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.
by Imogen Poole, with help from Jaimie Banks, Kat Storace, Leonie Drake, Katie Stewart, Georgina Slater, Adrienn Jelenik
Florence by numbers:
- Gelatos consumed: 73
- Pizzas consumed: 56
- Aperativos overlooking the Arno: 17
- Art galleries visited: 4
- Churches gawped at: 23
- Towers climbed: 3.5
- Languages spoken: 9 (10 if you include interpretative dance)
- Views taken in: countless
- Trains caught: not enough
Detailing the experiences of seven Oxford Brookes Publishing MA students spending two weeks in a Tuscan villa at the postgraduate summer school without mentioning gelato or pizza has proved a harder task than one might expect. It would also be a thoroughly inaccurate representation of our intensive summer publishing programme. After deep discussion and some sharp words, the editorial team has removed all unnecessary references to the various culinary ecstasies enjoyed. For a more accurate version, please multiply the pizza by several and the gelato by a multitude.
by Cherry Allen
A group of Publishing undergraduates spent a few days in Amsterdam in March for Dutch Book Week (Boekenweek), visiting our Erasmus partner, the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. Cherry Allen writes about their experiences.
A video was made during the trip.
by Angus Phillips
The future is bright: the future is global. If the printing press enabled scalability - one book can reach many different readers - then digital means that the book is even more scalable in that demand can be satisfied straight away almost anywhere in the world. This is a tremendous opportunity for books and knowledge to spread in new ways, across new networks. A reader the other side of the world no longer has to wait for a book to be printed and distributed, or translated. They can download the book on first publication and have immediate access. Readers in those countries without a developed infrastructure for the distribution of physical books can access content directly.
by Vessela Howell
On Tuesday, 18th March we had the pleasure to meet a witty and entertaining speaker - Tom Scholes of Grove Street Media, a small new media company based in Summertown, Oxford. The company is so small that, in fact, consists of only two people – Tom, who does the programming, and Ben, who does the design. They specialise in eLearning but also work on a range of products and services for the entertainment and advertising industries, and government agencies. Grove Street Media creates language learning tools, educational games, not-so-educational games, animated scientific diagrams and more, and their approach can be summed up as 'making games out of boring content'. Ben, the designer, is currently animating bacteria in action using 3D models, in order to show how antibiotics work.
by Helena Markou
Let me begin by saying if you want a job in publishing then you want to be at London Book Fair. Registration is free. Just sign up as a visitor and make sure you select "student" from the drop down menu.
LBF is all about the sales of rights, so people are there to have important meetings (which are often scheduled months in advance). Many publishers have back-to-back appointments all day long, but there are usually people floating around the stands, manning reception and answering ad hoc questions.
On the hour and on the half-hour is a good time to catch people between their scheduled appointments, but try to develop a ninja-like awareness of “the unoccupied” and be ready to pounce with a disarming opener at all times.
by Leonie Drake
“I want to BE her when I grow up!” was Helena’s enthusiastic introduction to Emma Barnes, this week’s guest Digital Publishing speaker. An hour later, I suspect that more than a few of us were starting to feel the same.
Emma is the MD of Snowbooks and founder of Bibliocloud, a publishing management software package that won the Futurebook 2013 prize for best technology innovation. She starts by describing her early career in retail, where she was once reduced to despair, while knee-deep in unmarked orange pots (the kind of moment I’m sure many of us can relate to). Further up the career ladder she found political intrigue in the world of dusters as a buyer for B&Q, sparking a long-term interest in how people make, break and shake up organisations.