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

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Otieno Owino, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 11th, 2016 by Otieno Owino | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Otieno Owino, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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otieno-owinoAbout four years ago a friend casually asked if I could proofread some work for her employer, a major publisher in Kenya. I gladly accepted because I’d make extra money off it. I was then working as newspaper reporter, having left a language teaching job. I received a lot of freelance work thereafter through referrals. I turned this freelance experience into a full time job as an Assistant Editor with Kwani Trust, Kenya’s leading literary publisher where I have been in the last one and half years.

Working in a small team made it necessary to understand all the major stages of book publishing. I realized that even though I could do good editorial work, I needed some grounding in design, production and marketing, other important aspects of the business. It is this realisation that has brought me to the University of Stirling to pursue the MLitt in Publishing Studies course.

A mini literary revolution is ongoing in my country Kenya, with online journals such as Jalada, Enkare Review and Kikwetu publishing what Kwani Trust would traditionally publish. Part of my research interest is online literary journals, how sustainable they can become, how they can make money out of the process and the digital or e-book publication market which is still to be fully exploited in Kenya.

I hope to add onto my editorial skills; project management, production and marketing which I believe will be important for future work in the publishing industry.

Other than my work at Kwani Trust I was a junior editor for a nonfiction anthology put together by Commonwealth Writers, if you get a chance, do read Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction.

 

Visiting Speaker: Dr Sam Rayner

January 7th, 2015 by Callum Mitchell Walker | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting Speaker: Dr Sam Rayner
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staffphotosam

On Thursday the 4th December we enjoyed the last visiting speaker of the semester, Dr Sam Rayner, the Director of the Centre for Publishing at the University College of London (UCL). Dr Rayner’s talk focused on her paper ‘Star Texts: The Next Generation’ in which she explores the dynamic modern world of publishing and its impact and potential impact on teaching and learning in society. Dr Rayner analyses the way in which publishers edit and package content for new readers and new markets, the shaping of the literary canon, and the emergence and significance of several types of ‘Star Texts’. Before beginning her talk, Dr Rayner pre-warned us of her use of Star Trek puns (which she admitted she had toned down), however the class was eager to hear about her research on ‘Star Texts’.

But what does Dr Rayner mean by Star Texts?

Dr Rayner began by expressing that throughout her academic and professional life (whether it be teaching, research, working in libraries or bookselling), texts and their status and consumption have been fundamental. This made her interested in observing how we read, keep, study and rate books. As a literary and publishing researcher, Dr Rayner recognised that certain terms related to texts with cultural standing—‘The Canon’ and ‘The Classic’, have “become elusive and complicated by two other means of quality control”—‘The Prize Winners’ and ‘The Book Club Recommendations’. Dr Rayner collectively calls these four groups ‘Star Texts’, and argued, “these texts create clusters in the impossible constellation of the research environment that they belong to”. This term, ‘impossible constellation’ comes from Prof. Ruth Mateus-Berr from the University of Applied Art Vienna, during a conference on artistic research, and she used the term to attempt to describe the “several contradictory methods, understandings and histories” that could be applied to artistic research. Dr Rayner believes that this ‘constellation’ was a particularly useful way of understanding how texts exist in the 21st Century. Her research therefore focuses on the tension between a literary work, and the responses to the literary work in question. Dr Rayner suggested that whilst the text remains unchanged, there is a constant transformative process of the work, born out of the interaction and response from each specific reader.

‘The Classic’

Dr Rayner went on to discuss importance of the transformative star text group of ‘The Classic’. These texts, Dr Rayner argued, are those that most commonly stand the test of time. But what makes a text a ‘Classic’? Dr Rayner pointed out that scholars have very varied views on this question. The ‘Classic’, academics argue, should arguably be “timelessly appealing” and “elevate its author to the status of a god”. Dr Rayner also added that ‘Classics’ can be very subjective, and one individual’s list of ‘Classic’ texts won’t necessarily be the same as that of another individual. However, we do find a curated ‘Classics’ section in a bookshop, and publishers for centuries have created ‘Classic’ lists. This type of text is chosen, designed and marketed by publishers rather than academics (not suggesting they are purely commercial products, however). Dr Rayner asserted that the ‘Classic’ should appeal to every type of reader. She also pointed out that publishers such as Penguin attempt to modernise by means of packaging, engaging with digital, and marketing these timeless texts.

