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MLitt Publishing Studies

Visit to Booksource

November 16th, 2016 by helene_fosse | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visit to Booksource
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It was one of the first truly cold mornings of the year – the soul destroying, mind numbing kind of cold that makes you want to slip into a coma just to get away from it. The whole Publishing cohort was standing outside Pathfoot waiting for the bus to show up, all in a severe state of zombie due to lack of sleep. We all had three assignments to finish with two days left until the last deadline. The mood was a bit depressing. It was dark. It wasn’t great.

When the bus showed up, my rarely awakened competitive instinct roared into life as if this was the most important task I ever had to do – get on that bus FIRST. Why? Who can tell. I don’t mess around with warmth and comfort. They’re very precious to me.

Anyway, five minutes later I woke up and we were at Booksource, situated in a small retail park-looking area in Cambuslang, Glasgow. Stepping out of that bus was heartbreaking, but we did, and dragged our feet into the reception where we were warmly welcomed by Jim O’Donnell, operations director, and Louise Morris, customer service director.

As a booksource-2distribution hub for more than 85 publishers, Booksource operate out of their 42,000 sq ft warehouse, which holds around 4 million units across 10,000 titles. Breaking up into two groups, we set out on the Booksource Adventure. As part of group A, I entered the warehouse where we were told it could get OUTRAGEOUSLY cold in winter. -25 degrees Celsius or something ridiculous like that. My brain could not compute. It wasn’t too bad at the moment however (though I was glad I wore thermals that day), so I quite happily followed my group as we delved into the massive room.

It was literally stacked from floor to (dizzyingly high) ceiling with books. We beheld the wet dream of every book-lover with continuous squeals of excitement and did not hold back when Jim said we could even touch the books (and that if anything went wrong, hbooksource-1e would blame it on the employees. I liked Jim a lot). We walked between the high shelves much like the Israelites crossing the Red Sea guided by Moses (Jim).

The bottom two shelves (about hip and eye-hight) were stacked with a wide variety of books. From there on up, there were mostly cardboard boxes on pallets. This was to accommodate picking, and every night the bottom two shelves would be restocked from the boxes so that there were always loose books to hand. There was no easily discernible system (for an outsider to see at least) as to where books were placed. Different titles from the same publishing house were scattered all around; fiction, non-fiction and academic books were happily mixed together; there was no alphabetical (or other) system. Jim explained that one reason for this was that some books, such as Cicerone Press’ travel books, could not be placed together due to the similarity of their covers.

As we came to the end of the warehouse tour, we knew we had to go upstairs and go to a short lecture on Booksource. We were all a little bit disappointed as we really just wanted to stay in the warehouse forever, burrowing into the shelves, making book forts and never ever leave. Ever.

Oh, and apparently CDs are still a thing. Mostly folk music, according to Jim. There were numerous shelves filled with CDs, which we approached with caution, not sure what those pre-historic round discs with the holes in them were.

As we climbed the stairs and entered the conference room however, it was decked out with tea, coffee and biscuits. Our spirits were thoroughly lifted, and although we did not quite forget about the warehouse, we were (I was at least) certainly content being in the warmth with handfuls of biscuits (and perhaps a few in the pocket for the drive to Bell and Bain) and hot beverages.

After settling down, Louise told us about the history and services of Booksource. Not only do they hold and distribute books, they also re-price, re-barcode-sticker (I’m making it a word) and jacket. They also provide POD (Print on Demand) and financial services. They have a website, InfoSource, which works as a reporting tool for publishers can use to keep track of everything from sales to stock to order processing. It is also possible to buy books directly from Booksource at www.mybooksource.com. They stock books, ebooks, CDs and DVDs. What do they not do?

All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and we exited the building in high spirits. And back on the bus we went…

Sharna Vincent, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-2017

November 15th, 2016 by Sharna | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Sharna Vincent, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-2017
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20161107_2128571At the tender age of 18, I thought (like most 18 year olds) that I knew what was best. Finishing up my A levels in Kent, I was adamant that I didn’t want to go to university and I was going to “find work” and “just live my life” and other relevant, angsty phrases you might hear from an 18-year-old. I worked as an office assistant during my gap year, and all I could think to myself was: I would much rather be doing something I’m passionate about. As much as I am grateful for that experience, I knew it wasn’t my calling.

