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

MLitt in Publishing Studies

My Experience of the Publishing Project

May 11th, 2015 by Sarah Elizabeth Webster | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on My Experience of the Publishing Project
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pic for BlogSarah Webster reports on the creation of her Publishing Project:

For the Publishing Project module I produced a complete and finished Children’s Fiction title, aimed at 7-9 year olds, called Samson The Super Dog. To give a brief synopsis of my book, it is about an Italian Newfoundland lifeguard dog called Samson who works on the Cornish beaches, rescues a casualty and is awarded a medal for bravery by the Queen. It’s designed to educate children about open water safety, especially about the different beach flags and the risks of currents and tides all of which is something really close to my heart as an ex pool-lifeguard and TA in lifesaving. It is also a tribute to the real dogs who do this job year in year out in Italy and Spain, and is a particular tribute to Bilbo, the Cornish lifeguard dog, who is my personal hero and pin-up Newfie. In fact, Bilbo is so famous with his own website, social media, news and press coverage, and BBC footage, he even has his own published biography, and I was therefore obliged to seek copyright permissions from the author and his wonderful owner, Mr Jamieson. My dialogue with him not only fuelled my enthusiasm for this project but was also another invaluable opportunity of understanding and practically going about seeking rights and permissions, one of many real-world tasks involved in producing a new title for publication, and one of many new things I can now say I have accomplished because of the publishing project.

Indeed, prior to this course I had never used InDesign or Photoshop or had to engage with professional printers or devise a marketing plan. And although I have illustrated my project from cover to cover, I have no official art qualifications. But this short book in my hand has involved all of these different skills and tasks, of which I felt previously deficient, but now feel I’m equipped with to pursue my career in the industry.

One of the things that most attracted me to this particular University programme was the combination of practical and academic application, teaching and assessment that was on offer. The idea of producing a physical publishing product that I could literally hold in my hands and show to future employers as a demonstration of my practical skill set across a wide range of areas really appealed to me. I think it’s fair to say that the publishing project process has satisfied the desires and expectations I had and has been hugely rewarding.

I feel really satisfied that I’ve been able to carry out every stage of the process myself from concept to creation. It is something that prior to this course I couldn’t have done on my own, but thanks to the teaching and support provided here at Stirling, I have accomplished.

I think each and everyone of us on the course at Stirling are proud of our projects and what we have achieved. Thus, it leaves me to simply reiterate how much I, personally, have enjoyed creating this little book.

 

 

My Internship with Eland Publishing

May 5th, 2015 by Helen Griffin | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on My Internship with Eland Publishing
Tags: , , , , ,

 

Eland BadgeIn February of this year I had the opportunity to work for Eland Publishing, one of the foremost publishers of classic travel writing in the world. Eland is a very small and determinedly independent publisher located in Exmouth Market in London. The publishing house is owned by travel writers Rose Baring, John Hatt and Barnaby Rogerson, run with the assistance of a team of self-motivated freelancers: Jennie Paterson [website creation] Antony Gray [typesetting and page design] and Stephanie Allen [Publicity Director]. Eland’s mission statement is to keep the great works of travel literature in print.

Eland Picture 1I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to work for Eland because everything was run from one small attic room that had a bohemian, dusty sort of air to it, spread around large piles of books. The office was everything you imagine a publishing house should look like. All meetings and every aspect of book production was covered in this tiny little space and so I was able to see and hear all the work and planning that goes in to every stage of the book making process. I was also able to meet and have conversations with some incredibly interesting travel writers, who in a larger publishing house would have most likely been tucked away in private offices to have their meetings.

 

GoddessThroughout my internship I was able to sink my teeth into some real publishing activities such as organising and attending a book launch for their newest release: The Living Goddess by Isabella Tree. I also had the exciting job of cataloguing all of the entries for the Stanford-Dolman Best Travel Book of the Year Award, which meant that I was the first person to see all the potential candidates for the award.

