5th International Conference on Publishing Industry and Publishing Education in the Digital Era | Reflections from Wuhan, China by Professor Kathy Sandler

Professor Sandler and Yin “Ling” Mengling, a China Publishing Group employee who helped Sandler explore the city.

Kathy Sandler is the Senior Manager of Content Applications and Digital Workflow Development at Penguin Random House. She is also an Adjunct Faculty member in the M.S. in Publishing Program at Pace University. She specializes in management, workflow, and publishing technology for eBooks and iPad apps and enjoys developing classes for people in the industry. She recently published an article on “Innovation in Publishing: This is not an Oxymoron!” for Publishing Research Quarterly.

By: Professor Kathy Sandler

In October 2016, I traveled with Pace to China to lecture at the 5th International Conference on Publishing Industry and Publishing Education in the Digital Era sponsored by Wuhan University and Pace University. It was a fantastic experience! Here are a few of the memories I’d like to share.

Personally, I was struck by the warmth of the people I met. It was very exciting to meet dignitaries from Phoenix Publishing & Media Group and China Publishing Group, which are among the largest publishing companies in the world. But it was heartening to meet a number of former students who were so grateful to Professor Raskin and Professor Lian for what they learned at Pace.

The opening panel of the Wuhan Conference. (Professor Raskin is the fourth speaker from the right.)
I was lucky to have a tour guide in Beijing who worked at China Publishing Group named Yin “Ling” Mengling. I spoke with her at length about some of the great opportunities available in publishing associations in New York. We also discussed a book called Designing Your Life, which I recommend people use to think about their career and life goals.

After we parted, she paid for her own overnight train to Wuhan to attend the weekend conference and take Professor Lian, Professor Raskin and me around Wuhan University. She has since started a Literary Salon speaker series for her friends and colleagues, which she said I inspired her to do. Mark Fretz, who also attended the conference as part of the delegation from Pace, spoke at the inaugural session. I am very proud of Ling and happy I was able to touch her life.

Another thing that struck me in China that I hadn’t fully appreciated before was the giant contribution that Professor Raskin and Professor Lian have made to publishing education in China. Professor Lian was actually one of the founding members of the first publishing program in China at Wuhan University and was instrumental in starting the partnership between Pace and Wuhan U. Professor Raskin has made extremely strong relationships with the major publishing companies in China and, because of this, the companies have hand-picked executives to come train at Pace every year. (And they were able to start the Confucius Institute at Pace University, where I took Chinese classes before I went.) I have a newfound respect for the hard work they have done to build such strong ties.

Dinner in China with former Pace students. 
At the conference, my talk was on innovation. I spoke about projects in the publishing industry, including grass-roots efforts, where employees at any level can test their idea and pitch it to management. I was surprised that I was asked how an employee would be reprimanded if they had an idea that failed. I explained the value of a learning organization, where failing fast (and small) is a good thing. I was happy to see that they were thinking about how this idea could be implemented in their environment, and I hope in the future that organizations encourage their employees to submit ideas.

Professor Sandler speaking at the Wuhan Conference.
While Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites are blocked in China, the country is very technologically advanced. Most people use a platform called WeChat, which is a combination of the functionality of many programs in the U.S. like texting, FaceTime/Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and many others. (WeChat was created by TenCent, a phone company.) Many restaurants have you order and pay through your phone with Alipay, which is from the e-commerce company Alibaba, which has 423 million annual active buyers and about 80 per cent market share of e-commerce in China. There are QR codes everywhere on posters, bus shelters, ads, and menus, and they are very useful in connecting quickly through WeChat and other systems. I made many new contacts and friends in China and hope to stay in touch through WeChat.

I also visited many bustling bookstores in China. It was incredible to see the multi-story homage to the books owned by Phoenix Publishing & Media Group. I also visited a few branches of the Librarie Avant-Garde, including the famous one in a former bomb shelter/parking garage that has a beatnik vibe; a rustic one in a lush park, where you could sink into a comfy chair and feel like you were in a log cabin surrounded by books; and one on the Purple Mountain that sold only poetry books with lots of little rooms to explore. I felt right at home!

It was a fascinating trip, and I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to go! It really opened my eyes to different perspectives and I learned a lot about international publishing, innovation, and myself.

 

Faculty in the Spotlight: Professor Caserto

Building Technical Skills Through Design Courses

Professor Joseph Caserto, an award-winning graphic artist, educator, and consultant, is wrapping up his first year as an adjunct professor at Pace University’s Publishing Program.

Professor Caserto earned a BFA with honors in Graphic Design from Pratt Institute, where he completed one of the first classes that covered the Mac as a design tool. With over 20 years of professional experience, he is currently a freelance art director and designer whose clients have included Billboard, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Marie Claire, and Vibe magazines. Caserto has taught at The City College of New York, New York University, and is a contributor to Udemy.com.

