Postgraduate Publishing studies at Edinburgh Napier University. INDUSTRY APPROVED Publishing degrees (accredited by the Professional Publishers Association and Creative Skillset). MSc Publishing was the first Publishing programme in the UK to be accredited by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA). It is now accredited by Creative Skillset (only one of two courses to hold this award). MSc Magazine Publishing is the only course of its kind in Scotland and is the only publishing course in the UK to be accredited by the PPA. The PPA is the lead body for best practice in training, development and people management for the magazine and business media industry.
Publishing isn’t something I had always considered, as I know many have and its a lifelong dream or achievement. For me it is still a new concept, one I’m still struggling to grasp. This isn’t because of the work load itself but if it is a suitable career for myself, so here are some initial thoughts from a first semester stance.
Being presented with so many new opportunities has definitely been something of a new occurrence upon entering the world of publishing and what that entails. Although I have not yet attended any internal or external event within this means these events are luckily not in short supply and instead I have decide it’s important to focus on the future events for planning. Edinburgh book fair, although home and local would be interesting but so would travelling to New York for the same fair on more international territory as this area is where I am aiming to be. It is all about the prep work involved and learn more about what this area entails in the publishing industry and so rather than use my time here and ruin the experience of a book fair in a place I wouldn’t be interested in instead I will save for somewhere I could actually learn to appreciate it more. so I fell gaining the skills for these events are crucial in order to appreciate its full potential. The appeal of the industry is still new and I am very unsure if this will be long-term, from what I have seen and be taught so far but it would be a defining factor to actually be caught up in the industry on a more personal level and that is what entails for my 2019 and graduation. My research so far have been very focused towards a potential company I am interested in: Bloomsbury. From what I have learned their academia research so spot on and where they are aiming to dive into this specific market making an international appearance as well as having future potential. Therefore 2019 will be great to see if publishing is the industry for me and of it truly lives up to its expectations.
In summary: I guess after a semester of leaning new material and getting to grips with what the industry is about as the jury is still out, but for now It is time for some much needed rest.
Branding plays a key part in the publishing industry today. As a young professional, you have to stand out from the crowd in order to get jobs, so a part of doing this is branding yourself. If you decide to do freelance work, you are essentially setting yourself up as a branded company that contracts work. And obviously for publishing companies, having a distinctive brand that sets you apart will help you to sell books.
During the MSc Publishing course, we had a short exercise from Susan Kemp (@susanroslynkemp), a freelance corporate and publishing service provider, which means she is a freelance editor, proof-reader and project manager. Therefore, she has had experience in branding herself as a company. During her workshop, we each had fifteen minutes to create a brand name for ourselves, which would present us as our professional selves. We also had to create a logo to go along with this brand, presenting an image which would extend us as a brand into a physical image. Although a short exercise, it was incredibly beneficial to use our gut instinct to realise what was personally important to present as a professional.
As part of my placement at Connect Communications, I was tasked with creating and branding a mobile application targeted at University-affiliated Dance Societies/Sports Clubs. It essentially would replace a digital magazine, with multi-media and instant content. I had to produce the concept for the app, who the audience was, and what it was aiming to do. Here are a few things to consider when branding a company that I have learned throughout my placement.
The name of your company is the most important aspect of branding. The wrong name will cause issues with your brand being seen and understood. It is the first impression that a customer will have of what you are, and what you’re about, and it needs to say that. It needs to be broad, to allow for change within the company, but also unique, so as to stand out from the crowd. Too broad, and it will get lost. Too unique, and it will become difficult to find. It also needs to relate to the core aims of the company. For the app, I came up with the name of Turnout. This is a core dancing technique found in almost every form of dance. It also relates to one of the aims of the app, which is to advertise Dance Societies’ events, to help increase the turnout. It has a versatility that can be applied in a variety of situations, and still be appropriate. For the name, I took inspiration from my placement company’s work with award-winning publications like InDepth (Rolls Royce), Unfiltered (Scottish Malt Whisky Society) and The Journal (Law Society of Scotland).
