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

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Twitterbot Surveys: A Method for Magazine Audience Analysis

File(s): 
Date created: 
2016-12-06
Supervisor(s): 
Juan Pablo Alperin
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study is to explore automated surveys on Twitter as a method for magazines to analyse their audiences and identify best practices for conducting the surveys. To do this I conducted a pilot survey with Twitter users who shared a New Yorker article. I tested the response rate of twelve different question variants looking at question type, type of appeal to respondent used, and whether the tweet was sent as a @reply or @mention. The results showed the survey as a whole had a 23.2% response rate. I found a multiple-choice question, appealing to the respondents’ ego sent as a @reply generated the highest response rate at 40.0%. The results of this pilot survey show the viability for this method to provide magazines with access to their audiences. It suggests this method may provide magazines with timely and efficient access to audience insights.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project

The Corporate Articulation of Boutique Publishing

File(s): 
Date created: 
2016-12-14
Supervisor(s): 
Mauve Page
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
Abstract: 

This report aims to define corporate boutique publishing and its unique positioning, while placing it in a wider boutique landscape. This includes examining the wider application of the term ‘boutique’ in the book world and establishing how the corporate articulation of this is both similar and different. Finding itself at the crossroads of small, specialized publishing and powerful, big league publishing, corporate boutique imprints can boast of having the best of both worlds. This report concludes with a number of recommendations on how such publishers can better take advantage of this place of power.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project

Mizuki Reimagined: Japanese-to-English Manga for the Young North American Reader

File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Mauve Pagé
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
Abstract: 

With growing interest in visual literacy from parents, librarians, and educators, the North American kids manga industry is booming, and more and more publishers are trying their hand at Japanese-to-English manga translations to meet the growing the demand. But such projects pose unique publishing challenges that are influenced by manga’s history, readers’ expectations, the receptivity of the North American book market, and a publisher’s mandate. This report examines the process of bringing Japanese manga to a North American audience through a case study of one publisher, Drawn & Quarterly, and its translation of Shigeru Mizuki’s Kitaro series. Throughout, this report emphasizes the translation and production challenges involved, and also offers historical and cultural information about manga publishing, Drawn & Quarterly, Mizuki, and the growing educational market for kids’ comics in North America.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project

Openly embracing change: how the Rebus Foundation is building a new model of publishing

File(s): 
Date created: 
2016-12-16
Supervisor(s): 
Juan Pablo Alperin
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
Abstract: 

This report discusses the challenges posed to the publishing industry by digital disruption and the shift from content scarcity to content abundance. Publishing business models have been based on the ability to sell exclusive access to content, but low barriers to entry for content creators mean that this model will come under increased pressure. The Rebus Foundation has been founded in response to these challenges and is working to create the tools necessary to define a new publishing process that seeks to both enable and benefit from content abundance. The first projects from the Foundation are being launched in the Open Textbook sphere, where traditional publishers have been able to exclusively sell access to content in a way that is increasingly under threat. In response, the Foundation is launching the Rebus Community to scale up the production of Open Textbooks, deploying open communication, open licensing and open tools that form a collaborative approach first seen with the Open Source community. The Foundation’s work, if successful, will have significant consequences for the current education and textbook publishing industries, shifting the value from content to innovative teaching and learning. It will also have consequences for the publishing industry at large, potentially redefining what it means to be a publisher, and modelling an approach to publishing that embraces the undeniable shift that comes from a world of content abundance.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project

Two Game Sweep: How Mid-Sized Publishers Make the Decision to Release Two Physical Formats of a Book, using Black Ice as a Case Study

Author: 
File(s): 
Date created: 
2016-11-21
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
Abstract: 

This report analyzes mid-sized publishers’ decisions regarding whether it is profitable to release a second physical format of a previously published book and the publicity practices for second releases at ECW Press, an independent Canadian publisher in Toronto, Ontario. The first chapter of this report describes the book being used as a case study, Black Ice, and discusses ECW Press’s decision to publish it. The second chapter summarizes the history of two-format publishing and how this influences the decisions pertaining to formats that publishers make today. Chapter three discusses how ECW Press decides which format is most appropriate for a book and the key factors that indicate to them that printing a subsequent trade paperback edition of a previously released hardcover will be profitable. The final chapter uses Black Ice as a publicity case study, demonstrating how mid-sized publishers publicize the release of the second edition of a book and how it differs from promoting the first release.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project

The New Star Podcast: A Publicity Project

File(s): 
Date created: 
2016-08-25
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
Abstract: 

In 2015 New Star Books—a small, Canadian press—created a podcast for the promotion of its authors. The Happy Hour Symposia aimed to promote authors and create intimacy, or a marketing connection with listeners. This report evaluates the progress of New Star’s strategy from initial goal setting to podcast production and distribution. The press and its authors may have enjoyed a short-lived success through the podcast, however future episodes will be sporadic and depend on the press’s decision to promote authors through the podcast. The report makes several suggestions pertaining to the improvement of the project and concludes that the podcast was a good publicity tool for its authors despite the press’s uncertainty of producing future episodes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project

Making Space for Publication: A Case Study of Project Space

File(s): 
Date created: 
2016-05-18
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
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

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

File(s): 
Date created: 
2016-08-03
Supervisor(s): 
Juan Pablo Alperin
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
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

Embracing New Markets: Editorial Opportunities in South Korea

Author: 
File(s): 
Date created: 
2016-07-05
Supervisor(s): 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
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

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

File(s): 
Date created: 
2016-04-15
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Juan Alperin
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.
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