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

careers

Aija Oksman, MLitt Publishing Studies 2012-2014 (PT)

November 26th, 2013 by Aija | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Aija Oksman, MLitt Publishing Studies 2012-2014 (PT)
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My interest in publishing stems from being read to when I was a child, growing up in very literary oriented surrounding and having done my undergraduate in Literature and Linguistics at the University of Salzburg. My time in Edinburgh is split between the MLitt Studies, my two jobs and volunteering for Rock Trust. I enjoy being busy, I enjoy putting my gathered skills in actual use and I look forward to be part of publishing world.

I have lived as an expatriate (so far I have lived in Finland, Belgium, Ireland and Austria) for over thirteen years, I have developed a new appreciation for my own language as well as for translated literature. Therefore, my personal interests have been developing towards literary agency and marketing, as well as minority and international literatures – so the ultimate dream would be to be able to find my place in the world where I could combine most of that. That, or alternatively I could open my own little restaurant, with walls covered in bookshelves. Food for the tummy and mind.

Bloody Scotland Masterclass – Agents’ and Publishers’ Panel

October 7th, 2013 by Aija | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Bloody Scotland Masterclass – Agents’ and Publishers’ Panel
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One of the perks of this year’s Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling was the opportunity to hear the best of the field offer advice to hopeful writers on the process of writing, publishing and whatever comes in between.

The Agents’ and Publishers’ panel was lead by Claire Squires, director of Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication on September 13th. The panel discussed what happens after the next hopeful front list bestseller has been written and when the author seeks to have the manuscript accepted either by an agent or a publisher.

Taking part in the panel were Jenny Brown, of Jenny Brown Associates, and David Shelley, of Little Brown. Jenny is equally inspiring and intimidating for an aspiring literary agent such as myself, having opened her agency in 2002 after years of formidable experience, not forgetting being the founder of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. If that’s not enough, she and her associates have become the biggest literary agent in Scotland and one of the leading agencies in UK, with international reputation.

David on the other hand represents the other hurdle in the writer’s way towards bestselling stardom – the publisher. David, who has worn many a different hat under the general title publisher has not settled for one particular job title – he also guests as an editor for a few selected authors within Little Brown, including Val McDermid and Mitch Albom (and yes, JK Rowling too, but let’s focus on other exciting aspects of David’s career, shall we?).

Jenny launched right into the session by emphasising how crime writing is still the fastest growing genre in the UK (and one of the leading internationally), with approximately 30% of the book market. David agreed – crime writing is definitely the most commercially growing genre that is remarkably consistent despite other market or trend fluctuations – fluctuations we know all too well that publishing is harshly dependent on. As the trend moves on, so will the publisher.

Both Jenny and David agreed that trends are nearly impossible to keep up with; what is “hot” right now could very well be over by the time you have the manuscript of a bestseller that nicely fits into that pigeonhole all finished and ready to be pitched. Trends move on faster than anyone can write, and rather than focusing on fitting into that niche, both Jenny and David emphasised, an aspiring writer would do well to focus on being passionate and finding your own voice, your niche, rather than doing lavish imitations of others’ work. Jenny also – to my great pleasure – emphasised how translated crime writing is breaking the barriers and entering the UK market. David remarked upon the cold realism of marketing; it is nearly impossible to bring out a title that is based on the same basic idea as one published before. There is no space in the market for two great Fife based detectives, but there might be space for one great detective from Fife, and the other from – why not – Stirling. How you present your setting is what makes you, as a writer, unique.

Classic crime is being brought back as well as being retranslated. Foreign authors are intriguing, whereas deceased writers are proving to be some of the toughest competition to the wave of new writers. One particularly interesting piece of advice that David provided for budding writers was to imagine further than one novel. He has found himself attracted to authors who can envision at least a couple volumes of a series, can explain character traits and subplots beyond that one particular event in the novel they are currently pitching. A good series of novels with an ever-evolving character can very well be the key to cracking your way into the crime-writing scene.

Claire led the discussion to the actual publishing process; what channels are there for new writers? How can one get their manuscript read, represented and subsequently published? As expected, both David and Jenny agreed on this point strongly; get an agent. It is nearly impossible to break into publishing without being professionally represented. Most publishing houses do not accept unsolicited manuscripts so agents act as a quality control filter for publishers. Jenny emphasised having manuscripts edited by a professional freelancer – never submit anything you are not absolutely sure is the best it can be. And this is doubly important for self-publishing authors.