The logo is where you can have a little fun, and show you really understand your audience. It should be eye-catching and engaging, while allowing for the name of the company to stand out to make it obvious who the company is aimed at. For research on ideas for logos, I looked at Dance Societies’ logos, as well as dance companies and schools. I also had a look here at some award-winning logos to get an idea on what makes a good logo. As Connect has an account with Shutterstock, I was able to look at images there for dancers that I could manipulate to be part of my logo, without any copyright issues, as I do not have the Adobe Illustrator abilities to create one myself.
For some instances, a tag-line is not needed. However, most start-ups or niche businesses are not well known enough to not need a tag-line, like Adidas (whose tagline actually is Impossible is Nothing). So creating a tag-line is a necessary evil. You have to discover the core of your business and represent it in the tag-line. But it must be very short. The one I produced is not very innovative, but it does the job in only four words: ‘Bringing Dance Societies Together’. It had originally been ‘Bringing Dancers Together’ (so as to remain more ambiguous for the potential physical magazine) but after market research on the app specifically, it was mentioned that the tag-line should be more particular to the audience of the app. So the word ‘Societies’ was added.
Branding is a developing and on-going process, so this is not necessarily where the brand of Turnout will end up. But it has been an incredibly useful task to consider, within this short amount of time at my placement (only 5 weeks), the kinds of issues that start-ups, and existing companies, face when considering their branding. Nobody ever likes to remember the time that Coca Cola re-branded to ‘New Coke’ in 1985, which is why branding is such a powerful tool today.
Blog post #2 for the Innovations in Learning and Teaching Book Launch
The newest project for Edinburgh Napier University MSc Publishing students is to plan, manage, promote, and implement an event that celebrates and launches Merchiston Publishing’s newest book. We want to share our work and our EVENT with you!
To bring you up to speed, Edinburgh Napier University presented the Teaching Fellows Conference of 2016 #TFConf16, in January this year. The most recent conference, and those of prior years, sends academic staff, students and institutions a strong message. That if you’re involved in teaching or learning then you must also “question, challenge and rethink existing practices” (foreword).
ENU prides itself on engagement with its staff and this makes the conference invaluable by giving them a chance to meet, discuss ideas, and present their work. All that work is incredibly important because it means that teachers and lecturers are offering the best possible learning environment to their students, and no more so than at Edinburgh Napier University.
This brilliant book not just a chance to more fully understand the principles that guide leading academic practitioners but is also a symbol of commitment from Edinburgh’s community shaping and awarding winning university in order to encourage peer review and to continue to evaluate itself. It is also a celebration of the hard work and talents of staff and students alike.
The conference became the touch paper for this fantastic project. This project is what allows us, the most recent intake of Publishing students at ENU, to be part of the Innovations Team and to develop what we learn as pupils and to bring it to a wider audience.
We’ll be talking more about the contributors and editors of the book, as well as our event preparation, in the days running up to the launch but for now, let’s introduce the current MSc Publishing team and the tasks they’re responsible for…
Natalie, Claire, and Sarah are the Communications Team – if you’ve had an email about Innovations in Learning and Teaching, it was probably from us! We are in charge of making sure everybody is up to speed with what’s going on with the project, as well as sending out those all-important invitations. It’s a role that requires patience, friendliness, and consummate professionalism.
Highlights of the course so far have been acquiring practical experience with a live project, developing our problem – solving skills, and getting to talk to experienced people in the industry.
Social Media Team
The Social Media Team, made up of Connor, Alistair, and Catherine (your honoured blog poster), are responsible for all content going out on social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We manage the event pages on Facebook and Eventbrite as well as doing other tasks like blog posting on our associated Publishing by Degrees websites. We also support all our lovely classmates in the other teams, including other promotional copy like press releases, email templates and photo editing.
This role has meant that all three of us have immersed ourselves in the world of digital communications and learnt how that affects modern marketing in the publishing sector. It also means that we get to engage on a really personal level with everyone interested in the book and our endeavours. The course’s Creative Toolkit class – using Adobe Creative Suite and learning about book design and production – is brilliant fun and the skills we’re learning are invaluable.
Project Research Team
Kellie, Catriona and Merrily have been busy gathering additional information for the rest of the team to utilise. For the most part, this has involved collating information about the editors and contributors of the volume, researching who might be interested in attending the event, and looking at how we can expand the reach of the book itself.
We are most proud of our beautiful project spreadsheet that incorporates invitees, press, bloggers and other organisations. The aim of this document is to provide an efficient and unified system for the communications and events teams to use in getting the word out about the book and the launch, and in administrating the event itself.
