Cambridge Elements Publishing and Book Culture: An Interview with Samantha Rayner and Rebecca Lyons

you yeah so the idea behind gatherings which is going to be as part of the CPS element series was really to create a new series of mini graphs on publishing and book trade related topics yeah and we wanted it to kind of fill a gap in the market that we perceived you know there's lots of book histories that discuss you know the home of book history and there's not necessarily as many that have perhaps more niche titles and titles that draw interesting in kind of new connections with one another yes particular on the publishing side so book histories are very well established discipline but publishing and publishing history and publishing practice and actually the wider fields of the book trade perhaps haven't had the chance to be included in a series like this so we felt it was time to do something that attempted to include all these different exciting sectors and we felt the cep was the right place to do it we decided to publish with elements with Cambridge University Press because the elements format with the short monograph or monograph or minigraf as we've kind of affectionately been calling it again enables for a kind of different type of working so we can perhaps appeal to different types of authors so perhaps early career scholars as well as you know professors and professionals and professionals yes they've got people who are outside of academia in the publishing industry in book snelling yeah so part of it really was taking on board the work that Becks and I'd done with a project we were involved in called the academic book of the future and discussions that we've had been with the press and wanting to work this new series partly as a research in practice project as well as obviously launching a new series about publishing in the book trade and it was coincidental that elements had just launched by the time that they proposal had gone through the cep system and it seemed like a perfect synergy and great platform to do it on we started off with five different threads of the gatherings if you like so the five that we've started off with our children's publishing young adult publishing academic publishing publishing the canon book sterling i'm book selling Thank You vex and we chose those really because they were strong clusters that came out of this project the academic book of the future that we worked on and so we knew people that we thought would be able to be the editors for those particular threads and the first book which is going into the system as we speak the manuscripts been delivered is a book by Professor Melissa Harris and it will be a book in the children's publishing strand and it will be on portrayals of professors in children's literature so we're very excited about that one our vision the big picture if you like is to have it continue so that we we do actually manage to get threads for all of the different elements of the publishing and book trade so already interest has been coming back to us from different people so there are strands like digital fiction is a possibility somebody would like to do a strand on digital performance looking at how we publish digital performance and performance production type things what else have we got coming through global sales the global south so publishing in the global south a cluster of international academics from Australia are looking at something called the mega seller so books like Harry Potter or Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and there will be a cluster hopefully on that so it's kind of established historic things like children's publishing everyone's familiar with and may be less familiar but very new and exciting cutting-edge terms and practices like the mega fellows well the fact that elements and gatherings are short monographs or mini graphs means that there are a number of advantages for authors who'd like to publish with us so first of which being only 20 to 30 thousand words so hopefully they'll be quicker to write the turnaround is quite quick in terms of production processes with Cu P and this also means that in terms of the ref the forthcoming ref they'll be able to be counted and to be counted fairly quickly so these are all advantages and you get to work with us and also that this means that you know people at any stage in their career should hopefully find it quite an attractive thing to write an element right gathering the book for us yes some early career researchers right through to you know eminent professors and people in publishing book selling libraries yeah we are collecting quite a good body of people who will peer-review so that that side of things will be very robust still as you know you might expect from Cambridge University Press but again as Beck said it's again trying to teach people about publishing processes while they're going went through this through the process with us of publishing their own work so it just makes a lovely circle of learning teaching researching publishing so if anyone would like to write us well either a book so one of the mini graphs or organized a thread of their own so discussing any part of publishing or book culture they can email one of us and if they could send some details or you know ideas we're happy to talk through and discuss creatively with them yes

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