by Francesca Zunino Harper
An OPuS event that took place on Thursday 29 September 2016.
It all started with the best possible ice-breaker and warm-up exercise: an entire hour filled with free red and white wine, courtesy of sponsors Atwood Tate recruitment agency. Is this the usual way to properly start a publishing career? If so, I’m definitely in. Having the social before the conference (thanks to the organisers, Beverley, Leander and Jane) certainly helps raise the temperature. When the talks began, the atmosphere was hot indeed, and so was the room, completely crammed with students and professionals. Of the four presenters - David Spencer from Elsevier, Emily Brand from the Bodleian Library, Robbie Cook from Rebellion, and Emily Pidgeon-Martin from Lidl – two were former Oxford Brookes students and all were genuinely enthusiastic about working in publishing, and about their studies in publishing at Brookes.
by Christian Wagner
I had a great day at the British Library in London on Wednesday 23 March, 2016. The Nielsen BookInsights Conference took a closer look at the behaviour and attitudes of book consumers and presented current trends to attendees of all kind, such as publishers, booksellers, photographers and students.
by Samantha Jacquest
Taking initiative was the main theme behind Emily Labram’s talk during the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies’ Lunchtime Seminar. Emily explained her career path from graduate student to Publishing Technologist at Bibliocloud, focusing on 10 “insights” she learned along the way.
As a postgraduate student, hearing how people have achieved success is always inspiring and reassuring; one common theme I seem to hear is that even when someone does not travel the career path they expected, the unexpected journey they take ends up being the right choice. Emily Labram was no different.
by Nicole Finucane
A recent addition to the team at Blackwells, Kieron Smith, Digital Director, has a background in the industry stretching over 20 years, having worked at virtually every major bookseller in the UK. With his vast experience in the field and his very candid views on the future of the bookseller in the Higher Education market, his take on understanding the academic ebook buyer proved to be a fascinating one. Blackwells launched their ebook platform about 18 months ago, which is run through their own technology and development team.
It may come as no surprise that Blackwells, the renowned academic bookseller, serves up to 1.2 million students every year. What many of us might not realize is that more 18-year-olds have entered university this year than ever before. Texts have become far more functional, with students opting only for instrumentalist content. Students in the UK these days are focusing their reading on set chapters or handouts, and this, as Smith highlights, varies radically from the behaviour of their predecessors, who might have read more widely.
by Samantha Jacquest
As a student who will be looking for jobs in a matter of months, networking opportunities can sometimes be the most valuable part of a postgraduate course. When I heard about Working in Publishing Day, organized by the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, at first I thought it would be a waste of my time, as I’m from the U.S. and will be heading back home when my degree is completed. I figured, I’m not staying to work in the U.K., so there’s no point in me attending this event. But after my experience, I am extremely happy I changed my mind.
by Sabrina Uswak
Michael Bhaskar rewarded publishing students with a lively and insightful discussion into the transformation of the publishing landscape – taking us through the irreversible impact of ebooks on book sales, rights negotiations, author advances; their contribution to the astronomic rise of self-publishing and vertigo-inducing drops in digital book prices. In sum: ebooks utterly transformed the current publishing landscape, and we are still negotiating with those changes.
by Natasha Qureshi, MA Publishing
We were given the great opportunity, as part of the digital seminar series, to hear from Charley Darbishire, the managing director and founder of the online educational platform Educake. A resource for teachers and students of secondary science, it provides teachers with online tests marked by the system itself - a real timesaver for the teacher and a tool for tracking the students’ learning progression. Charley explained the origins of this entrepreneurial and creative idea.
by Shannon Schimmer, MA Publishing 2016
Guest Speaker: Elizabeth Munns, Content and Learning Delivery Lead (Scrum Master): Science, Pearson Education.
On February 10, 2016, the Oxford Brookes publishing students were fortunate to hear from a guest speaker from Pearson Education on the topic of Digital Science Publishing. Elizabeth Munns is a Content and Learning Delivery Lead in the secondary science department at Pearson, and shared with us an insider’s look at the digitization of her department and publishing as a whole. We learned of the process Elizabeth and her team followed to create new content for secondary science (ages 11-19) in the UK and what set them apart from their competitors.
by Tik Dalton
My adventures and thoughts on the 2015 British Book Design & Production Awards...
by I.M Khalifa
The name is James - James Daunt. As the CEO of the bookshop giant, Waterstones, stands in front of the packed lecture theatre at Oxford Brookes ready to start, our voices begin to die down. This afternoon lecture is promising to educate us on ‘The Value of Booksellers in a Changing World’.
In the wake of what some are calling the digital revolution, the debate, of whether or not the Publishing industry needs to let go of traditional publishing practices, is getting heated. The continuing rise of Amazon and the closing down of bricks-and-mortar bookshops pulls the debate in one direction. But surviving high-street bookshops like Waterstones and Blackwells are perhaps testaments that the discussion could also be pulled in the other.