Judging a Book by its Cover…

We’ve been working with book cover designers Latte and Melanie Goldstein at River Design for over a year now, and we thought our readers might like to find out a little more from them about the book design process. In this post Latte answers some questions about book design and gives us an insight into his work.

Latte and Melanie Goldstein

How did you get into book cover design?

When I started up my own graphic design studio in Edinburgh, I was commissioned by a few local publishers to design some book covers and it really just grew from there. I now pretty much solely concentrate on book cover design work.

What kinds of books do you design covers for?

Some of the covers Latte and Melanie have designed for us

I design mainly academic and educational non-fiction book covers for subjects including history, politics, film, literature, philosophy, social science and business.

What does the design process entail?

The design process starts with the client’s brief. This usually provides information such as dimensions, format (eg. paperback, jacket, printed paper case) and information about the content of the book. The image is variable – sometimes clients supply images, sometimes we are asked to source them and sometimes a typographic cover is requested. The exciting bit is next! I usually work up a number of front cover roughs but then will select the 2 to 3 that I feel are the strongest. I use Photoshop but once I reach the stage of laying out the full cover, I transfer all the files to InDesign. I love designing and I love fonts so can quite happily spend hours experimenting with typography and creating artwork.

What’s the most challenging part of book design?

The most challenging part of book cover design is perhaps making sure that the tone of the cover design is right – appropriate for the book’s target market, conveying the correct message but at the same time visually dynamic. I do try to push the boundaries, but without getting carried away!

What’s your favourite aspect of the job?

Every book is different so every cover design is a unique challenge, requiring a completely new set of ideas and a new approach. This is what I enjoy the most…there’s nothing more exciting than getting stuck into a new brief!

If you want to see more of River Design’s work, check out their website and Instagram.

Challenging Current Practices in ELT Materials Design

This month we published Creativity and Innovations in ELT Materials Development edited by Dat Bao. In this post Dat introduces his book and explains what inspired him to put it together.

I am lucky to have been involved in many materials projects with scholars who have taught me a great deal about this field: Brian Tomlinson, Alan Maley, Hitomi Masuhara, Rani Rubdy, Martin Cortazzi, to name a few. From 2000, as a student at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK, until the present day, as a lecturer at Monash University in Australia, I have worked together with these scholars in evaluating course materials, writing textbooks, conducting research and publishing the outcomes.

Knowledge, however, does not come only from the expert. Sometimes those with less experience but with a passion for materials development, such as teachers, students and colleagues, can also have a say. These practitioners sometimes make insightful comments about things that I have never thought of. By interacting together, they exchange views, question practices, reject routine, and support or challenge one another.

Having worked closely with both experts and practitioners, I can’t help thinking that these two groups could learn from one another, and help reduce the sense of hierarchy between them. For example, sometimes studying an updated theory can help teachers improve classroom tasks; at other times, observing teaching practice or listening to a teacher’s perspective can make theorists rethink their ideas.

It was this thinking that inspired my new book, Creativity and Innovations in ELT Materials Development, which began to take shape three years ago. In my own experience, this is a rare occasion on which I have managed to bring together well-known theorists and new researchers; experienced textbook writers and teachers who are users of those textbooks; and lecturers in materials development and their students.

The unusual combination of contributors has produced a range of fresh ideas about how to make English textbooks less boring and mundane. It must be said that a certain degree of negotiation among co-authors was needed to ensure that messages were clearly articulated. But in the end, the book is full of good ideas presented in a neat package with an array of helpful suggestions that are worth trying. Some examples include: what makes technology work best in a textbook, how to choose online resources with an effective learning impact, and in what ways can students be guided to become more creative.

Dat Bao (far left) teaching in the classroom at Monash University

I would encourage teachers, when going through chapters in the book, to visualise how ideas can be adapted to suit their tastes. I would also encourage readers to take notes and challenge what we say with your insights and questions. As they say, sometimes rules are made to be broken. Sometimes recommendations are made to be argued with. In this way, there should no end to what we can do to bring about optimal teaching and learning impact. I would very much like to see more debate around the topics that we raise, so that the field never settles, but remains active, in the same way that riding a bicycle requires the rider to be constantly moving forward to keep their balance.

For more information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Preparing Teachers to Teach English as an International Language edited by Aya Matsuda.

Welcome Back Elinor!

This week we were very excited to welcome Elinor back to the office after a year away on maternity leave. In this post we catch up with her and find out how she’s feeling about her return to work!

