When I tell people that I work at the Syracuse University Press office, they usually assume that I work for a newspaper or something along those lines. However, I have found that book publishing is far more exacting, and interesting, than many people realize.
During my first year at Syracuse University, I have been unsure of where I want to take my studies. As a major in Communications and Rhetorical Studies, there is a broad spectrum of fields which I can narrow down. I have found working at the SU Press office rewarding and even enlightening to my future. Having put much consideration into pursuing a double major with Modern Languages, I have found interest in the translated texts that the SU Press has published.
While working with the Author Spotlight blog feature, I was fortunate enough to hear a firsthand account of what the translation process is like. Though I do not think book translation is the particular path I want to follow, I was reminded of the wide variety of opportunities that Modern Languages could offer. In fact, I was induced to research translation jobs at places such as hospitals, accounting firms, etc. This has made me very excited for my future years at Syracuse and I appreciate the opportunities of learning and enrichment that I’ve found at SU Press.
At Syracuse University, and most other universities, textbooks are not cheap and students often resort to other options before making the costly purchase. Syracuse University Press and Academic Pub are attacking the issue by teaming up to offer college textbooks at a more reasonable, student-friendly rate.
AcademicPub is a platform that offers customized print and digital academic material at a 60 percent discount. Caroline Vanderlip, CEO of SharBook Inc., the parent company of AcademicPub, states that the platform “allows faculty to just select the chapters, journal articles, web documents, links and lectures that they want to use in their course, and basically compile one textbook out of it, instead of assigning multiple text books for purchase.” The customization of course material into one book provides professors and students with a basic and affordable approach to academic learning. Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Michigan, Cambridge and Oxford University Press are among the other 50 universities and academic publishers that have joined forces with the higher-education technology platform. The program is available now for use on AcademicPub and will be accessible through SU Press within the next few weeks.
Syracuse University Press is excited to be part of AcademicPub and assist in extending the reach of academic content to large audiences at an affordable rate. The press is committed to serving scholars and scholarship and hopes this partnership will help preserve the history, literature and culture of scholarly work.
As someone who will hopefully be employed as a professor in the not-too-distant future, I have a vested interest in the publishing of academic research. Interning at Syracuse University Press has helped me see the workings of a very important part of academic research that I had not previously understood, the actual work of making someone else’s work available to a wide audience. I have been fortunate to work in both Acquisitions and in Marketing, and doing so has given me a nice perspective on the publishing process, from manuscript to sold book. Seeing the practical outcomes of other authors’ choices of organization, topic, style, and audience, reminds me of the importance of these factors for making one’s work accessible and appealing to others. This is especially helpful when I am lost in my own, sometimes abstract, thoughts about my research. Though I don’t think scholarship should be guided by marketability, the ease of writing a catalog description or of drafting a publication proposal for editorial review is often a sign of the work’s clarity and attention to perspective audience. Working at the Press has provided me with clear examples of the way that academic work does not exist in a vacuum, and it makes me think (concretely, not just based on abstract advice from others) of how best to attend to concerns such as audience and style from the very first draft.
Initially, my attraction to SU Press was its size. Hidden from the iconic image of “The Hill,” this Press is kept tucked away; but it still manages to have over a thousand titles under its belt. I knew that this internship would aid me in my education of publishing, but I wanted to know about the community of a press as well.
The community of SU Press is a big part of its success in the category of University Press’s. I believe a University Press should have variety, which SU Press certainly does; it should also aid to the reputation of the University outside of its normal boundaries. SU Press’s variety of subjects and studies that it publishes each season supports the profile of the University where it may not normally be noticed.
In the Marketing department, I’ve gained more than experience for my resume. The projects and tasks I’ve been assigned have given me a new outlook on all of the work that is put in by just one team in a Press. My contact with authors, drafting blurbs, and research have instilled not only a new set of skills, but a confidence to be more independent with future projects I get to be a part of.
This isn’t my first internship, but it’s been the most relevant in terms of what I want to do after graduation. I’m hoping to eventually find an entry level publishing job in editorial or acquisitions, and I think my time at SU Press has really helped me toward that goal, because I’ve learned so much about the acquisitions process and the world of publishing in general.
I think it’s great that I’ve been able to do worthwhile tasks here. At some of my other internships I’ve felt like I’ve been doing busy work – but I’ve never felt like that here. During my first few weeks I was drafting (admittedly somewhat rough!) publication proposals, formatting manuscripts and communicating with professors at the top of their fields.
My favorite projects are the ones where I’m able to work closely with manuscripts – whether it’s combing through them and checking for permissions or trying to find suitable readers. Since I’ve been here since September, it’s been fun to see how much of the process I’ve internalized. During my first few weeks I asked questions about every tiny detail but now I’m a lot more independent. I generally understand how things work… even though I know I have so much more to learn!
This internship definitely confirmed the interest I already had in a publishing career, and it’s a great feeling to read the job description for an editorial assistant position and realize that you’re comfortable and familiar with all of the listed responsibilities!
By: Sylwia E. Dziedzic, Marketing Intern
For years, literature has been an exploration into the application of philosophical ideas and concepts. To some, reading provides an emotional escape into a virtual escapade. Others read to expand their imagination and use it as an aid for relaxation. But what if your interactivity patterns, such as the length of time spent on a particular page, content written in the margins, and words highlighted on your Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook, or iPad were monitored? Data and analytics have undoubtedly changed the way mobile apps and gaming consoles are constructed for consumers. Therefore, we must ask the question: are editors more likely to test their books digitally before releasing it in print to ensure their content will sell? And of its counterpart: do readers accept the intrusion between their private journey with the author and words on the screen?
Patrick Berry, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric shared some of his thoughts:
“The increased use of digital books seems inevitable. My 12-year-old daughter is as comfortable with a Kindle as she is with a print book. But, the issue of privacy is an important one.
I’m especially interested in how digital books can help us rethink the boundaries of the book. What if books incorporated video or provided access to web-based content? I just completed a coauthored book-length multimodal project designed to document how people outside and within the United States take up digital literacies and fold them into the fabric of their daily lives. Transnational Literate Lives in Digital Times (coauthored with Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe) represents a first attempt at crafting a born-digital book http://ccdigitalpress.org/ebooks-and-projects/transnational“
With roughly 40 million e-readers and 65 million tablets in use in the U.S., according to analysts at Forrester Research, it can be difficult to correctly analyze how many users are aware of the monitoring process. We also still don’t know whether the process will help authors to generate more grasping content. We can only hope that this process won’t permanently change authors’ writing styles and the attachment they feel for their novels. Only time will tell.
SU Press welcomes Sylwia Dziedzic as the newest Marketing Media Intern. As a Master’s student at the Syracuse University i-School, with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Management and Technology/Minor in Writing and Rhetorical Studies, Sylwia has acquired significant skills and experience applicable to the field of marketing. Prior to her time here at the Press, she interned at a local start-up company, BrandYourself.com and was a Marketing/Information Technology intern for the Institute for Veterans and Military families.
Along with her professional skills, Sylwia keeps busy with various organizations on campus such as the SU Polish Club, Outdoor Club and Women in Technology Group. With her media and blogging experience, she will be assisting the Press on a number of marketing projects including blog posts, author/staff interviews and theme brainstorming. Sylwia is a motivated individual with an optimistic attitude and we look forward to having her on our team this summer.