MA Publishing Media

In September 2017, I started an MA in Publishing Media at Oxford Brookes and with graduation swiftly approaching, I have decided to reflect back on my experience and share it with you all.

Deciding to do an MA was not an easy one, for an array of different reasons — the worry of more debt, meeting new people, moving to a new city and ultimately taking on another major challenge in my life.

But, and this is a massive BUT…it was the BEST decision I have ever made because I met the loveliest people (some of who are now my best friends), I thoroughly enjoyed the course, loved living in Oxford and well – the debt – shh, we will address that at another time.

Honestly Oxford is one of my favourite places, just look at it!

Top tips:

Do work experience!!!

Be attentive and proactive

Ask questions

Ask for help when you need it

Be organised

Manage your time

Get involved

Here is the core structure to the MA Publishing course at Oxford Brookes:

First Semester:

Design and Production explores the digital aspects of design and production in the publishing process. It looks closely at current working practices in areas such as content design and typography, project management, the evaluation and selection of appropriate media platforms, the buying of raw materials and manufacturing processes, and the use of external resources.

Editorial Management and Content Development explores the strategic role of the editor within the publishing process and the knowledge and skills required for the development of new projects, whether in print or digital form.

Sales, Marketing and Consumer Insight provides a systematic examination of the key concepts and disciplines of marketing and their relationship and relevance to the products of publishing. It includes coverage of the marketing mix, consumer behaviour, segmentation, targeting and positioning, and elements of market research including SEO.

Second Semester:

History and Culture of Publishing examines the culture and ideology of publishing in terms of its development throughout the 20th century, and its contemporary practice. Different theories of print culture and critiques of the role of the publisher in society are reviewed, and there is an examination of ideological challenges to the culture of publishing.

Magazine Publishing provides a comprehensive insight into and understanding of the international magazine industry and its place as both a print and electronic product. It covers a range of contemporary issues and business models, exploring the job roles involved in the production of magazines and addressing the issues of editorial content, marketing, branding, technology, law and design.

Children’s Publishing explores the development of the market sector and the current shape and business practices of publishing for children and young adults. Topics include picture books, co-editions and translatability; the sector’s links to other leisure industries, merchandising and content reuse; editing and censorship; age ranging and gatekeeping; literacy and reading campaigns; and promotion.

Dissertation or Major Project is the defining and essential component for the award of the MA degree. It is a major in-depth investigation of a subject, theme or issue significant to the study of publishing through research and extended written work (15,000 words or equivalent for major projects).

Me visiting Sylvia Plath’s house in London.

I wrote my dissertation on the publication of Sylvia Plath’s work – the title was ‘I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.’1 The Exploitation of Sylvia Plath’s long- lasting Literary Legacy.’

If you have done the course, I would love to hear which modules you did and why and what you wrote the dissertation on!

Work Experience:

I cannot stress enough how important work experience is! Although you don’t NEED it to get a job in publishing, it looks great on your CV and it makes the experience gives you a lot to talk about in your interview. It is also a good way to see which field you would like to go into once the course it done. For me, I realised I loved the publicity and marketing (more leaning towards publicity) side of publishing because it reminded me of my love for blogging, engaging people passionately about books and showing off the finished product!

During my MA I was constantly applying for internships and work experience opportunities. But always remember that, even if you don’t secure the internship, you have still gained invaluable interview experience – so don’t be so hard on yourself if it takes time. As long as you’re trying, you’re doing great!

Due to my financial situation I had no choice but to work (basically) full time while studying and maintaining good grades BUT I made it work and squeezed in time to do work experience because I knew it was vital to my learning experience and future development. Thank goodness for coffee and all nighters because they helped me a lot with assignments – okay, okay I know I said a top tip was time management and this was not the best use of my time but it was the only way on a few occasions.

During the year of my MA I did the following work experience:

  • A Marketing and Publicity internship at Icon Books for two weeks
  • A Marketing and Publicity internship at Biteback Publishing
  • A Publishing internship at Pearson
  • Returned to Pearson for a three month work placement as an Inventory Administrator
  • Returned to Icon Books for a three months work placement as a Marketing and Publicity Assistant

I was really lucky that both Icon Books and Pearson invited me back and gave me another wonderful opportunity but just put yourself out there and try! Email publishing houses with your CV and be PROACTIVE! Don’t forget to proofread and work hard on each and every application.

Put yourself out there!

Blog Tour: Trapped by Nick Louth

Title: Trapped

Author: Nick Louth

Publisher: Canelo

Genre: Thriller

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Blurb:

Two desperate criminals.

Something she never saw coming. A searing suspense thriller from bestselling author Nick Louth. In Manchester, two hardened gang members on the run take Catherine Blake and her one-year-old son hostage at gunpoint. She is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Held in a Transit van, Catherine needs a plan fast. But it means diving into her captors’ risk-drenched world, and playing them at their own game.