Elinor with Rowan on his birthday

How have you found your maternity leave?

I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to take a year off work to spend time at home with Rowan while he’s so little. It’s been a lot of fun but also a lot of hard work! I don’t think anything can fully prepare you for having a baby but it’s definitely worth it!

How does it feel coming back to work after a year away?

Although I’ve been off for over a year, it feels like I’ve never been away. We have all worked together for such a long time (in my case over 12 years!) that it feels like I’m just rejoining my Channel View ‘family’!

What have you missed and what are you looking forward to most about being back at work?

I have definitely missed my lovely colleagues and hearing the day-to-day gossip about what everyone is up to. I’m glad that I will be working on Fridays so that I can enjoy lunch out with everyone to keep up-to-date on everybody’s news. It will be nice to have a few days a week where I get to think about something other than nappies, mealtimes and naptimes.

What will you miss about maternity leave?

At the moment it takes a lot of effort to get out of the house every morning at 7:30 to catch the bus to work but I’m sure that I’ll get used to it! I will obviously miss Rowan but as I’m only working 2.5 days a week I will still be able to enjoy plenty of time with him.

Elinor is now working part time and her working hours are Wednesday mornings, and all day Thursday and Friday.

World Book Day 2018

Today is World Book Day – “a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) reading”. To mark the occasion, the CVP/MM team have been thinking about books that have made an impact on us. Read on to find out more…

Tommi

My favourite book is Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson. It is the first book that I remember reading on my own, in both Finnish and English. The story is structured in such a way as to keep the reader wanting to read “just one more chapter” and is accompanied by beautiful illustrations. The shopkeeper’s mathematical solution to ensure that Moomintroll was able to buy the Snork Maiden a gift, and that she was able to buy Moomintroll a “medal”, has always guided me in business.

Sarah

There are way too many good books to choose from but the Anne of Green Gables series is still my favourite. I don’t know whether it’s because the lessons you learn from your childhood reading somehow seem steeped in some kind of greater importance or whether you sometimes feel more jaded in later life/reading. These books really cultivated my imagination, gave me a better appreciation of the beauty of the natural world and an innate belief that you’re never too old to believe in fairies! 🙂 There’s also some great poetry quoted – these lines from Keats seem to capture the above and crop up in a few of L.M. Montgomery’s books:

  The same that ofttimes hath   
 Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam   
   Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

I try to reread the books every few years so as not to forget to look around and wonder once in a while! 🙂

Flo

Sticking with the childhood theme, I’ve always had a real soft spot for Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian. It was the book we read as a class when I was 10 years old and, impatient with round-the-class reading, I raced ahead on my own at home. The author created a very cosy world for a child to step into (I’m sure the reality for an evacuee during the second world war wasn’t anywhere near as idyllic!) with just the right amount of peril and tragedy to make it a good story. And of course, the all-important happy ending 🙂

Anna

My favourite book is The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier. I adore Daphne du Maurier, so inevitably my favourite book would be one of hers. I’m not quite sure why it’s this one, as it’s not her best book by some distance. I must have read it for the first time at precisely the right moment in my life (I’d guess around 10 or 11) as it’s left a lasting impression on me, and is always the book I comfort read when I have the flu. The heroine, Honor, is refreshingly undrippy and Gartred, her appalling sister-in-law, is the anti-heroine to end all anti-heroines. It’s Gothic and quite ridiculous, but I love it.

Laura

I tend not to reread books and haven’t done so since my childhood, so singling out a book as a favourite, having read it just once, doesn’t seem quite right. Instead, I’ll opt to throw a spotlight on my favourite book of the year so far, which is The Muse by Jessie Burton. It’s set in two different time periods: Spain during the civil war and London in the 1960s, with a mystery of a painting connecting the two. I tend to like books set in a different era or context to my life today, so it certainly ticked that box, as well as having a good storyline that kept me guessing right up to the end.

Sarah and Tommi engrossed in their favourite books

Goodbye and Bon Voyage to Alice!

Today we said a sad goodbye to Alice, who has been at CVP/MM for a year since starting as an intern last February. In this post Alice reflects on her year with us and reveals what the future has in store for her…

So, sadly my time at Channel View has come to an end. It’s been a great year, having continued working here for seven months after my initial six month internship. This has therefore been my first ‘proper’ job since university and has set the bar high for anything to come!

