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.
by Isabella Anton
Filing into the Frankfurt Book Fair, thirty-two publishing students from Oxford Brookes University were unprepared for what was waiting for us in the halls beyond. Hundreds upon thousands of people filled the venue, all from different parts of the world.
We had been told time and again by our lecturers to network – talk with everyone; do our research on who will be there. But there were over a thousand publishing houses! The Frankfurt Book Fair is one of the few times right and sales managers are able to meet with their global partners. One minute they’d be talking with someone from China and the next, a person from America. Their diaries are full, but our lecturers organized appointments for us with publishers, and we were grateful for the chance to talk with them on a day like this. In addition we found that we can often chat to some of the smaller publishers on an ad hoc basis throughout the day.
by Ishani Bhattacharya
On a bright sunny day, an enthusiastic and impressive figure of Eric Huang, Development Director at Made in Me, woke up me and my fellow classmates from a weekend of gloomy weather to an exciting and imaginative world of digital publishing.
What better than some back-story to get us hooked to the session? From his obsession with dinosaurs to his actual ‘first’ job at Disney as a receptionist, Eric instantly connected to many in the house who had their various perceptions and ideas of the world is thwarted by reality. The take-away was – Publishing has something for everyone!
by Annabelle Rose
Branding. It’s one of those advertising words that should span across every industry but is some how neglected by many. The importance of branding is what I am going to take from Developmental Director Eric Huang’s lecture on Tuesday 20 October 2015.
He is a rare breed of man that can leave behind the allure of industry powerhouses like Disney publishing and Penguin Random House to team up with the small, yet highly creative company Made in Me. His aim? Simple: to inspire the next generation to learn, grow and simply have fun through digital technologies.