 

Eland Picture 2Barnaby and Rose were both excellent people to work with. I was the first intern they had ever taken on and so I was very appreciative of how welcoming and enthusiastic they were to ensure that I would gain as much experience as possible from this work experience. They would explain the reasoning and importance behind every task I was completing and how each contributed to the overall running of their business. They would also involve me in all of their meetings and engage me in the conversation so that I was not just a mere spectator to the activity.

Eland Picture 7My time at Eland allowed me to develop a fine eye for detail and gave me the confidence to voice my own ideas when I felt I could contribute. I am very grateful to Barnaby and Rose for the support I was given throughout my time at Eland. This experience gave me a broad understanding of the work that goes into book production and showed me the pride they felt for the content they were producing. It was a privilege to work for a company who strive to keep classic travel literature in print and to be able to say, that for a while, I was a part of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

The Future of Indie Bookshops

November 30th, 2014 by Helen Griffin | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on The Future of Indie Bookshops
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

flyerRGB-e1415107334821

On Wednesday 19th November, in the Central Library in Edinburgh, SYP Scotland held a seminar discussing the future of Indie Bookshops. The panelists included representatives from four Independent Bookshops in Edinburgh: Gillian Robertson from Looking Glass Books, Elaine Henry from Word Power Books, Ian Macbeth from Golden Hare Books and Marie Moser from The Edinburgh Bookshop. Each representative spoke about what was next for them, what had changed over the last few years and what changes were still to come as independent booksellers adapt their business models in a bid to hold on to their share of the book market. The event was chaired by Peggy Hughes, Programme Director of the Dundee Literary Festival, Co-ordinator of the Dundee International Book Prize, and sundry other projects and publications at Literary Dundee. Peggy was also one of the judges for the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards 2013 and a Trustee for Reel Arts. By night, Peggy is also the Programme Director of the West Port Book Festival and one third of Electric Bookshop.

 

 

 

The Independent Booksellers:

Looking Glass Books

P1160408

Looking Glass Books is a bookshop and café that was set up in Edinburgh’s Quartermile in 2012. Gillian Robertson explained that the bookshop was opened when the industry was already where it is now, and so they haven’t had to do a lot of adapting. Their strategies have been more focused on who they are, where they might go and how they might place themselves within the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

Word Power Books

Word Power Books

It has been 20 years since Elaine Henry cut the red ribbon to Word Power Books in West Nicolson Street. Even after their 20 year success, Elaine said that there are still people who come into the store and ask how long they have been open for. Sometimes thinking, ‘what are we doing wrong that people still don’t know our existence’, Elaine believes this to be one of the major challenges of being an independent bookseller. Independent bookshops are not one homogenous group, and Word Power Books is what Elaine would call a radical bookshop dedicated to supporting small presses and independent presses (although they would get anything in for their customers). Word Power Books also publish, having done 22 titles. Their latest book, The Liberty Tree, about the Scottish radical Thomas Muir, was a leading review in the Sunday Times. Elaine commented that this feat meant they had finally been given some recognition for what they do after 20 years in the business.

 

Golden Hare Books

Golden-Hare-new

Golden Hare Books opened 3 years ago and is based in St. Stephen Street, Stockbridge. Ian Macbeth described the shop as having a curated feel, like many independent bookshops, distinguishing itself from larger chains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Edinburgh Bookshop

images

The Edinburgh Bookshop, nestled at Holy Corner in Bruntsfield, was opened 7 years ago and bought by Marie Moser just 2 years ago. Since then Marie has benefited from a double turnover and successes such as winning the UK Children’s Bookseller 2014 and being named Scottish Independent Bookshop 2014. Discussing the obvious successes of her predecessor, Marie nonetheless talked about the importance of accepting what you are and what works for your customers rather than what you want to be or feel you should be. When Fifty Shades of Grey came out it was 15% of the book market, and although, as Marie acknowledged, ‘ it might be considered by some people to be a rubbish piece of writing, it was the biggest thing since Harry Potter’. Marie’s predecessor would not stock the book, telling people they would need to go across the road to Tesco. Marie’s position on this kind of mentality was simple: ‘As a small independent retailer you have to get off your high horse’.

