected. A good friend of mine said to me around New Year’s that I needed to live life outside of a plan that was scheduled to perfection; I needed an adventure. When I applied to graduate school, I heeded her advice and only applied to schools abroad. Stirling was my top choice, and it was the first school to which I was accepted. So, saying yes was an instantaneous reaction, and I have never been so happy to follow my gut as I was when I chose Stirling.

The President-Elect and the Publishing Industry

November 10th, 2016 by isabella_pioli | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on The President-Elect and the Publishing Industry
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When we started the semester discussing Publishing and threats to publishing, everyone was discussing Brexit. As an American, I recognized it as a threat, but I saw a threat on our horizon and so I too brought up a potential threat to Publishing… a Trump Presidency. crying-studentsEveryone chuckled, not really believing that it was a possibility. If we are being honest, if I’m being honest with myself, I saw the writing on the wall about five months ago when Trump became the Republican Presidential candidate. America is a pendulum when it comes to its’ presidents and these past four years have driven the Republican party farther to the right.

The day after the election, The Bookseller published as article titled “’Dismayed’ trade reacts to Donald Trump’s election” and I felt disgustingly vindicated. Trump’s presidency presents a threat to publishing just as it poses a problem to first amendment rights.People came up to me and gave me their condolences. We were all there at the funeral of America’s future, but this is not the first time we’ve felt that way about our country. Most felt the same fear upon George W. Bush’s election and re-election.This time the stakes are higher, this time people have more to lose. The LGBTQIA community has won so many victories in the past eight years and now we have elected a man whose vice president openly promotes conversion camps. Women have grown in their voices and intersectional feminism is steadily growing, but upon election night 53% of white women voted for Trump. Vice President Biden became a voice for a movement to bring an end to sexual assault and our President-elect has double digit accusations of sexual assault against him. This is truly a harrowing time in American history.

People are talking about a growth in anti-intellectualism with the election of Trump and all for which he stands. So, how can the publishing industry combat these new issues, well we can start by addressing the fact that these aren’t new issues at all, but a continuation of hate, ignorance, and fear. The lack of diversity is an issue that isn’t going away, because very few people are doing anything to stop it. By diversity, I don’t just mean the racial and economic disparities present in publishing, but the lack of diversity in topics. Heteronormativity in literature is an issue. Publishers are slowly coming out with more LGBTQ material, but most of it is produced by specialty publishers. Main publishers need to create more diverse content. We need main characters that are bisexual and state that they are bisexual. oscar-wilde-quoteWhat is bisexual? Authors need to write their characters with well-informed notions. The authors don’t need to be LGBTQ themselves but they need to know what they are talking about. People need to start understanding what feminism actually means, not just saying femi-nazi or assuming that its about women being better than men. We need to be explicit in our definitions and not leave anything up to interpretation. We need more characters that are people of color. We need POC’s to be described as human beings, not using food metaphors to describe the color of their skin. We need characters to understand and accept differences between cultures and have discussions about religion. We need literature (from YA to hyper-intellectualism) to be an inspiration and a source of accurate information. We need literature to build the bridges that real world conversations are failing at addressing. We need to be a strong global community that lifts each other up, that allows for a safe place fo minorities to escape into, and we need to never forget that fear and hate are founded in ignorance. Books disperse information and create worlds that give hope. We need hope in these next four years and the publishing industry needs to be at the heart of a movement to dispel misinformation, bigotry, and xenophobia. It has never been more important than it is now that we, as publishers, look at what we publish as a moral and ethical paragon of information. Let us quell the tide of fear and hate with more inclusivity and more diversification.

by Isabella Pioli

Non-Fiction November and a Few Recommendations

November 10th, 2016 by Alice Laing | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Non-Fiction November and a Few Recommendations
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“National Non-Fiction November is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual.” – FCBG

I have always had a soft spot for non-fiction, which was definitely born out of my love of history, and I was excited to learn about a month dedicated to encouraging children and adults to read non-fiction books and celebrate with those who already love them.

