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

PhD

Sarah Boyd, PhD in Publishing Studies

February 21st, 2018 by Sarah Boyd | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Sarah Boyd, PhD in Publishing Studies
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Working Title: The Publishing Industry in the Digital Fiction Ecosystem

Topic: My research looks at the position of the publishing industry in the emerging field of digital fiction. I am examining the history and current state of legacy publishers’ engagement with digital technology as a creative tool, and comparing this to other major sectors in the field (electronic literature, videogames and fan fiction). By doing so I hope to gain an understanding of where the publishing industry can best situate itself in this area of literary production.

Research interests: electronic literature; digital publishing; publishing studies; creative communities; online publishing; social media; videogames; fan fiction.

Supervisors:

Dr Simon Rowberry (Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication)

Professor Claire Squires (Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication)

Scholarships: Carnegie PhD Scholarship

Links:

Sarah on Twitter: @seviebee
Sarah on LinkedIn
Sarah on Academia.edu

Email: s.e.boyd1@stir.ac.uk

Christina Neuwirth, PhD in Publishing Studies

October 20th, 2017 by Christina Neuwirth | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Christina Neuwirth, PhD in Publishing Studies
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Working Title: Women of Words: Gender equality in contemporary writing and publishing in Scotland

Topic: In collaboration with Scottish Book Trust, my research aims to identify the barriers to women’s equal and effective involvement in writing and publishing in Scotland, and find ways in which those barriers might be overcome.

Research interests: creative writing, publishing, communities, intersectional feminism, LGBTQ+ studies, home, language learning, magical realism, cities (created, constructed, rebuilt), identity.

Supervisors:

Studentships: SGSAH AHRC Creative Economies Studentship (CES) Women of Words

Links:
Christina on Twitter: @gwynn255
Christina on LinkedIn

Email: christina.neuwirth1@stir.ac.uk

On PhD Research and Longselling Books

November 24th, 2016 by Helena Markou | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on On PhD Research and Longselling Books
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One year into my PhD exploring the sales life of contemporary trade non-fiction books and I still feel like I am just scratching the surface of my topic. So what is life as a researcher like? On a day-to-day basis I divide my time between:

  • immersion in my subject area – reading journals articles and scholarly publication to keep up with innovations in the fields of publishing studies, literary studies, and the broader fields of cultural studies and digital humanities.
  • writing – ranging from annotated bibliography entries, notes made at events, results and findings of my research and data analysis, or blog posts like this one. The important thing is to write often.
  • wrangling sales data – using a combination of familiar tools and techniques such as vlookup in Excel, box plots in SPSS, or tools that are new to me such as big data analytics using python and weka.
  • skills training – living half way between Glasgow and Edinburgh allows me to take advantage of many events organised within my own institution, University of Stirling, or the other institutions that make up the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities.

But why study the sales life of books at all? Well because the UK produces huge quantities of books. It has the highest per capita output in the world and the third highest number of new and revised titles published each year (behind China and the USA). This number of new and revised titles has risen steadily since the end of the Second World War from an almost standing start of 6,000 new titles in 1943 to over 200k in 2015.

Graph: Volume of New and Revised Titles Published in UK by Year

Graph: Volume of New and Revised Titles Published in UK by Year

[Various Sources: Bookfacts, Nielsen BookScan, Publishers Association (2016)]

These statistics alone invite many questions: who is writing all these books? How many more people are involved in the design and refining of these products? How and why does the machinery of publishing manufacture and distribute at such a vast scale? However, my research is more interested in the next stages of the supply chain. What happens when these new titles are added to those already in print; the millions of titles which make up UK publishers’ back catalogues known as the backlist? How are all these books, both new and established, squeezed into bookshops (physical or otherwise)? How are they merchandised and sold? How long is the window of opportunity for them to succeed or fail? What does success look like in modern bookselling terms – and which authors and titles have achieved this? In the so-called age of abundance, which books have persistent sales and why?

My research objectives are ambitious (or so I’ve been told); to quantify the average sales life of non-fiction titles by subject category, identify longselling titles that have remained relevant to the UK book buying population over long time period, then explore the qualities, and cultural significance of some of these books via case studies.

