Meet our new intern, Alice

13 April 2017

In February we welcomed Alice to the Channel View/Multilingual Matters team as our publishing intern. In this post we find out a bit more about her and what she gets up to in the CVP/MM office.

What attracted you to the internship initially?

Alice hard at work

I had been thinking a lot about academic publishing and was really keen to gain some experience and discover if it was for me. After spending a lot of time googling various companies and positions, and how I could get involved, I stumbled across the internship with Channel View. This seemed perfect for various reasons. Firstly, I loved that fact that it was with a small company, where I could hopefully gain a better understanding of how everything worked. The topics of publication also drew me in – especially as I am currently undertaking a TEFL course, which many of the books relate to. Furthermore, the company is based in my favourite city (Bristol), the role seemed varied and interesting, and I felt that the 6 month length would be sufficient to really get involved.

Is it what you expected? Has anything surprised you about publishing?

I’ve always found it hard to imagine how everything works in publishing, so it was difficult to know exactly what to expect. It’s so interesting to see how everything is run and to see each step from the proposal of a book, to its production, completion and marketing. One thing that I found surprising – or impressive – is how small the Channel View office is and yet how much seems to get done and so smoothly. I’m also amazed at how much travelling is involved – someone always seems to be jetting off somewhere exotic to a conference!

What does your day-to-day job involve?

The first and foremost thing that I do in my day is to check the info box and reply to any emails. This is the main email address for Channel View/Multilingual Matters and so it can receive a variety of emails from people all over the world. The most common emails that I receive are from lecturers requesting inspection copies of books to review for courses that they are running. In this case I check the information that they have sent and arrange for the inspection copy to be sent out to them.  Other emails range from queries from prospective authors, people asking to be added to our mailing list, questions about the website and order enquiries. Once I have seen to these, I move on to another task, which can vary depending on what is needed at the time. Examples of what I get up to include completing the CIP data (the bibliographic record created by the Library of Congress for a book prior to its publication) for books that are in production, adding contacts to our database, confirming orders that people have placed online and putting together contracts for authors/editors.

What’s your favourite part of the internship?

Perhaps my favourite thing is that I always seem to be learning and taking on new tasks. Even when responding to emails in the info box, the variety of requests and queries means that there’s often something I haven’t come across before! I especially appreciate being given more responsibility as time goes on, and getting an insight into everyone’s roles and how it all comes together.

Do you prefer ebooks or print books? What are you reading at the moment?

I definitely prefer print books – getting a used book out of the library is the best. At the moment I’m reading ‘A Wild Sheep Chase’ by Haruki Murakami – I find his writing style to be very unique and really enjoy all of his books.

What do you like to do when you’re not in the office?

One of Alice’s creations

I grew up in Dorset, going on walks with my parents and spending time by the sea, so I spend a lot of my time outdoors. This naturally fits in with my love of exploring and travelling – I’m always trying to get away to new places and see new things. When I’m not outside I am very happy to be spending my time cooking, seeing friends, felting, reading or doing yoga. I also work part time at a small pub, which is fun and sociable!


Celebrating 1000 books in 35 years of Channel View Publications/Multilingual Matters

6 April 2017

With the recent publication of the 6th edition of Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, we hit a real milestone and published our 1000th book since the company began. In this post, Tommi reflects on the last 35 years leading up to this point and discusses how the company and wider world of publishing has changed over time. 

Tommi and David Singleton at the MM drinks reception at AAAL

At the recent AAAL conference in Portland, OR, we celebrated the publication of our 1000th book, the 6th edition of Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, co-authored by Colin Baker and Wayne E. Wright. Since I remember the publication of our very first book in 1982, Bilingualism: Basic Principles by Hugo Baetens-Beardsmore, this led me to reflect a little on what has changed at Channel View Publications/Multilingual Matters (CVP/MM), in the world of academic publishing, and attitudes to bilingualism since then.

