Network Network Network

Before deciding to study publishing, speaking to people came naturally. I could approach a stranger at an event easily and spark a conversation because there was no ulterior motive for doing so, other than the sheer enjoyment of human interaction. Now, however, I do have an agenda: I want to be noticed. I want to be remembered. I want to make an impression so that someone, somewhere will one day think I’ll be an asset to their company.

When I began Napier’s course, I was encouraged to attend as many events as possible and to grab every opportunity by the horns. This had never been an issue for me before because I either decided to go to an event or I decided to stay at home. If I wasn’t feeling up to it, or had a rare day of feeling shy, I felt no guilt in curling up in my jammies and spending the evening binge watching Netflix instead. But now, I can’t afford to stay at home and miss out on meeting all the important people. The guilt is real. I know that if I don’t go, I’m only disadvantaging myself and my future career. That being said, whilst I do want to emphasise the importance of getting out there and interacting with people in the industry, because hey, they’re bloomin’ incredible folk, I have discovered an absolute saviour in the networking business: Twitter.

Twitter is definitely something I stayed away from pre-publishing degree. I didn’t understand how to use it properly, and again, I had no real agenda. Connecting with friends was far easier via other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Snapchat. But upon venturing into the publishing industry, Twitter has become my holy grail for when I need to network but am not particularly feeling up to it. I cannot stress the value of this incredibly, sometimes dauntingly, fast-paced-updated-by-the-second environment. There is no better way to stay in the loop and up-to-date with the publishing industry. I can refresh my feed every minute and someone will have a new opinion, there will be a new article to read or a new connection suggested. Even better, I can do it all in my pyjamas with Netflix on in the background.

One of the many major benefits of Twitter is the ability to participate in live conversations. The SYP are extremely well versed in this, and often host live chat Q&A evenings. These typically last an hour and allow people from all over the world to engage with people in the industry. You can voice your fears and receive comfort, share your experiences, teach others valuable lessons and learn anything and everything in the space of an hour. Above all, you can make those all important connections, whilst simultaneously cooking dinner.

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Various events I’ve attended have shown me that having a strong Twitter identity really pays off when meeting people face to face. If you’re active in the community and your profile is recognisable and memorable, then chances are someone will remember that conversation they had with you, where you helped them overcome a fear, or gave them advice they later followed.

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Finally, I suggest really getting to know how Twitter works. Use ALL the hashtags, even base your tweets around being able to hashtag as much as possible and include the publisher in your tweets when talking about a book.

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Show that you have an interest in the industry and that you appreciate someone’s work. The engagement these tweets can generate is unreal, and allows people in the industry to see that you’re an active member of their community.

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If you’re new to Twitter like I was, build an identity that you’d be happy to show a potential employer. Be someone that your mum would be proud of and that someone in the industry would want to meet. It’s also great when someone’s accusing you of not being productive because you’re on your phone, (I’m looking at you, boyfriend) and you can tell them they’re wrong: you’re networking.

Featured in this post:

@SYPScotland 

@SYP_UK

@KT_CHAR_ELL

My Twitter: @kiiimberellla

 

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Linen Press Internship

When we started our MSc Publishing degree back in September, one of the first things we were told was to get on Twitter. It wasn’t until I saw a social media internship advertised for Linen Press Books that I fully realised the significance of being an active member of the Twitter/Publishing community. The tweet read:

‘Love women’s writing? Love living online? Be actively involved w a small indie press? Fab social media intern needed asap!’

After answering yes to all three questions and realising that the internship could be done remotely, I eagerly applied! Since joining the Linen Press team, I have been fortunate to be involved with a variety of different aspects of the publishing process. Predominantly, I have been managing their Twitter feed and implementing a marketing campaign for their debut novel, The Dancing Girl and the Turtle.

However, it’s been a lot more than just tweeting. I have provided feedback and criticism for author submissions. I’ve created graphics for social media and I’ve actively put together a marketing strategy with an author and the rest of the team. I’ve felt that my voice has been valued every step of the way.

