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publishing

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.

Hollie Monaghan MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18

November 20th, 2017 by Hollie Monaghan | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Hollie Monaghan MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18
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For as long as I’ve known how to read and write I’ve loved books and have especially loved pointing out typos and spelling mistakes and loudly tutting. A children’s book I loved as a child had on the page the typo “the the” and it still haunts me to this day. I want to go into publishing so that another young child does not need to go through that trauma. Also, because I love books of course!

I’ve wanted to be a publisher for as long as I actually knew what being a publisher entailed and my career trajectory has not shifted at all since then ( apart from a brief digression when I was ten and I wanted to be a pirate). Books always fascinated me and I was often caught reading a book under the table in school instead of doing maths work. Helping books be created and introducing them into the world is what I want to do. One gap year, a terrible call centre job and a dreadful bar job later I know I really would much rather do a job in publishing.

I did my MA in English Literature at the University of Glasgow and as much as I enjoyed the course, I was one of the very few students that didn’t want to be a teacher and I knew a future in publishing was still what I wanted to do and that the MLitt in Publishing Studies at Stirling would be an integral part of achieving this goal. At graduation while everyone was talking about their summer plans and their gap years I was talking about this publishing course. Even the social media aspect won’t scare me off; I hope. Over the summer, I even helped edit my friend’s self-published novel Melancholy Mind. I will completely acknowledge it as my first editing job even if the pay was in McDonald’s fries.

A few weeks into this course and I now know it was the right choice. Editing was my original career goal but now sales and marketing sounds rather interesting as well. The social media aspect of the course is scary though but I will persevere and become a social butterfly! Therefore, you can find me on Twitter . Let’s talk about books and the eternal struggle of getting up those stairs at Pathfoot.

 

Wendy Russell, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18

November 10th, 2017 by Wendy Russell | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Wendy Russell, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18
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A mature student, I have recently graduated from Stirling Uni.  in Heritage and Conservation and through the course of my studies, I was able to do modules in History and English (always my favourite subjects at school).  I decided that I wanted to stay on to do a Masters and searched for a course that would give me greater employability, but that I also enjoy.  I have been self-employed for many years and ideally would like to continue with this in some form after the course.  Hopefully, throughout this year I will find a focus for business development which would utilise my knowledge of the heritage sector and combine this with publishing.

I have been a volunteer at the Battle of Bannockburn Centre and the Anne Frank Trust and more than anything else, I would say that this taught me to be flexible in what you want to do and be open to new ideas.

I feel that this is a really interesting time in publishing and that we have the opportunity to be a part of the changes that are taking place.

 

Lucie Santos, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18

November 10th, 2017 by Lucie Santos | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Lucie Santos, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18
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I am very fond of travelling, of discovering a new culture and a new way of thinking. Sometimes, I just observe people and I see what they want to do or who they want to be. So, one of the best way for me to get into culture and to develop my critical thinking is to read books. As an editor, you take part in someone’s dream and you have to meliorate it and to think how their book can interest someone else.

After my A-level in France, I searched what I wanted to do and I found my life’s passion: working in publishing and books. I did my bachelor’s degree in publishing at Paris-Descartes University. I developed my skills in digital publishing and made different internships in bookshops and in indie publishing houses. I am particularly interested in South American literature. That is why I made an internship in a publishing house in Buenos Aires. I learned a lot from this experience and I can speak fluent Spanish.

Thanks to that I made an apprenticeship last year in Nathan, a publishing house in Paris, working at the Spanish methods department. I made some copy-editing in French and Spanish, proofreading, iconography researches and I was in charge of the rights for the texts and images of two textbooks. I really enjoyed getting in touch with literary agents, sending contracts and respecting the copyrights. It was really interesting and I realized that to follow my dreams and create my own publishing house specialized in translated fiction, I should improve my English. I chose Stirling University because I wanted to discover the Scottish culture and develop my skills in publishing. I am very passionate about the classes and I really want to work in this sector.

If you are interested in my work, you can have a look at my Linkedin profile.

Yuehan Chen, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18

November 10th, 2017 by Yuehan Chen | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Yuehan Chen, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18
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Hi, I am Yuehan Chen, you can also call me Hannah.

I come from the city of Chengdu in China, the hometown of pandas and spicy hotpot. I have loved reading since I was a little girl. Bertrand Russell once said: “There are two motives for reading a book: one that you enjoy it; the other that you can boast about it”, and mine is the former. I really enjoy the time when I immerse myself in the world of words, which brings me peace and pleasure. Gradually, I began to think about that what a mystery the word is and how these words are printed and published. And because I wanted to figure out the secret of words, my interest in Publishing grew and grew. Therefore, in February 2016 I started to teach myself the basics of publishing. I choose to study this course in Stirling University in order to get a more comprehensive understanding of publishing and put the publishing knowledge I have learned into practice.