The project’s design team comprises Hannah, Ellen, and Billy. Fascinated by colourful, memorable and effective graphic design, we are responsible for creating and managing all promotional materials and merchandise for the launch of Innovations in Learning and Teaching. We have also undertaken product photography to capture the quality of the physical product for further content to be used by the social media team.
We are enjoying the challenge of the project and the MSc Publishing course in creating striking content and applying our creativity whilst expanding our skill-set.
Events Logistics Team
The Events Team are proud to be managing the logistics and layout of the Innovations in Learning and Teaching book launch. Our team is made up of Amy, April, and Joanna. However, we have also been collaborating closely with members of other teams to make sure our event is smooth sailing. Since booking the venue, Amy and Joanna have been leading hospitality for the event arranging everything from budgets to cheeseboards and wine. Meanwhile, April and Merrily, from the Marketing & Research team, have been programming and organising the event activities.
We are incredibly passionate about this project and cannot wait to see everyone on the night!
Project Management Team
We are Helen, Jackie and Ann, the project managers for the Innovations in Learning and Teaching Launch. We have a fantastic project team, making our roles as project managers less about overseeing the flow of the project and more about making sure our fellow team members have what they need to succeed. We have picked up roles dealing with the financial aspects of the launch as well as handling the audio/visual details for the project.
We have really enjoyed being able to learn and utilise these new-found skills in working with this event as well as the MSc Publishing course as a whole, and look forward to seeing how they’ll benefit us in the future.
Now that you’ve met the team, hang fire for the next update on the ins and outs of what we’ve been up to for the past 12 weeks in order to make this great event happen. We knew instantly that we wanted to honour the efforts of those involving in the writing, editing, production, and publishing of Merchiston Publishing’s Innovations in Teaching and Learning and we look forward to bringing you our event.
If you would like to attend the Innovations in Teaching and Learning book launch then you can access tickets here. The event will be on 30th November, Room B32, Merchiston Campus, Edinburgh. Tickets are free but limited so hurry! Everyone is welcome.
(Photography courtesy of Hannah Killoh & Ellen Desmond)
Helen Williams is currently undertaking PhD research on Scotland’s regional print economy in the nineteenth century, investigating aspects of the circulation of personnel and knowledge across Scottish print union networks in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, at Edinburgh Napier University’s Scottish Centre for the Book.
Helen is the Secretary of the Scottish Printing Archival Trust, and was the Programme Manager for the celebrations of ‘500 years of printing in Scotland’ in 2008.
She holds a Masters degree in Librarianship and has worked for the London Library, the British Library and the National Library of Scotland.
As part of her research, Helen recently attended the annual meeting of the Bibliographical Society of Canada / La Société bibliographique du Canada (as part of the Canadian Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences), at the University of Calgary). Helen also attended the Moore Institute at the National University of Ireland in Galway for the much smaller 2016 Print Networks Conference.
Anna Klamet is a PhD research student at Edinburgh Napier University, who graduated from Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz, Germany) in 2014, with an MSc in media management. Her thesis was entitled “Make or buy? A qualitative analysis of the organisational handling of digital innovations in the German publishing sector”.
I’m Laura, a 24-year-old Italian human with a penchant for languages and staring intensely at pizza.
During my undergraduate studies in Modern Languages and Cultures for Business (a peculiar mix of languages, literature, linguistics, and law), I landed a stable position in legal translations and social services, which gave me the opportunity to work on publishing projects and to start dipping my toes into the processes of editing and formatting.
After taking a fascinating minor in art, literature, and how cultural heritage can shape and integrate urban landscape, I went on to write my thesis on Bloomsday celebrations, James Joyce’s Ulysses, and its various Italian editions. This resulted in me embarking in the fabulous world of publishing, where I hope to eventually become a Rights Department wizard and InDesign user extraordinaire.
Within the MSc Publishing programme, I work on my InDesign skills by being in the production team for Innovations in Learning and Teaching, and acting as a digital designer and contributor for Publishers Inc, while handling the rights department for both projects.
When I’m not hyping over GREP functions or being very picky about the best verb to use in a contract, I can be found looming around inside art galleries, hiking, or planning my next travelling adventure.