Catherine has been through cancer, miscarriages and five draining years of IVF in order to have her son Ethan. He is the most precious thing in the world. She may be terrified out of her wits, but she’d do anything to protect him. Anything, no matter the cost… Brace yourself.

A nerve-shredding suspense thriller you won’t believe until you have experienced it yourself, Trapped is perfect for fans of Cara Hunter, JP Delaney and Rachel Abbott.

Review:

Thank you so much to Canelo for sending me a digital version of this book in exchange for a review.

This fast paced narrative captivated my attention straight away and I completely lost myself within Louth’s words.

The tension continues to build and build AND build and narrative is laced with violence and mistrust. So, it is safe to say that this is a STRESSFUL read! But in the best way possible because you (the reader) is completely lured into the narrative.

The multi-narratives provide the reader with mass information as they try and piece together the mystery and figure out who and what is reliable. The twists and turns will grab and maintain your attention while also leaving you longing for more. The characters were also well developed and thought out.

Author:

Nick Louth is a best-selling thriller writer, award-winning financial journalist and an investment commentator. A 1979 graduate of the London School of Economics, he went on to become a Reuters foreign correspondent in 1987. It was an experience at a medical conference in Amsterdam in 1992, while working for Reuters, that gave him the inspiration for Bite, which was self-published in 2007 and went on to become the UK No. 1 Kindle best-seller for several weeks in 2014 before being snapped up by Sphere. It has sold a third of a million copies, and been translated into six languages.

The terrorism thriller Heartbreaker was published in June 2014 and received critical acclaim from Amazon readers, with a 4.6 out of 5 stars on over 100 reviews. Mirror Mirror, subtitled  ‘When evil and beauty collide’ was published in June 2016. The Body in the Marsh, a crime thriller, is being published by Canelo in September 2017.  Freelance since 1998, he has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Investors Chronicle and Money Observer, and has published seven other books. Nick Louth is married 

Website: http://www.nicklouth.com

Twitter: @NickLouthAuthor

The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau Blog Tour

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Firstly, thank you so much to Endeavour for sending me a wonderful digital copy of this book. I will definitely be buying a physical copy because LOOK at the copy, it is gorgeous, and I hate to say it but I do judge a book by its cover. I could stare at it all day, just amazing!

Today, I am going to review The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau and I hope you enjoy it!

 

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The-Blue-cover-comingBlurb:

In eighteenth century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.

For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.

When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…

The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage.

With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue?I

 

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Mini Review:5-star-rating

 

Title: The Blue 

Author: Nancy Bilyeau

Where to buy it: Free for download on Kindle Unlimited or £7.99 from Amazon

Pages: 488

Publisher: Endeavour Quill

Genre: Historical Fiction

I do not want to give any details away because I do not want to ruin it BUT if you have read and want to discuss (because I do!) comment below and we can have a good ol’ chinwag.

Just know it is absolutely incredible! After devouring this amazing novel I cannot wait to pick up her other books because this was right up my street. The insight and excitement of an 18th Century tale of risk and international espionage had me electronically turning the page in anticipation!

I often go through stages of reading historical fiction and this has catapulted me right back into my obsession! Everything was just amazing – the characters were divine – the detail- ahhhh the detail- so good!!! The concept and narrative were just impeccable. LOVE LOVE LOVE.  

I normally only read historical fiction about Tudor times so this was SUPER interesting for me! Thank you so much to Hannah, the Marketing Coordinator at Endeavour for sending it to me and to my wonderful friend Taryn (Endeavour’s current Intern) for telling me about this book!

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NancyBiography:

Nancy is a writer and magazine editor, a graduate of the University of Michigan who worked as an editor at “Rolling Stone,” “InStyle” and “Good Housekeeping.”
 
She wrote a trilogy of award-winning Tudor mysteries, published in 9 countries: “The Crown,” “The Chalice,” and “The Tapestry.” Her new book is “The Blue,” a novel of suspense set in the rivalrous art and porcelain worlds of 18th century Europe featuring a young female artist turned spy.

Praise for Nancy:

“Nancy Bilyeau’s passion for history infuses her books and transports us back to the dangerous world of Tudor England. Vivid characters and gripping plots are at the heart of this wonderful trilogy. Warmly recommended!”
—Alison Weir, author of The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I and many bestsellers

“Nancy Bilyeau’s polished, inventive debut has all the ingredients of the best historical fiction: a broad cast of characters, well-imagined settings, and vivid story-telling… In Joanna Stafford, Bilyeau has given us a memorable character who is prepared to risk her life to save what she most values, while Stafford’s desperate search for a lost religious relic will satisfy even the most ardent mystery fans.”
—Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches

Blog: http://nancybilyeau.com 

Twitter: @tudorscribe

 

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You can follow the tour here…

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