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

University of Stirling

London Book Fair 2017 — Self-publishing Discussions

March 21st, 2017 by yao_huang | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on London Book Fair 2017 — Self-publishing Discussions
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I was honoured to participate in the London Book Fair 2017. Publishers from many countries grabbed this opportunity to show their shining projects and conduct rights trade to each other.

On 15th March, there were two discussions about self-publishing. The first one, two speakers talked about the current situation of self-publishing and some problems people who want to involve with had to be aware of. The following discussion invited three bestselling authors to share their interesting experiences of self-publishing and what they did for the success. They are Rachel Abbott, L J Ross, Mark Dawson and Keith Houghton. All of them agreed that they wrote for themselves at first, not for meeting readers’ expectations. Rachel mentioned that editing for professional editors was really important because she edited her manuscript 30 times altogether without editors, the number surprised me. And she emailed her first hundred readers, each of them. I suppose that this behaviour can make readers know their reviews and opinions are valuable, are considered by the author. Also, it is a good way for the author to close the distance between readers and herself. L J Ross pointed out that binding was crucial because people judged by the cover. Although Keith published books via traditional publishers, he still enjoyed self-publishing. He could completely control the process, especially how and when to promote, and he was satisfied with the final version. Finally, authors were expected to give some advice for other authors, Mark only said one word: “Professional”.

Self-publishing has been a popular choice that could not be ignored and more and more writers would like to do. Challenges and opportunities exist at the same time. Traditional publishers think they are so professional that can make the package right, know the distribution and market but most authors do not. So if an author wants to self-publish, you have to know the industry as much as you can, do lots of research.

I appreciate Mark’s advice, everything should be professional although it would take a lot of time and energy. The more carefully you treat, the more returns you obtain. For a self-published book, the competitors are not only books published by traditional publishers but also by thousands of independent authors. So be professional, let yourself be a strong “publisher”.

by Yao Huang

Internships Anonymous @ Publishing 101

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– By Rachel McCann

 

Scottish Book Trade Conference: Barry Cunningham’s Keynote Speech

February 27th, 2017 by Stephan Pohlmann | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Scottish Book Trade Conference: Barry Cunningham’s Keynote Speech
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For the book trade, or indeed, any trade conference in February 2017, there are certain topics that simply cannot be avoided – both in the light of recent developments and in the foreshadowing of events still in the making.

When this year’s Scottish Book Trade Conference began on 22nd February in Edinburgh’s Central Hall, shortly after 9.30 AM and what must have been the third coffee for several delegates (this being inferred from personal experience), one could hardly be surprised to hear statements more of a socio-political relevance than what would have been the norm. Literary agent Jenny Brown, in whom Publishing Scotland had found a remarkably passionate chair for the event, opened the conference by emphasising the cross-national power of the written word, and Publishing Scotland’s chief executive Marion Sinclair subsequently took a similar line, speaking of no less than the book trade’s adaption to a possible new world order, while also stressing the catalyst power of hope as an engine of the book trade.

The keynote speech of the day, however, was given by Barry Cunningham, managing director at Chicken House, and widely known in the industry as the editor who signed J.K. Rowling for Bloomsbury. A children’s publisher – an interesting choice in the preceding context, but one that was proven the absolutely right one. Capturing the essence of the conference, he began by stressing the overall success which the children’s sector is currently experiencing, and he explained how to encourage (and financially support) new authors. Cunningham also peppered the keynote with socio-cultural undertones: While stories were being read in many different ways around the world, it was always the villains who “make the most difference – whether it is a situation or Lord Voldemort.”

The speech did not fail to grasp long-term changes in a genre that was once highly educative, moralising, and always teaching children “about good deeds” – something Cunningham later contrasted with the “more real issues” in children’s books today – where, for example, adults are no longer patronising and infallible moral institutions, but instead appear as they really are: “interesting and flawed.”

