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    Thought of the Week: “Information is not knowledge”

    By Alice Hughes, on 20 October 2014

    Albert Einstein was the most famous scientist of the 20th century. Not only did his apple-inspired eureka moment transform our understanding of the forces around us, he also said something crucial to the publishing industry.

    These words of wisdom were “Information is not knowledge”. Today, not only are more books being published, they are also being produced across copious physical and digital formats. When travelling through such an unpredictable, variable sea of literature, discoverability veers further and further from an unperturbed serendipitous browse, towards a tear-your-hair-out stressful experience.

    This week, in Marketing and Sales, James MacFarlane from BookGenie451.com is coming to speak to us. On their website you’ll find the all-too-familiar fact that ‘university students often spend up to 70% of their time searching for the right reading material’.

    Fortunately, students can now turn to BookGenie451 for assistance; this ingenious software uses multiple advanced, patent-pending algorithms to connect readers to what they need to read. So curation is a vital key for unlocking discoverability and reaching not only the right market, but also new audiences. After all, if it wasn’t for the way Faber and Faber packaged Eimear McBride’s Baileys Women’s Prize and Goldsmiths Prize-winning novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing through its major advertising campaign including bus-side advertising; her experimental and truth-spilling work may not have stirred so many hearts.

    Let’s hope our Marketing and Sales session on Tuesday will give us the encouragement and think-out-of-the-box creativity we need, so we can curate our content in bold, astute and resourceful ways!


    Plan Your Weekly Events Here!

    By Emily C McCracken, on 19 October 2014

    Hi everybody! We are hoping to keep you up to date about events in the publishing world and big events happening in our programme. It’s not definitive but it is more than enough to fill your calendar…
    Check back every Sunday around 6pm and if you fancy a monthly format, look for the October Publishing Events Calendar in the sidebar. Happy Sunday!

    (WP=Waterstone’s Piccadilly)

    Monday the 20th

    -Ballet Spectacular: In Association with the Royal Ballet WP 6:30PM

    Tuesday the 21st

    -The Opposite of Loneliness WP 6:30PM
    -Storytelling Live! Ancient Legends Retold WP 7:00PM

    Wednesday the 22nd

    -SYP The Monopoly Board of Publishing
    -Syria: at the Crossroads of History with Diana Darke and John McHugo WP 7:00PM

    Thursday the 23rd

    -London Sports Writing Festival
    -SYP How to Build a Book 7:00PM
    -The Joy of Dictionaries WP 7:00PM
    -Who shot Bob Marley? WP 7:00PM
    -An Evening w/ Peter James WP 6:30PM

    Friday the 24th

    -London Sports Writing Festival
    -Fugue Lucy Carroll’s Book Launch at The London Review Bookshop 7PM

    Saturday the 25th

    -London Sports Writing Festival

    Sunday the 26th

    -London Sports Writing Festival


    Good Morning…

    By Caroline A Murphy, on 19 October 2014

    … from the new blog team at UCL’s Centre for Publishing!

    We’re really excited to be running the blog platform for our department, and we hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoy creating! So you know who we are if you ever have any questions, or want us to post anything for you, we’ve created little profiles for all 6 of us below.


    Yasmin Morrissey @MorrisseyYasminYas

    Where are you from?: Half Irish, half Egyptian but raised in London.

    What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: I studied Law, in Cork, Ireland.

    What is your favourite book?: I have a few depending on my mood. I don’t want to be too typical and say Harry Potter (even though it is really) so I will say Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith.

    What Publishing Project are you working on?:  I am working on the Norvik Press project.

    What has been the highlight of the course so far?:  Difficult question. I think having our first meeting with Norvik Press as a team and deciding who will be doing what on the project. Working with a great team and it’s making me feel very excited.

    Likes/Dislikes: Likes = Books, bears, cooking, Bulldogs, travelling and chocolate. Dislikes = Cucumber, sausages, waking up early and football.


    Lucy Broughtonlucy @lucyybroughton

    Where are you from?: Southampton.

    What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: I studied History at the University of Warwick.

    What is your favourite book?:  I hate this question because I never know the answer, so I’m just going to list some favourites… The Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lindsey Kelk’s I heart… series, The Book Thief, The Secret Garden, nearly anything YA.

    What Publishing Project are you working on?:  The Bookseller Children’s project.

    What has been the highlight of the course so far?:  The treasure hunt! I may be slightly biased because I won the subsequent blog competition and a beautiful copy of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell…

    Likes/Dislikes: Likes = Books obviously… films (even the bad ones), indie and folk music, travelling, Italian food, sleeping in, Topshop and ASOS. Dislikes = Spiders, pink, running, spoilers, extreme historical inaccuracies.


