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Tiffany Jacobs, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018-19

November 27th, 2018 by Tiffany Jacobs | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Tiffany Jacobs, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018-19
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Do you ever stop to think about the first time you read a certain book?

I had read The Lord of the Rings before I was nine, and now as an adult who has a keener appreciation for narrative development, I’m almost bitter that young me got to experience the books before adult me did. Late at night, hiding under my sheets with a slowly dying reading light clutched in hand, shoving everything under the mountain of pillows at my back any time I heard a noise from the hallway (any bookworm knows the struggle and exhilaration of wanting to read past your bedtime as a child). At this point in my life it’s safe to say that I already know Tolkien’s stories. I’ve read them multiple times, I’ve watched the films, I even watched the old animated versions. And believe me, I do still get a sense of nervousness and worry if the characters are in a pinch, and feel a rush of adrenaline during an intense battle scene. The wonder of the story is still there. But I can’t recall the proper joy and exhilaration from that Very First Read.

The Very First Read is something that I love beyond all proper understanding. It’s the problem of reading something that you love, but that you don’t know that you love until its finished. Some people get sad that they didn’t appreciate the book more when they were reading it for the first time. Some people immediately read it again. And some people don’t read another book for days because they don’t want to ruin their next read because they don’t think it’ll be as good as what they just finished.

You ever hear a song from years back and suddenly you’re not in 2018 anymore? You’re back to dancing stupidly at a sleepover with your childhood best friend, or you’re on a road trip fresh out of high school, or you’re up late studying for exams, song blaring in the background. The Very First Read is something like that.

You get so engrossed in a new book that everything else sort of melts around you, and it’s just you and that story, those characters. That moment when you just sort of… look up, and remember exactly where you are, like it’s shocking somehow that you haven’t been physically transported. Years later, remembering what you see coming out of that stupor, remembering the raw feeling of the characters and the world and the story. That’s what the Very First Read feels like to me.

Each new book is another chance for the Very First Read.

It’s what inspired me to study literature during my undergrad, and I’m positive it’s what pulled me in the direction of publishing. I can’t think of anything that I would enjoy more than ensuring that people like me get that perfect Very First Read.

Anna Zminda, MLitt Publishing Studies 2018-19

November 14th, 2018 by Anna_Zminda | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Anna Zminda, MLitt Publishing Studies 2018-19
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I always had love for words. At the age of 7, I wrote my first story, called “Princess Anna”, and proudly read it out to every family member that visited our house. At school, I was better at humanities subjects than science or maths. Therefore, growing up I decided that I wanted to be either a writer or a journalist. And honestly, if I still lived in Poland, where I originally am from, I would have probably chosen Journalism as my undergraduate degree.

When I moved to Scotland 10 years ago and couldn’t speak any English, I accepted that I will never be able to be a journalist because my English will never be good enough to produce articles. Fast forward a few years, I actually did end up studying Journalism for a semester and realised that it was not for me. However, when I was still in high school, I discovered my love for languages. I did French and Spanish at Advanced Higher level and decided to study both languages at the University of Stirling.

For the majority of my Bachelor’s degree I thought that, once I graduate, I will pursue a career in translation. I hoped to be able to translate books, of course – I was still not letting go of words and the power that they have. However, the closer the graduation got, the more unsure I was about my career choice.

I finally realised that working in publishing is something that I have always wanted to do, since a very young age. At one point, I even wished to have my own publishing house – although now, I might have to reconsider that thought, after all! I remember thinking to myself, in 4th year of university, that I should stop worrying about the level of my English, my accent, and study something that I have always wanted to do.

Choosing to study MLitt in Publishing has been the best choice I could have made. The thing that I love the most about the course is how practical it is. Whenever I read a recommended textbook, I know that, one day, I will be able to use all the information in real life situations. I am happy to be part of such a dynamic and always changing environment and I cannot wait to see what the future brings. With every day passing I know that publishing is the industry I want to work in. I also hope to have a career where I could speak French and Spanish, as my ultimate goal is to daily use the two degrees that I have.

Federica Fiorillo – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19

November 7th, 2018 by Federica_Fiorillo | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Federica Fiorillo – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19
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I came out as a bookworm at the age of 8.

The real surprise for anyone who kept feeding books to the avid reader of a child I was, though, came when I declared I loved spotting mistakes on the page and correcting them. A bunch of years later, I found myself editing friends’ dissertations and cocooning a passion for footnotes and technicalities.

