What’s the Value of a Masters in Publishing?

June 24th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on What’s the Value of a Masters in Publishing?
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What’s the value of a publishing degree programme? Well, according to a recent job advert, it’s equivalent to ‘1 or 2 years experience in a publishing environment’. The advert, for a production assistant at Atlantic Books, welcomes applications from graduates of publishing courses as well as those with existing industry experience.

So, very good news for our students who have recently completed their MLitt in Publishing Studies, some of whom have already been offered publishing jobs in companies including Oxford University Press and Palimpsest Book Production. It is clear from this advert – and from the evidence we have from our industry contacts and from the employment successes of our students – that publishing courses are taken very seriously indeed by employers.

If you’ve recently graduated from a first degree in another subject and are looking for a route into publishing, planning a career change, or want to improve your existing publishing career, take a look at our courses. We’d welcome an application from you.

London Book Fair Tips

March 31st, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on London Book Fair Tips
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London Book FairGoing to the London Book Fair for the first time? Want to make a good impression? Helena Markou, Publishing Innovation Associate at Blackwell, offers some advice:

10 Dos and Don’ts for Wannabe Publishers at London Book Fair

Let me begin by saying if you want a job in publishing then you want to be at London Book Fair. Registration is free. Just sign up as a visitor and select student from the drop down menu.

It’s all about the sales of rights, so people are there to have important meetings (which are often scheduled months in advance). Many publishers have back-to-back appointments all day long, but there are usually people floating around the stands, manning reception and answering ad hoc questions.

On the hour and on the half-hour is a good time to catch people between their scheduled appointments, but try to develop a ninja-like awareness of “the unoccupied” and be ready to pounce with a disarming opener at all times.


1. Do make a wishlist of the publishers you want to talk to and get their stand numbers in advance.

2. Do check the seminar listings for talks worth attending, but avoid software and “solutions” providers because they are often big sales pitches.

3. Do be brave and talk to people especially if they look like a Director or CEO, you might get lucky and impress the right person.

4. Do prepare introductions & openers in advance, for example…

“Hi my name is HELENA” – Seems obvious but they are unlikely to remember your name unless you communicate it verbally to them.

“I review children’s books on my blog, who does your children’s marketing? Can I take their email address?”

“Who heads up your children’s list in editorial? Can I take their contact details?” – You should note editorial are unlikely to be at , because it is…? That’s correct, an event for SELLING RIGHTS

“Do you have any internships? Who should I email? What advice could you give someone like me trying to get into the industry?”

5. Do take business cards and/or copies of your CV (ERROR FREE) to hand out.

6. Do take a packed lunch or exit to eat. £10 for a bottle of water and a sandwich is ridiculous (there’s a Tesco about 10mins walk if you know where you’re going).

7. Do visit Alice Ryan at The Bookseller stand and give her something to tweet about.

8. Do find out the hashtag and tweet about whilst you’re there.

9. Do wear something smart but BRIGHT. You want to stick out from the sea of gray suits, and remain memorable to the people you’ve spoken to.

10. Do bring comfortable shoes & lip balm as the concrete floors & book dust will, literally, try to suck the life out of you.


1. Don’t expect there to be anywhere to sit down and if you do see a vacant seat be prepared to fight for it.

2. Don’t take it to heart if some people are a bit unhelpful and curt, they are just busy doing their jobs.

3. Don’t waste your time trying to speak with people who are clearly too busy to talk to you, move on to the next on the list.

4. Don’t make yourself sick on freebie sweeties.

5. Don’t waltz through publishers’ stands like you would a bookshop, they are often considered semi-private spaces by their occupants.

6. Don’t ignore small & independent publishers, they work very hard to survive in the publishing industry and have wisdom, wit and savvy in spades. And you never know they might have jobs going as well.

7. Don’t walk off with books unless you are 100% certain they are free proof/review copies.

8. Don’t ask to purchase a book from a stand, it’s not a retail orientated book fair, you’ll look silly.

9. Don’t pass up an opportunity to do competitor analysis and collect ideas, intelligence for new product development projects.

10. Don’t leave London without heading to Lucky Voice in Soho for Karaoke.

Ok the last one isn’t LBF specific but always valid as a general rule of life.

