Welcome to the inaugural post for my attempt to chronicle my journey through Simon Fraser University’s Masters in Publishing program. My goal with this series is twofold: to catalog modern publishing education while I toy around with various ideas for my thesis, and to journal my progress through a graduate program. With the exception of interesting, special topics, I’ll just be doing these once a month. I hope you enjoy the journey with me!
Week 0: Preparing for the program
Because I didn’t take any business courses in my undergrad, I was required to complete a few marketing and accounting textbooks before the term. Luckily, I planned ahead for this, and despite the accounting textbook being extremely boring, I finished the prereq’s with enough time to spare for other things.
I read a few books about the publishing industry as well, including one of the textbooks for the first term, Book Publishing I by the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing. I also read Thomas Woll’s Publishing for Profit (highly recommend!) and Claudia Suzanne’s This Business of Books (outdated, but very good).
At the end of last week, professors in the MPub program also sent cohorts two mini assignments focusing on poster design and CSS coding. The poster was no trouble, as I’ve had significant exposure to InDesign over the last few years, but the CSS was a bit daunting, especially since I mostly learned it passively to correct export coding out of InDesign. Nonetheless, the CSS classes were extremely fun, so I’ve spent some more time this week compiling a bunch of ePub coding data to go through and experiment with. (As you may have noticed, this post has a dropcap… fancy stuff I’m learning! 😉 )
The one thing I still feel my skills are lacking in is graphic design. I can put together images, of course, but I really want to start designing. Altering existing fonts for unique book cover typography, and also actual illustration. Unfortunately, digital illustration is a skill that requires years of practice and study, but hopefully in the next few weeks, I can get some groundwork done.
I have some pretty concrete things that I want to accomplish with this program.
I want to:
- Network with industry professionals as much as possible.
- Learn marketing in a real-world setting (not from a book).
- Explore my career options through Project Management, Acquisitions, and Account Management.
- Fill the gaps in my InDesign knowledge.
- Intern at a company focused in the SFF section of the market.
- Research and write papers useful to the industry as a whole.
Classes start September 6th!