Postgraduate Publishing studies at Edinburgh Napier University. INDUSTRY APPROVED Publishing courses (accredited by the Professional Publishers Association and Creative Skillset). MSc Publishing was the first Publishing programme in the UK to be approved by the Professional Publishers Association. It is one of only two UK courses to be accredited by Creative Skillset. MSc Magazine Publishing is the only course of its kind in Scotland.
In past seven months on the Edinburgh Napier Publishing MSc, I’ve learned so much: skills in design and editorial, personal and professional development, developing a more comprehensive understanding of the publishing industry, as well as taking advantage of placement opportunities here in Edinburgh. However, the decision that has had the most significant impact on all of those elements was becoming a member of the Scotland chapter of the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) back in September.
While I may not have attended many casual mixers (social anxiety and general fatigue don’t usually put me in the party mood), I have gone out to workshops, events, and the annual conference in February 2019. At each and every one I learned so much. As you can imagine, for these reasons alone I would recommend joining the SYP, and if you are looking to get into publishing, I would suggest seeing if there is an SYP group in your area.
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. Continue reading “The Importance of Branding”
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.