Online Marketing at Google’s #DigitalGarage

In March, I attended a couple of #DigitalGarage sessions ran by Google in Glasgow. These workshops are free to attend and are part of a larger project that Google is working on to get people feeling more confident about online marketing. While I’m aware that these sessions are not specific to publishing, I think it is really important for publishers to stay ahead of the curve with the latest strategies in digital marketing. I plan to use what I learned from these sessions with my own blog and in my current social media internship with Linen Press Books. In the meantime, I’ve summarised some of the key points from the #DigitalGarage below.

What is #DigitalGarage?

“Free tutorials from Google on everything from your website to online marketing and beyond. Choose the topics you want to learn, or complete the whole online course for a certification from Google and IAB Europe.”

I attended the live workshops but Google also offers free online training if there aren’t any workshops running near you. You can set goals, learn from experienced professionals, apply your knowledge, track your progress and stay motivated!

The sessions were a great springboard for me as I am really interested in online and digital marketing within publishing. They were comprehensive and there was lots of information and resources for me to take away. I learned about the importance of designing a good website, choosing a domain name and thinking about hosting.

“Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.”

When it came to social media, they were armed with interesting and informative stats for us: 38 million active social media users and 1 hour 29 minutes average daily use of social media via any device (younger audience = significantly higher usage). I was surprised to learn that people formulate an impression within 50 milliseconds of visiting your social media profile so it’s important to think about your bio: keep it relevant, clear and consistent and show you personality – people like people. It made me ask the question: what message can I send out on my Twitter page within 50 milliseconds?

The #DigitalGarage sessions are a hidden gem. It is very rare to get comprehensive training like this for free so I was eager to jump on the chance. I look forward to seeing how my new found knowledge can help me with all things publishing.

Placement at the Teaching Fellows Journal


The Autumn Issue of tfj online.
As an MSc Publishing student with little or no experience in the industry, I was pleased to discover an opportunity to assist at the Teaching Fellows Journal within a few weeks of starting the course.

Never ones to shy away from being thrown in at the deep end, myself [Rhiannon] and Alessia were given a template for the magazine, a long list of articles, some pictures and a deadline! The 2014 Autumn issue was enjoyable and challenging. It was important for us to maintain the look and quality of the tfj to provide an issue of the magazine that would fit seamlessly into the back catalogue.
When we started, we had not worked with house styles and had only managed a couple of Creative Toolkit sessions in the weeks prior to starting. Learning how the magazine is put together, liaising with a variety of external sources, choosing between a plethora of delightful images and writing by all the contributors, all made for a complete learning experience as we worked towards the deadline.

As students, we were confronted with the difficulties of being in several places at once whilst managing our time effectively between lectures, tutorials, assessments and the placement. Thankfully we were well enough equipped on the course to be able to work remotely and request advice from tutors where the technicalities of software may have otherwise defeated us!

A crash course in layouts, proofreading and InDesign, this early placement was valuable and insightful. As we reach the end of semester two, it is interesting to reflect on the publication and think about how our approach may have differed with the additional knowledge we have attained. It was great to have a placement so early on and it’s a great way to exercise some of those early skills and develop relationships within the University.

The East Meets The Bookseller

Futurebook logoBy Chentong Hao

On 14 and 15 June 2014, the first publishing hackathon was held in London. As an international student from China, I was fortunate enough to witness this, the first publishing hackathon in the UK, which was a remarkable event organised by The Bookseller. I was a volunteer for “The FutureBook Hack” and it was a fascinating experience.

As an MSc Magazine Publishing student at Edinburgh Napier University with a huge obsession for both books and magazines, this event was the perfect platform for me to combine these two things. Importantly, as a Chinese Publishing journalist, I think The Bookseller can always offer unique insights into the UK publishing world.

Although I’d previously heard of some events organised by The Bookseller, the immediate feeling I had when I heard of “The FutureBook Hack” was that it would be an obscure technology conference. However, the reality was totally different, and “The FutureBook Hack” really engaged with publishing, bridging the digital, technology and publishing worlds. Publishers around the world are attracted by this revolutionary move in the publishing industry… Continue reading “The East Meets The Bookseller”

Work placement at Archaeology Scotland

Ever thought of becoming an archaeologist? Well, I have, when I was a little girl and watched all of the Indiana Jones movies: I wanted to go in search of the Lost Ark with Harrison Ford and ride a motorcycle with Sean Connery, while running away from the Nazis. For a while I was convinced my archaeological desire would not come true – how could it? I grew up and left my childhood dream behind and started a publishing course, which, as it turned out, I truly enjoy. You couldn’t go further away from archaeology, could you? Well, that’s where fate came in to prove me wrong as I did my publishing placement with Archaeology Scotland and got first hand experience of what modern archaeologists do, while being able to deepen my knowledge of publishing design processes.

As I said, I did my placement with Archaeology Scotland, a voluntary membership organisation that looks after maintaining the archaeological heritage and research in Scotland. The task I was entrusted with was re-designing the latest issue of their eponymous membership magazine and looking into ways of making that content available online and establishing whether the newly re-defined format could bring the printing costs down.

What I enjoyed the most was the designer freedom to create a brand new issue from scratch, to be able to decide on the organisation of the textual and visual elements on a page and to make sure it all comes in together nicely and is consistent across the issue. In addition to all that, which was all very hands-on and practical from day one, I also had to deliver a presentation reporting on my work progress to the editorial sub-group which included the company’s President. This was a little more challenging, but most definitely beneficial for my presentation confidence skills.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my working experience there as I was exposed to some of the actual publishing problems, while learning more about the work of real-life Indiana Joneses (well, they might think they are). I got lucky, I must say – I got the best out of both worlds. Minus the baddies, luckily.


If you are interested in Archaeology Scotland’s activities, visit their webpage, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

My Placement at Drimlike

A part of the team!
Photo credits: Natacha Blavoyer

When one thinks about publishing, one naturally pictures books, magazines and other printed content. As such, most of my classmates are undertaking their work placements with either book or magazine publishing companies. But as we are all aware, everything is now “going digital”, the rise of the e-book being a very good example of the so-called digital revolution. The word publishing should therefore evoke not only books and magazines, but also websites and the internet. Running a website, whether it is for commercial or personal purposes, means writing or commissioning and publishing content, and advertising this content for a specific audience. Isn’t this definition close to how we would describe book and magazine publishing, too? My choice to do a long-term internship with a digital communication agency is therefore not so surprising, and I am about to tell you a little bit more about this experience. Continue reading “My Placement at Drimlike”