When I started, Flo guided me through a number of jobs that I could take on – dealing with incoming emails to the info box, keeping our online database up to date, setting up 6 month P&Ls and various other tasks. Since then I’ve been handed other jobs here and there and taken on more responsibility with things like putting books into production and drawing up contracts.

Being in such a small office means I’ve also been able to see how things work and undertaken tasks in most areas of publishing: production, marketing, permissions, editorial and other bits and pieces in between.

There have definitely been a few highlights outside of ‘normal’ work too. Some things that have stood out are: going on days out to two of our printers, Short Run Press and CPI, as well as to the massive Gardners Books wholesaler; eating lots of delicious biscuits and cake; experiencing a ‘Channel View Christmas’; and being introduced to the local Pippins doughnuts at the Friday food market. Most importantly it’s been great working with a group of people that get on so well and have fun while working hard.

Now I am flying off for five months for a bit of an adventure, starting in Colombia and working my way up to Central America before heading to Southeast Asia. Who knows what will come after that, but I want to thank Channel View for having me for the last year – it’s been a great experience!

Thanks Alice for all your hard work and good luck on your travels!

CAUTHE 2018, 5-8 February, Newcastle, Australia

The CAUTHE conference headed back to Australia this year and I was happy to discover that in February, Australia’s Newcastle has very little in common with the UK’s Newcastle (no offence Geordies!). Thanks to Tamara Young and Paul Stolk of the University of Newcastle for organising a great conference – the NeW Space building is amazing!

DSC_1305
Newcastle beach

Channel View was celebrating the publication of 3 new books (among others at the conference): Femininities in the Field, edited by Brooke A. Porter and Heike A. Schänzel, Qualitative Methods in Tourism Research, edited by Wendy Hillman and Kylie Radel and Tourism and Religion, edited by Dick Butler and Wantanee Suntikul. We held a raffle which Jill Poulston of AUT won – the first prize was 10 CVP books.

Raffle winner
Sarah with the CVP Celebration Raffle winner, Jill Poulston, and authors Heike Schänzel, Kylie Radel and Wendy Hillman

This year’s CAUTHE was marked by the sadly rare occurrence of having an all-female line-up of keynote speakers. These were kicked off by Annette Pritchard, with a brilliant presentation that looked at gender and the advent of AI. This was followed by great talks by Sara Dolnicar on peer-to-peer accommodation and Cathy Hsu on future directions for tourism research. I also enjoyed a number of interesting papers on a variety of topics, including selfies, gay tourism and dating apps, online reviewing, the value of storytelling, authenticity and Juliet’s balcony, the role of novelty and surprise, aesthetics and beauty in tourism, the increasing influence of far right populism on tourism, and air rage!

DSC_1299
Wendy Hillman and Brian Hay at the gala dinner

The conference finished with the annual hilarious Great Debate (should it have been a draw though?!) and a lovely gala dinner and fun CAUTHE disco at the Honeysuckle Hotel.

I got to explore some of Newcastle during the conference, which despite the major works going on, seems like a great place to live and work.

I was lucky enough to have a few days of holiday either side of the conference in which I managed to take in the Big Bash semi-final in Adelaide (still excited), a short trip to Sydney and a visit to Melbourne (sadly England did not to do as well in the cricket as Adelaide Strikers!) which included dinner and karaoke with many lovely peeps from La Trobe and William Angliss – thanks again Elspeth Frew for organising! 🙂

Already looking forward to next year’s conference in Cairns!

Job Changes at CVP/MM: What’s in a Job Title Anyway?

With the welcome return of Elinor Robertson to our office next month after spending a year on maternity leave, we have taken the time to have a reshuffle of some of the main responsibilities within the business, and have a look at our job titles to make sure they truly reflect the work of each team member here at Channel View Publications/Multilingual Matters. With a small business it is natural that we all wear many hats, and so it is nearly impossible to get a single job title to accurately cover all aspects of each person’s work. What is more important is that when we present ourselves to our contacts outside the company, our job titles reflect the level of responsibility that we carry, so that our contacts know who to talk to about any given issue.

Elinor Robertson will be returning to her job in charge of all matters relating to marketing. As the most senior person for marketing, her new job title will be Head of Marketing. Because she will be coming back part-time, she will be passing on her role as Commissioning Editor for our series Aspects of TourismAspects of Tourism Texts and Tourism Essentials to Sarah Williams so that she is better able to dedicate her time to marketing all of our books globally.