‘The Canon’ 

Dr Rayner next went on to explain another type of ‘Star Text’ known as ‘The Canon’. The establishment sets this group for primarily educational purposes and to define identities within culture. This type of text exists to represent the view of the individual and the preservation of tradition. Dr Rayner went on to discuss how texts have become ‘canonised’ in education through curriculum and have moved away from chronological presentation, towards a clear genre focused syllabi of texts. ‘The Canon’, Dr Rayner believes is undergoing a time of extreme change, and the impact of celebrity culture and national feeling are determining the way texts are canonised in education. Dr Rayner also addressed the issue of whether or not students should be given a prescribed reading list, as arguably this is a means of industrially restraining the individual’s imagination. Perhaps a more effective system would rather encourage young people to love reading and get into a habit of it, Dr Rayner shared to the argument.

‘Prize Winning Fiction’ 

The next type of ‘Star Text’ Dr Rayner explained was the ‘Prize Winning Fiction’ category. Dr Rayner argued that in the modern world of publishing, being nominated for literary prizes quite often means being read or not being read by the reading public. Dr Rayner also discussed how effective creative writing courses are in the emergence of this type of text and the development of a synergy between academics, creative writing and publishing bestsellers. The question was also raised over what should constitute as a ‘prize winner’. Should it be by measured by unit sales or by its literary quality? Furthermore, who should decide on these status elevated texts? Academics, publishers or readers?

‘The Book Club Recommendations’

Following on from Dr Rayner’s previous group of ‘Star Texts’ was the final group of ‘Book Club Recommendations’. This group can also be a prizewinner, but experiences the treatment of being associated with a well-known figure or celebrity. In these cases, the power of an individual’s brand is worth thousands in sales of a title if they have been selected as part of their ‘book club’. This phenomenon arguably gave the book back its ‘social history’ and within these book clubs, the well-known figure(s) (such as Oprah or Richard and Judy) play an active role in choosing, recommending and associating themselves with a title. Dr Rayner described how in a sense these individuals act as mediators between the author’s text and the audience. Book clubs show more than any other type of ‘Star Text’ the tension between the cultural and the commercial that exists in the book trade.

Merely ‘Solar Flares’ or Eternal ‘Burning Stars’?

Dr Rayner developed her argument by observing the conflict between cultural and academic responses of texts and the importance of reader interaction and marketing campaigns on the success of these titles. In the vast ‘constellation’ of texts in the current market, Dr Rayner believes that grouping these ‘Star Texts’ helps us to identify what drives us when we choose what we are reading. The development of technology also makes the text organic, with digital transforming the way in which we read, store and share text. Dr Rayner’s paper raised several interesting debates on the textual environment and what defines a text as a ‘Star’ and indeed what cultural, academic and commercial forces play a part. By the end of Dr Rayner’s talk, we were ready to “boldly go where no researchers have gone before” and explore the future of ‘Star Texts’ and textual constellations!

 

 

 

Behind the Digital Scenes at Faber & Faber

October 17th, 2014 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Behind the Digital Scenes at Faber & Faber
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FFAs the incredibly honoured 2013 winner of the Faber & Faber prize for Digital Innovation, I travelled down to London for an incredible two-day tour behind the digital scenes at Faber.

I visited three amazing departments with digital publishing at their core: Digital, Faber Factory and Marketing. And what was surprising was how digital was intrinsic to each, and yet, they were completely different.

The Digital department made the nerdish inner me very happy. Running through Faber’s app history, from the innovative The Waste Land app through its infamous Malcom Tucker and stunning Shakespeare apps, we arrived at its newest release The Animator’s Survival Kit. Faber took the teaching aid for animation and cartoon drawing by renowned artist Richard Williams and translated it into a digital format as only it could, once again breaking the mould for digital. The Survival Kit uses digital to teach, introducing features that add to the text, such as controllable animation sequences to see frame-by-frame movement, grasping a truth that not many understand: digital cannot simply be a copy of a paper product. The best bit, however, was when I got the chance to give feedback on the digital brief for an upcoming app… very exciting.

Suitably geared up from a morning in apps, I moved on to find out more about Faber Factory and its digital services for publishers. I was a starstruck in a different way, as I’d seen Faber Factory, one of the driving forces in the UK behind digitalisation among the smaller publishers, first-hand in my internship and repeatedly in my digital-focused dissertation. While gains of digital can be immense, the cost is prohibitive for small publishers, and increasingly large players in the market leave little room. And that is where the incredibly enthusiastic Factory team come in, managing, converting, and negotiating on behalf of their clients. I had a great time finding out more on what they did, and left very much convinced that one of the very few publishers offering services is doing it right.

