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MLitt Publishing Studies

Sarah Shannon MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-2018

December 11th, 2017 by Sarah Shannon | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Sarah Shannon MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-2018
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 I grew up on a small farm outside of a little town called Wexford, in the tiny yet beautiful country of Ireland.  An area which is also home to a few famous Irish authors.

I was a relative late comer to the world of bibliophiles with the Redwall series by Brian Jacques and Lady Grace mysteries by Grace Cavendish the two series which cemented my now slightly obsessive love for books in my early teens. Once they came along I haven’t stopped reading much with only occasionally taking forays into reality. I read mostly fantasy and sci-fi titles in my spare time so at heart I am a traveler of worlds both fictional and real.

Fast forward, I did my undergraduate degree in Dublin at UCD (University College Dublin), diligently completing a B.A joints honors in English and Music, learning more about the Beatles and James Joyce than I knew I wanted to know and making friends from all over the world. Roll around my third year in college and the inevitable question of what to do with myself afterwards pops up. I knew I wanted to do something with books but at that point I decided I at least at the time I didn’t want to be an author so working in publishing was the logical and exciting alternative for me. So, that brought me to the University of Stirling and my first time living outside of Ireland.

I have an ambition of becoming an editor driven by a love for words (both written and spoken) and how they fit together to create something more. As this course has taught me there is much more to the publishing industry than I had realized but also that with a lot of hard work and determination I can be a part of the publishing industry.

Kate Bailey, MLitt Publishing Studies, 2017-18

November 20th, 2017 by Kate Bailey | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Kate Bailey, MLitt Publishing Studies, 2017-18
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Like most of the students on this course, it’s fair to say that I love reading. Maybe it’s a little strange that one day I can be reading fantastical fiction about dragons or spaceships and then the next day I am completely invested in learning about obscure literary figures or the American Revolution. But so long as it’s written and I’m at least a little interested, I’m game to read it. This means I am quite good at knowing trivia, but not so good at finding space on my bookshelves!

For a long time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after my History undergraduate degree. Ironically, I attended a Publishing event in my first ever Freshers’ week at university. But for a long time I wasn’t sure if it was for me. I decided that I needed to get some first-hand experience, so I did some unpaid work experience in publishing houses in Edinburgh and Glasgow. They were brilliant. There were so many books! And the people there actually made a difference to their content and design and helped them to get out there and get noticed… Amazing! I was convinced. Publishing was where I wanted to be.

I spent last year working in a remainder bookshop learning that some books sell quickly, some books sell slower, and that no matter what, Oor Wullie always sells out (at least in Scotland). And now here I am to study publishing in more depth and learn about all the hard work that goes into making sure there are books to sell. I am really enjoying the classes on editorial and production work, which are the parts of my work experience I found most interesting as well. Since I enjoyed my last round of work experience so much, I am keen to get back inside a publishing company as an intern and work on some new projects!

If you think my rambling might be interesting in some way, please feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Sofia Fernandez, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-2018

October 7th, 2017 by Sofia Fernandez | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Sofia Fernandez, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-2018
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Last year I found out Publishing entails all I ever felt passionate for in life. On 2012 I chose to study an undergraduate degree in English Philology in my birth country, Spain, because of my interest on language processing and English language literature. During the last five past years I understood that not only the meaning of the text started to be important to me, but the aesthetics. I enjoy paying attention to the way the writing is presented, by means of the cover of the book and the entire layout. All these interests stood to reason when I attended a careers advice meeting in which an old student of the university lectured about her work on Blackwell Publishing after finishing her literature degree and I became fascinated with the editorial field work.

I then applied for an internship in “Opera Prima”, an independent editorial established in Madrid. I worked there during three months carrying out different activities in all the departments because the firm is very small. I took part on edition tasks (style editing, layout, proofreading and complete design of the book), promotion department (contact with media, design of newsletters, follow-up of promotion campaigns) and the distribution of books (registration of books in the commercial circuit, activation of the inputs in bookshops, invoicing and delivery shipment). After this internship I decided to study book design more in depth by attending to an Adobe InDesign course certificate. Moreover, on December 2016 I worked on Fnac enterprise as a shop assistant during three months and had the opportunity to be present on the commercial circuit of books on a real bookstore. I then decided to apply for a job position in Elle magazines and I got hired. However, the job conditions were very bad because, being completely honest, Spain is not doing great on the economy recovery after the financial crisis we had. 

