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By uczcwtu, on 7 February 2018

Ah, bookstagram – one of the best places on the Internet where book lovers can congregate and show off their newest purchases. However, sometimes it can be a bit discouraging when you follow loads of beautiful accounts, and you just aren’t getting the same number of followers and comments as them!

So, here are some tips for making your bookstagram the best it can be!

1. Props – Whether that be flowers, candles, bookmarks, or Funko pops, people go nuts for photographs with props. There’s something about that cosy clutter that really works with books, especially if the props are somehow related to the book that is being photographed. Related to that, food and drink (often tea) can be used as a prop as well!

2. Lighting – the best time to take photographs of books is during the

day, particularly when it is sunny and bright. This makes it a bit difficult in the winter, but what I do is take all of my photographs on the weekend.

3. Pick a theme/filter and stick to it – this what the proper professional bookstagrammers do – so there’s no reason why you can’t do it too! Alternatively, pick a prop or a background that will feature in all of your photographs. That’ll give them that streamlined look too.

4. Background – you can take the best picture in the world, but if it has your bedroom clutter in the background, it’s going to be let down. Some easy backgrounds are bedspreads, other books, and white poster board.

5. Practice makes perfect – unless you’re a photography goddess, there’s no way you’re going to be able to nail it the first time around. So just play around with your photos!

6. Finally, don’t worry about it – ultimately this is a way to have fun with your books, and to show the world what you’re reading! So don’t worry about followers and comments, but rather just enjoy it.

Come follow me @whatthelog!

The Jhalak Prize

By uczcwtu, on 31 January 2018

The second annual Jhalak Prize is upon us! The Jhalak Prize was founded in 2017, and celebrates the best books by British and British resident BAME writers, and awards one writer £1000. The first book to win the Jhalak Prize was Jacob Ross’ The Bone Readers.

Started by authors Sunny Singh and Nikesh Shukla and Media Diversified, with support from The Authors’ Club and a prize donated by an anonymous benefactor, the prize exists to celebrate the achievements of British writers of colour.

Excitingly, the 2018 longlist has recently been announced! It includes:

John Agard, Come All You Little Persons (Faber)

Nadeem Aslam, The Golden Legend (Faber)

Jeffrey Boakye, Hold Tight: Black Masculinity, Millennials and the Meaning of Grime (Influx Press)

Sita Brahmachari, Worry Angels (Barrington Stoke)

Kayo Chongonyi, Kumakanda (Chatto & Windus)

Yrsa Daley-Ward, Bone (Penguin)

Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I ‘m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Bloomsbury Circus)

Xialou Guo, Once Upon a Time in the East (Chatto & Windus)

Meena Kandasamy, When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife (Atlantic Books)

Kiran Millwood Hargrave, The Island at the End of Everything (Chicken House)

Leone Ross, Come Let Us Sing Anyway (Peepal Tree Press)

Preti Taneja, We That Are Young (Galley Beggar Press)

This longlist was chosen by the all-female judging panel, which includes writer Sunny Singh, YA author Catherine Johnson, novelist Tanya Byrne, writer and performer Vera Chok and travel writer and journalist Noo Saro-Wiwa.

Judge Vera Chok spoke about the prize: “An incredible thing about the Jhalak Prize is that it’s open across genres. I’ve been especially delighted to discover writers of colour beyond literary fiction and memoir, making their mark in the fields of non-fiction, children’s writing, and experimental forms.”

The shortlist will be announced on the 20th of February, and the winner will be announced on the 15th March 2018.

What’s Coming Up: February and Beyond!

By uczcwtu, on 25 January 2018

There are lots of events going on in the next few months – here’s just a couple of gems that we discovered!

29 JAN 2018: SYP AGM
The SYP meets every year in January in the beautiful Stationers’ Hall to say goodbye to old SYP UK and London committees and welcome in new. There will be a recap of the whole SYP year from different committee members, followed by our panel. To delve more into the creation and popularity of audiobooks, the impact of podcasts on our industry, and what might be next, we’ll be joined by Miles Stevens-Hoare of RB Media, the company behind audiobooks.com, and the team from the amazing Mostly Lit podcast.