With this celebration in mind I stood in front of my ‘non-fiction bookshelf’ (which in reality is half non-fiction and half graphic novels/comic books/miscellaneous) to choose five of my favourites. I want to share these reccomendations with you in the hopes of encouraging the flow of information and the love of non-fiction.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

Everyday Sexism is an exploration into the ever present sexism that women experience daily, from ‘small’ acts of verbal harassment to the horrifying experiences of sexual assault. Laura Bates combines statistics with real experiences shared on her Twitter feed and the Everyday Sexism website.

Its blurb describes it as “Bold, jaunty but always intelligent [… a] protest against inequality that provides a unique window into the vibrant movement sparked by this juggernaut of stories – often shocking, sometimes amusing and always poignant.” At times it is difficult to read, specifically regarding the stories of assult, but does offer a glaring insight into the often frightening experiences that women face when they walk outside their front door.

Girl Up by Laura Bates

Another one by Laura Bates (I think I’m in love with her). Girl Up is aimed at teenage girls and young women. Emma Watson praises the book by saying it “unapologetically addresses what teenage girls are really dealing with.” It covers everything from the hypocrisy of dress codes to consent. This book does not hold back – there are swear words and non-censored sex education – but it is also an engaging read that I wish existed when I was a teenager.

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Now onto my love of History (and my issues with it). Silencing the Past is a wonderful little book (191 pages) that tackles the idea that power dictates history and explores what history is deemed important (spoiler alert: white, western history). It explores (with its limited length) some histories that have been ‘silenced’, specifically it covers the Haitian slave revolt, the denials of the Holocaust, and the debate over the Alamo. This book is an interesting look at the role power plays in the recording of history.

The World of the Haitian Revolution edited by David Patrick Geggus & Norman Fiering

The World of the Haitian Revolution is a collection of essays that attempts (quite successfully) to explore the complex issues surrounding Haiti’s emancipation from the French Empire. This collection covers everything from Haiti (formally known as Saint-Domingue) before the French Revolution, to its own revolution and the creation of the first independent black nation.

A truly fascinating period of History that is often forgotten about and is dear to my heart as Haiti (along with Guadeloupe and Martinique) was the subject of my undergraduate dissertation. It is therefore a subject I will gladly talk (read: rant) about for hours.

Image Matters: Archive, Photography, and the African Diaspora in Europe by Tina M. Campt

Image Matters is a look into African diaspora in Europe through a collection of two photographic archives explored and analysed by Tina M. Campt. The first collection is of black German families taken between 1900 and 1945 and the second are studio portraits of West Indian migrants living in Birmingham, England taken between 1948 and 1960.

Elizabeth Edwards describes how this book explores “questions about the nature of historical evidence and the historical process.”  It is facinating look into race and class in 20th century Europe, filled with photographs that tell stories about people who history often ignores.

You can find out more about Non-Fiction November 2016 here. Happy reading.

by Alice Laing

Rachel Kay, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 10th, 2016 by rachel_kay | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Rachel Kay, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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I can best characterise myself as a bit of a mix; having grown up on two continents as the poet in a family of scientists, I am both creative and analytical in my approach to the world. It is probably this mix which drew me to publishing, a field which I see as a fascinating combination between the worlds of art and business.

Growing up, I dev13007171_1163686976998578_3313351118242217563_noured books, composed questionable poetry, and edited various student publications. I have always found the written word a natural way of connecting with people. This was especially true when my family relocated from Florida to Italy when I was sixteen (collectively we spoke about ten words of Italian), and I got my introduction to a new school and culture through editing, designing, and producing our student magazine (the previous editor having just retired, probably out of exhaustion).

Inevitably, I gravitated towards an undergraduate degree in English, but before that began, I moved to Cambridge and spent a year working in a high street bookshop. Here I observed first-hand which titles and authors were selling, how marketing changed throughout the year, and how the categorisation of books impacted their readerships. This enlivened my interest in contemporary fiction, which I then pursued (from a more scholarly perspective) through four unforgettable years in the coastal town of St Andrews.