An example of a longseller from one of the slowest selling bookshop categories,   “Music and Dance”, is The Inner Game of Music by Timothy Gallwey and Barry Green. Originally published in 1986, this book is not the bestselling title in its class (that would be the BBC Proms Official Guide), but it is one of the few titles that appear in the top 5000 physical book sales charts for both 2001 and 2015.

Ranked 54th in the category of Music & Dance in 2001, it sold just under 2000 units and continued to rank in 312th position in 2015 with a modest 500 units sold in that year. Clearly, the sales for this title are declining, however three decades of bookshop sales is a noteworthy achievement and warrants a closer look.

Scrutinising the quantitative data alone provides some clues that The Inner Game of Music might be atypical for a book about music. It is certainly not a beginner’s guide to guitar, or piano, as are most of the other longselling titles within Music and Dance. However, the next step in the research journey is to explore the historical and commercial context for this book’s success and the opinions of its readership.

Initial investigation uncovers that the “inner game”, as a concept, was not originally developed for musicians. It is a spin-off from Gallwey’s NYT bestseller The Inner Game of Tennis, a book which teaches tennis players to improve their practice through awareness of psychological barriers, removal of self-doubt, and correction of bad habits.   This philosophy is something Gallwey adapted and applied to other walks of life (golf, work, stress and music). He appears to have made a successful career out this brand through consultancy, public speaking and book sales. The Inner Game of Music also appears frequently on university reading lists, lending some academic weight to its commercial popularity.

This looks like a promising start for a case study, offering up a number of avenues for further research. How do readers discuss the book via online reviews? How is the book is positioned and sold within general and specialist bookshops; What is the impact of proactive and consistent marketing of the book by the author? Is self-improvement a common theme within longselling books?

All these questions demand answers, provoke my curiosity and spur me on to continue researching longselling books. And on that note, I guess I had better finish procrastinating via this blog article and get back to the PhD.

 

Helena Markou’s professional career spans publishing, bookselling and digital consultancy.  Within her academic career she has lectured in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University and Digital Book History at the School of Advanced Studies, University of London. She is in her 2nd year of an AHRC funded PhD at University of Stirling. You can follow her online @helena_markou

Catriona Cox, PhD in Publishing Studies

October 19th, 2015 by Catriona_Cox | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Catriona Cox, PhD in Publishing Studies
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DSC_0061Working Title: Publishing in Scotland 1968-2018

Topic:  In collaboration with Publishing Scotland my research will look at the history of the publishing industry in Scotland. I hope to gain valuable information from the Publishing Scotland archives and also conduct interviews with publishers based in Scotland to gain a complete picture of the businesses and their own histories.

Research interests: Scottish publishing, book history, book marketing, metadata, literary awards, arts funding, Irish publishing

Supervisors:

Scholarships: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

 

 

Links:

Catriona on Twitter: @CatrionaMCox
Catriona on LinkedIn
Catriona on Academia.edu

Email: c.m.cox@stir.ac.uk

Helena Markou, PhD in Publishing Studies

October 8th, 2015 by Helena Markou | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Helena Markou, PhD in Publishing Studies
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biog_helena_markouWorking TitleThe Shelf-Life of Books: An Exploration of the Lifecycle and Longevity of Books in the UK in the 21st Century

Topic:  With 180,000 new titles now published each year, there is fierce competition for space on bookshop shelves.  This research aims to identify and investigate longselling titles within UK trade publishing (namely the books you find in high street bookshops).  It will first establish an overview of the typical lifecycle of books across genres, using quantitative data analysis.  Then seek to identify and explore the cultural significance of those titles that, against all odds, remain on bookshop shelves.

Through this research data analysis methods will be developed and the themes of longevity, obsolesce and the impact of online bookselling on the UK publishing industry explored.

Research interests: bookselling, publishing, product development, consumerism, book history, book culture, creative industries, digital publishing, digital book history, digital humanities.

