Monday, 25 January 2016

UCLPub2015 - Term 2: Weeks 1 & 2 [11th-22nd Jan]

Possibly not the best start to my weekly round-ups of 2016 when I'm late with the first one! I'm going to blame it on the assignments; Author Management and Publishing Skills are now officially over. The assignments have been completed and handed in and the wait for my mark begins...
Term two has officially kicked off and thrown us right in the deep-end, here's my run-down of the first 2 weeks.

Publishing Project
Publishing Project, our only year-long module kicked us off on Tuesday morning. If you've been following us on Twitter and Facebook, you'll see that we've extended our submissions by a week so that they now close Friday 29th January, and we've announced 5 out of 7 of our judges:
  1. Beatrice Masini - Italian translator of Harry Potter
  2. Charlotte Eyre - Children's Editor at the Bookseller and chair of the YA Book Prize
  3. David Owen - author of YA novel Panther (a fantastic read that tackles teenage depression and those it affects)
  4. Annalie Grainger - commissioning editor at Walker Books (who publishes Patrick Ness!!) and author of YA novel captive
  5. Bryony Woods - literary agent at DKW Literary Agency (who represents David Owen)
We've had quite a few submissions in and we're really excited to read what UCL students have to offer! We're also going to be building up our blog as the weeks go on in preparation for the release of the shortlist for the Bookseller's YA Book Prize!

Sales, Marketing & Promotion
Our first new module was Sales, Marketing and Promotion where each week we get to discover the wide and wondrous reach of Martin Neild's professional network. We've heard about several (top-secret) up and coming marketing campaigns and what goes into the designing of a marketing campaign. We've heard from both fiction and non-fiction marketing teams and it's very interesting to hear the different things that need to be considered for each book. It's amazing how much thought has to go into what, to the audience, seems so simple and easy; but I suppose that's the point. Each campaign is a gamble, and each on is a learning opportunity, and no two are the same. A job in sales and marketing would most definitely not be a boring one.

Applied Creativity & Content
This module is basically on production of the book. The stages from manuscript to print/ebook. The first week Will Hill came in to talk to us about typography and it was so interesting to see how important the typeface and font of a text is in book production. The wrong typeface can make reading really difficult and put a reader off. I think I've made it sound really dull but it was actually really interesting. That said, I still don't think I'm 100% clear on the difference between font and typeface...
Our second ACC session was on pre-press. So this outlined for us the steps that must be taken before a book is printed. It turns out that there are minor details that can massively affect the ease and speed of productivity in this late stage of book creation; from file format (MS Word .docx = bad, Adobe .pdf = good), to colour format (CMYK is the way forward for printed books).

Children's Publishing (aka Children's Publishing of JOY)
This is by far the most laid back and enjoyable of our new modules. This module is going to cover all kinds of children's publishing, from board and picture books to YA novels and everything in between. In our first session we took a trip to the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the British Museum (everyone go before it ends, it's so much fun) to look at how many different versions and adaptations there have been over the years. When we got back to uni we had to, in groups, figure out how we would do a new adaptation; who would it be for, how would we present it, what made it different from what had already been done?
Our second session was on the relationship between the author, the illustrator and the editor (though really, we shouldn't forget the agent who plays a key role in the relationship). In some cases, the editor and author will be the same person, though the dream for all publishing houses would be to find a dream team like Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. After discussing this, we were split into groups and given different images. We had to come up with a story and a target market for a story from our group's images. I can't give too much away but hold tight for The Forever Five (and the Sometimes Six) and their arch-nemesis Master Lightbulb. Coming soon to a bookshop near you; or, you know, never, but we can dream!

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