    Caroline Murphy @carolinealice93accommodation2

    Where are you from?: Stratford upon Avon.

    What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: English Literature & Philosophy at the University of Birmingham.

    What is your favourite book?:  I really like Virginia Woolf, so probably The Waves.

    What Publishing Project are you working on?:  The William Morris Society project.

    What has been the highlight of the course so far?:  I’ve really enjoyed all of the guest speakers so far, but really loved Auriol Bishop’s talk on book cover design.

    Likes/Dislikes: Likes = Food, Tom Hiddleston, Breaking Bad, food, Strictly, Jamie Cullum, coffee, books, food, blogging. Dislikes = Decaff, fan fiction, X Factor, drum and bass, misuse of apostrophes, cooking, when people say ‘generally’ when they mean ‘genuinely’.


    Emily McCracken emily1@emilycracken

    Where are you from?: Phoenix, Arizona. I have lived in the UK & South Korea for the last 6 years.

    What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: English Literature at Gonzaga University in Washington and an MA in English Literature from London Met.

    What is your favourite book?: Any of the following – Calvin and Hobbes, Clan of the Cave Bear, Tolkien, HP, Alison Bechdel, Kurt Vonnegut, Toni Morrison, Gertrude Stein, American Gothic, Victorian novels, Modern poetry!

    What Publishing Project are you working on?:  UCL Press Archaeology eBook project.

    What has been the highlight of the course so far?: Everything! I currently write children’s books for a publishing company in Seoul, so I am greatly enjoying learning about the industry as a whole at UCL.

    Likes/Dislikes: I  like hats, socks, walks, and ales. I disagree with poorly made pizza (cheap cheese, overly thick crust), and I am on the fence when it comes to the serial comma! Thank you for visiting our blog and I hope you enjoy it!


    aliceAlice Hughes @alicehughess

    Where are you from?: Peterborough.

    What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: English Literature & Creative Writing at Lancaster University.

    What is your favourite book?: Impossible to choose! My most read book is Wuthering Heights. My favourite authors include Margaret Atwood, Donna Tartt, Eleanor Catton, Sarah Waters and Iain Banks.

    What Publishing Project are you working on?: I am part of the Marketing Team for the UCL Publishers’ Prize.

    What has been the highlight of the course so far?: Having the privilege of listening to Editorial advice from Gill Davies, Emeritus Professor for Publishing at the University of the Arts London, who bravely pioneered the work of Michel Foucault and the field of Women’s Studies.

    Likes/Dislikes: Likes = Art. Debate. Pub with friends. Oldies playing on the jukebox. The seaside. Long walks. Meeting new people and listening to their stories. Dislikes = Being late. The sound of chalk on a blackboard.


    Sam Bradbury @sambradbury89sam

    Where are you from?: Grimsby.

    What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: Psychology at the University of Leeds.

    What is your favourite book?: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

    What Publishing Project are you working on?: UCL Publishers’ Prize.

    What has been the highlight of the course so far?: Amazing projects and the course leaders are great; they are always going out of their way to help and have absolutely fantastic guest speakers!

    Likes/Dislikes: Likes = sci-fi and fantasy, pole fitness, sushi, cute animals and bright hair dye. Dislikes = being cold, slow internet connections, and close minded people.


    Thanks for reading guys. If you want to get in touch for anything blog related, give one of us a mention on Twitter, or email Yasmin or Caroline on the addresses below:



     Stay tuned this afternoon for the ‘Publishing Events Calender’, which will feature all the events for the upcoming week.

    Publishing Treasure Hunt: The Winning Blog Post

    By Samantha J Rayner, on 13 October 2014



    In Induction Week, Professor Iain Stevenson set up a fiendish treasure hunt for the incoming cohort:  this took them on a walk via some key publishing-related sights in London, and ended up, as all good publishing events should, at the pub.  All students then submitted a blog about the experience, and these were shortlisted by tutors, who then submitted these to Naomi Barton, one of last year’s group who is an accomplished blogger herself.  Naomi offered a limited edition of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell for the winner, who today has been announced as Lucy Broughton!

    Lucy’s blog is reproduced below – well done, Lucy!

    Operation: Publishing Treasure Hunt

    Location: London.

    Task force: #teamgreatexpectations – Agent Bro, Agent Mac, Agent Hug and Agent Bad.

    Objective: Crack Professor Iain Stevenson’s cryptic clues to discover hidden gems from the history of publishing, following a route from St Paul’s Cathedral back to base at the main UCL campus, meeting at top secret location The Marlborough Arms by 1700 hours. Progress to be logged by Agent Bro via twitter using the hashtags #uclpublishing and #teamgreatexpectations.