After graduation, it took another two years to fund my next step. I was well-aware by then of Stirling’s celebrated MLitt programme, and worked mere corridors away from the publishing department as a laboratory technician. I vividly remember being the source of grammar advice for reports in our office, and dashing off to the visiting speaker talks during my lunch break. So near and yet so far!

Eight weeks into the course, I’m grateful to be studying again and encouraged by the vast array of skills we are already developing. Publishing is an industry which is famously always in flux, but that only makes it more dynamic, multifaceted, and exciting to be a part of. Whatever my specific role in its future will be, a career spent promoting literacy is a pretty satisfying prospect.

You can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Ruoqi Sun, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 10th, 2016 by ruoqi_sun | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Ruoqi Sun, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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img_8321Hi, I am Ruoqi Sun, and I come from China. You can call me Ricky, although I realized this is not a female’s name since I came here. Anyway, the pronunciation is very similar with my Chinese name and that is the reason why I choose this, just for convenience. I lived in Beijing before I came here, and that is a totally different place with here. It is crowded, busy and has many opportunities, and we described it as a place where you can make money no matter what you do. It is a good place to enjoy life but not a good place to live.

Speaking of my major, my undergraduate degree was in Editing and Publishing. I didn’t even know about it until I was in college. Like most of Chinese students, I focused on my study all the time in high school in order to pass the final exam and go to the college.  Then I began to get confused when I received the admission, as I had achieved the goal of learning and I did not know what to do next. So I had a colorful university life: participating in clubs, making friends, and doing part- jobs. I did all the things I could think of, except learning, until the third year in my university, when everybody began to prepare for work or apply for a postgraduate course. I realized that my four-year life was about to pass. I began to want to plan the future carefully and I also found some internships related to publishing in traditional press in China. After the internship, I found that there are some problems in traditional publishing, but I can not change. I do not like this feeling. I think it was probably at that time that I began to enjoy reading.

It was also at that time I saw the cooperation project of University of Stirling and our  university. I took the IELTS exam, prepared the application materials, and tried my best to apply for this opportunity to continue my studies. Some of my friends said I was escaping the reality of graduation, I think it is better to say that I am not reconciled to end my campus life in this way. Fortunately, I got this chance and I came here at the beginning of August, which is a beautiful season for Stirling.

Now, I cherish and enjoy my life and class time here. Although I am not adapt to the model of our curriculum totally, because it is a kind of different with Chinese. But I still enjoy it and it is interesting. Now I am full of expectation for every day, and I am satisfied with this situation.

Trip to Bell and Bain for Striling’s 2016-17 Publishing Students

November 9th, 2016 by caroline_obrien | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Trip to Bell and Bain for Striling’s 2016-17 Publishing Students
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Bright and early on a cold autumnal morning we, the 2016-17 Publishing students of the University of Stirling, gathered for our trip to Bell & Bain, the UK’s largest and oldest independent book and journals printers and binders.

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Once we had arrived we were introduced to and given an talk by Derek Kenney, Bell & Bain’s Sales Director Designate, and Kenny Shepherdson, their Business Development Manager. During this part of the tour we were informed that Bell & Bain currently has 115 employees, with a projected turnover for 2016 of £13.2m. In Derek’s own words this makes Bell & Bain a ‘large small business.’ As much sense as that makes.

But, with just over a million sheets printed and bound per week  and approximately 2.45m journals and 6.5m books printed and bound in 2015 what exactly is meant by this statement becomes a little clearer.

After this introductory talk we were whisked away to Bell & Bain’s Burnfield Road production facility. There we were taken step by step through the printing and binding process of a paperback book.

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This process begins with the Production Department receiving orders from Bell & Bain’s customers through email. These orders are turned into work tickets which are checked before being sent down to the computer to plate room.

Here the lithographs are prepared for each order. These plates start out blue and are chemically burned until all that remains in blue is what is to be printed. A plate is made for each colour needed, four for CYMK printing. The machines which make these lithographic plates are capable of creating up to thirty in one hour.