 

Laura Longworth will be taking on the newly-created role of Head of Sales, which will involve her taking over the sales related responsibilities that have previously been split between Tommi Grover and Elinor Robertson. Laura will be liaising with distributors, sales representatives, bookshops and wholesalers to ensure that our books get the widest possible distribution, while continuing to manage rights permissions. Laura will also continue to commission for the Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Communication Disorders across Languages, Early Language Learning in School Contexts, Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching, Second Language Acquisition and Translation, Interpreting and Social Justice in a Globalised World book series.

 

Sarah Williams will take on all commissioning for the Channel View Publications imprint, and with her job as the most senior contact for all production-related issues, her job title will be changed to Head of Production. Sarah manages our freelance production contacts and liaises with all of our suppliers, as well as setting our production strategy and quality values, so carries the responsibility for ensuring that our books are always of high quality, whether they are print books or ebook resources.

 

Flo McClelland, Anna Roderick and Tommi Grover will keep their current job titles as their jobs are not changing so dramatically:

Flo McClelland is our Marketing and Publishing Coordinator and runs all our social media accounts. She also works with our designers and authors on book covers and with Elinor in the marketing department on all matters relating to marketing and publicity. Flo will be coordinating the work of our incoming Publishing Intern (more to follow later) and you will also come across Flo more often at conferences in the future, so please make sure you say hello if you see her!

 

Anna Roderick is our Editorial Director and is in charge of editorial strategy for the business. The subject areas we publish in, and the editorial tone of the business, are a constantly-evolving work; although we naturally stay true to our core beliefs, it is important for us to branch out into new fields and it is Anna who searches out these areas and discovers the inspiration for our future publications. She also commissions everything that isn’t commissioned by someone else, and attempts to make the rest of the editorial department do their admin. Together with Tommi she is half of our board of directors, and shares the legal responsibility for the business.

 

Tommi Grover is Managing Director, and has day-to-day responsibility for all matters relating to finance and the legal side of running the business. He oversees the running of all departments to make sure where possible that each of the heads of departments have adequate resources and skills. Tommi will continue to attend major conferences and book fairs and has commissioning responsibility for our Linguistic Diversity and Language Rights, and CAL Series on Language Education book series.

How Does Gender Shape Fieldwork Experiences?

We recently published Femininities in the Field edited by Brooke A. Porter and Heike A. Schänzel. In this post the editors explain why the book is necessary and what they hope will be achieved from its publication.

Gendered actions have been receiving quite a bit of press lately, and rightly so. While much of the press has been focused on power inequalities, some attention has been given towards gender equalities. With the academy far from being viewed as gender equal, our motivation for the book is to explore how femininities shape fieldwork experiences in the social sciences, specifically in tourism. Research in the field has long been considered as a masculine act in a masculine space, with the idea of the lone-researcher at the forefront tracing back to anthropological endeavours. For many researchers, this narrow construction can be intimidating. Yet, for any researcher in the field, we argue the undeniable influence, both positive and negative, of gender on fieldwork.

A main aim of this book is to describe gender as a variable worthy of attention, in the field, in the analysis, and in the reporting of any piece of research. Through fifteen self-reflexive analyses (including two by men), our contributors reflect on past fieldwork experiences through a gendered lens. Tourism research was the common thread for all contributors, but the experiences are diverse and without doubt, transdisciplinary. From tales from marine mammal research in the high seas to the party-filled streets of Mallorca, each contributor provides an explicit account of how gender affected their fieldwork. The diversity of the contributions became most apparent to us when it came time to choose a cover. We simply could not find an image that could effectively convey the book’s contents. After nearly twenty correspondences, we ditched the idea of an image and decided on a multifaceted illustration. The colourful graphics depict the diversities, and the expressions convey many of the heartfelt emotions revealed in the book.

This book is meant to be a tool for researchers at any stage in their career, for supervisors and mentors, and for committees involved in the fieldwork process. It is both a tool of reference and a path forward.

For more information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Ethnographic Fieldwork by Jan Blommaert and Dong Jie.

Laura’s Trip to the Irish Research Network in Childhood Bilingualism and Multilingualism Meeting

Last month I was invited to give a talk on publishing with Multilingual Matters at the Irish Research Network in Childhood Bilingualism and Multilingualism. The one-day meeting was organised by Francesca La Morgia and took place at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). The research network aims to ‘establish links among researchers, policy makers, teachers, early childhood educators, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists and anyone who could benefit from gaining knowledge and sharing experiences that can advance the understanding and improve practices in the area of childhood bilingualism’.