Be confident, know your trade, know your next few steps and especially – know whom you are talking to when making a pitch. Let your story do the talking. It is even more advisable to target your agent and publisher. Do your homework – know whom you are pitching to and make sure they know why you have chosen them. Or perhaps if you’re desperate and unsure of your manuscript, a box of chocolates never hurts – doesn’t necessarily help either, but definitely never hurts.

Claire opened a topic that is much debated in publishing circles – self-publishing. Jenny explained how self-publishing allows more control and can lead to enticing a wide readership, which in turn encourages word-of-mouth and reviews before landing under the ears or eyes of an publisher. Self-publishing allows the writer to test the waters and to cater for the readership before attempting to break into the market. Although, writers would do well to note, that if you have already published something on the internet, the good bet is that a hopeful publisher would prefer to publish something completely new from you – or perhaps offer you a series deal. David did mention how even editors browse through self-publishing platforms – such as Authonomy – as you never know what you might find.

The panel concluded with questions from the master class participants; one particularly memorable was one lady from the master class, who has a number of novels (18 to be exact) published online but no one had yet approached her nor returned her numerous attempts to contact agents and publishers. Jenny’s initial reaction was to enquire what does she believe an agent could do for her that she cannot do herself? What indeed. To leave on a hopeful note, Claire asked both David and Jenny to give the master class some final words of inspiration. David encouraged the budding writers never to give up, as the first book published is rarely the first book written, and to especially venture into other avenues than traditional forms of publishing – digital, self-publishing and the like can prove to be a writer’s saviour, enabling an initial point of contact, enticing on its own merit. Jenny emphasised the necessity of wide reading, because all that we read will feed into what we write, how we write and how we present ourselves. There is hope for everyone.

Kate McNamara, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2011-12

July 10th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Alumni | Comments Off on Kate McNamara, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2011-12
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One of the things that really drew me to the MLitt in Publishing Studies course was how practical the modules were. The classes and lecturers offered a myriad of practical skills through the publishing project, dissertation, and through the way the course was taught. Right from the start we were given group exercises, like making pitches as international companies at rights fairs, and creating marketing materials in a team in a short space of time and presenting them to the class. We were also encouraged to keep on top of what was happening in the publishing world outside of our classroom. All of this also gave me lots to talk about in interviews. We were also exposed to many different aspects of publishing, which was invaluable. When I began the course I was set on becoming an editor but I found myself becoming increasingly interested in marketing as well.

Now I am working as a Sales and Marketing Assistant with McGraw-Hill Education, a thoroughly enjoyable role where I can utilize the software, marketing, communication and design skills which Stirling gave me. It has also really helped in my understanding of how publishing in general works, and my role within the company in particular, and especially in choosing where I wanted to go. The course helped me get the job by giving me the needed skills, allowing me to articulate them in interviews and detail my professional development, and enabling me to prepare the interview tasks, but it also puts me at ease in my work. I can’t recommend it enough.

 

VISITING SPEAKERS FOR SEMESTER 2, 2012-13

February 19th, 2013 by Frances_Sessford | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on VISITING SPEAKERS FOR SEMESTER 2, 2012-13
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The Centre’s Visiting Speakers programme for this semester presents a broad mix of academic and industry experience. All sessions are held at 2pm in Pathfoot B2. Attendance is free but there is limited space so please register via publishing@stir.ac.uk to book a place.

The series begins on Thursday February 21 with an academic perspective from John Maxwell, lecturer in Publishing at Simon Fraser University in Canada. This is followed on February 28 by Emma House of The Publishers’ Association, the representative body of the UK publishing trade. Two small independent publishers based in Scotland follow: Mark Buckland of Cargo Publishing  in Glasgow (March 7) and Eleanor Collins and Helena Waldron from Floris Books  in Edinburgh (March 14). On March 21, John Seaton, Inventory Manager at Canongate Books will talk about what’s involved in good backlist management, while March 28 hosts Alastair Horne, Social Media and Communities Manager at Cambridge University Press, who will focus on digital publishing.

After the mid-semester break, on April 11 we welcome John Storey, Head of Literature and Publishing at the Gaelic Books Council. Another independent publisher, Vanessa Robertson of Fidra Books will speak on April 18, followed by the final session on April 25 with Timothy Wright, Publisher at Edinburgh University Press.