After this, and a brief look in at the paper storage area, we were then taken into the most exciting, and second loudest part of the facility. The part containing the gigantic presses which print the images from the lithographs onto the specific paper needed by the publisher. These monstrous, roaring machines are capable of printing 10,000 sheets an hour. Although it was difficult to hear all the information over the sound of the presses and other machines, I was able to gather that, despite there being cameras in the machine physical checks are required every 500 sheets or so. This reminder that machines are fallible is easily memorable from the slogan provided by Kenny Shepherdson, ‘Rely on the eye.’

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Once printed the sheets are then folded. This part of the factory was, rather unexpectedly after being faced with the presses, the noisiest.

Finally the signatures are sewn together, glue is added and then the cover. There is a long conveyor belt after this to allow the glue time to cool and after that it is sent to the trimmer.

The result is a finished book, in our case this was a new adult colouring book (because the world needs more of those). But in the end, as Derek Kenney reminded us at the end of our tour, it doesn’t really matter as long as people are still reading. So whether print really is dead (something that Derek strongly denied) or if it will continue to thrive indefinitely, as long as we read we’ll be alright. Because once we lose our interest in books we lose our interest in learning and growing.

 

Thanks to Barb Kuntova for letting me use her photos.

Nicole Sweeney MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 9th, 2016 by nicole_sweeney | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Nicole Sweeney MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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images-1-compressed-page-001Since early childhood I have always been found with my nose stuck in a book. In fact I was the only child who got into trouble for reading instead of paying attention in class. With that in mind I chose to study English at undergraduate level, where my particular interests focusing on classics written by women. After graduating with a 2:1 I was unsure what I wanted to do. I knew I loved books, and wanted to learn more about the actual book industry, rather than an academic approach to literature.

I absolutely loved studying in Edinburgh, with a city so full of culture. Stirling is very similar, and studying at the University of Stirling is giving me the opportunity to learn about all the different aspects of publishing, and figure out exactly what I want to do in the future. I’m particularly interested in marketing and the different types of promotions used to sell a book. I’m really enjoying this course because the topics are so wide ranging, and I’m learning practical as well as academic skills.  

I also work at The Battle of Bannockburn, where I sell tickets, make coffees, talk to customers and occasionally play with swords. It’s a great environment with lots of fantastic events and educational talks, and makes me very passionate about history and historical books.

In my spare time I spend a lot of time on Twitter, and occasionally review books online. Reviewing books has been a fantastic opportunity to talk to different publishers, and keep up to date with what’s going on. I love going to comic-con, and can usually be found spending my entire wage on comic books and merchandise.

After graduating I’d love to work for a fiction publisher and help to market and sell some of the books that are slowly taking over my living room.

Biyan Gu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 9th, 2016 by biyan_gu | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Biyan Gu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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imageAs a book lover from a young age, working for a publishing house was always a dream for me. I am interested in the feeling of paper, the smells of ink, the formats of book and the design ideas of it all. I am Biyan Gu and I came to Scotland to continue my postgraduate studies. Everything is so fresh to me, and I am learning many new ideas about books, publishing and so on.

In my undergraduate studies, my major was Editing and Publishing, which is really close to my postgraduate study and of course means gaining a more international and professional perspective.

Besides my studies, I also have had an internship in magazine publishing at Marie Claire China, which helped me to build an awareness of marketing and understand the real process of magazine production. That was a really fun period of my education. This experience also changed my mind about the relationship between fashion and publishing. Even though it is just a magazine, it will change a great number of girls’ lifestyles and make a huge profits while it also costs a lot to market and publish.

At that time, I again realized the value of publishing as a cultural business, and the influence it can make to the society. The first time was when I was a little girl and found a book would cost much more than snacks.

Attending the University of Stirling gives me a broad knowledge about publishing, editing, and marketing. And the beautiful campus also bring me a quite nice living and study experience. I think all I have studied in the university will benefit me in the future.

And I can’t wait to welcome my future career.

You can find me at twitter or look at my LinkedIn profile.