Existing Relationships with Digital

When discussing independent bookshops’ relationship with digital, Marie challenged that as yet the world might be 50% digital but not everything in the world is digital. In Britain we buy physically half a million books a day, not E-books, physical books! That might be massively down on 20 years ago, but according to Marie, if you found any businessman who was setting up a business and you said to him you could sell him half a million units a day, could he honestly think that wasn’t one cracking business? In relation to social media, however,  Marie questioned the practical uses of Twitter. Although a tweeter herself, since Marie has come into the industry, her opinion has become more inclined to regard it as a platform for the way the industry talks to itself.

Continuing with this discussion, Peggy Hughes humorously compared being good at Twitter as like ‘being good at the egg and spoon’. Ian Macbeth also likened twitter to playing ‘Guitar Hero’, with links to articles and people’s opinions coming at you all the time, just like the coloured blocks in the game. Ian also felt that it was a platform where it was difficult to make your voice heard. Although he does tweet about events and interesting books that have come into his store, Ian believes that interpersonal links are far more important, with tools such as a mailing list being a much better way to keep in touch with your customers. Although many people do love a mailing list, in today’s digital age it may be seen as archaic. Overall, Ian felt that Facebook had less impact than Twitter but that mailing lists and store websites were much more significant tools for promotional activity from the standpoint of an independent bookseller.

In a rather different digital era, Elaine Henry first used microfiche to look up books. From stock-card indexing to today’s methods, Elaine has definitely seen first hand the rising demand for instant response. In terms of twitter Elaine said, ‘I don’t tweet because I just don’t have the time. This thing that you should be sending out three tweets a day, I just find it a challenge’. However, when informed by Peggy that she had been tweeted by Russell Brand, an astonished Elaine relented to find a positive outcome to the social media platform, laughing, ‘I guess sometimes Twitter can work to your advantage’.

Gillian Robertson also commented that she tweeted regularly, but was quick to point out that you can’t have blanket rules for every bookstore. Gillian did agree with Marie’s opinion that Twitter was a way in which the industry spoke to itself, but pointed out that it depends on whom you follow. Gillian follows local independent businesses and Edinburgh locals, which she believes, has been crucial to her success. ‘I don’t know if we would have been able to get off the ground without social media’.

Indie Bookshop VS. Amazon

Marie Moser was of the opinion that businesses could not be future proofed, claiming that in today’s day and age, ‘there is no room to be mediocre, if you are not interested and engaged you are not going to make money’. Marie’s basic view of digital was that it was a society and that Amazon was at the pinnacle of it.

Ian was quick to point out that it’s not just Amazon, it’s supermarkets, Waterstones, etc. Independent booksellers cannot match the discounts of these large retailers, and even if  they could, they wouldn’t want to. Ian’s theory is that if you can’t offer the same discounts you have to offer people something else. Amazon can never provide the same experience as bricks and mortar bookshops as they are selling on experience and Amazon is selling on instant gratification.

224924_758614927507561_8105813029710701642_n

Within Word Power Books they have leaflets exhibiting quotes such as ‘think before you click’ and ‘discounts don’t come for free’. Marie’s agreement with these slogans prompted her to challenge the role of the publisher, arguing that there is a danger the industry is losing sight of volume and bestsellers versus actually making profit, therefore illustrating the idea that any fool can sell something cheap. Marie commented  that when you let big chains heavily discount your lead title you devalue that brand and you devalue the years of work that the writer undertook to make the product. The fact that publishers should value what they sell was most evidently what offended Marie the most.

Marie also argued that publishers, as an industry, are letting retailers hammer down prices. If you were to ask the public if they wanted to buy products as cheap as they could, it is inevitable that they would say yes. The reality, according to Marie, is that this is not true or we wouldn’t have luxury brands; ‘We will buy what we think is a fair price for something nice’.