8 FEB 2018: Bitch Lit
Bitch Lit is a monthly book club devoted to new feminist writing and cult classics by women. Join us for endless wine, cheese and irreverent, fun discussion led by literary critic Lucy Scholes and Gower Street’s Elizabeth Morris. On February 8th we will be discussing Diana Athill’s Stet: An Editors Life.

9 FEB 2018 – 11 FEB 2018: London Bookshop Crawl
Now in its’ third year it aims to bring booklovers together in a joyful celebration of all things bookish and give some much needed support to (mainly independent) bookshops in the otherwise fairly grim retail month of February. Over the course of the weekend we encourage you to visit as many bookshops as possible, post about how great they are on social media (using #LondonBookshopCrawl), buy some books and grab some of the amazing freebies and discounts on offer and meet some new bookish friends.

15 FEB 2018: The Hogwarts Curriculum Lectures: Divination with Marc Salem
A look at how we deduce, or divine, meaning from non-verbal signs with Marc Salem, performer, mind reader and expert in non-verbal communication. This event is aimed at an adult audience, although children are welcome to attend.

20 FEB 2018: Laura Bates – Misogynation: The True Scale of Sexism
Feminist, activist and bestselling author Laura Bates joins us to once again shine a light on the gender inequality lurking in the shadows of our society with her new collections of essays. At this exclusive London event Laura will be discussing her work with the freelance journalist and contributing editor at The Pool, Marisa Bate, followed by a signing of her books.

1 MARCH 2018: World Book Day
World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

7 MARCH 2018 – 11 MARCH 2018: Women of the World 2018
WOW – Women of the World festival celebrates women and girls, and looks at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. This will include talks by Sandi Toksvig, the women behind the Black Lives Matter movement and a drag king performance of the story of Joan of Arc.

Let us know if you end up going to any of these events!

5 Bookish Podcasts

By uczcwtu, on 19 November 2017

I don’t know about you, but I find podcasts are a perfect medium for modern life – often short and snappy, I can listen to them on the tube or whilst doing chores around the house. Here are 5 of my favourite bookish podcasts

1. Reading Glasses

This is without a doubt my favourite bookish podcast. Mallory and Brea are fun, enthusiastic readers who don’t believe in book shame and who talk about a plethora of genres. Their most recent podcast talks about self-help books, and includes a quick review of some bookish perfume! (Interesting!) You can listen more about Reading Glasses here.

2. From the Front Porch

A little podcast by booksellers Chris and Annie, From the Front Porch is a delightful and quick listen about books, being a bookseller, and all things about living in the south of America! Recently they discussed classic novels, and paired them up with modern recommendations. It is definitely worth a listen! There are new episodes every Thursday.

3. What Page Are You On?

This is a much newer podcast by Alice and Bethany, a pair of UK authors who discuss books throughout this often political and insightful podcast. Although there are only 5 episodes out so far, I can definitely see this becoming a firm favourite of mine, as their book tastes are wonderfully similar to my own. What Page Are You On can be found here.

4. What Should I Read Next?

Anne of What Should I Read Next has new guests every week, and together they tackle the age-old question for book lovers – what to read next! I really like that Anne really focuses on each guest, and tailors the interview to each one. No podcast is the same with What Should I Read Next! You can check it out here.

5. Book Riot

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Book Riot, one of my favourite bookish podcasts. Although on the longer side, Book Riot talks about aspects of the book world and community that some of the other podcasts don’t. In their most recent episode they talked about the new Barnes and Noble bookstores, the Harry Potter version of Pokemon GO, and much more. Excitingly, they’ve just started a new podcast called Hey YA which is, you guessed it, about young adult books! This sounds really awesome (no pun intended!)

Do you listen to podcasts? What ones would you recommend? Let us know!

Meet this year’s UCL MA Publishing Bloggers!