From there, I went on to study my BA in English Language and Linguistics at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. I’ve always been known to be a bit of stickler for grammar and spelling. My first year housemates affectionately referred to me as the ‘grammar police’, but for three straight years, as soon as deadline time came about, I was the most sought after person.

Copyediting comes easy to me. I find mistakes everywhere; I find it’s either something you just see, or it’s not. I’ve been doing ad hoc editing work for one company for about 5 years now and I’ve also completed a work placement scheme with Sweet and Maxwell; both experiences have shown me that this is what I’m really good at. This may even be my ‘calling’ (although people say that a lot and I’m not even sure it has any real merit as a saying).

So anyway, here I am now, at the University of Stirling, 4 years older than when I left school (and not an awful lot wiser) studying for a masters in Publishing in order to become a more rounded and knowledgeable member of the industry. I look forward to the rest of the course and to establishing myself as a copyeditor in the future.

If you’re interested, take a quick look at my LinkedIn profile or have a glance at my Twitter and get in touch!

Mette Vebert Olesen – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 14th, 2016 by mette_olesen | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Mette Vebert Olesen – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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For as long as I can remember, I have loved books and all that they represent. For me, books gave me an opportunity to travel to foreign and far away lands, and they made me fly through time and space with my new 72363_10208104222105422_6287528146829705713_nbest friends. I remember being thrilled every time I could convince my parents to take me to a bookstore, where I would spend all of my hard-earned allowance. But it was all worth it. When I moved here, I had promised myself not to buy too many books, but that resolution has already been shot to bits. Bookshops are just so much better here, and I have to research the newest publications. At least that is what I tell myself.

I did my bachelor’s degree in English and Organisational Management at Aalborg University in Denmark, and I learned a tremendous amount there. Though I have always loved literature, my courses in project management and corporate theories gave me a broader insight into the corporate side of the industry, which has produced so many of my most beloved belongings. And that is really what got me thinking about doing a degree in publishing. After some research, I found the perfect fit in the Stirling program and was thankfully accepted.

I have worked as a volunteer and coordinator for the Danish Refugee Council and there I learned how to plan and organize an event and how to raise awareness for it. These are skills that I hope to make use of in my future career.

I hope to have a future career in either marketing, the editorial field or as a literary agent. Truth be told, I began this course thinking that it was editorial or nothing, but just a few months in, I have already opened up to so many other ideas. Ideally, I would love to remain in the UK after finishing my degree, but I’m exploring other options as well, thanks to Brexit.

Yun HAO, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 14th, 2016 by Yun HAO | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Yun HAO, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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I was born in a small city beside the East China Sea, grew up in Beijing, went to university in Hong Kong, and finally came to Stirling in the UK. This is me, Yun HAO, a Chinese girl with a mixed culture background, having a broad range of interests and always being curious about the world. I love literature, art, anime, and stargazing. I am very interested in politics, history, philosophy, nature and business. I just love to explore and experience new worlds. This strong curiosity about the world and my abundant hobbies may be the start of my interest in publishing industry. Too many interesting things are waiting for us to explore, and that’s precisely the reason why we need books.

My undergraduate major was Government and International Politics. Thanks to the subject, I’ve accumulated some knowledge of social science, which may be a good foundation for me to work with publishers in the field. The subject, however, also made me realize that it is no use for me to think and talk about empty ideas only. To better realize the value of my life, I shall be devoted to a more practical cause for the sake of people’s happiness. The publishing industry fits me best, I believe, since I am patient, careful, passionate, and have a sound knowledge of social science and can write essays in Chinese well. What’s more, I am a person who believes in the value of culture.