A screenshot from Claire Jeffery’s prize-winning Jekyll & Hyde app

The next day I ventured further up the stairs to find out more about digital marketing. I’ll admit I expected to hear the usual vague buzzwords: ‘social media’, ‘online presence’, ‘SEOs’, etc. So when I actually arrived at the department it was refreshing to discover more about digital marketing beyond social media and videos. I saw how the traditional eclectic Faber was balanced with a new digital approach based on big data. Faber is one of the publishers just beginning to explore big data and it is amazing how much can be revealed. A search for my favourite author Jasper Fforde revealed key phrases, new releases, who was talking about him, which websites they visited… It was incredible and showed the impact that digital innovation is having on marketing. What I appreciated in my visit to marketing in Faber was the shift to a targeted approach based on statistics and information with the same heart and passion underneath, exactly as I’d always thought the process should be.

I saw three different sides to digital in my visit, each different and each needed. But what also really struck me was how, in little under a year through the Publishing Studies course at the University of Stirling, I’d gone from knowing a little about the publishing process to having a in-depth understanding not only of traditional publishing but also of the challenges and opportunities of digital publishing. I found myself debating all sorts of related issues with very passionate people and that was what struck me. To get into publishing you have to be absolutely passionate for what you want do. Every comma in every book, every new innovation, every campaign and every interaction along the chain is driven by people who care deeply about publishing.

On a personal note, there are a couple of things I will take away from this.

(1) Always say yes to a free book.

(2) There is only one way a literary trip to London should end: an Agatha Christie play, a visit to Baker Street and the exploration of many bookshops.

(3) Be completely and utterly passionate in everything you do.

I’d like to thank all the people from the University of Stirling and Faber & Faber who made the trip possible and everyone on the two-day tour who were so welcoming and encouraging.

Claire Jeffery now works at Prepress Projects in Perth.

 

 

Xiaolin Ma, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2013-14

November 26th, 2013 by Xiaolin Ma | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Xiaolin Ma, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2013-14
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Hello, everyone! My name is Lim.I am from China. I am so excited to study Publishing Studies in the University of Stirling. This is my first time to study abroad, and I am very glad to meet you here! My undergraduate major was journalism. But after I read a lot of books and magazines, I found that they were amazing products, so I decided to study how to produce and edit a book or magazine. I am so interested in the content, color, cover and the production  process of books or magazines. I really hope that such a wonderful book or magazine is produced by myself. So I really want to have a chance to know and study Publishing Studies.

Even though e-books are much more popular in recent years, I am still keen on paper books. Paper books are traditional format books, and only when I hold a paper book in my hand can I feel that I am reading a real and wonderful book. Through studying publishing in University of Stirling, I hope that I can do my best to attract more and more people to read paper books. And I also believe that paper books will not disappear.

As far as I know, the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication is a leading institute in the field of Publishing among European universities. It provides a comprehensive and coherent approach to all aspects of publishing. I am convinced that I will obtain more and more information and knowledge in the University of Stirling.

Revised Curriculum for the MLitt in Publishing Studies

April 1st, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | 1 Comment
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BEFORE READING THIS POST, PLEASE CHECK THE DATE OF PUBLICATION. (The REAL curriculum is here. At least for now…)

 

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication has been at the vanguard of publishing education for over thirty years. It has a forward-thinking approach to publishing studies, and has continually delivered cutting-edge, professionally-oriented degrees which have prepared alumni to work in publishing and publishing-related companies around the world.

The publishing industry is now undergoing an extremely rapid rate of change. Digital technologies have meant that new business models and structures are radically reshaping the industry. As such, we have entirely revised the curriculum for our industry-leading MLitt in Publishing Studies. The new curriculum will be delivered from 2013-14, and we are proud to announce it here.

The revised programme will be structured as follows:

Semester 1

Amazon 1: This compulsory module investigates different market sectors, introduces concepts of publishing business, finance and intellectual property, and analyses current publishing trends and issues. It also explores job roles and publishing processes, equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in an Amazon career.

Amazon 2: This compulsory module examines the processes by which publishing projects (including books, magazines, journals, and digital products) are conceptualised and created at Amazon. It explores the management of authors, intellectual property resources, and editorial workflow, including practical skills of project management and text preparation (copyediting and proofreading).

Amazon 3: This compulsory module introduces marketing theory and practical publishing examples in order to develop a range of strategies for effective promotion of publishing products, through traditional and digital media. The module also explores Amazon’s supply chain, distribution and sales management.

Arts Research Training: This compulsory module enhances students’ employability skills, professional social media, online writing and editing skills, and research methods and research project development. All elements of the module are specifically tailored towards or focused on Amazon.

