Alumni - Jonathan Davis, MA Publishing

My time on the MA Publishing course at Oxford Brookes was spent in a perpetual balance of work and study. Studying part time over two years and working to support myself during the course gave me a real grounding which helped me to get to know the publishing industry, make new friends, and find my first job within a month of submitting my dissertation. ...

The tutors and support staff in the department do their utmost best at welcoming you into the world of publishing and it was a real surprise to learn exactly what goes into publishing a book over the course of the many modules you can choose to take: be it editorial; production; or even specialised sectors like journals, magazine publishing, children’s and academic publishing. There are a lot of areas to be involved in and while it took me a bit of time to discover my own interests in the industry I am glad I chose to study part-time.

As a result I feel more confident in speaking to publishers who know the business inside and out, and describing what I do to friends and family back in Canada. The programme at Oxford Brookes provides you the opportunity to get involved from Day 1. Whether it’s serving as a Student Rep (like I did), volunteering at the London Book Fair, or more importantly gaining that all too crucial first work experience placement.

I was fortunate enough to have three placements, one with a local Oxford publisher, How To Books; another with a brand new academic imprint part of the well-known Bloomsbury Publishing group, Bloomsbury Academic; and the Independent Publishers Guild (with whom I got to travel to the Frankfurt Book Fair – for free!). Bloomsbury Academic also cultivated my interest in Open Access content, and alternative copyright licensing such as Creative Commons, which became the topic of my dissertation.

Now I am working in the industry and enjoying the hands-on learning I’m doing as an Editorial Assistant at Chandos Publishing in Witney, Oxfordshire. I have a lot of different responsibilities including general office management, co-ordinating the publication programme, receiving manuscripts from our current authors and even a bit of book commissioning.

Once you begin down the path of publishing, you won’t look back. Living in Oxford with a fellow graduate and staying in touch with fellow class members keep me grounded, and gives some of us the perfect opportunity to create a special club for men in publishing: Publishing Men Together (PMT) still meet regularly and are even planning a fundraising walk later in 2010.

Posted on 27 Jan 2010 around 2pm