The seminar ended on the positive note that since 2009 there has been a resurgence of independent bookshops. According to all four of the independent booksellers, what we need to do is look at what is driving this; it may be a small movement, but it can have a big impact. Overall, for independent bookshops world domination is not on their agenda, however, they do not just want to survive, because that’s a low bar; they want to thrive, and as far as the seminar proved, Amazon is not going to stop them.

Helen Griffin, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2014-2015

October 28th, 2014 by Helen Griffin | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Helen Griffin, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2014-2015
Tags: , ,

 

10441162_771707296214516_7616619309896870457_nMy name is Helen Griffin and I am a returning graduate to the University of Stirling, where I recently completed my undergraduate degree in English and Journalism Studies.

Having spent most of my academic career writing and editing from a journalistic point of view, I became very interested in the other side of the market. Unlike the fast-paced, rigid functionality of the journalism process; where I was trained to gather, organise and circulate information in a very short space of time, I became more drawn to a less clinical production of material, thus prompting my decision to pursue an MLitt in Publishing Studies.

I have always been an avid lover of books, particularly fiction and travel literature, and would love to be an active part of the processes involved in the development of these types of publications. With no prior experience in publishing, I am looking forward to the new challenges that this course will bring and the equally passionate people that I will meet along the way.

Yunxin Liu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2014-2015

October 17th, 2014 by Yunxin Liu | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Yunxin Liu, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2014-2015
Tags: , ,

 

IMG_4836My name is Yunxin Liu from Nanjing, China. As a result of my father’s career as an educational publisher, I have, from a young age, developed a fascination for publishing. Hence, I am determined to pursue advanced studies in the field of publishing.

I have been developing my interest in the publishing world by hunting for some related internships. I had the chance to take an internship in Nanjing University Press when I was an undergraduate student. I also established a bookstore on China’s popular online retail platform and the online shop makes considerable profits. I am an editor in Phoenix Fine Arts Publishing Ltd.

As the financial centre of the world and the origin of modern western civilization, UK has rich resources in the field of publishing. Hence, the latest advances are easily accessible to students here. Through the well-designed program of the university, I am deeply convinced that I will have an enhanced opportunity to succeed in publishing and publishing-related courses. I hope to be a publishing person who would make a contribution to the society especially to the communications of culture. Without any doubt, my postgraduate study will promote me to realize my career dream.

Monidipa Mondal, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2013-14

November 26th, 2013 by Monidipa | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Monidipa Mondal, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2013-14
Tags: , ,

At my former desk at Penguin Books India, and those are the exact colours we are. (In other words, I strongly abide by the practice of believing a minimum of six impossible things before breakfast.)

​Hello, my name is Monidipa Mondal.​ ​The MLitt in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling is going to be my second masters degree and I have been sponsored to study here by a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. I also write a column called ‘Backlisting’ in the Kindle magazine from India (no affiliation with Amazon), in which I take an interesting non-canon book from South Asian writing in English each month, and do a story about it.

Before these things I worked as a copy editor at Penguin Books India in New Delhi and as a multitasking intern at Blaft Publications in Chennai, India. Earlier than that I studied BA and MA at the Department of EnglishJadavpur University in Calcutta, India, a place to which I keep returning, also because it’s home. Sometime in between I published a youth literary magazine called Ex Nihilo and another called Kinaara, archived a vintage Bengali sci-fi magazine called Bismoy, wrote some poetry and fiction, and translated a little from Bengali to English.

I like many things, so now I’ll try to make an alphabetical list: aliens, the Beatles, the blues, book history, comics, CSS, dragons, emoticons, Europe, fan fiction, fantasy, freedom of expression, geography, gods (but not Gods), grandmothers’ tales, Indian classical music, the Internet, limericks, magazines, monsters, mountains, mythology, pastiche, percussion, philosophy, Photoshop, poetry, postcolonialism, printing, puns, rhyming, science fiction, South Asian literature, steampunk, superheroes,  translation, travel, tricksters, typography, vampires (more old-school than teenage-romance, though), Victoriana (only the NSFW bits), Western classical music, witches, worldbuilding… and other things.

I occasionally blog at http://julychildren.com/ and very rarely tweet from @Julychildren.