“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.

It’s a tough job…

July 29th, 2012 by Helen Lewis McPhee | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on It’s a tough job…
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This week finds me editing submissions in the shade of the wisteria that runs wild across the terrasse of my grandparents’ house in the Ardeche region of France. Behind me, Ben, the black Labrador, is my sleepy supervisor, snuffling along the hedgeline and reminding me to keep at it. Despite his insistence, I occasionally allow myself respite from the eradication of comma splices and erroneous apostrophes with a refreshing dip in the 26 degree pool, or a literary dip into 18th century Paris.

There are worse jobs in the world. To fund my undergraduate degree I spent my summers, amongst other things, cleaning at a chicken farm. Such is the true price of higher education. That delicate scent of chicken poop and disinfectant may be the one presiding memory that has stuck with me since my student days.

In the few short years between undergraduate and postgraduate study, I turned my hand to wedding planning, fine wines, facilitation and fostering. Through every one of these roles, I found myself drawn back to working with writers and writing, and finally summoned up the courage (and the several thousand pounds), to take the publishing plunge: initially interning at a literary agency, and then completing my Masters.

The journey over the last two years from wannabe publisher to fully-fledged editor has been a bumpy one, and I still struggle to believe that I’m finally here. To have the privilege of working with such talented writers and esteemed academics is the realisation of a long-standing dream. To play such a part in the exploration and expansion of publishing boundaries through the new digital medium is beyond my wildest.

Today, I am copy-editing short stories and poetry from the comfort of a French villa. The cigales are singing in the background as I immerse myself in rural Luxemburg, remote Shetland, and central Glasgow. And Nana has just brought me a kir. Santé!

Katherine Marshall, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2011-2012

October 27th, 2011 by Katherine_Marshall | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Katherine Marshall, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2011-2012
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Hello, my name is Katherine and I am currently taking the MLitt programme in Publishing Studies at Stirling University.  Growing up, books were very important to me and have remained so throughout my life.   However, it was not until the final year of  my undergraduate degree in Film and Television Studies that I developed a serious interest in pursuing publishing as a career.  For me, the decision to apply for the course was easy; I wanted to develop a broad awareness of the industry and learn all the necessary skills in order to become a successful publisher.

I was attracted to the course at Stirling  primarily because of its excellent reputation, but also for the strong emphasis it places on gaining practical skills and enhancing  employability.  Every aspect of the course is relevant to the current state of the industry and the staff encourage us to think creatively and with a business perspective.  Like many publishing students my main interests lie with the editing process, however I am now very interested in marketing, which is something I may not have said only a few short weeks ago.

Although just a  few weeks into the course I can confidently say that I am enjoying every minute of it and I cannot wait to begin work on my publishing project and put everything I have learned into practice!

Breaking In and Standing Out

September 25th, 2011 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Breaking In and Standing Out
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Suzanne Kavanagh of Skillset

A report on career advice from Suzanne Kavanagh, Visiting Speaker Semester 1, 2011-12, by Rachel Chase

Though Suzanne Kavanagh announced that her intention was to “scare” the publishing students at the University of Stirling on Thursday, September 22nd, she cleverly presented her material in a way that was more optimistic than frightening.

Suzanne works for a not-for-profit organization called Skillset. At Skillset, she supports individuals and businesses in the creative industries by offering them skills and training. She has been involved in the publishing industry for 16 years (specifically marketing) and she was kind enough to share her vast knowledge with us about making a career in publishing.

Though her presentation was not “scary” overall, it did have some frightening elements. Take, for example, the fact that sixty-seven per cent of the workforce in the publishing industry is over thirty-five-years-old (which is downright discouraging for anyone in their twenties who is trying to break in). In addition, the number of freelance editors has dropped and the number of people working in publishing has dropped significantly since 2007, due, in part, to the digitalization of books. In short, there are fewer jobs and more people trying to get in.

What does all of this mean for post-graduate students studying publishing at the University of Stirling? It means that things are tough, but not impossible. Suzanne emphasized that there is a shortage of sales and marketing skills among those who are trying to get into publishing. Editorial is not the only way to go, and, in fact, Suzanne suggested that getting into publishing through another door—say, marketing—is a good idea to break in.