I’m very happy to study at the University of Stirling and regard it as the first step to the publishing industry. I  treasure this precious opportunity and am determined to learn as much as I can, so as to reinvigorate publishing industry in China as a qualified editor with the knowledge and experiences of the West’s publishing industry. China’s publishing industry is facing significant challenges from the new technology and new business models, but I believe that the challenge can be both threats and opportunities. My life will be meaningful if I am a part of the effort to successfully transfer the challenge into opportunities, even if a tiny part.

Yangrui Wu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

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

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

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

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

Isabella Pioli, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-2017

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

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

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

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

Nicole Sweeney MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

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

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

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

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

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

Biyan Gu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marian Pérez-Santiago, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 7th, 2016 by marian_perez-santiago | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Marian Pérez-Santiago, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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Mari

When I was five years old, my family and I packed up our lives in Puerto Rico and moved to small-town Texas. Switching from one culture and language to another is a fairly radical change for anyone, but, to make the transition more difficult, I was placed in a school with no “English as a Second Language” course option. This meant that I couldn’t communicate with anyone, including my teachers. I took some comfort in the fact that my family and I were all in the same position, but the experience was, nonetheless, an isolating one. I was an outgoing, exuberant child so I wanted to learn English desperately, the way other kids wanted recess or snack time. Slowly I came to grasp the language, but it was not until I learned to read that I felt confident.  With the next school year came required reading time. I started hesitantly, my English halting and full of mistakes, but I persisted. By the end of the school year, I was one of the best readers in my grade.

Thus began my love of reading. I speak fluent English because of the books I read growing up; in a very literal sense, reading opened up a whole new world for me. My love of reading inspired me to declare an English Language and Literature major at university and allowed me to explore and analyze books in a way I hadn’t before. When graduation came around, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my degree. I worked in customer service at a zoo for about a year and a half, during which I had time to reflect on what I really wanted my future to look like. The decision to work in the publishing industry seemed an obvious one. However, I knew I didn’t yet have the skills I needed, so I made the decision to return to the academic world. My search for a master’s program in publishing led me to the University of Stirling, where I’m discovering more about the industry every day. I know firsthand the difference that good books can make in people’s every day lives. It is my goal to be part of the industry that changed my life so profoundly. After graduation, I’d like to move somewhere warm and work in translations or editorial.

You can find me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Morven Gow, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-17

November 7th, 2016 by morven_gow | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Morven Gow, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-17
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“How brave of you.” “How inspiring!” “I’d love to do that – good on you!”
Reactions to news that I have signed up to be one of the first humans trying to grow spinach in a cloche on Mars? Or perhaps to an announcement that I am contemplating a fire-walk, swimming Loch Lomond, and cycling the world? Neither of those. I find myself a Hero for the Middle-Aged Worker simply by returning to Uni.
What has brought me here to study publishing at Stirling? I wanted to shake up my skills and go back to the future, to focus on writing. After 30 years planning and buying advertising campaigns, with some PR experience, working on campaigns for some of Scotland’s bastions of culture (National Museums, National Galleries, National Library), newspaper publishers, retailers, banks, whiskies, political, and public health campaigns, I thought I would brush up my writing skills to suit the digital age adding what is known in the trade as content marketing to the skills I could offer my employer and my clients. A quick Google brought me to the Publishing Scotland website, and information about a day course on the subject. But I wanted something with more depth. I read information on the site about PG courses in publishing, and although I discounted the idea at the time, a small persistent voice (coupled with the louder voices of my friends) kept asking, “why not? Books are a passion for you, and you love a beautifully designed hip posh mag”. After a meeting with the course director, Frances, the idea blossomed, I applied – and here I am, loving my new life as a student on a well respected course, thinking new thoughts, on a beautiful campus, with fellow students from all over the world.
Now that the course has begun, I can see that the Publishing Studies course will repurpose me for the next stage in my life – rather like a classic G Plan chair, reupholstered and reoiled.
Officially self-employed, I am a consultant for my previous company combining blog writing and communication advice with media planning and buying, and looking for some experience in book and magazine marketing from publishers before I graduate, with an eye to moving into that area as a consultant at the end of the course.

I can be found at@Morv60 on Twitter and at Morven Gow on LinkedIn