Open Day … or should that be ‘Evening’…

Take your career in a new direction: MSc PublishingRecognising that many people interested in studying Publishing with us travel from across the UK or would prefer to visit us after a hard day’s work, we have organised an Open Evening, rather than an Open Day.

Come along to our informal
Postgraduate Information Evening
on Tuesday 22 November,
any time between 5pm and 7pm.

Meet academic and support staff and find out more about
MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University.

Whether you are looking to study full time or part time, we will be happy to talk about what suits you best.

This year’s events will feature:

•  Information from MSc Publishing programme staff
•  Student support staff on hand to answer your questions
•  Hosted on Merchiston Campus, where you will be studying

Open Evening: Merchiston Campus (in the Glass Box), 22rd November, 5–7pm


MSc Publishing Welcomes Head of Publishing Scotland

This year’s new arrivals to MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University were welcomed to the industry by one of the most important figures in Scottish, if not British, publishing.

Marion Sinclair, Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, opened the door on the exciting world of publishing and provided a taste of the calibre of speakers who regularly give of their time to talk to our students.

Photo shows Marion Sinclair (left) and Prof. Alistair McCleery speaking to MSc Publishing students in our Castle Room, Craighouse Campus.

Being an Intern at Fledgling Press

Please note: This placement was carried out by Gaia Poggiogalli, who is also the author of the article below.

© Fledgling Press

For my placement I worked at Fledgling Press, a young Edinburgh publishing house specializing in first time authors. As the new management comes from various backgrounds unrelated to the publishing industry, my relationship with them was very different from the one an intern expects to have with their bosses. I was expected to speak my mind and give my opinion on everything discussed during our weekly meeting – a daunting prospect when you don’t know exactly what you’re doing but it was the best way to dive in the industry. Continue reading “Being an Intern at Fledgling Press”

Biscuits and Books with Brown

Unless you possess a particularly charming smile, although I still have my doubts about this theory, getting into London Book Fair’s International Rights Centre without an appointment is going to be no easy feat. On no account mention that you are a student. The best way is undoubtedly to resort to shameless blagging.

And so, I’m proud to say, began my first day at the London Book Fair. Once past the stony-faced guards, your eyes are rewarded with, well, beige. Everywhere. A truly inspiring atmosphere in which to excite publishers and sub-agents with your rights list.

Sadly this is more or less where my first day ended as Jenny Brown, of Jenny Brown Associates where I have been doing my placement, was busy in meetings each time I battled my way into the IRC. All was not lost though as I did spot the promising glimmer of a pile of Tunnocks biscuits.

Day 2 and armed with this new knowledge, I once more ascended the escalator in search of the Tunnocks-sponsored agency. This time I was in luck, and soon found myself sitting in on rights meetings, praying no one would turn to me with a searching question. It was fascinating to watch agents pitching titles, hear what different publishers were interested in adding to their lists and what is particularly popular in their respective countries.

Despite all of this, when Jenny turned to me, mid-meeting, and suggested that I pitch the text I’ve been working on, I was a little tempted to quickly stuff a tea cake in my mouth. The opportunity to pitch such a great text proved too good to miss though; I only hope I haven’t done any permanent damage…

My Fair London

After the stress of live projects and work placements MSc. Publishing students decided to blow off some steam, London style. True, we were heading to southern pastures for the London Book Fair but we also saw it as a chance to spend some time together before parting ways for the summer. And we weren’t disappointed.

Around 15 students went down to the fair, 11 of which stayed in the ever-reliable Travel Lodge. We got the train down on Monday morning and, after a brief confusion over which Travel Lodge we were actually staying in, a few of us decided to visit the fair before the next day’s activities. Monday evening at Earls Court was certainly a lot calmer than the following day. We managed to get our bearings and our badges without being too overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the building and picked up our trusty guide of seminars for the next two days.

The CEO keynote debate on Tuesday morning was entitled “Digital Revolution or Digital Evolution?” Attendees were treated to the thoughts of bigwigs such as John Makinson, CEO of Penguin and Brian Murray, CEO of HarperCollins. The consensus appeared to be that the changes in the publishing chain have been a hybrid of revolutionary and evolutionary factors.

The focus for the LBF was on Russia and of course, on digital publishing. It seems that one cannot mention publishing nowadays without the D word coming up and the number of stalls dedicated to digital devices, along with the emphasis on “going digital” in almost every talk, was testament to this fact.

Although we did go to several talks and tried our networking skills at the Publishing Scotland stand (the handing out of cards aided to some extent by whiskey and wine!), our main activity was simply taking it all in. The fair was a great opportunity to witness the theory we have learned being put into practice and to prepare ourselves for the day when it will be our turn to man the colourful stands.

Of course, the trip wasn’t all work and no play…we had a great time doing the touristy thing in London and really enjoyed our time out in the evenings…perhaps a little bit too much in some cases! We were reluctant to leave our beloved Travel Lodge on Wednesday afternoon and it seemed that the trip passed all too quickly. All in all, it was a brilliant and informative experience – I’m looking forward to next year already!

Arriving at Earls Court
Arriving at Earls Court – © Emma Sothern

A couple of Spring 2011 highlights

The Spring trimester is a busy one for Edinburgh Napier Publishing students, but also offers some fun opportunities.

On 21 February 2011, several students from Edinburgh Napier attended Publishing Scotland’s annual conference.

This year’s theme was “Publish Locally, Sell Globally”.

It was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet professionals in the Scottish publishing industry.

We heard speeches from Anne MacColl, CEO of Scottish Development International, on how to market the Scottish publishing industry to the world market. Anne suggested that Scottish publishers need to embrace new digital content and publish in foreign languages to increase their international market. Continue reading “A couple of Spring 2011 highlights”

A Day in the Life of a Literary Agent

The day starts with a jubilant welcoming from Clouseau, the wonder dog. After a morning cup of tea to banish the chilly winter air, I’m ready to start my day.

The morning is taken up with the submissions I’ve already had a look through and made notes on, sorting out which ones I enjoyed and didn’t, and pitching them to the group with my reasons why.

This leads on to the rejection letters and finding the right one to suit the submission. I’ll spend another hour or so working through my notes and writing up a paragraph that will hopefully encourage the writer to keep writing whilst gently turning them down.

Then it’s off to lunch!

After I return (and receive another jubilant welcoming) I get straight back to work, finishing off the submissions and letters and working on the website. Finding out just what exactly needs fixing and what needs changing; writing up new information; looking at different sites; how the authors social network and how I can promote the agency’s online presence. An ongoing and arduous process that, nevertheless, needs to be done.

Soon enough it’s five o’clock and I’m wondering just where exactly the day has gone – it feels like just an hour ago I sat down with my morning cup of tea.

A quick check that everything that I set out to accomplish this morning has been completed and I’m done!

…As soon as I collect more submissions to take home and make notes on, of course.