As a result, I thought that undertaking a postgraduate in publishing studies at the University of Stirling would be a huge opportunity to gain experience on the field in another language, and fulfill my career ambitions ABROAD! (And also because there is so much more I do not know yet…) Now that classes have started I feel I am having the time of my life because I cannot believe all the chances the University offers to get involved in the profession. Moreover, apart from the lectures and several practical exercises that put you on the situation of working in the business, I am very excited to create my own physical publishing project (a book). This encourages me to show the best that is in me and demonstrate I can make a contribution to the field. I am here to stay. Hurray for publishing and its exciting world!

Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Katie Lumsden, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-2018

October 6th, 2017 by Katie Lumsden | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Katie Lumsden, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-2018
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Hi, I’m Katie and I’m currently on the Publishing Studies course at the University of Stirling. I also completed my undergraduate course at Stirling, graduating in June 2017 with a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in English Studies. So it’s safe to safe, I’m a bibliophile, and I love Stirling!

I’ve been interested in writing and reading literature, and books in general, from before I could even read (bet you’ve never heard that cliché before!) I would carry books around with me and force my parents to read them to me until I was able to read them myself. I used to write short stories constantly, and when I first thought about coming to University, I looked into Creative Writing courses. After some research, I realised that I was more interested in the physical creation of the books and the marketing that goes into them once they are published, rather than the writing of them. As Publishing was only offered as a masters course, I figured the best way in would be to apply for English Studies and then apply to the masters course after my undergraduate course, which I did and the rest is history!

During my undergraduate years, a lot of my course was focussed on literature and linguistics, rather than publishing the content. However, the Business Writing and Communication module I completed, and the historical modules which delved into the creation of the first novel and the first ‘marketing’ strategies that were applied, were the ones I found most interesting. This pushed me to apply for the Publishing course and it has been the best decision for me.

Currently, I’m looking to expand my experience within the Publishing industry in areas such as editing, proofreading and marketing. I am actively looking for internships and job vacancies – not only as experience for just now, but to see what roles and careers are available in the future for people just starting out. I’m trying to get involved in as many things as I can: following publishing companies on Twitter, joining the SYP and attending events when I can and having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile for all those important business connections!

Speaking of social media and self-promotion… connect with me on:
Twitter
Blog (WordPress)
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Lea Intelmann, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-2018

October 5th, 2017 by Lea Intelmann | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Lea Intelmann, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-2018
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From when I was very little, I was a dedicated traveler. I would go to far away countries, space and underseas as well as places that where not to be found on any map. The books I read and the stories I re-lived made me the person I am today. And I’m grateful for that.
So I decided that I wanted to work in publishing and contribute to this. Overwhelmed by the vast selection of subjects I went to study German and International Literature at Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen (that’s a teeny tiny city in Germany). I quickly realised how much I liked copy-editing and proofreading. I became better and better at spotting mistakes and improving texts to their very best as my friends and fellow students cluttered me with term-papers and dissertations. To further extend my skills I interned at a small publishing company in Hamburg, where I had the chance to copy-edit complete novels, learn a lot about the daily work in a publishing house as well as interact with authors. I prolonged my studies a bit by studying at the renowned National University of Singapore for one semester before finally finishing my bachelor’s degree. I moved back to my beloved Hamburg and found work as a copy-editor and proofreader for online content. I quickly realised that this wasn’t the way that would lead me towards a publishing career so I applied for the master’s programme in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling. I appreciate the broad range of skills we are taught in our programme as well as the close relations to the actual publishing industry. Coming to Stirling proved to be a great decision! While studying, I also freelance as a copy-editor and proofreader for different companies, including a translation agency, e-commerce agencies and dissertation-editing services.

Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Visiting Speaker – Rights Director Andrea Joyce

April 3rd, 2017 by rachel_kay | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting Speaker – Rights Director Andrea Joyce
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Stirling’s MLitt Publishing students were recently delighted to hear from Andrea Joyce, who spoke to us about her role as Rights Director at Canongate, and what it takes for a book to successfully transcend geographical borders.

