A Voyage to Arcturus: Team Reflections

As we near the end of our project, the AVTA team have been doing some reflecting on working together on such an intense and rewarding project.

File_000 (13)L-R: Isobel, Julia, Margot, Sophie, Ruth N., Rachel & Amina

The process has been a real learning curve for us, some us starting with no practical publishing experience at all, and we feel that doing the project has given us skills we will continue to use throughout our careers. One of the best parts of doing the AVTA project has been the positive feedback we have received time and time again. Continue reading “A Voyage to Arcturus: Team Reflections”

Publishing Placement: Connect Communications

As an aspiring publisher, I jumped at the chance to do a placement at Connect Communications. Connect are an agency specialising in producing print and digital communications for clients ranging from Edinburgh Airport to BAE Systems. The placement I undertook was a joint project with one other student from the course, designing a huge piece of market research.

Due to the confidential nature of this work, I can’t go into many details – but it was fascinating seeing how an agency like Connect are looking to expand their business into areas of publishing I would never have considered. Not only were the skills I learnt during this process really useful for an aspiring marketer, but there was also lots of opportunity to get advice and insight from all the staff in Connect’s Edinburgh office, who come from a rich variety of backgrounds. I learned about areas I previously hadn’t considered, including the importance of advertising sales, and spent a lot of time picking up magazine layout tips and tricks.

Connect Mag Cover
Part of the cover & spread we created – and a backup career as a magazine covergirl if publishing doesn’t work out?

Alongside our database research project, the other placement student, Alessia, and myself also worked on producing a mock magazine feature. We researched and wrote a spread about the graduate job market, and our own aspirations for our publishing future. This was then laid out, giving us a lovely – and personal – portfolio piece. We also wrote a short blog about our experience that was featured on Connect’s website! My experience at Connect really opened my eyes to the huge range of jobs available in publishing, and the variety of working for a range of clients at an agency like Connect.

Spotlight: Marketing

This week: an insight into the behind the scenes workings of the AVTA marketing team!

The AVTA marketing team have primarily been busy creating a strong digital presence through the use of Facebook, Twitter & Instagram with consistent and iconic branding. This began with the creation of a strong communications strategy in which we outlined our specific target market (the science fiction community) and our plans to reach them, with a goal of not only growing our follower numbers, but also reaching high levels of engagement.

The AVTA Facebook is a hub of info – we use the page to share all kinds of discursive content from various sources.

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The AVTA Facebook page

Our most popular content includes videos (handmade by our marketing team), photos & gifs, as well as quotes from authors. Continue reading “Spotlight: Marketing”

A Voyage to LBF16

This week, the Voyage to Arcturus team have been in London attending London Book Fair. It’s been a great chance to experience the universe of publishing rights deals, and attend a few seminars.

Huge & daunting: the LBF floorplan


The sheer scale of the fair was daunting to the team at first, but equipped with maps and guides we managed to navigate our way to some exciting seminars, including  ‘making books trend’ and learning about international market trends.

Maps, guides & badges!

Our marketing team were inspired by  Nikesh Shukla sending some meat into space to promote his book Meatspace – it turns out all you need is a weather balloon, GoPro and a GPS – watch this space!

Sunny skies over LBF

As always, keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram as well as right here on Publishing by Degrees – when we are back to real life we hope to make lots of exciting announcements!

A Voyage to Shoreline of Infinity’s Event Hoizon

On Monday night, the Voyage to Arcturus team (or Arcturus Voyagers as we were nicknamed on the night) had the opportunity to speak about our project at Shoreline of Infinity’s monthly evening of science fiction themed fun, Event Horizon.

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A beautiful partnership – A Voyage to Arcturus & Shoreline of Infinity

We are delighted to have partnered with Shoreline of Infinity for the purpose of promoting and celebrating the work of David Lindsay. This has given us a chance to go outside the publishing sphere and really interact with our target market of science fiction fans!

We were part of a line up including performances from poet Colin McGuire, songs from The Dan Collins Band & Painted Ocean and a prose reading from Dee Raspin, winner of Shoreline’s short story contest, and the entire Arcturus team had a really enjoyable night – ‘I had a wonderful time!’ said Ruth N.

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The lovely Rachel performing a reading from Lindsay’s classic science fiction novel, A Voyage to Arcturus.

For our performance, project managers Ruth G and Julia did a short intro to the project and our aims, followed by Rachel from editorial giving a spirited reading from chapter 6 – Joiwind. We got some really positive feedback on our work from those attending the event, including Mike Calder of Transreal Fiction, one of Edinburgh’s finest science fiction bookshops.

If you’d like to know when our ebook is available (very soon! ) please sign up to our mailing list!

You can also follow our journey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and right here on Publishing By Degrees.



A Voyage to the SYP Scotland Conference

Last Friday we were lucky enough to secure a stand at the Society for Young Publishers Scotland conference. Our aims in having A Voyage to Arcturus presence at the conference was to secure a list of contact details for those interested in being the first to know when our e-book comes out, conduct a small piece of market research about holding a book launch event and, of course, for the networking opportunities and to hear some amazing speakers from the publishing industry.

Left to right: Julia & Ruth G (project managers), & Sophie (head of editorial) manning our stall.

Imagine our surprise when, at 9am, the first visitor to our stand, and first sign up to hear about the e-book download was none other than Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival! This was the beginning of a really successful day for the team, and it was wonderful to have so much support and positive feedback from so many people in the Scottish book industry.

We’ve also learned some really valuable lessons from the day’s speakers. The entirety of the design & production team settled in to the ‘Design in Discussion’ session to pick up some tips; and the ‘Coding Workshop’ was a big hit with everyone on the team who is trying to improve their digital skills (particularly marketing manager Isobel)! We all had a fantastic day – big thanks to SYP Scotland for organising such a great event!

If you’d like to be one of the first in the know when our e-book download goes live, you can still sign up here.

You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram as well as right here on Publishing By Degrees!

Spotlight: Design & Production Team

Our design & production team have been hard at work behind the scenes creating our final layout of the book, as well as designing some lovely postcards. Most recently, they’ve been working on producing final drafts of both the internal pages and the cover.

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Final check of internal pages!

We have been using Adobe CreativeSuite to lay out over 300 pages of text.

‘It’s been an astronomical learning curve!’ says Ruth G.

Art Director Margot has been working on the design of the cover. Based on market research, the cover incorporates modern style, and throwbacks to the 1920s, the era of the book’s initial publication. The design itself is based around the actual star Arcturus, and the constellation surrounding it.

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The whole AVTA team are really excited to see our book coming to life – keep up with our journey on facebook, instagram and twitter.