Marjukka and Mike at Frankfurt Book Fair

Many of you will know that CVP/MM is a family business, founded originally by my parents in response to being told by our family doctor not to speak Finnish to my brother and me, stating that “they didn’t know what damage they were doing”. Fortunately, being a formidable combination of a stubborn Finnish mother and an entrepreneurial Essex-man father, they not only refused to take such unwelcome advice, they took it as an opportunity to find and publish world-class research focusing on the many positive benefits of bilingualism. Although we now publish in a very wide range of topics – including applied linguistics and sociolinguistics, educational research, language disorders and translation studies under our Multilingual Matters imprint and, under our other imprint Channel View Publications, tourism studies – language rights and positive attitudes to bi- and multilingualism remain at the heart of what we do. We believe that no mother or father should ever be told not to speak the language of their heart to their children without extremely well-informed reasons for doing so.

Although in many cases attitudes towards bilingualism may have switched towards the more positive and even aspirational, this is often only the case if the languages you speak are privileged western languages, and in many cases only if you are of the majority population. It is fine and admirable to learn Spanish or Arabic if you are white, but society might be less positive about you retaining your Spanish or Arabic if you are an immigrant. There is still much work to do in changing attitudes towards languages where these languages are associated with immigration or are minority indigenous languages.

Some of my first memories include sitting under our dining room table, “helping” my parents stick the mailing labels onto envelopes that would carry our first catalogues out into the world. Among the many addresses we sent catalogues to, 252 Bloor Street West stuck in my mind. As a 6 year old child I struggled to understand how so many people lived in this one house! In the years since then I have come to know the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) well, and have got to know the very many authors and friends who are based there. We no longer pack and mail our catalogues ourselves, this is one of those tasks that computers and automation have simplified, but as the editor of my local orienteering club newsletter I have to pack and mail all the copies to our members, so I like to think that I have retained those valuable skills!

The office in Clevedon before everything was done on computers

In 1982 we were already using computers for journal subscription processing, but all correspondence with authors and editors was by mail. We used to do so much mailing back and forth that the local post office gave us our own postcode! All of our records were kept in large filing cabinets and a system of racks, T-cards and folders would track the process of book and journal manuscripts from initial proposal to published book. Sales reports from our distributor would be couriered once a month to us in a large box, and even as recently as the late 1990s we would wait with excitement to go through the monthly sales reports and see how well our books had been selling. These days everything we do is reliant on computers, the internet and data. We only have to log in to our distributors’ reporting sites to get the sales figures from the day before, and we can communicate easily even while travelling. This availability of data and immediacy of communication brings with it a new set of demands and challenges. There is a sense that we must respond to everything as quickly as possible and that we absolutely have to know how many books were sold in the last 24 hours. A lot of time is taken up by responding to queries that in the past would have waited for a single letter, and of course we put the same pressures on to other people.

In the early days of our company the only reliable way to purchase books was via the bookshop, or to put a cheque in the post with an order form from our catalogue. These days the rise of companies like Amazon, Books etc. and the Book Depository, as well as our own website, means that wherever you are you should be able to order a print copy of our books and have it posted to you quickly. If you choose to purchase an ebook, you can place an order now and have the full text, even in some cases with embedded video files and links to relevant websites and resources, delivered direct to your computer, tablet or reading device within seconds.

Libraries are able to buy one multi-user license of a digital book, which does not degrade with age and usage, and are able to share this with multiple users of the library, even off-site users of the library, at the same time. Shelf space is making way for more computer spaces and learning environments, and university campuses are changing accordingly. Of course the downside of this is that the number of copies required to service the same population has fallen, and so in general across the publishing industry we have seen the total number of sales of any one academic title fall quite dramatically in the past 10 years or so. Since the majority of overhead and fixed costs of publication have not fallen, this means that book prices have risen much faster than inflation in order to cover those costs.

While it is interesting to look at what has changed, it is also very instructive to consider what has stayed constant over all this time. Digital technology and distribution has meant that the barriers to entry into the publishing industry have fallen dramatically. In a world where anyone can write, typeset and publish a book relatively quickly, easily and inexpensively, the role of the publisher in providing a measure of review, revision and quality control is just as important as it was in 1982. It is arguably even more important now, given the recent attention to fake news stories and alternative facts. CVP/MM has always believed in reviewing manuscripts thoroughly and as transparently as possible, and while peer-review is not a flawless system, it is a vitally important step in ensuring that the books we publish can be trusted by students, researchers, parents and policy-makers.