Addressing successful formulas of the present and challenges of the future, Cunningham pointed to the growing significance of reader connection: the existential importance of browsability and discoverability as well as the rise of fan fiction. For the stories themselves he gave a slightly more concrete advice: the “enormously important way to secure an audience is the sense of humour.” (The speaker himself had absolutely won his audience at the moment he cited J.K. Rowling who, when asked why Cunningham had taken on a book that many others before him had turned down, allegedly described him as “the only publisher who was a giant costumed character himself.”)

Overall, Cunningham did not disappoint in the least, delivering a speech that was informative and trade-specific as well as inclusive of wider socio-cultural trends – perhaps no less important, it was entertaining and humorous enough to set the tone for what was to be a diverse and interesting conference up until the end. And if one was to reconstruct the chord in which the keynote was given, they may be reminded of how Cunningham quoted a young girl that, when asked in school about the reason for reading a book, replied: “We read so our own story does not have to end where it began.”

– Stephan Pohlmann

By Its Cover: Suzanne Dean on good cover design

February 27th, 2017 by caroline_obrien | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on By Its Cover: Suzanne Dean on good cover design
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Suzanne Dean, the creative director for Penguin Random House, took the stage at this year’s Scottish Book Trade Conference to tell us all that, against a childhood’s worth of well-intentioned advice, we should, in fact, judge a book By Its Cover. Although much of her advice will be familiar to most of us at Stirling University from our design classes like all good advice it doesn’t hurt being repeated, and there was also much which was new and just as helpful. She was also able to offer an insightful and oftentimes very funny first-hand account of the frustrating, nerve-wracking, but ultimately fulfilling world of book cover design.

Dean was the one responsible for the Vintage logo update and some of her cover designs may be familiar to many of us, especially the work she did for Haruki Murakami’s novel. The simple, yet eye-catching, black white and red circle designs quickly became quintessentially Murakami. But, as any good designer will tell you, break your own rules. Dean certainly did, in an exceptionally well thought out way, by adding colour to Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki.

With quite a hefty bit of experience under her belt Dean is more well-versed than most on what effective design must be. Namely eye-catching, engaging to a reader, and thought provoking. After all, as Dean reminded us, we only have a few seconds in which to catch a browser’s eye and encourage them to pick our book up over all the others. In today’s world where books are increasingly becoming commodities like any others, sold on shelves between groceries and cleaning products, good cover design is more important than ever.

Through her work with Vintage Classics Dean is very well aware of this. Not only are classic books subject to the same fight for attention that new ones are, but they have a further added problem. As Dean asked, how do you convince someone to buy a book that’s probably freely available online?

Dean’s answer was simple.

By making them beautiful and desirable collectable objects.

Dean also found that a cover which hints at the contents receives a better reception than one which spells them out too heavily. Remember, with classics, the potential buyer has probably already read it, or at least is aware of the general plot, and so are more prone to spot and appreciate any little subtleties in the cover which, with a new novel, might only be appreciated after being read.

Of course, even while the contents of these classic books are well-known and familiar to many it is as important, if not more so, to keep the covers fresh and new. With content that has so many past covers it’s important not to become too similar. With their new Vintage Future editions Dean has managed to avoid this very pitfall. Using only a sheet of acetate and some line based designs this set of nine futuristic classics feature animated covers. The bold colours and psychedelic shapes combined with the animated feature and juxtaposed against the classic, black bordered layout perfectly capture the essence of these texts which, although written in the past, were always looking far into the future.

This seems to be a key theme brought by Dean to all her covers. Whilst they vary widely, and are each intricately tailored to suit their contents, there appears to be an emphasis on keeping them relevant, not just to our times but to all times.