When I was an undergraduate I worked as the Vice Chairman and Outreach Minister of the Students Union, and I gained many experiences from it that I think can be applied to publishing such as organising a program of events, how to apply for sponsorship and how to save money, which I think is important in publishing. I studied Applied Psychology in Nanjing for four years – it was interesting and I really enjoyed it. But after four years,  I found that the more Chinese psychology books I read, the fewer  options I had for what to read next, as there are not so many psychology textbooks written in Chinese. After graduating from Stirling I want to produce more high quality Chinese psychology textbooks or magazines, and since I am really interested in book design now, maybe I will do some psychology textbook translation or design in the future.

You can find me on

instagram@hannahhh08

Twitter@yuehan_chen

 

Floris Books – Chani McBain & Sarah Webster

October 30th, 2017 by Kate Bailey | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Floris Books – Chani McBain & Sarah Webster
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Our visiting speakers in week five were Chani McBain and Sarah Webster (a graduate from our MLitt) from the marketing department of Floris Books in Edinburgh. 70% of the books Floris publishes are children’s books, making them Scotland’s largest children’s publisher. The other 30% of their output are books for adults based around Rudolph Steiner education, philosophy, and holistic living. Floris likes to keep most of their work in-house, so they use very few freelancers and the people that work there usually work on all of their titles. The exception is that they have one person working exclusively on the adult books because he has specialist knowledge of the subject.

Chani explained to us that all the departments in Floris work very closely to make sure that all the elements of a book related to one another. For instance, the content needs to be reflected in the blurb, in the cover design and in the marketing materials. Apparently this can lead to some very strange tasks being shared across departments! Chani told us that the week before she came to visit, she and one of the production controllers had been scribbling on a copy of their new sticker book to see if the paper used in it was also suitable for a colouring book they would like to release next year!

Sarah’s day-to-day work in the marketing department is quite varied. She writes and proofreads marketing materials such as ebulletins to be sent out by email telling people about their upcoming or newly-released titles. Sarah warned us not to write this kind of marketing off – it is still one of the most effective forms of marketing that Floris uses! Design also plays a big role in Sarah’s work, as she uses programs such as InDesign or PhotoShop to create posters for events, catalogues or other promotional material. One of the new marketing strategies that Floris tried for the first time this year was having a Snapchat filter available for visitors to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where users could put their silhouette on the cover of Claire McFall’s Ferryman, which was published in June (see left). However, because Snapchat does not have live data analysis, they were not sure if it was a successful experiment or not!

When starting a new project, Chani says she finds it is helpful to imagine who her target consumer is for the book she is trying to market. She thinks about who they are, why they might be buying the book, how they might like to be contacted and where they might hear about the book. This helps her it market it towards this person in the most effective way. These things are obviously quite different for the children’s list and the adult’s list. For one thing, children are not the main consumers of children’s books, their parents are! So the children’s marketing is actually aimed at parents that might want to find their kids something to do on a long drive or while they are on holiday in Scotland. Whereas the adult’s books are more niche and the main consumers might look for them in speciality bookshops or hear about them online on community forums.

 Overall, Floris sounds like a really positive place to work and I am sure I was not the only person to leave Chani and Sarah’s talk to think seriously about a career in marketing!

 Picture credit: Floris Books

The Twitter War

October 25th, 2017 by Hollie Monaghan | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on The Twitter War
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Now that the dust has settled, wounds have healed and friendships have been, somewhat, repaired it is a good time to write about the social media training class on the 5th of October; or as it is now dubbed ‘The Twitter War’. As part of the MLitt Publishing Studies course, we had a class in which we set up Twitter accounts in order to network and establish contacts. All of that may sound nice and harmless but a hardback copy of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant (yes that Kazuo Ishiguro) was announced as a prize for whoever had the best tweet and that was when all hell broke loose.

We were to tweet using the hashtag #stirpub and within minutes Twitter was inundated with our very vocal and vicious fight for the book. As fellow publishing students Laura and Katie put it:

Group B was the first group to to have this class and a normally chatty class was rendered silent during this Twitter battle with all that could be heard being the furious tapping at keyboards and the occasional chuckle. Nothing will get a class of book-lovers more motivated than the incentive of a free book. There were some fantastic and hilarious tweets and there were also ones that very much advocated for violence as this tweet shows (a deserving winner I shall say from a completely unbiased viewpoint…)

Our professor Claire had put up a document on Google where we could see everyone’s Twitter handles and follow everyone on the course. This meant that we could all find each other easily and interact, yet it also meant we could attack each other in our bid for a free book! Additionally, a list of Twitter handles of influential and interesting people in publishing was made available to us as a starting point in who to follow in order to gain a wider understanding of the relationship between publishers, authors and social media. Then, many puns, insightful comments, insults and cat pictures later a winner was chosen:

So well done to Marija for her excellent tweet (and the cat picture from her other tweet which surely helped towards her win)! As amusing, and brutal, as the Twitter session was it did help us all to actively use our Twitters and interact not just with one another but with our lecturers and other people in publishing. An entire group of people were made social media savvy in just a few hours.  Looking at Twitter recently the social media class seems to have worked its magic as so many of the 2017/18 publishing students are still using the platform to interact with authors and publishers and even bookshops. There has even been a book club Twitter made for those on the course at stirpubclub. In essence, the social media class worked well, but perhaps just a bit too well.