Thanks to Helena for her great advice! Has anyone got any other tips?

Penguin launches the Helen Fraser Publishing Fellowship

March 3rd, 2010 by prm | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Penguin launches the Helen Fraser Publishing Fellowship
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From the Penguin Books website:

Penguin Books, the world’s best known publishing company, is delighted to launch a newly established diversity traineeship for 2010. The Fellowship has been founded to honour the work that Helen Fraser, recently retired Managing Director of Penguin Books, has done to address the issue of diversity within the company. The Fellowship aims to identify, encourage, and train editorial talent within Britain’s black and ethnic minority community.

Details on how to apply can be found here. Closing date for applications: 12th of March, 2010.

Publishing Scotland conference

February 27th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing Scotland conference
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Publishing Scotland conference 2010Members of staff from the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication recently attended the Publishing Scotland conference in Edinburgh. The conference featured a Keynote Speech from Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs, and talks on successful strategies for digital publishing, getting the best out of book festivals, retail trends in 2009/10, and the Google Book settlement. The talk from Jon Reed of Reed Media on using social media to promote your business gave us lots of great ideas – thanks Jon! We’ll put some of these into action soon…

As a Network Member of Publishing Scotland, we exhibited the Centre in the Network Showcase. We took a sample of practical work undertaken by students on the MLitt in Publishing Studies, discussed opportunities for work experience and internships with publishing companies, and opportunities for consultancy and training.

Despite the recession and a recent, contentious report from the Literature Working Group to the Scottish Government which advocated that publishers in Scotland no longer be represented by Publishing Scotland but by the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), the mood was upbeat at the conference. For us, this was helped by meeting some of our alumni, and also staff from Floris Books, who told us the good news that they’ve just employed one of last year’s graduates from the MLitt on a permanent basis following a temporary contract.

My Publishing Dream Come True…

January 30th, 2010 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on My Publishing Dream Come True…
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ContinuumI began the MLitt in Publishing Studies at Stirling in September 2009. Before October 1st had passed there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that the publishing industry is exactly where I want to be. It was the most wonderful realisation – excitement and happiness with the place I found myself at twenty-one years of age. Here I don’t simply refer to place as location but as a state of mind.

With each passing week I find myself more and more enthused by the career possibilities in my future. This happiness was increased immeasurably last week when, as a publisher and traveller, a personal dream came through. This coming summer I will be moving to New York for a few months to take up an internship with Continuum, a publishing house mostly concerned with academic publishing. Perhaps for some my excitement over an unpaid internship may seem a little over the top. But to be honest, I don’t care! This is the kind of opportunity I have been working for my whole life. I may not have realised it before but this is my dream come true and no one or no thing will ever take that from me now. As a publishing student I feel that this is the most wonderful opportunity that could have come my way.

So bring it on – visas flight booking and all the other necessary preparations cause come June, after graduation, I’m leaving on a jet plane!

— Helena O’Leary

Society of Young Publishers Annual Conference

December 7th, 2009 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | 1 Comment
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MLitt in Publishing Studies student Aiida Syzdyk reports on her visit to the Society of Young Publishers Annual Conference 2009:

Saturday, 14th November UK Publishers gathered for SYP Annual Conference 2009 held at Oxford Brookes University. This year “The Impact of Publishing on Society” was discussed.

The welcome speech was given by Alan Crompton (Oxford SYP Chairman), who at the very beginning stressed the fact he didn’t expect that many participants, indeed the lecture theatre was full and latecomers had to stand. Opening and closing debates were presented respectively by Helen Fraser (Penguin), Will Atkinson (Faber and Faber), Alan Samson (Orion Books), Chris Brazier (New Internationalists Publications), Robert Sharp (English Pen), andSarah Totterdell (Oxfam).

SYP conferenceAll of the conference participants were given a choice of attending any three of the following six seminars:

• The Economics of Publishing;

• Publishing Career Development;

• Digital Developments;

• Entrepreneurial Publishing;

• Publishing Design;

• CV Clinic

After all those hot debates, still excited conference participants went to Oxford Brookes Union Bar for further discussions having post conference drinks.