Canongate Books is one of the biggest publishers in Scotland, currently employing about 40 people in Edinburgh and London. It has been an independent publisher since 1973, and aims to “unearth and amplify the most vital, innovative voices” with a strong international focus encompassing countries from Albania to Vietnam.

Keeping Pace

Canongate’s aim to “publish authors, not books” involves a tailored approach for each project as their authors continue to explore. Matt Haig, for instance, had published two novels before venturing into non-fiction with the wildly successful Reasons to Stay Alive. Now, with A Boy Called Christmas, Canongate is delving into children’s publishing, including their first visit to the Bologna Book Fair. These kinds of challenges keep things interesting for the rights team, who are constantly expanding their networks to keep pace with an author’s needs.

Outside the publishing house, foreign markets also continue to evolve. What worked five years ago does not work now; for instance serial and book club rights are much less lucrative than they used to be. Joyce says that this time of change and uncertainty can be both exciting and frightening. Working in rights means continuously working to develop and maintain contacts and to stay up-to-date with other publishers’ lists. According to Joyce, it is essential to have an idea of who, down to the editor, a book is likely to appeal to before approaching to make a deal.

Choosing Wisely

Not every book is suitable for licensing abroad, and Canongate needs to be selective. It is important to think about a book’s potential international audience from the start, even those which are not immediately obvious. For instance, The Radleys, superficially a YA book about vampires, can also be read as a story about teenage experience, or the burial of a wild youth in middle age. As a result, this story effectively transcended geographical borders, underwent a 9-way auction for the German rights, and was ultimately published in over 26 territories.

Joyce says it can difficult to boil down the formula for major international success, but that “the common ground is universal themes and great fiction”.

Making Changes

Successfully selling rights to a book is only the first step in a process which then involves many changes before a physical copy is produced. In the majority of cases the text needs to be translated, and the cover also redesigned to appeal to its local readers.

Flexibility over a book’s contents can be crucial. For The Novel Cure, international publishers wanted permission to customise the concept to suit their regional markets, including adding different “ailments” that needed a literary “prescription”. The outcome of negotiations was that foreign publishers were allowed to change up to 33% of the content. On the other end of the spectrum, no changes were allowed to be made to Letters of Note, a carefully chosen collection of 100 unusual and inspiring letters, due to the curatorial aspects at the core of this book.

Working in Rights

Rights selling can fit in at any stage of the publishing process, from acquisition to post-publication. However, it is usually ideal if international editions can be published simultaneously. This allows foreign publishers to anticipate demand in their area and also to harness the hype generated by Canongate’s marketing team. Thus, a rights seller needs to be kept in the loop with other departments, and attuned to the stages of a book’s development.

The role doesn’t require law training, but does entail lots of contracts work, an eye for detail, and an aptitude for selling. You don’t need to be bilingual, but it certainly helps, and travel is often involved. Looking at Canongate’s 2016 rights sales by value suggests where frequent destinations might be: last year the USA and Canada held 45%, Germany held 16%, and Asia held 8% of their market.

Many thanks to Andrea for an informative talk!

by Rachel Kay

2017 LBF : “Copyright under Threat?”

March 30th, 2017 by ruoqi_sun | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on 2017 LBF : “Copyright under Threat?”
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I just finished my travel to London Book Fare (LBF) two weeks ago and it was totally a new experience for me to get involved in the publishing industry in this way. Anyway, that was a busy and unforgettable time for me.

I attended “Copyright under Threat?”, a seminar in LBF 2017, which was held in the afternoon on 15th March. It lasted for an hour and consists of 3 speakers. I will focus on the first two:

William Bowes

General Counsel and Company Secretary at Cambridge University Press who also assists other departments on a range of Intellectual Property, Brand and Policy issues.