Becoming an editor has been my constant objective during my years of college in Italy; getting a MA in Classics helped me develop a keen eye on details and great mental flexibility. Moving to Scotland was a dream I had been nurturing for years, so the MLitt in Publishing at the University of Stirling seemed like the perfect next step.

I find nothing more exciting than the publishing industry, and I do believe that the printed book has not by far run out of allure – even though I appreciate e-books and any digital format that is around. You never know what author or story will change somebody’s life, but you can be sure that ink and paper still have a lot of difference to make in this world, and I definitely want to be part of it. Visionary and possibly rebellious publishers have always been my lifelong inspiration and influence, and I consider irony the most powerful tool humans have.

 

I drench my days with coffee, I never miss the chance to have a laugh, and I tweet about it. So far so good.

BookSource

April 5th, 2018 by Ana Tratnik | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on BookSource
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Beginning of the spring semester, time for a field trip to Glasgow! On Monday, 5th February, the Publishing students got to know two aspects of the book process. We visited a distribution company, BookSource, and one of the largest and oldest British printing and binding companies, Bell & Bain. Both were absolutely worth a visit, not only to see what happens with a book when it’s published, but because we all left infected full of enthusiasm radiated from the people who work there.

When we arrived to the BookSource we were split in two groups. One group visited the well-organised warehouse with pleasant Jim and the other group was welcomed with a presentation by Louise, accompanied with coffee, tea and biscuits.

BookSource was founded in 1995 by Publishing Scotland. With only ten people working there their job is to receive and store books, get them to the market, collect, process and fulfil customer orders, invoice customers and collect cash. Their customers are booksellers, wholesalers, online retailers, supermarkets and private individuals. BookSource used to store more than 7M books, but since publishers have taken the advantage of the print-on-demand service, they are able to save space and the number of books in the warehouse has reduced to 3.44M. Currently, they cooperate with 94 publishers and stock 13,178 live titles, including CDs and maps.

BookSource distributes books not only to the mainland UK, but also to the Scottish Isles and abroad. Because of the increased traffic, it is cheaper to deliver books abroad, for instance to Germany or Benelux, than to the Isles. On every dispatched box they put a sticker so they can follow it and know where it is at any time, they also get information in case it gets lost and when the customer receives it.

They are constantly improving their system, which enables them to be up-to-date with what is happening in the warehouse, e.g. they can see what books are missing, but also what are the extra books they store. Their new developed services are MyBookSource, an online bookshop run by BookSource; DataSource holding descriptions of books which took up to four years to be developed and it provides information for their customers, Nielsen etc; and InfoSource that provides all the information for the sales team and allows publishers to check how their sales are going, discounts, how much cash they have collected, if they should reprint a book …

Some interesting facts to conclude, one of the bestsellers lately and a recommended reading by the BookSource is Poverty Safari by Darren McGarvey, a book about the effects of poverty in Glasgow.  The cheapest book, and also a bestseller, that has been stored in the BookSource is Everything Men Know About Women, containing nothing but 32 blank pages, “written” by a woman.

A big thank-you to Louise and Jim for making us welcome. We enjoyed learning about a step of the book production that is not directly linked with the office work in a publishing house, but really, really valuable.

Fiona Logan, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18

December 18th, 2017 by Fiona Logan | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Fiona Logan, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18
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I am excited about the prospect of being able to contribute to the production of books. Back when I was a little girl my Dad used to read to me every single night in the hopes that I would become as obsessed with books as he was. My favourite of the books he read to me was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe written by the wonderful C.S. Lewis. That was the first book that seriously got me hooked and it certainly was not the last. There’s just something enchanting about books that you simply cannot get anywhere else.

Therefore, like a true bibliophile, I thought the best undergraduate course for me would be English Literature (with Journalism Studies). Whilst I was studying I questioned what kind of job I would like after I graduated. I knew that I did not want to be a teacher so I gave journalism a go and interned at The Scottish Sun. That wasn’t for me. Then I saw that the University of Stirling had a Publishing MLitt course and I knew that was what I wanted to do. Having studied the course for over almost two months now, I know that I have made the right decision.

I am thoroughly enjoying the course and I am learning a lot, so although I thought I would definitely go into Editorial before I started the course, that could well change as the likes of marketing, design and production have also caught my eye. My family and friends have used me as their unpaid proofreader for years so I am gravitating towards a proofreading role as then I would at least be getting paid to do something I’ve been doing free for years now.