 

Supervisors:

Scholarships: SGSAH AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship

Links:

Helena on Twitter: @helena_markou
Helena on LinkedIn
Helena on Academia.edu

Email: h.l.markou[at]stir.ac.uk

AHRC PhD studentship ‘Developing Literary Glasgow’

June 7th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on AHRC PhD studentship ‘Developing Literary Glasgow’
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FULLY-FUNDED AHRC PHD STUDENTSHIP: DEVELOPING LITERARY GLASGOW

Glasgow Life and The University of Stirling are pleased to invite applications for a three-year Studentship under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) Scheme, to commence 1 October 2013. The studentship is fully funded by the AHRC (UK/EU rate) and Glasgow Life will provide additional financial support to cover travel and related costs in carrying out research of up to £1,000 a year.

This studentship will be a collaboration between the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication at the University of Stirling and Glasgow Life. The doctoral project will develop a strategy for a reading, writing and publishing city that builds on and develops the existing infrastructure, and showcases its literature for its citizens, and its visitors. The student would be expected to place knowledge exchange and research impact at the heart of the project, enabling Glasgow Life and Glasgow as a city to develop its literary expertise, profile, practice and impact.

The applicant should plan their research project in relation to the Glasgow Life’s existing infrastructure relating to literature and literature development (including Glasgow Libraries, the book festival Aye Write!, and its creative industries policies), as well as the city’s commercial and community-based environment, which is frequently supported by Glasgow Life/Glasgow City Council funding. Areas of research could include (but are not limited to):

  • the history and current profile of Glasgow as a city of writers
  • the history and current profile of Glasgow as a city of publishers
  • the role of literary events and book festivals (including but not limited to Aye Write!) in Glasgow’s literary environment
  • literature, literary heritage and tourism
  • books and literature within the creative industries and wider arts, cultural, and commercial environment of Glasgow
  • the relationship between public-funded, commercial and community-based literature-based organisations and environments
  • books and literature in relationship to schools (including via the Curriculum for Excellence) and libraries

The precise scope and emphases of the work will be shaped by the interests and initiative of the successful application in consultation with the supervisory team. This primarily comprises the academic supervisor, Professor Claire Squires (Professor of Publishing Studies and Director of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, University of Stirling) and the Glasgow Life supervisor, Karen Cunningham (Head of Libraries and Cultural Venues, and Director of Aye Write!, Glasgow Life). The successful applicant will be expected to divide their time between Glasgow and Stirling.

Applicants must have gained a good undergraduate degree in an appropriate subject and a Master’s degree, or be about to complete an appropriate Masters level qualification – or have other professional experience relevant to the scope of the project.

Eligibility to Apply

In order to apply, you must fulfil both the academic and the residency criteria laid down by the AHRC.

Academic eligibility – you must:

  1. Have applied for and been offered a place to study at the University of Stirling (such an offer will be made to the successful applicant for this studentship);
  2. Hold a relevant postgraduate Masters degree, or be about to complete an appropriate Masters level qualification – or have other professional experience relevant to the scope of the project.

Residency eligibility – you must:

  1. Be a British national normally resident in the UK; or
  2. Be an EU national normally resident in the UK, the EU or Switzerland; or
  3. Have been resident in the UK or EU for the past three years for reasons other than education.

For full details (particularly regarding residency eligibility, which has many conditions and exceptions), please see the AHRC’s Student Funding Guide (pdf).

Further information on the studentship and on the application are available here: GlasgowLifeCDA_fps2 (pdf). Potential applicants are welcome to contact Professor Claire Squires (claire.squires@stir.ac.uk) informally with any questions they may have.

Deadline for applications: 4pm Wednesday 17 July.

Interviews will be held at Glasgow Life on Wednesday 14 August 2013.

 

Saltire Society Book Awards 2012

November 21st, 2012 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Saltire Society Book Awards 2012
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Every year, the Saltire Society Book Awards shortlists and winners bring attention to the best of Scottish writing. Novels, short stories, poetry, biography and autobiography, history and other works of non-fiction are all celebrated in the literary prizes, which were first awarded in the 1930s, and on a regular basis since 1982.

