Publishing News | Oxford Publishing & Digital Media
Claire Squires, Senior Lecturer in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University, recently wrote an article for the Financial Times on the cover design of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons.
Writing for a series in the FT called 'How to Judge a Book by its Cover', Squires explains how the design pictured here did not appear until 1938 (8 years after initial publication of the book). Ransome only started illustrating his own work with the third in the Swallows and Amazons series, Peter Duck, as a textual joke: the pictures were supposed to have been drawn by the children in the book.
The environment is a big issue in contemporary publishing. Recently, OPUS (the Oxford Publishing Society) hosted an event at Oxford Brookes University to discuss the issues. Marie Hanson, an MA in Publishing student at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University, reports from the event:
'Edward Milford, Chairman of Earthscan, opened his speech ‘Greening our Publishing' with the provocative question "Is it possible?" He raised key issues such as the sustainability of the ‘green' process, and identified it as an industry-wide problem, which cannot be solved by individual companies working in isolation. With that in mind he outlined his own company's Environmental Policy, stating that in order for it to be a success it must have a substantial effect on the production process; if the policy allows you to continue ‘business as usual', it's not likely to produce the most impressive results.
The annual Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest book fair in the world. This year, part-time MA in Publishing student Jonathan Davis from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies was invited to work on the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) stand during the Fair.
'They came, they saw, they bartered and then they left. Outlasting the Frankfurt Book Fair before it outlasts you presents a unique opportunity to view the actions and behaviours of a rare breed of animal which come into full display every year at this time: the Frankfurt Book Fair buying public. If David Attenborough were to shoot a documentary on these creatures great and small this is where he would begin.
'I had the repeat pleasure of assisting my London Book Fair friends, the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), with their activities in Germany this year and got a taste of what it's like to be on the other side of the exhibitors' stand. Attending the fair for the first time last year with the Oxford Brookes MA in Publishing programme and seeing the business between publishers happen in the flesh - I felt a repeat experience was needed as the sheer size of the event was slightly overwhelming. The IPG provided me with an accessible way this year to get my hands dirty for the last two days of the fair when the general public are allowed access to over 7,000 publishers and the tens of thousands of books available. All to be bought, bargained for and carried home by any means necessary.
Students from the MA in Publishing at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies have helped in the publication of Richard Charkin's blog in book form. Chark Blog was written while Richard Charkin was CEO of Macmillan, and ended in September 2007 when he left to lead Bloomsbury. But digital has turned to print (on demand), and the book was launched in September 2008. A team of students (Mary Berry, Nayumi Furuta, Rhianna Jones, Holly Vitow, Amy Wigelsworth and Shell Xu) indexed the book, and Caitlyn Miller, who led the indexing team, also worked with Macmillan to prepare the book for publication.
Students and staff from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies recently visited the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Helen Swain, a student on the European Master in Publishing, reports:
Bologna welcomed Claire Squires, Caroline Hamilton and a number of Oxford Brookes students for the Children’s Book Fair 2008 on April 1 and 2. The beautiful, sun-drenched city itself caused immediate general infatuation of the eyes and taste buds, and initial impressions of the Book Fair were that it was smaller and more compact than its counterpart in Frankfurt. The Fair featured a significant graphic presence, with an impressive exhibition of illustrators’ drawings from all over the world and several interviews in the Illustrators’ Cafe. Another interesting aspect of the fair was the series of lectures and interviews on the subject of translation.
The 2008 Leipziger Buchmesse was held from 13 to 16 March 2008. This is an important spring event in Germany for the promotion of books from central and eastern Europe. The Fair had around 2,300 exhibitors and in the previous year attracted over 125,000 visitors. The Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding was given to the Dutch writer Geert Mak, author of In Europa (2004).
Eva Kneissl, who successfully completed the MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University in 2007, has recently had an article published in the trade journal LOGOS. The article, which is adapted from Kneissl's Masters thesis, examines the challenges faced in translating Chinese fiction into English and reaching larger Western audiences.
The Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies has just held its annual Working in Publishing Day. The day is an opportunity for our current students on the MA and BA in Publishing to talk to our alumni, gain careers advice, meet current employers and recruitment agencies.
Visitors included representatives from Cambridge University Press, Elsevier, HarperCollins, Haymarket, New Internationalist, Oxford University Press, Penguin, Sage, Usborne and Wiley Blackwell.
A group of master's students from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies visited the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2007 and their impressions of the event have recently been published in LOGOS, the forum of the world book community. The full article can be found here but the following quotes offer a snapshot of the students' experiences.