by Fernanda Dutra
"The industry needs intermediaries between creatives and techies"
As publishing students, we are now used to listening to professionals explaining why their jobs are called this or that, and what exactly they do — the characteristics of an industry going through many changes. To open his lunchtime seminar at Oxford Brookes, Graham Bell, Executive Director at EDItEUR, said: "I always sat in the middle of the table". What could that mean in a contemporary publishing context?
by Kelly Neubeiser
“Metadata is the most important part of publishing. Even though it isn’t, we’ll assume this is true for this talk.”
Right from the beginning, Graham Bell was encouraging us to challenge our existing scope of publishing knowledge. In his digital lecture, Bell discussed the importance of metadata within the communication cycle of publishing.
by Kelsi Farrington
EDUCAKE’s Managing Director and Founder, Charley Darbishire visited a crowd of Digital Publishing students for an open lunchtime talk at Oxford Brookes University on Wednesday, February 25th and brought insight into the development of one of the most well-designed and user-friendly teaching resources available online.
Educake is a new online homework and revision resource for teachers and students of Secondary Science. The platform, available on iPads, Chromebooks and tablets is specifically designed for the benefit of GCSE students (aged 14-16) to use in and out of class and enables their teachers to mark and monitor their progress and aptitude of a particular topic.
by Hannah Bright
The title of this particular Digital Lunchtime Lecture gave absolutely nothing away. What does fungible mean, and what could it possibly have to do with publishing? As most of my peers and I have only recently started learning about digital publishing, we’re unsure whether to be excited, apprehensive or just plain petrified about what lies ahead.
(Fungible actually means “being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in part or whole, for another of a like nature or kind”. It turns out Ben likes to drop difficult words into conversation and it seems like this lecture is going to turn out to be very educational!).
by Anna Wallis
When you take your seat at a lecture entitled “Digital Publishing – A View from an Educational Publisher” you expect to learn about two things: digital publishing and educational publishing. What you don’t expect is to have a mirror held up to your entire life as a consumer.
Liz Marchant, the Head of Science Publishing at Pearson Education, started by telling us about the challenges and benefits that are unique to digital products. She then stressed the interconnection of digital and print educational content development. She painted a wonderfully optimistic picture of what’s possible with the technology we have today.
by Briana Haguewood
For students, it’s not often that a morning lecture leads seamlessly into the key perspectives of an afternoon guest speaker. Yet this is precisely what occurs as we hear from Liz Marchant, Head of Science Publishing at Pearson Education.
The first in a series of lunchtime seminars on digital publishing, this lecture seems particularly pertinent to us as we work to develop digital product prototypes based on Pearson content throughout this term. Needless to say, ears perk up and pens fly as Liz illustrates the company’s digital and ICT initiatives.
by Angus Phillips
Publishing remains a popular career choice and there is strong competition to enter the industry. Digital developments – from ebooks to apps and interactive fiction – have been prominent in the media, highlighting the exciting opportunities for entrants unafraid of new technologies or fast-paced change. Companies have broadened out their view of what comprises a good candidate, to include digital literacy, an entrepreneurial mindset, and an appreciation of changes across other media and throughout society. There is also a greater variety of job roles to consider, as these merge across functional boundaries (e.g. production editor), take on a digital focus (e.g. digital product manager), or venture into multimedia (e.g. media research and commissioning).
by Erika Iacovou
We were reminded how complex the business of publishing is by Wayne Davies, one of the two founders of Quercus Publishing, recently acquired by Hachette. Davies gave an excellent presentation to ambitious, future publishers here in Oxford Brookes University with the title: “Starting (and growing) your own publishing business”.
The presentation begins by a short introduction and with Davies explaining what he does for his company. His tasks mainly involve working with investors, financial issues, expanding the company and securing sales. This is the part where most students start cringing since the business and finance department of publishing is often referred to as “the dark side of publishing”. He calms us down by explaining why someone would want to start a business. “Well, there are many reasons why someone would want to start their own business and I am not necessarily saying that these apply to you.” Davies says pointing out some of them: I want to be my own boss, I have a great idea and I make too much money for my employer, among other reasons. There is hard work and stress but it is very rewarding!
by Hannah Bright
We sit there patiently, food in hand, waiting. We’re not trapped inside a certain high street bookshop - we are waiting for Michael Bhaskar, author of The Content Machine, and Digital Publisher at Profile Books.
“These lectures”, he starts, “are hot off the press. This is the biggest time in the publishing industry since Gutenberg developed the printing press”. We sit up, listening intently. He emphasises that publishing has differed throughout history, according to sector, geographical location and type of publishing. “What publishing meant in one era doesn’t mean the same today”.
by Fernanda Dutra
Expectations are high before visiting the Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time. In particular, if you are a student of a Masters in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University, like me and my friends — because, let's face it, there is no denying that you will have a bit of a romanticised vision about the publishing industry.