But to achieve such beautiful, evocative, and timeless designs there is first a long process which must be traversed. As Dean revealed, one of her covers went through over seventy redesigns before it was finally accepted. It can also be very difficult to read a manuscript with the expectation upon you that a beautifully designed cover will simply emerge fully formed from your head. You must ‘rely upon the spark to happen’ and to keep on happening the next time and the next and the next. You must experiment, and engage with all forms of media. As Dean put it, ‘go out and see things,’ as many things as possible. You never know where inspiration will next come from.

And, most importantly, practice. For designers ‘just like dancers’ must practice before they can create something beautiful.

By Caroline O’Brien

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.

Visiting Speaker – Kathryn Ross

November 11th, 2016 by rachel_kay | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting Speaker – Kathryn Ross
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Last Thursday, our publishing class had the privilege of spending a few hours with literary agent Kathryn Ross. Alongside Lindsey Fraser, Kathryn runs Fraser Ross Associates Literary Agency and Consultancy (www.fraserross.co.uk), which the pair established in 2002.

logoKathryn didn’t take the traditional route to becoming a literary agent. She began as a secondary school English teacher, overseeing the school library, and eventually collaborating with the department head to set up a mobile bookstore in a van. When this venture did well, she left teaching and got a position running the children’s tent at the Edinburgh Book Festival, afterwards moving on to work at the Scottish Book Trust. Kathryn spent ten years here, where she met Lindsey and built up a long list of author and publishing contacts. Finally, with the encouragement of author Vivian French, the pair took the leap of setting up their own literary agency with Vivian as their first client.

Fourteen years down the line, she says her job is hard work, hugely rewarding (emotionally, although not always financially), and that she gets a lot of joy from seeing authors set off, and in helping them grow their careers. Fraser Ross Associates now represents about sixty-five writers and illustrators, most of whom work in children’s fiction (although some write across all age ranges and genres).

booksWriting for children is challenging. There’s a lot to accomplish in a short format, including fleshing out the characterisation, problems, and emotions that form a complete story. Children’s books must be equally appealing to parents- these are the buyers, and the ones who will be reading the book over and over. Children’s authors need to be good at summing up and pitching their content, and are now expected to do more marketing and publicity than ever before. An author’s success has increasingly come to depend on things like doing events and getting positive online reviews.

Agents are integral within this process, acting as sounding boards, cheerleaders, and business advisers to an author. This includes ideas development, networking, brand-building, and actively pursuing sub-rights. When taking clients on board, Kathryn and Lindsay look for long-term partnerships, where the content and the personalities both fit. Good communication is essential, as are trust, openness, and honesty, as everyone needs to be able to talk through ideas and problems.

Authors / illustrators and literary agents are often recommended to each other, one of the reasons that networking is vital. Kathryn and Lindsey also seek out new talent, such as by attending end-of-year college art shows. On top of this, they receive unsolicited manuscripts, about 200 per month. Many of these come via email, and Kathryn says she misses the physicality of receiving packages in the post- although she doesn’t miss the occasional extras, like glitter stars, crushed biscuits, melted toffees, etc. Kathryn has gotten some extremely creative submissions over the years, and was able to give us extensive, and often hilarious advice on what not to do, including why penguins and polar bear must never meet.

Each ‘day in the life’ of a literary agent is different, but typical tasks include:

  • Reminding publishers to pay invoices
  • Checking/negotiating contracts
  • Polishing submissions before they’re sent to editors – lots of editing!
  • Meeting with publishers, especially in London
  • Pushing for better royalties for her clients
  • Reading Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and The Bookseller
  • Attending launch parties
  • Negotiating permissions fees
  • Talking authors through outlines, edits, and cover design
  • Giving advice to cold callers
  • Informing authors of success / rejection
  • Discussing deadlines, delays, relationship problems, moving house, etc. with clients
  • Paying authors
  • Submitting manuscripts
  • Sending congratulations cards of all types
  • Reading unsolicited submissions
  • Attending book fairs, especially Bologna
  • Reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, … and emails.

Many thanks to Kathryn for sharing her time with us, and for bringing back the nostalgia of story time for us Masters students!

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.