Flo, Sarah, Anna, Tommi, Elinor and Laura

We continue to grow as a business, this year we will publish 60 titles across all of the various subject areas, where just 10 years ago we would schedule 30 titles. But we remain a small and friendly operation with approachable staff. We have fostered an atmosphere where we can thrive and grow within our jobs, and so our staff turnover is extremely low. It is highly likely that you will deal with the same people through the life of your book project, if not your whole career! You will have seen me at every AAAL for the past 19 years, but you may not be aware that Sarah and Anna will this year celebrate their 15th anniversary of working for Multilingual Matters, and Elinor and Laura are not that far behind. Our most recent full time colleague, Flo, already feels like part of the family, and our intern, Alice, reflects the values that we all share.

Although my father, Mike, is no longer around to see the progress we have made since he and my mother, Marjukka, retired, he would still recognise everything that we do and be proud of how we have continued to build on what they started 1000 books ago. We would not have been able to publish 1000 books if it wasn’t for the many authors, series editors, reviewers and readers who have contributed in so many different ways. There are too many to name here, but I hope you know just how important you are to us. It has been a pleasure to work with you all and I hope that you will continue to partner with us, to work with us and to hold us to account when we do occasionally get things wrong, so that as we go on to publish books together we can all grow and improve, and look back on the next 1000 books with just as much pride!

Tommi


Why publish with us?

15 December 2015

With academic publishing becoming more competitive, we need to fight to keep our place among the larger publishers. We are proud of our independent status and of the values that we represent. This post gives a bit more detail about why authors should choose Multilingual Matters/Channel View Publications as their publisher.

The MM/CV team

The MM/CV team

We are a small, independent company wholly owned by our Managing Director, Tommi Grover, his brother Sami and the staff who work for Multilingual Matters/Channel View Publications. This means our publishing decisions are made by and for people with a knowledge of, and passion for, languages, multilingualism and tourism studies. We are free to publish books we believe in and to treat our authors, customers and staff with integrity, as ultimately we answer to people who care about the areas we publish in, rather than to people who are uninvolved in the day-to-day running of the company and are more concerned with profits.

Publishing with us is a positive choice to support an independent, ethical company, and a responsive, compassionate way of doing business. Publishing with us doesn’t mean you can expect ‘less’ than from a bigger publisher – in fact we’d suggest you should expect more from us:

  • Because our staff feel valued and cared for, they stay for a long time. So it’s highly likely you will deal with the same person from proposal to publication and beyond. All 7 of us are involved in the decision to publish every book, and so whoever you speak to will know about you, your book, and why it’s important.
  • We travel a lot (and we were off-setting our carbon footprint before it was fashionable). This means your books will be seen by people all over the world, and that our staff are at specialist conferences where they meet new authors and customers. In the past year our team of 7 has been to: New Zealand, Japan, the US (lots of times), Canada, France, Poland, Australia, Sweden, Lapland, Germany, Italy and several UK conferences (and this has been a quiet year on the conference front!).
  • We offer open access publishing; everything we publish is available as consumer ebooks; and we continue to publish as much as we can as affordable paperbacks.
  • We are proud of the help and support we offer authors publishing their first book: we have been doing this for years, and we do it because we believe in developing new talent and new ideas, not because we need manuscripts to pad out our publication program. Our first-time authors receive the same care and attention as their more experienced colleagues.
  • We are constantly looking out for new topics and ideas and we are pleased to be often the first publisher to take a risk in a new and emerging subject area.

We hope that you find this useful. If you would like further information about sending us a proposal please see the proposal guidelines on our website.

If you are still working on your PhD but think that you would like to rework it for a book then please see our notes on turning your PhD thesis into a book.