I am getting involved in as many things as I can: attending book fairs, book launches, SYP events, and I am keeping up to date with internship opportunities.

You can find me on:
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My Twitter

 

Marija Katiliute, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18

December 18th, 2017 by Marija Katiliute | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Marija Katiliute, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18
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After starting high-school in Scotland (I’m originally from Lithuania) at around the age of fifteen, I was in a constant learning mode. Trying to fit into a new environment, improve my English and make new friends took a toll on my reading habits. A few years later, I went to study Film and Media at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, which seemed right to me as it fit in with my interests at the time. Once I’d graduated, I was overwhelmed by the question that so many of us have after university: what do I want to do now? In the end, it took me two years to finally figure out I wanted to go into publishing.

During that period, I took a job at Caffe Nero which gave me a career path to focus on. I’m glad I did, as I got a chance to be the guest editor for our UK-wide employee newsletter in July this year and learn about the publishing processes, whilst also getting management experience as a shift leader/assistant manager in the shop.

The time I spent away from studying gave me more freedom to read and find my passion for books again after what I will call “a decade-long reading hiatus”. So, with this new-found interest in publishing, I started doing research on the industry and decided to continue with further education in Stirling.

The course has so far taught me so much about publishing and the opportunities available. Outside of studying, I’ve already managed to snag a place as a shadow panel judge for the Saltire Society, and I’m on the conference committee with the SYP. I was also offered a two-week work placement at Penguin Random House, which starts at the end of November. I have never worked so hard and enjoyed myself at the same time!

Currently, I’m interested in marketing and production roles, as they seem most suited to the skills I have. But there’s still so much to learn about publishing, and I think this course will be just the thing I need.

Find me on Twitter, Bookstagram, personal Instagram and LinkedIn.

Sara Amateis, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18

December 18th, 2017 by Sara Amateis | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Sara Amateis, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18
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The first time I asked my parents to buy me a book they were of course a little bit skeptical about the fact that I really wanted to read it, and, as all the parents do with their children, they said “Do you know that if we buy it you’ll have to read it, right?”. I still remember which book it was. It was a children’s book, so it wasn’t long, but I was little and by the time we went back home I had already finished it. I really think that from that moment my life changed. Some years after that episode I was very interested in a series of children’s novels, but I wasn’t still able to search for info about them on the internet (things weren’t as handy as they are today) and I wasn’t sure if sooner or later the next book in the series would have come out. I was sad, and my dad kept telling me that probably the sequel would never have come out. One night, during a celebration in my city, I entered a bookshop (open until late for the occasion) with my parents and, illuminated by a flash of light, there it was! I started crying, and on the way home I fell asleep hugging my book. These are only two episodes in my life connected to books, but I think they can clearly explain why, when I had to choose what to study for my Masters I chose Publishing. If it hadn’t been for books I wouldn’t have travelled through time and space as I did and I still do, living incredible adventures and very intense emotions, and now I’ve the chance to be part of the process that gives other people the possibility to live of all that.

Before deciding to follow this path I graduated in Cultural Heritage (Archaeology, Art History, Archival and Library Sciences) at the University of Torino (Italy), following a program that allowed me to acquire knowledge mainly about History, Art and Literature, all things that, I believe, can be useful to me even working in Publishing.  I haven’t decided which area of the Publishing industry I want to work in yet, but this University is giving me the opportunity to learn a lot of things about all the aspects of the Publishing world. At the moment what I know is that being part of the creative process of a book is amazing! When (last year) I started looking for  information about the University of Stirling I knew that this was the right choice for me: I’ve always been completely in love with Scotland, the campus in Stirling is astonishing and the program is very well organized, offering a complete view on the Publishing industry with very practical modules. So, you see… easy choice!

Find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Cortney Alexandra Lee | MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18

December 11th, 2017 by Cortney Alexandra Lee | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Cortney Alexandra Lee | MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18
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Having travelled and lived in a range of countries growing up, there was one constant for me and that was – schooling. My deep set love for learning has seen me through my earliest years and has still never left me. Netflix has yet to run dry of documentaries I want to digest and there is no end to the TED Talk archive that I want to devour. I find learning to be one of the most stimulating things at any age or level.

