Monday, 7 December 2015

UCLPub2015 - Term 1: Week 9 [30th Nov-4th Dec]

We revisited InDesign in Publishing Skills on Tuesday morning. While last time we learnt how to add content to the book, this time around we worked our way through the intricacies of cover design. Marita gave us everything necessary to work through her step-by-step guide to make a cover for a book published by her publishing house: Norvik Press. Once we'd completed that, in the spirit of Christmas, we made some Christmas themed poster designs for our favourite books this year. All in the name of education of course! I would show a picture of my design but I decided to take more of a consultant role on this one rather than create my own as I was not quite feeling the Christmas spirit just yet (yes, I know, bah, humbug!)
Next week: Nielsen BookScan revisited.

Publishing Project this week was a hub of productivity. We now have a website! is still "under construction" but it's live while we fill it up so that everyone can access all the information they need to send their awesome YA short stories to us! Check it out here! We have also made a video (of sorts) which is linked to both the vlogging part of our Publishing Skills, and our Publishing Project topic. We're preparing for our Information Meeting on 8th December where we hope to meet a few of the writers interested in entering our competition and answer any questions they might have. I can't say anything just yet but we already have some great judges lined up and more brilliant judges and prizes in the pipeline. It's all getting very exciting!

The Author Management session on Thursday morning was on literary agents. We saw the history of the literary agent and investigated the various roles of a literary agent in the publishing industry at present. We looked at contracts from another perspective: the one between an author and his/her agent. We saw the breakdown of commission from each of the different rights up for grabs; from simple things like hardback, paperback, and ebook, to subsidiary rights like radio/TV, reprints, and translatio. Special guest Matthew Hamilton gave us a great insight into the life of a literary agent from his first hand experience as long time agent at Aitken Alexander.
Next week's focus: 'New ways of working with authors, or why not DIY?' with special guest Dan Kiernan of Unbound.

In Theories of the Book on Thursday afternoon we had a session on Globalisation given by one of our lecturers Daniel Boswell (contrary to what I said last week). He got us thinking about what globalisation means and if/how it can be applied to the publishing industry. While it has resulted in greater trade across borders, it has also resulted in a homogenisation in the books that are published, particularly in the Anglo-American book industries. It also cannot be ignored the lack of translated works that are making headway in our book industry - we very much expect our books to be snatched up and translated in other countries but, for whatever reason, we do not seem to consider works written in other languages a hot enough commodity that they are worth seeking out for translation.
Next week: 'The 'Book' in the Digital Age' with Mel.

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