Report on the 2nd International Publishing Summer School, 2014

The 2nd International Publishing Summer School took place from 7-18 July 2014 at Oxford Brookes University. Delegates from a range of publishing backgrounds came from countries around the world, including China, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Italy, Thailand, Estonia and Russia.  We were lucky to be able to use two venues for the Summer School - the beautiful and characterful Headington Hill Hall and the brand newly-opened John Henry Brookes Building.

The Summer School covered all the latest issues and developments in the world of publishing focusing, of course, on digital trends.  It opened with an overview of trends and internationalisation in UK publishing by Liz Thomson, Publisher at Bookbrunch, before a talk by Angus Phillips, Head of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies on what we can learn from digital trends in other media industries,  On the second day, David Attwooll, MD of Attwooll Associates, talked through the issues surrounding digital right management, and there were sessions on rights and international book fairs, and on business models, digital products and formats, and publishing standards.  The week continued with Emma Barnes, MD of Snowbooks. covering the importance of metadata, and further digital sessions on content management, digital workflow and XML, and Philip Shaw, Associate at Bertoli Mitchell, giving a session on publishing finance.

The Summer School makes a point of covering all genres of publishing, and includes special sessions on professional publishing (by Richard Hart, founder of Hart Publishing), trade publishing (by Juliet Mabey, MD of Oneworld Publications), journals publishing (led by Anthony Watkinson and colleagues from Wiley), textbook and monograph publishing (by OICPS senior lecturer Beverley Tarquini), and educational publishing (by Lindsey Charles, educational publishing consultant).  There was also a talk on the importance of green publishing by Adrian Bullock and Meredith Walsh, the authors of the book 'Green Publishing'.

The second week included a discussion with Felicity Bryan, Chair of the Felicity Bryan Literary Agency on managing author relationships in an era of self-publishing, a sessions on marketing and on selling internationally by Simon Littlewood, International Director of RandomHouse, and a fascinating afternoon on mergers and acquisitions  by Jonathan Glasspool, Managing Director of Bloomsbury Academic and Professional.  On the last afternoon, C M Taylor, ghostwriter, screenwriter and app maker, showed us some of the exiting new born digital products that are now being produced, and Richard Mollett, CEO of the Publishers Association gave a sobering talk on how UK and international publishers and law-enforcement agencies are working together to defend copyright and combat piracy.

Some of the sessions were led by Senior Lecturers from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies and there were lots of opportunities for delegates to try out what they were learning in break-out sessions.  The highlight of these was probably the international recipe ebook produced by the delegates in one hands-on afternoon!

The week also included visits to Lightning Source, a tour of the Bodleian Library, a literary tour of Oxford, a trip to the OUP Museum, and a visit to Lion Hudson Publishers.  A delicious conference dinner at Quod Restaurant was greatly enhanced by a very funny after-dinner speech by John Mitchinson, writer, publisher and co-founder of Unbound.

A gallery of pictures is available here.

Comments from delegates:

‘Everything was perfect!  Please continue to run this summer school again and again!’ Delegate from China

‘I have received great ideas and information that will drastically improve my workplace activities and general life style if implemented’.  Delegate from Nigeria

‘The lectures were well designed and prepared… materials are very useful and helpful and they gave me many practical suggestions I can use in my work.  The speakers were highly experienced, passionate and humorous’. Delegate from China

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Filed Under Publishing | Oxford Centre for Publishing Consultancy and Research