It is this desire to learn that has predominately led me to Stirling University for the MLitt Publishing masters. Having taken an internship at a publishing house in Glasgow, I decided it was the best next-step to take. It’s been such a satisfying course to embark on, primarily because of the direct link it has to the publishing industry. The course is well thought out and serves to mimic scenarios that would seem to appear in a professional setting. Assignments and tasks are set to establish skills to help navigate through certain aspects of the publishing industry. It’s this aspect that really piques my interest because it’s so encouraging learning something that is directly applicable to ‘real-life’ situations.

After completing my English Literature degree at Glasgow University and prior to coming to Stirling, my husband’s work took us to Portland, Oregon. The impression I got whilst living in Portland, was that it seemed to be the epicentre for design. This sparked my curiosity and interest, particularly in relation to communication design. The amount of visual expression throughout the city and amongst new found friends, was fascinating to learn about. One aspect of the course that I’m really enjoying, is the lessons given in InDesign and Photoshop. The level of detail involved brings such a satisfying element to the processes and techniques we’re beginning to understand.

The publishing industry is seemingly vast and dynamic. It proves to be an industry that is constantly evolving and is creative at its core. I’m eager to enter the field and continue my learning. The production, design or marketing side of the industry have caught my attention,  though, the more I learn about the intricacies of the differing roles within publishing, the more open I find myself becoming. I am absolutely thrilled to be studying such a varied and dynamic industry, and with each passing week I seem to be even more taken with a different aspect of it.

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Diane Hill, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-2018

December 7th, 2017 by Diane Hill | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Diane Hill, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-2018
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I love books, and I’ve always thought of myself as having an eclectic taste when it comes to literature. My all-time favourite series has got to be Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. In fact, my copies are so well used that the spine is starting to show some serious wear. I am also an avid Stephen King and Ian Rankin fan. Gothic fiction, however, is my favourite genre. It is this love for books that made me initially study a BA in English and Journalism studies from the University of Stirling. This course brought together my love for books, and also my love for writing. It also equipped me with the skills and experience to write content for online and magazine publications, which I have accumulated into a portfolio.

I took a year out after graduating to focus on finding my direction in life. I enjoy journalism, however, I felt that it wasn’t a career choice I wanted in my future. Deciding to further my education, I came across the MLitt Publishing Studies course and everything seemed to click into place. I have learned so much from my time on this course. It has helped me come to the decision that Editorial is the career path I’d like to take. I’m very interested in working in an area related to Young Adult fiction or children’s books.

In my spare time, I am an avid short story writer and have only just begun sending them away to fiction magazines for publication. I have also acted as a proof-reader for friends who are current and past students. This has ranged from essays to dissertations. This course has also allowed me the chance to apply for internships to try and gain some experience in this industry.

I can be found on Twitter.

Kathryn Haldane, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18

November 29th, 2017 by Kathryn Haldane | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Kathryn Haldane, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18
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The question I was asked most as a child was ‘so you’re going to be an author when you grow up?’. This seemed like a logical idea; I read and wrote voraciously, and I thought that if I could do this for the rest of my life, that would be pretty much perfect. As I got older, I discovered that it’s not so easy to just become an author, and I still can’t find many jobs that involve me sitting and reading all day long. It took me a surprisingly long time to discover that publishing was a possible career option for me. For the longest time, I was so absorbed by the contents of the books themselves that I never gave much thought to how they actually came into being.

My interest in stories made me choose an undergraduate degree in English and Film Studies at The University of St Andrews. Although I enjoyed many aspects of my undergraduate degree, I learned that I did not want to work as an academic studying books for the rest of my life, but would still love to work around them in some capacity. I did as much work experience as I could to try and figure out where my interests lay, and did several placements at TV and newspaper businesses. They were fascinating, but they affirmed to me that working with books was what I definitely wanted to do.

After graduating this June, I stayed in St Andrews to work through the summer while applying for jobs and internships in publishing, and was finally rewarded with an internship at Alban Books in Edinburgh. It was an interesting and informative experience, and thankfully made me completely certain that I wanted to work in the publishing industry. Only late in the summer did I come across the MLitt in Publishing Studies at Stirling – I never knew such a thing existed, and right away I knew it was what I wanted to do. I never thought I would be going back to university to do postgraduate study, but I liked how vocational the course at Stirling seemed to be, and was excited by the prospect of learning real skills I could use in the workplace. I’m particularly looking forward to doing work experience at local publishing houses to get a feel for which area of the industry I would like to work in, and of course living in another beautiful part of Scotland.

Twitter: @kathrynhaldane