(To read the first post in this series, click here.)
It seems as if there are a 1001 things to do when working on a major project. For students, this seems especially true. Time scheduling becomes something of a necessary skill, and managing all of one’s obligations is an absolute must. Staying on top of things will definitely help in the long run, but no matter how prepared one is, there are, inevitably, hurdles along the way.
For our publishing project, Works in Progress, things have run smoothly for the most part. We have even decided on an official logo!
However, there are seven of us, with seven different personalities and opinions that do not always align; communication is key. We recently ran into a bit of a snag with three of the pieces for our short story collection. Initially, we wanted the exclusive ebook rights for these works, but it turns out they were already available for kindle via Amazon as individual pieces. Additionally, while the pieces were all written by different authors, they were published by the same guy. This caused some discussion among us. We loved the pieces, but some of us were uncomfortable with them already being in circulation and what that would mean for the project as a whole. We had to decide on how tackle the issue: keep the pieces and re-negotiate the ebook rights, or discard the pieces from the collection entirely? After talking it over, letting everyone have their say, we decided that we really loved the pieces, and chose the latter. This all means that we not only have to negotiate with the authors for the right to these pieces, but we also have to consider the publisher’s stake in all this. As of now, we are currently trying to figure out exactly what the publisher’s right to each piece is.
It’s a tedious process that is dependent on the speed and efficiency of the communication between five entities (us, the publisher, and the three authors). Not an easy task, necessarily, but an incredible learning experience all the same. Through UCL’s publishing project, we as students are given the opportunity to experience what life in the publishing industry can be like. We are learning that as publishers, we are forced to adapt and respond as best as we are able to any given situation.
Except the current pause concerning the three aforementioned authors, we appear to be on track for the rest of the project. We have received signed contracts from most of our authors, and have and talked through any concerns they may have had or amended the contract when necessary. With the go ahead from the authors, we are now able to turn our focus towards the editorial process. Our plan is for all seven of us to edit a couple of pieces each. Then, our two appointed ‘main editors’ will go over each story before final approval. As we are now on winter break before the beginning of term two starts up, we hope to take advantage of the free time and to get started on the process. Some stories only need a bit of tinkering, but others need bigger edits, and it all requires communication and a good working relationship with the authors.
Finally, as Works in Progress is a multi-media project, we have now started to look for artists to provide music and artwork that will feature in the project.
For more information or other inquires, contact us at: