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.
by Kelly Mundt
Dale Peters from RM Education came to talk to us about eBooks in school. It seemed appropriate, not only because most of us were eating our sandwiches and apples like kids at lunchtime, but as the digital age progresses and children walk into their new school with such an impressive competence for anything that lets you navigate with your fingers, us future publishers need to learn a few tricks. According to some statistics mentioned by Dale Peters in his presentation, 42% of five to fifteen-year-olds use tablets at home. That’s nearly half of the kids who are in our school systems and if they’re on tablets all day at home, how can that be used to aid learning in schools?
by Jaimie Banks
Findability. Discoverability. Granularity. Taxonomy. Those of us studying publishing – and indeed, those already working in the industry – know these words are more than just industry jargon, but it can be difficult to fully understand their meaning and importance in a world gone digital.
by Elaine K. Phillips
The first in a series of lunchtime lectures on digital publishing. Guest speakers from the industry share their strategies for publishing in the digital age.
The remaining students file in for Wednesday's lunchtime lecture, chatting excitedly and pulling out sandwiches to munch on. I flex my fingers. Limbering up is important, especially when you're about to scribble down words of wisdom from Dr Liz Marchant, Head of Science at Pearson. Her title causes a knowing chuckle amongst my digital group - we lucked out, our brief is to develop a digital product based on Pearson’s KS3 Science book. This is going to be so very, very useful. We were right, well... sort of.
by Emily Wells
Publishers can be ambivalent when it comes to digital products; both excited by the possibilities and concerned about return on investment. But the ever increasing accessibility of technology means there is little excuse to sit back and wait till we’re brave enough.
One of our MA students gives her summary of the recent Oxford Publishing Society event hosted at Brookes.
by Elaine K. Phillips
Scott Pack, the Observer-dubbed Most Powerful Man in Publishing, is secretly a game show host.
He stands in front of a classroom at Oxford Brookes University. Two book cover images are projected on the screen. Of the fifty-plus MA Publishing students in the room, not one of us has heard of either book.
‘Pick which one has a success story’, Scott says, ‘or you’re out. The last one in wins.’
by Helen Wishart
I suspect the same was true for the majority of us who attended her seminar.
Let’s face it, publishing is a geek’s world. But as Louise describes her role, Publicity Director at HarperCollins, she makes us feel it is the cooler, sexier, sibling department to marketing and the most exciting place to be.