Semester 2

Amazon 4: This compulsory module enables students to develop skills, understanding and aptitudes for digital (aka Amazon) publishing, its processes and products, including in compiling digital briefs, reviewing and evaluating digital products, management of social media and digital rights, understanding of e-business models and the digital economy, and deployment of analytics, keywords, SEO, metadata and XML.

Amazon 5: This compulsory module enables students to develop management and entrepreneurial skills crucial to publishing. Areas covered include strategic, operational, risk, financial and HR management. It also explores the global business of publishing, including growth strategies, murders and executions, legal tax avoidance, and inventing business models that at first glance make no sense whatsoever.

Internship at Amazon: This compulsory module enables students to undertake a work placement or internship at one of Amazon’s worldwide distribution centres, to incorporate their workplace learning through critical reflection on their and Amazon’s activities and processes.

Publishing, Literature and Society: This optional module explores the interactions between contemporary and historical publishing and society, approaching topics including authorship, readership and the literary marketplace, censorship, wartime publishing, and publishing and diversity (e.g. “not Amazon”). It enables students to develop a critical distance from Amazon.

Publishers’ Lunch (or, The Frankfurt School): This optional module will introduce students to the traditional, or legacy, model of publishing. It involves copious consumption of alcohol, face-to-face meetings and ‘gatekeeping’. Male students are in the majority on this module.

Summer

Dissertation: This is an intensive piece of research on a topic of Amazon’s choice, which is notionally approved by the Programme Director and student. Work extends over both semesters and into the summer.

Given our excellent industry contacts, we are confident that all students will, on successful completion of their programme, be placed at one of Amazon’s many international distribution centres (probably Dunfermline). In the very unlikely event that they are not immediately placed with Amazon or a sub-contracted company, less successful alumni still have ample opportunity to become authors via Amazon’s Kindle Direct programme, or act as highly valued unpaid prosumers in Amazon’s Kindle Directed scheme. Entrepreneurial alumni have the opportunity to develop Amazon-associated businesses and franchises which, should they survive the Kindle Dragon, will be examined by Amazon as acquisition targets.

Ms A. P. Rilfoule, the University’s Amazon Liaison Officer, commented that, ‘We’re very excited about delivering this new programme, which has been developed in close cooperation with our Industry Advisory Borg. Share the bold new future of publishing, writing, reading, and pretty much everything else: with Amazon, with us.’

AHRC Digital Transformations Project: The Book Unbound

February 15th, 2012 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on AHRC Digital Transformations Project: The Book Unbound
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 We’ve just heard that the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication has been awarded a grant from the AHRC in its Digital Transformations Research Development call.

Our project, ‘The Book Unbound: Disruption and Disintermediation in the Digital Age’, will be led by the Centre’s Director, Professor Claire Squires, with Dr Padmini Ray Murray (Lecturer in Publishing Studies) and Dr Paula Morris (Lecturer in Creative Writing) as Co-Investigators. The staff team will be completed by Scott Russell, as an External Consultant. We’ll also be working with the Electric Bookshop in order to present some of our findings, and there will also be opportunities for collaborations between creative writing and publishing students.

The project will examine changing business models in the digital publishing environment and their impact on the communications circuit and notions of authority, authorship, audiences and access. It will do this both via a series of case studies, and an experimental mode (live publishing – watch this space!).

We’ll have a new website up with full details of the project soon, but if you’d like any information about it in the meantime, please get in touch via our Contact page.

Adrian Searle and Freight Books

October 23rd, 2011 by Paola_Gonella | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Adrian Searle and Freight Books
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Our visiting speaker on Thursday 13th October was Adrian Searle, director of Freight Design, an award-winning Scottish creative design and brand development agency based in Glasgow city centre. Founded ten years ago, the company quickly established itself as one of Scotland’s leading design and marketing consultancies.

Adrian gave a very interesting talk about the joys and difficulties of setting up his own publishing company. He explained how he got involved in the business through his design company. In 2001, they decided they would do a self-commissioned project every year and their first undertaking, The Hope that Kills Us, combined two of Adrian’s favourite things, Scottish literature and football. The book, sponsored by Arts&Business Scotland and picked by The Guardian as one of the top 10 best football fictions, brings together eight specially commissioned stories from some of Scotland’s best contemporary writers, with each story examining the participants, experience and emotion that feed the nation’s obsession with football.

Following the critical acclaim received for The Hope that Kills Us, the company decided to embark on another self-commissioned project entitled The Knuckle-End, which featured two pocket-sized hardbacks joined by a fabric hinge, the first one dedicated to a selection of short stories and poems by recent graduates from the Creative Writing Master at University of Glasgow as well as award-winning writers, and the second one dedicated to images and photographs on themes inspired by the title.

