Publishing Program - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Making Space for Publication: A Case Study of Project Space

Date created: 
2016-05-18
Abstract: 

The proliferation of digital technologies has initiated a need for radical changes to publishing business models, while simultaneously laying the foundation for a renaissance of the print book akin to that which occurred in the 1960s and 70s. This “second wave of self-publishing” has come about as a widespread surge, particularly in the realm of contemporary art and graphic design, but also in literary and DIY circles. As was the case in the “first wave,” this expansion has resulted in the development of brick-and-mortar spaces that house and nurture the activities of this niche, particularly the production of publications, exhibitions and additional programming (such as lectures and workshops). These hubs act as nodes on a decentralized network of local and global publishing activity that is increasingly connected via the internet. The case study of Project Space — a publisher, bookshop, project space, and studio in the Chinatown neighbourhood of Vancouver, British Columbia (operated by OCW Arts & Publishing Foundation in collaboration with Project Space Studio) — explores the development of such a space, with particular interest in the past and present context that have produced the need the space seeks to fulfill.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

Revelations of Design Love: Designing a Non-linear, Academic Web Book with Scalar

Date created: 
2016-08-03
Abstract: 

In 2015, UBC Press, along with the University of Washington Press, submitted a proposal to the Mellon Foundation to create an enhanced, non-linear Web book project that focuses on Indigenous knowledge. UBC Press launched a pilot project to turn a print book by Robert J. Muckle called The First Nations of British Columbia: An Anthropological Overview into a website that would facilitate the reading experience in a way unique to the Web, using the platform Scalar. Scalar is an open-source publishing platform created by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture that provides a unique, non-linear reading experience with text, images, audio, and video. It is mainly for educational topics and offers authors and publishers several templates that encourage digital publishing first. A website template enables designers to work with a pre-designed website or webpages that can end up being very similar or very different from the original template, depending on the amount of work put in by the designer. The use of templates to design websites has its strengths and limitations, which will be explored in this paper. This report documents the experience of testing Scalar from a design perspective.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Juan Pablo Alperin
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

Embracing New Markets: Editorial Opportunities in South Korea

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-07-05
Abstract: 

Editorial opportunities external to North America and the United Kingdom are rarely discussed in Canadian publishing. This report examines positions for native English-speaking editors in South Korean educational publishing companies. It first provides background on the prevalence of English-language education in South Korea and the booming educational publishing industry that has ensued. Next, it examines the need for native English editors within this industry while outlining the necessary qualifications they must have to gain employment. Included in this analysis is a case study of a large English educational publisher in South Korea called Neungyule Education Inc. and the study material it creates for the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) exam. This case study examines the role of the native editor in creating TOEIC test materials and illustrates how this specific role fits into the larger cultural mandate of learning English in South Korea.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

It's About Time: A Case Study of Acquiring, Producing, and Promoting a Timely Book from an Independent Canadian Publisher

Date created: 
2016-04-15
Abstract: 

TouchWood Editions published The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook by Cinda Chavich on May 1, 2015. A traditional cookbook teeming with advice for individuals looking to reduce food waste in the kitchen, it was released at a time when excessive food waste was the focus of many media reports across North America. This report discusses the trajectory of the cookbook from the time of the author’s proposal in March 2014 to eight months after its publication in December 2015. In addition to discussing the acquisition and production stages of the book, it also provides snapshots of the media landscape at three separate junctures in the timeline to demonstrate the continuing trend of food waste coverage. Chiefly, it focuses on what was done, what could have been done, and what can still be done to promote a cookbook that was released into highly favourable media conditions by an independent Canadian publisher.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Juan Alperin
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

Building an Efficient Print Production Workflow through Web-to-Print: A Case Study of Hemlock Printers

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-03-30
Abstract: 

To respond to significant technological progress, the printing industry is gradually embracing a production system known as Web-to-Print, of which print providers can offer services to their clients through an automated online service. This report examines the use of web-to-print systems at Hemlock Printers, a Burnaby-based printing firm, as a case study. The report focuses on three different web-to-print systems at Hemlock and provides information on the company’s reasons for adopting each system; the various components of each workflow; detailed description of each workflow; as well as their capabilities and limitations.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

The Glue that Connects Publishers to Booksellers: An analysis of the role of commissioned sales representatives and their value as links between book publishers and booksellers

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-04-19
Abstract: 

