Publishing News | Publishing
Launched in the autumn of 2008, Digs is a magazine about student life in Oxford which is freely distributed to students at Oxford Brookes and Oxford Universities. The magazine started out as coursework for a first-year undergraduate project at Oxford Brookes, in the module Introduction to Magazine Publishing.
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Three hundred guests from book publishers and manufacturers gathered in London's Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square on Wednesday 12 November for the 2008 British Book Design and Production Awards. The Awards were introduced by BPIF President Mike Taylor and presented by writer, broadcaster and former MP Gyles Brandreth. The annual awards are organized by the British Printing Industries Federation, Oxford Brookes University and the Publishers Association.
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Students from the MA Publishing courses at Oxford Brookes University visited the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2008. At the Fair they had meetings with a range of publishers large and small, including A&C Black, Attwooll Associates, Camelot Editions, Casemate, Continuum, Dorling Kindersley, Infinite Ideas, Myriad Editions, New Internationalist, Orion, Patmos Verlag, Pearson Education, Playbac, Random House, and Wiley.
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Students from the MAs in Publishing at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University recently visited the Bodleian Library, where they learned about the theory and practice of hand-press printing.
Guided by Paul Nash (who is also a PhD student at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies), students found out more about the development of printing in the 15th century, and then had the opportunity to set their own type and print a keepsake. MA student Marina Debattista writes about the experience:
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.
In August 2008 The Times of India published an article on the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies and its degree programmes. The profile included interviews with students and alumni from India from both the BA and MA publishing degrees. Ankit Vij, studying BA Publishing, said: 'Apart from the fact that Oxford is a lovely place to live in, OICPS would be my first and only recommendation to students looking for publishing programmes because of the course structure and the teaching standards.' Deepthi Talwar, a graduate of the MA in Publishing, commented: 'The publishing industry in India has grown at an incredible pace in the last couple of years. ... at OICPS, I was given exposure to an industry that had already seen that growth many years back. So, one can learn a lot from their marketing, commissioning and production strategies.'
You can read the full Times of India article here.
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Greek publishing industry
Together with Christina Banou from the Ionian University in Greece, Angus Phillips has published a paper in Publishing Research Quarterly on the Greek publishing industry. The paper provides an overview of the publishing industry in Greece and suggests areas for further investigation. Topics covered include the structure of the industry and notable features of the book market, including the profile of publishers, the role of information technology, and national book policy.
The Greek market for books is small and as a consequence less attractive to international publishing groups. In 2006 around 9,200 new titles were published, of which over 40 per cent were translated titles. There were 730 publishing houses, mostly small and medium-sized companies, and many publishers remain family-owned enterprises. There are fixed prices for books in the first two years after publication, and there are around 2,000 bookshops in Greece.
Christina Banou and Angus Phillips, ‘The Greek Publishing Industry and Professional Development’, Publishing Research Quarterly, 24:2, June 2008.