    Purpose: Team bonding and discovery of London’s publishing history.

    Status: Completed (mostly).

    (Note: Due to agents being engrossed in the task and time sensitive nature of the mission all times are approximate and based on the timestamps of photographs and tweets.)

    Pre-mission complication. Agent Mac kidnapped by tube. Fortunately Agents Bro, Hug and Bad successfully complete rescue mission and rally at starting point of St Paul’s Cathedral.

    14.19-14.43 hours. Clues 1 and 2. Buildings discovered but agents unsure of the exact subjects of the clue. Appropriate photographic evidence logged with proof of agents’ involvement via the medium of a “selfie”.

    14.45 hours. Extra intel gathered between clues. This included the discovery of the site of Bradbury and Evans, who were the printer and publisher of Dickens and Thackeray, and also the site of the Stationers’ Company’s School.

    14.50 hours. Clue 3. Team easily located statue of Hodge the Cat. Notable increase in morale. Alert. Discovered by foreign scout. Evasive action taken via different route and tailing group of agents lost before Team Great Expectations could be compromised.

    14.56 hours. More intel discovered – the site of Wildy & Sons Ltd, Law Booksellers and Publishers since 1830, in prime law location on the Strand.

    15.02 hours. Clue 4. Essex Street location found but no sign of the subject of the clue. Opposing team followed in an attempt to gather intel, but none to be had. Decision made to continue to next clue.

    15.26 hours. Clue 5. Observation of counterintuitive traffic at the Savoy.

    15.38 hours. Clue 6. Location of historical Aldine building discovered. Troops decide to recuperate in the Cafe Nero it now holds.

    16.00 hours. Agent Mac finds appropriate transportation system (bus) to transport troops to next location and conserve energy.

    16.29 hours. Clue 7. Agent Hug’s insider knowledge makes Bloomsbury site easy to find. Competing task force scouted and evaded.

    16.35 hours. Clue 8. Attempts to discover location prove futile. Despite gathering intel through expert spying on twitter, decision is made to continue to next clue.

    16.39 hours. Clue 9. T. S. Eliot plaque found and territory begins to become familiar.

    16.45 hours. Troops severely fatigued. Fail to discover the inspiration for Clue 10. Decision is made to continue on to top secret location.

    16.50 hours. Target in sight, tired troops powered on through pain to The Marlborough Arms, with a well-deserved drink as reward. Rallied with agents from the wider organisation. Zero casualties.













    Eimear McBride’s ‘A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing’

    By Nick P Canty, on 22 July 2014


    Review by Meg Tobin-O’Drowsky

    The moving, heart-wrenching, and painful story that is Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing won the Goldsmiths Prize, Bailey’s Women’s Prize, Kerry Group Award, Desmond Elliott Prize, and was shortlisted for the Folio Prize. So it might be surprising for some to learn that it took McBride nine years to find a publisher for her critically acclaimed and arguably industry-changing book. Galley Beggar Press of Norwich finally picked it up in 2013 (with Faber signing on to publish the paperback and ebook editions in 2014). It’s been a long, hard journey for McBride and her story of a girl doing her best to cope with her family, her brother’s illness, and the difficulties life is throwing her way.

    Yes, Eimear McBride’s debut novel is experimental, something for which it has been praised time and again, but that isn’t all it is. It pushes the boundaries of the novel form, it’s told stream of consciousness style, it’s unconcerned with grammar, it spans twenty years…It’s gutsy. McBride takes risks with the form that are even more impressive when one considers she’s a debut novelist. And those are no doubt the reasons she had so much trouble finding a publisher. But beyond the heroics it performs, it is at its heart a story about a girl, a story that makes the reader feel things she didn’t know she could feel, that puts the reader in the mind of the protagonist. These are feats (ones with which even many veteran writers struggle) more impressive than McBride’s unconventional prose. The form doesn’t distract or detract, because the reader is so engrossed with the story at hand.

    The range of emotions McBride manages to induce in the reader is unparalleled by anything in recent memory. I can’t begin to list them, and many cannot even be named. To make the reader feel heart-ache, agony, physical discomfort, nausea, and so much more would be simply unbelievable if it weren’t McBride doing it, if it weren’t this story.

    Reading A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is work. But it’s the type of work that one really enjoys, like spending hours preparing that difficult-to-make but perfect meal. It isn’t for the lazy reader; it’s for the one who is willing to work a little to be fully transported to another world, a world in which it is often difficult to be. The general consensus though, one with which I whole-heartedly agree, is that while it is a difficult read, it is one that must be read.