This project report covers three key areas: the history of the company Ampersand Inc., the role of sales representatives in the publishing industry, and what both publishers and booksellers need to know in order to garner higher sales for their books. Through an analysis of a commissioned sales rep agency, Ampersand Inc., the report will look at how the publishing industry has changed in the past six years, and how these changes have affected sales strategies. The report will also show how having the right sales force is vital to a book’s success and that commissioned sales reps have a huge wealth of knowledge in the book publishing industry that publishers and booksellers should be taking fuller advantage of.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

Bringing self-publishing services to corporate clients: A business development feasibility study

Date created: 
2016-04-21
Abstract: 

This report aims to evaluate the feasibility of Page Two Strategy’s (Page Two) proposed venture to expand the reach of their self-publishing services to new corporate clients in a service offering called Corporate Publishing Consulting (CPC). The evaluation is based on information provided by Page Two principals Finkelstein and White throughout various discussions. Chapter one outlines Page Two’s existing business model, as it relates to corporate clients, and breaks down the company’s unique service structure. Chapter two evaluates Page Two’s tangible and intangible company resources, and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of CPC, and its expansion. Chapter three discusses the external market factors that drive and challenge the expansion of CPC. Chapter four outlines Page Two’s current operations model—how they attract clients and the process through which they complete a self-publishing project—in order to determine how the expansion of CPC might affect operations.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

Revisiting the Porthole View: An Analysis of Outreach Strategies in Pursuit of Market Expansion

Date created: 
2016-01-28
Abstract: 

This report is intended as a follow up to the 2014 Amanda Peters report, “The Porthole View: Marketing to the Masses Through the Little Window,” which provided a top down analysis of Now Or Never Publishing’s marketing tactics, as well as a list of suggested action plans for improving company visibility. This report revisits each of these recommendations, analyzing their continued appropriateness for Now Or Never, while simultaneously documenting any progress or setbacks the company has faced in its attempts to expand its audience. Organized into a general dichotomy of digital and physical outreach strategies, this report employs personal interviews, sales data, and social media insights to determine what amount of marketing improvement and success a boutique publishing house can realistically achieve within a one-year time frame. As a result of these analyses, this report concludes two things. First, that within the given time frame, Now Or Never Publishing has been generally unable to follow the action plans outlined in the Peters’ report, or to embrace them with the full level of commitment needed for success. Second, that these failures do not necessarily imply a lack of effort, but rather may highlight a disadvantage unique to small press publishing, wherein marketing is sacrificed in favor of production and editorial deadlines.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

E-Cookbooks: An analysis of profitability

Date created: 
2016-01-26
Abstract: 

Appetite by Random House is a lifestyle publishing house imprint, within the parent company of Penguin Random House (PRH) Canada, specializing in the publication of cookbooks. Under corporate policy, Appetite produces digital versions of all of its published titles; however, cursory analysis of Appetite’s digital cookbook (e-cookbook) sales reveals low sales volume calling into question the profitability of this universal conversion policy. This report utilizes data collected and stored in the PRH internal database, MyHouse, to perform a series of quantitative data analyses focused on Appetite’s e-cookbook sales and with the intent of answering the core research question: is the return on investment (ROI) for converting titles into digital versions positive for all cookbooks? Results indicate that while individual sales volume and ROIs vary from title to title, overall net sales, when totaled across Appetite’s published e-cookbooks, are sufficient to yield a positive ROI. Preliminary analyses of possible variables impacting sales volume and thereby ROI are included. Further, comparative analyses are performed using data from a sample of PRH imprints that also publish digital cookbooks with results indicating that Appetite’s ROI for digital cookbook production is lower than the sampled average.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Juan Pablo Alperin
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

Building Bridges for Bridge & Burn: How small lifestyle brands use content to extend their reach online

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-01-26
Abstract: 

Many have heralded the death of quality content and mourn the demise of paid roles for traditional writers and publishers in the digital age. But in fact, a new model for marketing is opening up new avenues for quality content. Brand publishing, also known as content marketing, will drive the future of content. This paper examines this development and best practices for brand publishers within the current marketing landscape. Chapter one looks back through the past ten years to consider the factors that have caused this shift. Chapter two looks at brand publishing in action, outlining the characteristics of successful branded content and addressing some of the risks and pitfalls to which marketers can fall prey when they publish original content. Chapter three quantifies the impact of brand newsrooms on the bottom line and establishes which metrics are worth measuring. Finally, chapter four sees this new model of marketing applied to a growing apparel brand based in Portland, Oregon, and reveals the impact that a documented content strategy had when executed in the summer of 2014.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Shannon Emmerson
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.