Her lecture was very informative and I came away with specific areas in which I can improve my resume. Among the most important aspects for making yourself stand out are work experience (thirty-five per cent of the publishing workforce have done unpaid work), computer skills, specific software skills, and even math skills (though this fills many book-reading editor-bent students with horror—numbers matter!). The bottom line is that publishing is a business and unless a publishing house makes money, they cannot continue to publish the wonderful books that we love to read.

Thanks Suzanne for a great beginning to the list of fantastic visiting speakers lined up for this semester! If you want to learn more about Skillset, visit their website.

Visiting Speakers for Forthcoming Semester

September 15th, 2011 by Frances_Sessford | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting Speakers for Forthcoming Semester
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Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication hosts another great line-up of publishing professionals this semester. Our guest speakers are drawn from many sectors of the industry, including literary agency, retail, printing, distribution, trade publishing and digital publishing. The visiting speaker sessions give our students valuable knowledge of how different parts of the industry operate. As a highly technology- and consumer-driven industry, publishing is changing at the speed of light and our speakers can give up-to-the-minute insights into both how the industry is adapting to the challenges it faces, and how they as individuals are playing a part in this.

But first things first: how can you go about getting a job once you have your degree? Suzanne Kavanagh of Skillset will provide some guidance and information on this very subject on Thursday September 22. (Please note this session is for Publishing Students only, and will be held at 10.30am, not 2pm.)

The public sessions begin on September 29 with a talk by David Martin of Martins the Printers about how digital printing technology has radically changed the way books are produced. Switching to the other end of the production spectrum, Maggie McKernan, literary editor and agent will give a dual perspective from her career as both an editor and literary agent on October 6. The following week (October 13), Adrian Searle of Glasgow-based publishing imprint Freight Books will be speaking about setting up a publishing company in 2011.

Is there any truth in the suggestion that inside every publisher there is a writer struggling to get out? Well, if that’s the case with you then Dr Paula Morris of Stirling University’s new Creative Writing taught masters course will give you not only the author’s view of the publishing industry but also some tips on getting published as well (October 20).

After we get a chance to catch our breath at the mid-semester break, Jane Camillin of indie sports publisher, Pitch Publishing, will kick off the second half of semester on November 3 by talking about how publishing can be small yet successful, followed on November 10 by Liz Small of Geddes and Grosset/Waverley Publishing, a long-established Scottish trade publisher. Focus then switches to retail on November 17, with Eleanor Logan of Chapter Twenty independent publishing retail consultancy giving the bookseller’s perspective on these interesting times, and our penultimate guest on November 24 is Marion Sinclair, course alumni and Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, the representative body of Scottish publishers. The program closes on December 1 with Simon Meek of Tern TV on digital adaptations of well-known books.

Don’t miss any of them! Attendance at all visiting speaker sessions is free but there is limited space so please register via publishing@stir.ac.uk to book a place. All sessions will be held at 2pm in Pathfoot B2.

Helena reports from New York!

September 2nd, 2010 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Helena reports from New York!
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Regular readers of our blog may remember Helena O Leary’s post on her getting an internship at Continuum, New York. Six weeks in, Helena lets us know how positive her experience has been so far…

Six weeks into an internship with Continuum International Publishing Group in their New York office and I couldn’t be happier with how its going. Within my first hour of work I knew (with a certain amount of relief) that there was no doubt in my mind that publishing is definitely the industry for me. So far there has not been one task I have completed that has not excited and enthused me, encouraging me in my future career in publishing.

My tasks have ranged from filing and mailing, to permissions and transmittals, as well as reviewing contracts and liaising with authors. Each experience has afforded me invaluable insight into the editorial process. I couldn’t offer greater advice to future publishing studies students of the University of Stirling than to do an internship, do multiple internships. The experience gained compares to no other and it will increase the value of your resume/CV beyond theoretical learning. Having said that, however, I owe any present or future successes within the publishing industry to the University of Stirling Mlitt. In Publishing Studies program and all the staff within the department. I am eternally grateful to you all.

Outside of office hours one can find me on a frantic search for a full time job in a publishing house here in the city. In recessionary times this is an unenviable task, but I am confident that armed with my Mlitt. From the University of Stirling and my practical experience from the internship, success in this matter is not too far away at all.

— Helena O’Leary