He mainly summarized the copyright situation in 2016, the development of copyright in recent years and British copyright issues etc. In the speech he mentioned that the social purpose of copyright is encouraging learning, and as publishers, we believe that  is achieved by supporting editorial impartiality, a fair days pay for a fair days work, access to high-quality education, the value of high-quality learning materials and a global framework for the exchange of knowledge, learning and research. In my opinion, it is because copyright has such a social purpose so that it has the value of being explored. Of course, this requires not only the publisher’s dedication but also need the government to actively promote this development process in order to achieve this purpose. Publishers should also help the government to solve these problems which may be encountered in the process because we all understand that copyright can be complicated to understand and manage. In addition, William is also involved in the current situation, like for the consumer, copyright prevents people exercising their “right” to learn, share, crate, collaborate and network. Indeed, when copyright protects the rights of authors, it also makes sharing less flexible. Compared with the consumer, copyright means more for the author and this problem is particularly reflected in the field of education. The limitations of copyright narrow the scope of educational reference and have a negative impact on better education. Therefore, we should also look for ways to ensure the definition of copyright can be more flexible.

Sarach Faulder

Chief Executive of Publishers Licensing Society, she was a partner at city law firm, specializing in copyright.

She gave the practical example of what exactly is going on at moment around copyright issues. Her speech was based on the Canadian education. In 2012, the Canadian government included education in the concept of “fair dealing” so that it quickly has a catastrophic impact on the educational publishing market in Canada. In just 2 years, the value of educational publishing sector dropped by 16% and since then, the number of imported US materials has continued to grow.  For an industry, such fluctuations are really worrying and I think whether it is “fair dealing” in Canada or “fair use” in the US, this is a new stage for copyright development (as they expanded the copyright exception). However, in the early stages of development, we still need to think about the risks of change and whether we have enough power to compensate for the loss caused by fluctuations when making decisions otherwise it will bring disaster to the industries involved, just like Canada. Educational publishers were forced to lay-off staff and Access Copyright (an institute in Canada) established a large fund to supporting this industry as a return.

Nowadays copyright does face a threat to some extent especially the development of digital technology also causes the positive and the negative impact on copyright. The three speakers set out a very professional explanation from the field of their work and left us with more thought.

by Ruoqi Sun

Internships Anonymous @ Publishing 101

March 13th, 2017 by rachel_mccann | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Internships Anonymous @ Publishing 101
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The Internships Anonymous panel at the recent SYP Scotland’s Publishing 101 conference (3rd March 2017) provided some valuable insight into ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ of publishing internships.

Unfortunately, paid internships are hard to find in publishing, which is problematic as it limits the number of people who can afford to undertake unpaid internships. However, it can’t be denied that internships are vital in gaining experience, and give you an edge in applying for publishing jobs so it is helpful to try and do as many as possible.

Luckily, the Internships Anonymous panel provided a number of tips to help you secure that all-important internship:

  • Get in touch! Some places such as the Scottish Book Trust don’t advertise their internships, so there is no harm in sending an email to enquire;
  • Attend as many events as possible: this way you can keep up to date with everything that is happening in the industry. Most importantly, use these events as networking opportunities and talk to as many people as you can. Who knows where a simple conversation could lead?
  • Volunteer where and when you can: book shops and book festivals are excellent opportunities to learn more about the industry. If you have any free time, then you have time to find some relevant experience;
  • Remember: all experience is relevant experience, so just keep volunteering and applying for everything.

The following are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your internship, once you’ve managed to pin one down:

  • Remember that you are not there to do someone else’s job for them: you are supposed to be learning, not replacing a paid position;
  • Stuffing envelopes, making tea and walking the manager’s dog are not publishing skills, and therefore are not acceptable for an internship (no matter how cute the dog is);
  • Show off your talent and passion. Make the most of your time with the company and they will remember you;
  • The Scottish publishing industry is small and it is important to remember that everyone knows each other and talks to each other about their interns. That means if you impress in an internship, it could lead to something else. Likewise, if you make a bad impression, it could impact further internship and employment opportunities;
  • Proper guidance and feedback is crucial because you won’t learn anything otherwise. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you are being asked to do something you are unfamiliar with. It’s better to ask for help than to mess up completely.

In some instances, an internship can result in a paid job, but does that make a bad internship worth it? The final, and most important, piece of advice from the Internships Anonymous panel was that it is ok to say no, especially if you feel like you’re being exploited, or what you are being asked to do makes you uncomfortable.

– By Rachel McCann

 

PPA Scotland’s Paul McNamee: Fund Diversity!