Professor Caserto currently teaches PUB 633 Desktop Publishing for the Publishing Professional in the Fall semester, a prerequisite to the second course he teaches: PUB 635 Advanced Desktop Publishing and Image Manipulation and Management in the Spring. When asked what the value of these courses are to publishing students, Professor Caserto replied:

To be marketable; Publishing professionals need to have broad skill sets and be prepared to take on projects that may be somewhat outside of their area of expertise. An editor who can do some basic Adobe Photoshop and InDesign techniques, for example resizing images and placing them in a newsletter she’s managing, will be more appealing to potential employers and clients than a candidate who only works in Microsoft Word.

Professor Caserto hopes that his students will learn to be more comfortable working with Adobe Creative Cloud applications and get to know some basic and essential foundations of design “like symbols, typography, color, imagery, and more.”

Professor Caserto said:

I expect my students to be responsible and professional as they work to understand how to use Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop to create basic graphics and layouts for publications. I provide materials that clearly define the objectives for each session and assignment, and supplement lectures with videos and resources posted on Blackboard, which students can access between sessions if they need to review or want to explore topics further.

Professor Caserto likes to ease his students into their assignments. Knowing that they are not necessarily design students, he often starts with assignments that will allow his students to get comfortable with the new techniques, such as drawing objects, resizing images, and color application. As his course progresses, the techniques start to build onto each other, allowing students to create more challenging imagery like posters, book and magazine layouts, and symbols.

One of Professor Caserto’s students, Genna Daniel, said, “I’m taking [this course] to learn more about design elements involved in making books and magazines. I am currently learning how to make magazine layouts, and this helps me expand my interest beyond just book publishing.”

Professor Caserto intends for his courses to allow students from different aspects of the publishing industry to learn about key concepts and techniques that will benefit them no matter what segment of the industry they are in. He approaches his class with a sense of ease and creates a course load that has gradual progression. By the end of his course, his students will utilize the skills they have learned over the course of the semester to create striking images and designs and learn about the daily tasks of design professionals.

Professor Caserto has shared with us some of the work that his Advanced Desktop Publishing students have created so far in the class:

Nicole Cadavid

Victoria Sanker

Meghan Harrington

Ashley Lall

How Not to Be a Networking Leech: Tips for Seeking Professional Advice

Networking is a critical skill in advancing your career. Professor Andrea Baron has worked in publishing for over 20 years, starting her career in book design, and adding experience in consumer marketing and print and digital production. She worked with some of the largest consumer magazine publishers, including Condé Nast, Time Inc., American Express Publishing , The New York Times Magazines, and Ziff-Davis. She has organized and developed digital workflows and production processes for titles such as Vogue, The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Family Circle, Fitness, and PC Magazine.

 

Faculty_Spotlight

In her 10+ years of teaching in the Publishing program, she has  been asked  lots of advice on networking and job- and internship-hunting.She has been teaching magazine publishing in the program , with the goal of giving students a thorough grounding in the field and bringing them deeper into the industry. She teaches courses in production and design, consumer marketing, and an introduction to magazine publishing.

Professor Baron has shared this article, “How Not to Be a Networking Leech: Tips for Seeking Professional Advice”, from the New York Times , which gives a terrific summary of the most effective way to go about networking .  She hopes you’ll read it and share it.

 

Here is a snippet of the article :

“So here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a networking parasite.

Make the meeting convenient. Ask for time frames that would work well, and meet at a place that is convenient for them, even if you have to drive across town. If they leave it up to you, give them three options and let them pick the one that works best.”

To read more click the link below.

How Not to Be a Networking Leech: Tips for Seeking Professional Advice

 

 

Two Great Events feat. Professor Paul Levitz

You may have taken his Comic Books or Transmedia classes, but have you ever seen Professor Levitz in action? With over 30 years at DC Comics, ending as President and Publisher, Professor Levitz truly knows his stuff. He’s even written his own mega-book, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Check out his full bio on the Faculty and Staff Spotlight page here.

March 1 – 7 is Will Eisner Week, and on Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m., Professor Levitz will be reading from his upcoming book on Will Eisner, Champion of The Graphic Novel. He will also be discussing Eisner during “Will Eisner Week.”  The event will take place at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room.

On Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m., Professor Levitz will be moderating a panel titled “Celebrating Al Jaffree.” The panel will feature Jaffee, the inventor of MAD Magazine’s Fold-In, Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions, and who started his career working for Will Eisner. MAD cartoonist Peter Kuper (SPY VS. SPY, WORLD WAR III) will be joining the panel, as well as MAD art director and Ruben Award winning cartoonist, Sam Viviano. This panel will take place in the Butler Library at Columbia University. See more information about the event here.

Check out all of the “Will Eisner Week” events here.