One of my favourite aspects of this internship was putting together some author videos for an upcoming campaign for Sometimes A River Song. We had discussed the idea of video marketing in a meeting and I volunteered to create them. I edited together ‘Author Confession’ videos during my placement at Scottish Book Trust and I wanted to create something similar for Linen Press. I put my Adobe Creative Cloud knowledge to good use and I am really proud of the finished result! (Click on the photo below to see them)

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My time with Linen Press has come to an end, as I start my internship with The Publishing Bureau next week, but I loved every minute of my experience. I’ve met lots of interesting and talented women and I’ve built my confidence as a publisher-to-be.

Placement at Vagabond Voices

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The first time I met Allan, the founder and soul of Vagabond Voices, was on a rainy Scottish day at a reading held at the Golden Hare Bookstore in Stockbridge.

My placement at Vagabond Voices had been agreed but had yet to start, and I had taken care to familiarise myself with the publisher’s catalogue before meeting Allan. I had been impressed: bookselling and publishing in general are living difficult times, but being able to find a market for translated literary fiction of the kind that Vagabond Voices produces takes a lot of passion and dedication.

I knew my main task would be the redesign of Vagabond Voice’s website, and I had ideas – lots of them, in fact – but I wasn’t sure if Allan would let me implement them.

When he gave me the freedom of just drafting a flatplan for the website and presenting it to him, I was thrilled and a bit anxious. A website, after all, is the window through which the internet would view Vagabond Voices. It was no small responsibility, and I set to work right away.

WorVV_2king mainly remotely, the experience was a bit different than it might have been in an office. It was nonetheless a valuable learning experience, especially for someone who’s inclined towards a freelancing profession rather than a traditional 9-5 one (anyone who’s ever worked in publishing is laughing at that second number, I know).

I had to set my own schedule and goals. I also had no specific, step to step guidance, I had instead to analyse the existing website by myself, trying to see what could be improved and how, and tailoring it to Vagabond Voice’s specific identity as a publisher. In the course of my meetings with Allan we would then go over my ideas and discuss them, then course-correct or change details to better fit his vision. I learned how to listen to a client and understand what they needed, and how to argue my conviction making it clear that my first interest was the customer’s satisfaction.

When finally the day came to swap the new website with the old one, I have to admit I was rather nervous. The number of “what if…” that went through my head was innumerable. But, as they say, all is well that ends well.

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The most interesting part of my placement, though, would have been the conversations with Allan after all the order of business had been talked through. Having the privilege of talking and listening to a passionate and engaged lover of books was, to me, a true treat. That we could go seamlessly back and forth between sentences in Italian and English was just a bonus.

Double Accreditation Success!

After an intensive accreditation audit by the Periodical Training Council (PTC), our MSc Publishing programme has been successfully re-accredited and our new MSc Magazine Publishing programme has secured accreditation for the first time!

This means that MSc Publishing is the only doubly accredited Publishing programme in the UK, and only one of two Publishing programmes to have achieved PTC accreditation – the other being our sister programme, MSc Magazine Publishing!

We are thrilled to retain our position as “standard bearers” and are extremely grateful to the students and graduates who very kindly and generously gave of their time (some taking time off work) to meet with the PTC Accrediting Panel. Thank you all!

Looking Glass Books

Being a publishing student you could think it odd for me to do my placement in a bookshop and not in a publishing house. This is because I wanted to learn about another aspect of the book industry and book selling is a key point in the book trade.

I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in great bookshop, which is also a coffee place, Looking Glass Books based on the Quartermile. As I am interested in sales and marketing this place was the perfect opportunity for me to put in good use, and improve, the skills I learned in this field during the year.

Because this independent bookshop hosts a lot of events throughout the year I was appointed with the task of creating several databases (Microsoft Excel has no secret for me any more) and mainly helping with the promotion of several events. I was particularly thrilled to be able to start a new project with the manager of the shop, it was great to look after a project from the start! This placement has also taught me that working in the marketing department involves a lot of researches and I spent a lot of time hunting for ideas and information about the project and other different tasks.

Fortunately, all this work was made easier by the nice cups of tea provided by the very friendly staff!

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Permission given by Looking Glass Books

 

If you want to know more about the events at Looking Glass Books just visit their website http://www.lookingglassbooks.com/