February 27th, 2017 by morven_gow | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on PPA Scotland’s Paul McNamee: Fund Diversity!
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The Big Issue’s UK editor, Paul McNamee, took up tenure as Chair of the PPA Scotland on Wednesday evening (15th Feb) in Glasgow, in front of a strong gathering of over 100 people from magazine and newspaper publishing in Scotland.  At this special reception for the new Chair, Neil Braidwood of Connect Communications gave a lively introduction to McNamee as he handed over the reins used to guide the organisation for the last two years. In his acceptance speech, McNamee painted a vivid picture of himself when as a young man of potential, he was keen to get access to the world of publishing and communication.

Bringing the scenario up to date, he pinpointed what was wrong with the industry now – and echoed public statements and report findings produced by the book publishing industry, and indeed many other sectors including marketing and advertising.  He spoke passionately about the lack of diversity in the newspaper and magazine industry, the lack of young people joining the sector from less advantageous backgrounds. “If kids don’t have money behind them, you’ve got to put money in front of them,” he told us and our response was wholeheartedly positive. With the backing of the PPA Scotland, he wants to see the industry supporting disadvantaged young people who have potential and a desire to enter publishing.

Listening to him, I was reminded that in the late Seventies/ early Eighties, I was one of the last to benefit from a full grant for further and higher education, a luxury not available to many in the UK these days.  Now, if someone from a disadvantaged background does decide to become a student (taking on the psychological and practical burden of debt required to do so) and graduates in due course, they will frequently find that to break into their chosen business sector, they are expected to work for nothing often for long periods in the hope that this trial will end in paid-for employment.  Who can afford the luxury of an unpaid internship, where often not even travel is reimbursed? Only those already blessed with some degree of family financial support?  Is it right that entrance to the creative/ knowledge/ communication sectors across the UK can be based on an individual’s financial resource? Surely this must change or the work produced, whether in a newspaper, magazine, book, app or website, will become increasingly irrelevant to most of the population.

It is not wise to have a minority controlling cultural communication.  A monoculture does not reflect society and should not be imposed. Publishers of books, magazines and newspapers have a responsibility to ensure that all voices are represented.  Looking forward to seeing how the new Chair and the members of PPA Scotland tackle this initiative.

By Morven Gow

Links:

PPA news link to Paul McNamee’s Chair Reception evening

Guardian article: Penguin Random House – publishing “risks becoming irrelevant”

The Big Issue: latest issue on reading and libraries

Miffy creator Dick Bruna dies aged 89

February 20th, 2017 by siqi_cai | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Miffy creator Dick Bruna dies aged 89
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“Some people live, he was already dead; some people died, he’s still alive.”

——Kejia Zang, a Chinese poet

Last year, the subject of my blog was about the death of Leonard Cohen. Unfortunately, today I have to tell more bad news- Miffy creator Dick Bruna died on 17th February.

photo: https://www.nijntje.nl/

Miffy Rabbit (it is called Nijntje in Dutch) is a famous character created by Dutch painter- Dick Bruna. Dick Bruna came from a publishing family and his father had the largest publisher in the Netherlands. He is a successful and one of best-selling fairy tale creators whose works are translated into thirty-three languages around the world. The sales volume reached up to 30 million. He always liked to use simple lines and several colors to create the fairy tale world in his mind. The legacy of the Miffy Rabbit  lasted for half a century, in the author’s insistence, Miffy’s shape has always maintained a simple and easy principle, and Bruna never changed clothes and jewelry because of festivals or for any reason. This super-fresh image, perhaps the most obvious reason why Miffy is always popular today. Miffy Rabbit’s surrounding derivatives includes stationery, toys, clothing and children’s accessories. As an Asian, I have to say that I once used Miffy’s stationery and watched Miffy’s cartoons when I was a child. Such is the power of the cartoon figure.

I have read some sources and materials about children’s picture books recently, and I summed up roughly some reasons why the great pictures books appeal to children:

  • The subject is clearly highlighted and easy for children to understand.
  • The book includes a simple structure, an interesting plot, and rich imaginations.
  • Lively language to meet the needs of children’s visual ability and auditory ability, and thus cultivate children’s interests to know the world.

In the end, when some famous people passed away, people always mourn them by various ways. I think the most important reason is that they change the world, make the world a better place, and bring a huge impact on people. Dick Bruna’s Miffy is the one. The cartoon character will still be exist in the future.

-Siqi Cai