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Free Kingston Publishing Masterclasses: The 2016 line-up

Kingston University’s Publishing MA course run a series of masterclasses from leading industry professionals every year. Here’s the 2016 line-up:

Is curation the new word for publishing?

4th October 2016: Michael Bhaskar, Canelo Publishing – The launch of ‘Curation: The power of selection in a world of excess’ (copies will be available for purchase)

Publishing innovations in a world of big data

11th October 2016: Ziyad Marrar, Sage Publishing

My experience as a self-published author

18th October 2016 Ben Galley

Making reading happen

25th October 2016: Genevieve Clarke, The Reading Agency

The programme takes a break on 1st November

The role of the literary agent in today’s publishing landscape

8th November 2016: Gordon Wise, Literary agent

Hurrah for Publishing events! An essential guide to event success

15th November 2016: Laura Summers, BookMachine

Digital: the last (and next) five years

22nd November 2016: Alastair Horne, Press Futurist

The business of writing – you and the Society of Authors

29th November 2016: Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of The Society of Authors

A strategic approach to building your career

6th December 2016: Jo Howard, Careers Consultant, Mosaic

Setting up a publishing company. How we did it

13th December 2016: Nigel Newton, Founder and Chief Executive. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Tuesdays, 6-8pm, JG1004, Kingston University Penrhyn Road Campus

More information on the masterclasses is available here


Learning from Snapshots III: 8 typesetting tips for beginners

BookMachine have been busy with the next blook in the Snapshots series, Snapshots III, BookMachine on Publishing: The Next 5 Years. For the third year in a row, we’ve teamed up with Kingston University Press who have appointed a production team of students from Kingston’s Publishing MA course to design, typeset and proofread a selection of our best posts. Here Dania Zara, who designed and typeset the book, shares her top tips for beginners.

1) Get your master pages ready

Well laid out master pages will save you a lot of time. If your book contains multiple layouts that are to be used repeatedly, create a master page for each layout for easy application and to ensure consistency.

2) Plan your hierarchy

Evaluate the text and create a visual hierarchy that represents its structure. Possibilities are endless, from the standard bold and italic to changing the colour or font. It is advisable that each level of the hierarchy should be indicated by no more than three formatting styles.

Pro tip: Always remember to start with the longest heading or the longest title.

3) Create styles for formatting

To facilitate efficiency and consistency, create proper styles for headings, body text and their variations, instead of manual formatting. It will also make exporting the file to an ePub much easier.

4) Let the text breathe

Work with the line length, leading and tracking to assist readability and create a pleasing design. It is preferable to have no less than 40 and no more than 70 characters on a line. Experiment with type size and leading to get the combination that suits your publication. A common guideline for body text is that the leading should be 115% or 120% of the point size.

5) Don’t use the space bar to create that indent!

Not only will your indents be inconsistent but, if you plan on exporting your file into an ePub, things will get messy. Create indents using the paragraph settings. Similarly, page breaks should be made by inserting a page break character.

It is also useful to display hidden characters (Type> Show Hidden Characters). It will show those indents made by space bars that need to be replaced by proper formatting.

6) Orphans and widows will make you beg for mercy

It took me an hour to typeset a spread with three levels of headings, images and a widow that refused to be resolved. It made me realise typesetting can only be enjoyed (and endured) by those who love the nitty gritty of typography.

In my opinion, adjusting widows and orphans takes a bit of creative problem solving and depends on your layout. It can be done by: modifying the leading, kerning or tracking; fine-tuning the justification and hyphenation settings; sometimes removing a word can do the trick.

7) Proofread blind and against the manuscript after typesetting

You’d be surprised how many mistakes get through the cracks. Typesetting can make you blind to the text since you’re focusing on the format and style. If you’re working solo on a project, it is advisable to either get someone else to do it or take a break and return to the text with fresh eyes.

8) Books have odd pages on the right

I did not know that until a few months ago. Never even noticed it.

Grab your free ticket for the launch of Snapshots III here. For tips on editorial process, read this: Blook your blog: How to turn your blog posts into a book.

Dania Zafar is a MA Publishing student at Kingston University. She’s also a graphic designer and was a part of the BookMachine’s Snapshots III production team. Her mission is to create inter-cultural dialogue and promote cultural understanding through publishing.

Snapshots III, the launch [EVENT]

Today, a new must-attend free publishing event is announced. Snapshots III – the launch is an informal evening in 4 UK cities, in celebration of the third edition of this publishing-themed book.

Each event will focus on one of the four sections of the book. Events will take place in London, Oxford, Cambridge UK or Brighton and a range of top speakers will be delivering short talks. Speakers include Seonaid Macleod (The Publishers Association), Kieron Smith (Blackwells Bookshops) and Matthew Clayton (Unbound).

This third volume in BookMachine’s Snapshots series, produced in collaboration with students from the renowned Publishing MA at Kingston University, focuses on what the next 5 years of publishing might bring.

The first part of the book is about Predictions. In this section, expert publishers give their insights into the next 5 years. From transitions in retail to new commercial models – a range of industry issues are covered.

Part 2 focuses on Thinking About Design. One thing that digital publishing has taught us is that slick design is fundamental to the success of any project. Multi-device publishing impacts on the design process, and as publishing becomes more global, there is much more to consider.

Part 3 is on Business Models. One noticeable change across the industry is all the new business models being explored. From adapting to smaller screens, to creating an online brand for a product – the publisher to retailer model was long ago disrupted; and now only the smartest business models will rise to the challenge in the new era.

Finally, this book covers Skills for Publishing. No longer is an English degree the only prerequisite for a publishing career. In Educational publishing there’s a drive towards creating enhanced learning material which can include multi-media components. In the world of audio-visuals, ‘editing’ can have a number of meanings. Across the board, people who have digital skills are also in high-demand.

You can choose your city, and grab a free ticket by clicking here.

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