Credit goes to:

iamlauraod

KT_CHAR_ELL

kat_marija

HollieMonaghan4

 

Hollie Monaghan

 

Shangbin Qu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18

October 23rd, 2017 by Shangbin Qu | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Shangbin Qu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2017-18
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Hi, my name is Shangbin Qu, you can also call me Annie.  I am currently studying  Publishing Studies course at University of Stirling. I graduated from University of Stirling and Heibei Normal University with 2:1 BA joint degree in Translation and Interpreting.

This is my second year at Stirling. I didn’t change locations for Master studies because I really enjoy in life here, people are so friendly and the campus is beautiful.

From January 2017, I started to take the job as Chinese Student Ambassador at the international office, mainly to help the recruitment manager towards China applications, and a major part of my job is to operate and manage the Wechat public account for Stirling University, which is a widely-used app among Chinese.  By doing this, I known about e-publishing and  interested in publishing studies.

I hope my future career could deal with copyright management, or publishing relating to photo or fashion field.

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

Bookshop Crawl, or the Power of Twitter

October 19th, 2017 by Ewa Balcerzyk | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Bookshop Crawl, or the Power of Twitter
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I must admit that when we were first told that interacting on Twitter was essential to the development of our professional life in the publishing industry, there was a part of me that considered pursuing an immediate career change. I was never the one to thrive on social media, even my Facebook account felt like too much at times. However, seeing as I didn’t really have much choice (one of our assignments on the course involves live tweeting), I decided to give it a go. A couple of days later I found myself joining a spontaneous bookshop crawl organized by complete strangers…and all because of Twitter.

It was through following the Twitter account of Edinburgh’s City of Literature that I found out about 7 October being Bookshop Day. Then, using the traditional Google search I tried to look for related events in Edinburgh. Imagine my disappointment when I found none. Reluctantly, I turned towards Twitter. Imagine my surprise when in seconds I had a potential outing organized. All it took was one search and two hashtags.

As it turned out, fellow publishers-to-be from Edinburgh Napier University were going to celebrate Bookshop Day in the best possible way, that is with a Bookshop Crawl. A brilliant concept that transforms the infamous British tradition of pub crawls into a nerdy day of rummaging through piles of books. Lea, my friend from the Stirling course, and I both loved the idea – it was an opportunity not only to indulge our predilection for buying new books, but also a great way to explore Edinburgh for the first time.

To begin with, we met the Napier students at the Edinburgh Bookshop. Definitely a good starting point: we arrived just in time to see the bookshop owner Marie put on a bright orange “Books are my Bag” T-shirt (BAMB is a nationwide campaign promoting reading and bookshops). She was clearly responsible for giving the whole bookshop a very friendly air – running to and fro, attending to individual customers with lots of enthusiasm and a great sense of humour. A quick browse through the shelves revealed that the bookshop had a very good selection of intriguing and thought-provoking fiction and non-fiction. The owners have put it this way: “If ‘Radio 4’ was a bookshop, it would be like this…”

The next bookshop we visited – Edinburgh Books in West Port – despite a close name resemblance, had a very different aura to it. It is one of the city’s most recognizable second-hand and antiquarian bookshops. The first thing you notice inside is an imposing head of a water buffalo hanging on the wall, a very characteristic hallmark. There is an incredible range of books on offer, but that’s not all: downstairs in the basement you can even purchase sheet music.

 

Clarence the water buffalo

West Port is also home to another one of Edinburgh’s second-hand bookshops that we visited as part of the bookshop crawl – Armchair Books. The abundance of books offered by Armchair was astonishing. Volumes were stacked to the ceiling and shelves squeezed into every possible nook. Also, the place was surprisingly busy, swarming with book lovers, who could not resist spending their Saturday among piles of antiquarian jewels.

 

The joy of finding old-time favoutites

 

 

Antiquarian jewels on display at Armchair Books

 

From Armchair Books we bookshop crawled to Transreal, a haven for science-fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. Not being one myself, I decided to skip it and conclude the day in Blackwell’s bookshop. As an aspiring academic publisher I was astonished by the sheer size of the scholarly section. An enormous part of the shop was reserved for serious studies ranging from philosophy to marine biology.

All in all, the day was a great success. The event was certainly low-key, but that’s what made it special – from the bottomless sea of meaningless Twitter interactions we managed to fish out something sincere and worthwhile. At the end of the day, sitting on the steps of the Scott Monument – apparently the largest monument to a writer in the world – I thought to myself: Edinburgh really is a city of literature.