Dr Enlli Thomas introducing her presentation

The day began with a keynote speech from Prof. Enlli Môn Thomas who is the co-editor, together with Ineke Mennen, of our book Advances in the Study of Bilingualism. Enlli talked us through research being undertaken on bilingualism in Wales and discussed what has been done and has, or has not, worked in some areas. It seems that often the attitudes toward Welsh are relatively positive, in that people understand why it’s important and what the benefits of being bilingual are, yet their linguistic behaviour does not always reflect these views.

Laura giving her talk on publishing with Multilingual Matters

The next part of the morning comprised presentations from Prof. Nóirín Hayes from the Children’s Research Network for Ireland and Northern Ireland and Maureen Burgess of TCD who spoke about funding sources and opportunities. Making up that trio of presentations was mine on publishing, which I hope was of interest to those who are looking to publish the outcomes of their work and want to learn more about the publication process and what it entails.

One of the key aims of the network is to connect those working in different spheres but with similar interests or goals, to share knowledge and to think about useful collaborations. As such, the afternoon began with short presentations by delegates so that we could get an idea of who was working in which specific areas. We then split off into workshops and I sat in on one led by Ciara O’Toole on language disorders in bilingual children and bilingual education. In the group were speech language therapists, teachers and researchers and it was interesting to hear everyone pooling their ideas and expertise to come up with some aims for the group and goals to achieve before the next meeting.

The day then drew to a close with each working group reporting back to everyone else and it was nearly time for me to return to Bristol. But not before I took a moment to visit two of TCD’s most famous things: The Book of Kells and Old Library – absolute ‘musts’ for a publisher on a trip to Dublin!

Laura

Language Textbooks: Windows to the World?

We recently published Representations of the World in Language Textbooks by Karen Risager. In this post Karen explains what inspired her to write the book and tells us what we can expect from reading it.

It is often said that language teaching opens windows to the world. Learning a new language is even sometimes said to further our development as world citizens. But when we look closely at textbooks (and other materials) used in language learning, what images of the world emerge?

I have always been interested in explicit and implicit cultural representations in textbooks, and one of the earliest examples I remember from my own experience is a chapter in a textbook for French produced in the 1970s (used in Denmark where I lived and still live): The book dealt with the (very dull!) daily life of a middle-class family in Paris consisting of a father, a mother and their children, a son and a (younger) daughter. In the chapter in question, there was a drawing of a small square near the family’s house. There were no people, but a dog and a cat were standing on the gound. The accompanying text ran approximately like this (in French): ‘The dog and the cat do not fight, for in France dogs and cats are good friends’. The microcosmos of the square thus suggested a country characterised by harmonious relations between groups that might very well be in conflict in other countries.

In Representations of the World in Language Textbooks I analyse cultural representations in six contemporary language textbooks (used in Denmark), one for each of the languages English, German, French, Spanish, Danish and Esperanto. I have chosen to take the idea of the ‘world’ literally, that is, while I examine representations of the respective target language countries, I also examine representations of the world at large, the planet: Which regions of the planet do the textbooks refer to, directly or indirectly? Do they take up global issues, such as climate change, or inequality? Do they touch on transnational processes, such as migrations, or the worldwide use of IT?

My professional background is both in languages (sociolinguistics, multilingualism, language education) and in cultural studies (international development studies, intercultural studies, studies of migration). Therefore, it is important for me to emphasise that the analysis of cultural representations in textbooks is greatly furthered if one is aware of which theories of culture and society one draws on. In the book I distinguish between five theoretical approaches:

  • National studies
  • Citizenship education studies
  • Cultural studies
  • Postcolonial studies
  • Transnational studies

Each of these approaches gives rise to a number of analytical questions concerning the cultural and social universe of the textbooks.

Among the numerous results of the analyses of the six textbooks is that the enormous continent of Africa, encompassing a large number of countries, ethnicities, issues and inequalities etc., is almost invisible – with some exceptions. So one may say that the textbooks examined, with all their qualities, are certainly not windows to Africa.

 

Karen Risager, Professor Emerita, Intercultural Studies, Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University, Denmark, risager@ruc.dk

For more information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Teaching Intercultural Competence Across the Age Range edited by Manuela Wagner, Dorie Conlon Perugini and Michael Byram.