MSc Publishing: A Year in Review

As I’m drawing to the end of my publishing degree I can’t help but look back at all the things I’ve learned.  I came into this degree confident that I knew everything about this industry. I truly felt that I wouldn’t be starting from nothing and instead would be building on knowledge I already had. I mean how hard can it be to make books? As it turns out there’s a lot more to publishing than meets the page and there have been some serious highlights throughout this course.

One of the most interesting highlights of the course was the 2019 London Book Fair in March. This was a fantastic opportunity to see the publishing industry at its finest.  Not only were we given the platform to network with some of the biggest publishers, it was also an opportunity to listen to some deeply interesting panels about current issues facing the industry. I found myself drawn to panels on diversity. The first being a panel that was as diverse as their topic.  The discussion was focused on diverse and inclusive representation in children’s literature and brought some very interested debates to the audience.  The second panel looked at inclusive hiring and the benefits of hiring professionals from diverse backgrounds to help encourage more creative and innovative teams. I got so much out of that week and the panels I watched even helped inspire my dissertation topic.

Back in April I had the pleasure of attending the first event for The International Magazine Center. I was so inspired by Simon Kanter, the creative director of Haymarket Media, who talked about his experiences watching the industry evolve and change over the years. I found it really interesting to hear a publishing professional talk about actively seeking out new collaborations and opportunities to learn even at his level of expertise.  I am someone who truly believes that you can never stop learning and Kanter’s talk affirmed for me that the publishing industry is one that continues to grow because its professionals are constantly learning and expanding their knowledge.

To end trimester 2 I got the pleasure of accompanying Avril and Dave as well as 4 of my fellow classmates on a trip to Mainz, Germany. There we visited our exchange partners at the Johannes Gutenberg University and got to take a look at publishing from the perspective of another European country.  The trip was fascinating.  Not only were the cities we visited beautiful but the people we met and the business practices and history we learnt about were truly eye opening.  They really helped us to see past the UK publishing market and see it more as a global market.

So now that my degree is almost over, with nothing left but a dissertation to hand in I find myself in a completely different place than I started. I enter this degree sure I wanted to be a Book Editor and no one and nothing was going to change my mind.  But here I am, less than a year later and seriously considering a career and future in rights and contracts, something I didn’t even think of before this course. So as we all set of to start our careers in whatever area of publishing we’ve decided on, I am excited to see how we will all help shape the future of the Publishing Industry.