Welcome to my new blog series – UCLPUB2015! Every Sunday I’ll be posting a roundup of my week as a student on the UCL MA Publishing course, talking about my experiences and passing along any handy tips I pick up along the way. I’m so excited to share my journey with you and hope that maybe these posts will help other aspiring publishers too!
Week 2: 12th Oct – 16th Oct
This week brought our first taste of the regular 2-day timetable. While we were in uni for less time, the workload has still been pretty intense. It’s taken some adjustment to keep on top of the reading and the random assignments to stalk people in Waterstones (apologies if you felt personally victimised by UCLPub whilst book shopping this week!), but I think I’m just about getting there.
On Tuesday morning we were given a crash course in using Nielsen BookScan to search for total volume and value sales of a particular book, as well as track trends and compare results across tonnes of variables. I really enjoyed getting to grips with some practical publishing skills and I love a good database to have a nosy about in. After mastering the basics we were set a few tasks in class (I admit I fell apart a bit here) but I can access my account at home to practice.
In the afternoon we had another session with the brilliantly enthusiastic Anna Faherty. She taught us how to break down the creative process and inspired us to push past our ‘grounded’ thought patterns to come up with the truly unique ideas that solve problems. I had an absolute blast in this class and definitely think that I underestimated my own creativity in the past!
Our Publishing Project class will eventually be a timetabled space for us to get together and manage the entire publication process from commissioning a book to printing and distributing it. I am SO excited to get going and can’t believe how well our group fits together already. We took a heap of personality tests in Induction Week and our tutors have carefully curated our teams based on the complimentary working styles we naturally bring to the table. Apparently I’m a combination of the Innovator, Team Player and Completer – if you’re a sucker for a personality test too then check it out!
Unfortunately on Thursday one of our lecturers was out of action with the flu, so we only had class in the morning. The Author Management session was run by Mal Peachey and Rachel Calder, covering a host of topics from the first copyright laws, to what authors want from their publishers (and what they hate about us too). It’s really interesting to hear the author’s view of the publishing process and even more interesting to see what they would pay extra for if self-publishing. Even though I’m leaning more towards marketing and publicity at the moment, it’s so important to get a diverse view of the industry to aid communication.
Next week I’ll be starting my internship with HarperCollins, helping the Rights division deal with the aftermath of Frankfurt Book Fair. It’s going to be absolutely crazy but I can’t wait to dive right in!
It’s been a mad November so far for me, where did all the time go?! I’ve started my first real grown up job and I couldn’t be happier! It’s so great to finally have a job I can be proud of, as well as earning enough to start putting money aside for my Masters degree. I’m working with an interpreting company (although not doing the interpreting myself!) and it feels amazing to be surrounded by people who know the importance of language. It’s not a direct link to my Linguistics degree, sure, but I’m enjoying it all the same and really feel like I’m heading in a positive direction.
On top of that, I’ve joined up with my old cheerleading team and have been making insane amounts of progress every week. It certainly helps being with such an experienced (and strong!) team, and I’m so grateful that they’ve welcomed me back and taught me so much already. I think this season will definitely be a good one for our whole programme. We’re all working hard and pushing each other to improve every session; I can’t wait to see where we’ll be by competition time!
I’m starting to think about pulling my MA application together soon too, as I want to have everything sent before Christmas for a good shot at getting an interview. The pressure is definitely on but right now I’m just excited to (hopefully) make an entrance into the publishing world!
With all these big changes going on, I had no choice but to take a mini break from reading and blogging while everything settled down. Now I’ve figured out my schedule and everything has slotted into place, I feel pumped and ready to carry on posting. I’ve got some really exciting reviews coming up in the next few weeks, and I’m hoping to set up a giveaway or two before the New Year as well!
Thanks for sticking with me everyone, can’t wait to get back into reviewing 🙂
It’s been a long time since I’ve updated booklahoma but I’ve had so much going on that I’ve barely had time to read! I thought that I should put together a little update now that everything is on the way to settling down and I can look forward to a long summer date with my ever-expanding TBR list!
I finally finished and submitted my undergraduate dissertation at the end of March, which had been completely consuming my life for quite some time. 10,000 words of pure, unadulterated linguistic waffle. I won’t know my grade for a while yet but never having to worry about it again is the biggest relief! I actually really enjoyed investigating and discovering so much about the grammar of my five fictional languages (Dothraki, High Valyrian, Sindarin, Klingon and Na’vi – points if you know where they’re from!), but I definitely won’t miss the slog of writing it all up.
London Book Fair 2014 was such a wonderful experience, it was my first time attending and I definitely know that I want a career in publishing. The buzz of the exhibitions selling rights was amazing and there were seminars 9am-6pm every day with industry leaders; I learnt a ridiculous amount of information just over those three days! I’m now planning out my applications for the super competitive internships and work experience becoming available over summer; keep your fingers crossed for me!
Finally, my university’s cheerleading team competed at ICC Nationals, their first and last competition this season, a few weeks ago. As their head coach and teammate it was such an indescribably wonderful feeling when we left that floor having put out such a good performance. They’ve worked so hard all year and seeing their progression from absolutely nothing to solid level 3 cheerleaders makes me all emotional, like a proud parent!
The only things standing between me and graduation now are two more assignments and four exams, wish me luck!
Thanks for sticking with me while life’s been crazy, I’m looking forward to posting every week again! 🙂