By uczcmsm, on 16 October 2017

Wendy Tuxworth

Hi, I’m Wendy Tuxworth and I am delighted to be one of the UCL bloggers for this year! I am originally from Bermuda, hence the funny accent, and like all of you I suspect, I am a book lover! Reading, for me, is a pathway into other people’s lives and experiences, which is why I try to read as diversely as possible. I run a book blog at www.whatthelog.wordpress.com and am a volunteer submissions reader for Electric Literature. Please come to me with any of your thoughts or ideas for the blog – I want to make it your go-to for information about upcoming events, interviews with industry experts, and so much more.


Jessica Brotman

Hi everyone! I’m Jessie Brotman, and I’m so excited to be a part of the UCL MA Publishing blog team this year. I’m originally from Los Angeles, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be back in the beautiful, literary city of London. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a great cup of coffee and a gripping story, and I’m particularly partial to Gothic novels and classic mysteries. I hope to make this blog a space where we can stay updated on industry happenings and celebrate our mutual love of stories. If you have any ideas for blog content (or just want to chat about books!), please feel free to contact me via Instagram, Twitter, or Goodreads. I can’t wait to get started!


Hannah Smith

Hi! I’m Hannah Smith and I currently spend a lot of time on a train to and from university. The journey gives me a fabulous excuse to read whilst enjoying the scenery. I live in a beautiful little town in Devon and volunteer in the local bookshop, running their blog and as part of the marketing and events team. I am fascinated and excited by ‘community’ in whatever form that may take and I hope that across this year everyone enjoys our bookish course community. I want the blog to be a platform to find things out and to put your own ideas forward so please contact me (by email/ Facebook/ Twitter/ coffee date) with any ideas you have in mind.

UCL Publishing Thought of the Week: “DO judge a book by its cover” by Lucy Broughton

By Lucy Broughton, on 3 November 2014

Have a look and this weeks thought from the UCL Publishing Blog – “DO judge a book by its cover” by Lucy Broughton.


MA Publishing Project – The Bookseller Children’s Project by Lucy Broughton

By Lucy Broughton, on 29 October 2014

Keep up to date on how the MA Publishing Projects are coming along.

Read the first update for The Bookseller Children’s Project here…


Twitter and Publishers

By Nick P Canty, on 13 July 2011

Anne Thoring (MA Publishing 2009-10) has published her dissertation research. ‘Corporate Tweeting: Analysing the use of Twitter as a marketing tool by UK trade publishers’ appears in the latest issue of the Springer journal Publishing Research Quarterly.

The research found that just 42% of the sample of publishers had a Twitter account. Medium sized and larger publishers were most likely to Tweet, with the medium sized companies most active. The average publishers Tweeted during the working week and posts were mainly normal Tweets and not retweets or replies.

The majority of Tweets were about competitions, games or votes, followed by information about books and then authors. Most content was exclusive to Twitter and did not appear in the News section of the publisher’s website or other social media. The majority of Tweets contained hyperlinks.

The article is available to read through the UCL library e-journal service

Macmillan Prize

By Anne Welsh, on 15 October 2010

Bryony Nowell has been awarded the Macmillan Prize for 2009. The prize, a cheque for £750, is awarded annually to the MA Publishing student at UCL who achieves the overall highest marks over the course. Bryony, who now works as an editor for cookery books, studied for the course part-time while working as a government lawyer. The prize was presented at Macmillan Publishers London HQ on October 13 by John Peacock, Production Director.


(This item was originally posted to the UCL DIS News & Events page by D.J. Clarke)

UK APE Dissertation Prize

By Anne Welsh, on 16 April 2010

Jennie Courage (MA Publishing 2009), now working at OUP, has been awarded the first ever UK Association for Publishing Education Prize for her Masters dissertation,  ‘Making e-books easy for everyone to read: accessibility and the visually impaired.’


(A version of this item was originally posted to the UCL DIS News & Events page by D.J. Clarke)

Image: UK Association for Publishing Education