A couple of other projects of which Adrian seemed particularly proud are Dougie’s War, a graphic novel by acclaimed novelist and biographer Rodge Glass and artist Dave Turbitt about the legacy of the war in the Middle East and the effects of PTSD on returning veterans, and Gutter, an award-winning, high quality, printed journal for fiction and poetry from writers born or living in Scotland. As Adrian told us, the magazine also proved to be a good way for Freight to make friends with a lot of good writers, which then helped them setting up their own publishing company, Freight Books.

Adrian described the company as small, independent and with a specific interest in both middlebrow commercial and literary fiction. They usually publish 4 or 5 books a year, which range from stunning debuts of writers that may have been published already in Gutter to forgotten classics like All the Little Animals, Walker Hamilton’s un-classifiable first novel that will be republished in June 2012. Their first book, published last September, is Killing the Messenger, the second novel from Christopher Wallace, who won the 1988 Saltire First Book of the Year Award for The Pied Piper’s Poison.

Adrian also announced that The Hope that Kills Us, Dougie’s War and Gutter will be available soon in digital form, thanks to a collaboration with Faber Factory, an initiative that Adrian described as ‘absolutely brilliant’, especially for independent publishers that cannot invest in additional resources for text digitisation.

Independent Publishing Events

May 30th, 2011 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Independent Publishing Events
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The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, in association with the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, is running a series of seminars over the summer in Glasgow on the topic of Independent Publishing: Making and Preserving Culture in a Global Literary Marketplace. The seminars will feature a mix of publishers and others in the book trade, from Scotland and across Europe, and also of academics and other commentators on the industry. The three seminars will be:

 9-10 June Digital Technologies and Publishing (keynote speaker: Chris Meade, Director of the Institute for the Future of the Book on ‘The Amplified Author in the Unlibrary’)

23-24 June Globalisation and Independent Publishing (keynote speaker: Professor Simon Gikandi, Princeton University on ‘Scenes of Reading in the Global Literary Marketplace: Some Postcolonial Reflections)

 22-23 August Cultural Policy (keynote speaker: André Schiffrin, publisher and author of The Business of Books and Words and Money; in association with Publishing Scotland and the Edinburgh International Book Festival

All events are free, but registration is required. You can register direct for the keynote lectures by clicking on the following links: Chris Meade (9 June); Simon Gikandi (23 June). If you would like to attend the seminars in full, please send an email to publishing [@] stir.ac.uk and we will send you a registration link. More details are available from the Programme website.

Centre Director comments on ebooks and digital publishing

April 8th, 2011 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Centre Director comments on ebooks and digital publishing
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Much media attention this week is focused on the world of books and publishing, in the run-up to the London Book Fair. The Director of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, Claire Squires, has been speaking to various newspapers and broadcast media about the rise and rise of digital publishing.

She was cited in the Sunday Mail on rumours that J K Rowling might finally be allowing Harry Potter ebooks, commenting that “It is akin to the Beatles allowing their music to be launched on iTunes – it really is that important. JK Rowling has been very protective of her novels, and rightly so, but this signals a real sea change in her attitudes.”

BBC Business Scotland is devoting this Sunday’s programme to publishing and bookselling, again interviewing Claire on current trends, challenges and opportunities of the 21st century digital environment.

Intersection: Publishing 2010

March 22nd, 2010 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Intersection: Publishing 2010
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Intersection_medDr Padmini Ray Murray is co-organising an event called Intersection: Publishing 2010 on the 17th of April in London, on the eve of the London Book Fair. This event is unique in that it’s an ‘unconference’ which will bring together leaders and practitioners from the disciplines of publishing, journalism, and technology. Designed to be a day-long brainstorm, it will encourage open and honest debate about the future of content consumption, application and business models. At a time when both content producers and media owners are undergoing fundamental transformations – driven by consumers and technology – the event will be timely.

The ‘unconference’ format avoids formal Powerpoint presentations, instead offering informal discussions based in small groups, interspersed with brainstormed presentations and discussions. This more relaxed format will allow delegates from different disciplines to meet, network and to deeply understand and challenge each other’s views. The future of e-books (and readers) in the light of the imminent launch of iBooks; how publishers can use digital developments to their advantage; the role of DRM in e-bookselling; the Google Book Settlement and other digitisation initiatives such as the Open Content Alliance–are just some of the topics which will inspire and stimulate lively discussion and debate. The informal nature of the event means that participants are encouraged to register their interest at the website, and suggestions for topics to be discussed on the day can be listed here. The conversation will continue after the event over on Intersection: Publishing’s blog and on Twitter.

– Padmini Ray Murray