This year’s awards have a particularly strong Stirling connection. Our Director, Professor Claire Squires, has been since 2011 one of the six judges involved in the process of judging the submitted books. This year, she is joined at the Saltire Society by Stevie Marsden, an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD student, who will be writing her thesis on the book awards, is involved in the administration of the awards at the Society, and also sits in on judging meetings.

This year also sees the shortlisting on the Saltire Book of the Year Awards of our colleague Kathleen Jamie, Professor of Creative Writing. Her book Sightlines joins books by Carol Ann Duffy, James Kelman, Ewan Morrison, Aonghas MacNeacail, Alan Warner and Irvine Welsh on the shortlist.

We’re also really pleased that two of the six books on the shortlist for the Saltire First Book of the Year are published by new Glasgow-based publishing imprint Freight Books. Freight’s publisher Adrian Searle is on our Industry Advisory Board, and regularly comes to Stirling as a Visiting Speaker on the MLitt in Publishing Studies. Other Scottish publishers with books on the shortlist include Cargo Publishing, Fledgling Press and Polygon. Publishing and writing in Scotland is alive and kicking!

The winners of the Saltire Society Book Awards will be announced in a ceremony at the National Library of Scotland on Friday 30 November, as part of Book Week Scotland.

AHRC PhD opportunity in association with the Saltire Society

June 12th, 2012 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on AHRC PhD opportunity in association with the Saltire Society
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The University of Stirling is pleased to invite applications for a three-year Collaborative Doctoral Studentship, fully funded by the AHRC (UK/EU rate) with an additional contribution from The Saltire Society, plus associated expenses, to commence on 1 October 2012 or as soon thereafter as can be arranged.

This studentship will be a collaboration between the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication and The Saltire Society, a charitable organisation in Scotland. The project will focus on the Society’s book awards, which were established in the 1930s, and which were systematically awarded since 1982, as part of the Society’s overall mission ‘to foster and enrich the cultural heritage of Scotland’. Winners have included Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan, William McIlvanney, Norman MacCaig, Muriel Spark, Sorley MacLean, Iain Crichton Smith, George Mackay Brown, Liz Lochhead, Janice Galloway, John Burnside, A L Kennedy, James Kelman, Jackie Kay, Ali Smith and James Robertson; in addition to historians, literary critics, and biographers of Scotland, Scottish subjects and figures. The precise scope and emphases of the work will be shaped by the interests and initiative of the successful application in consultation with their academic supervisor, Professor Claire Squires. The successful applicant will spend some of their time based at The Saltire Society’s offices in Edinburgh, working alongside Saltire Society staff on the current Book Awards, liaising closely with Jim Tough and Sarah Mason (Executive Director and Programmes Manager of the Saltire Society respectively) and Professor Ian Campbell (Chair of the Book Awards judges).

Applicants must have a good first degree in an appropriate subject and a Master’s degree relevant to research into contemporary (late 20th/21st century) literature and publishing. A demonstrable interest in literary prizes and modern Scottish writing would be especially welcome, as would an interest in and aptitude for publishing and literary administration.

Eligibility to Apply

In order to apply, you must fulfil both the academic and the residency criteria laid down by the AHRC.

Academic eligibility – you must:

1. Have applied for and been offered a place to study at the University of Stirling (such an offer will be made to the successful applicant for this studentship);

2. Hold a relevant postgraduate Masters degree.

Residency eligibility – you must:

1. Be a British national normally resident in the UK; or

2. Be an EU national normally resident in the UK, the EU or Switzerland; or

3. Have been resident in the UK or EU for the past three years for reasons other than education.

For full details (particularly regarding residency eligibility, which has many conditions and exceptions), please see the AHRC’s Guide to Student Funding:

Further information on the studentship and on the application procedure is available as a pdf here: AHRC_SaltireSociety_CDA_fps. Potential applicants are welcome to contact Professor Claire Squires (claire.squires [@] stir.ac.uk or +44 (0)1786 467505) with any questions they may have.

Deadline for applications: 12 noon on Wednesday 11 July 2012.

Interviews will be held at The Saltire Society, 9 Fountain Close, 22 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TF during the week beginning 6 August 2012.