Our new catalogues are now available

4 November 2015

In order to save precious resources – both the planet’s and our own! – we haven’t mailed out our catalogue so widely this year. Instead, our latest catalogues are now available to view online or you can download the PDF. Just click on the covers to download the PDF or follow the links below for the online versions.

MM Catalogue front pageCV Catalogue front page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can view the catalogues online here:

Multilingual Matters

Channel View Publications

Alternatively, if you would like to receive your own hard copy please email us at info@channelviewpublications.com with your mailing address and we will be happy to send you one.

Don’t forget you can also sign up to our email newsletters to keep up-to-date with the latest on our new books and special offers.

We have made the decision not to mail out our catalogue as widely this year due to a number of reasons. Rising mailing costs as well as high numbers of returned catalogues have meant that a mass mailing has become unsustainable. We are aware that many hundreds of catalogues get thrown away as they are sent out to people who have moved or no longer want the catalogue and we hate the idea of this waste. Keeping a large mailing list up-to-date just adds to the difficulties of keeping costs down at a time when our budgets are already constrained.

However, we would be very happy to send out a copy of the catalogue to anyone who prefers a print copy to the electronic version so please just request a copy from info@channelviewpublications.com if you’d like one.


A-Z of Publishing: I is for…

13 July 2015

I is for ImprintI is for Imprint. Depending on which topics of our publications are of interest to you, you may know us as one of our two imprints: Channel View Publications or Multilingual Matters. These are our two separate areas of publishing – books published under Channel View Publications are on the subject of tourism research while those published under the Multilingual Matters imprint are related to applied linguistics. Whichever imprint you know, the same people work on the books – for example, Sarah is the production manager and Elinor is the marketing manager whatever the imprint of the book! We’re also an entirely independent company – there is no bigger power controlling either of our two imprints or company.

This post is part of our ‘A-Z of Publishing’ series which we will be posting every Monday throughout the rest of 2015. You can search the blog for the rest of the series or subscribe to the blog to receive an email as soon as the next post is published by using the links on the right of the page.


Happy Independence Day: The Value of Independent Publishing

4 July 2015

Channel View Publications/Multilingual Matters is proud to be an independent publisher. But what exactly is independent publishing and why is it so important?

There are many different definitions of an independent publisher, and starting with the definition offered by the Independent Publishers Guild in the UK, members range from the author who publishes his or her own work, through to companies as sizeable as Bloomsbury or Sage, or indeed Cambridge University Press. The corporate and ownership structures of these entities could not be more different. Some have charitable status, others are floated on the stock exchange, and others are owned entirely by the proprietor.

Tommi at work

Tommi at work

When we publish a book, we put our name to it, and we commit a not insignificant investment of time and money into a book. So whoever controls the purse strings, and the physical resources of the publishing company has a good deal of say over what does and does not get published. It is my belief that a truly independent publisher is a publisher where the people actively involved in making the publishing decisions also have control over the physical resources of the company, and so if they decide to publish a book, there is no outside committee or owner, or shareholder body that can stop the publication.

Why is this so important?

Independent publishing has tended to be at the vanguard of both academic and literary publishing. We publish books for reasons that are not necessarily profit driven, and most independent publishers will have stories of the reckless endeavours they have embarked upon with nothing but a sincere belief that the publication should see the light of day. Often these books go on to be bestsellers, but equally there are those that were valiant failures in a commercial sense, but might have made a significant change in the field. Where independents first tread, the corporates often follow.

In fiction publishing you only need to look at the Stieg Larsson books that were published in translation by an independent British publisher and publicised by leaving copies in taxis and buses around London to see the impact that an independent publisher with a belief in their list can have. This was followed by a boom of interest in Nordic Crime fiction in translation, and the corporate publishers were quick to follow suit. In the academic world it is often the independent publishers who will publish in new and untested fields, and only once the ground is proven do the corporate and large university presses move into these areas. We are able to publish in these areas precisely because we are independent, and if we believe in something then there is nobody to tell us not to do it. None of this is to deny the importance of larger, less flexible publishers, they are able to commit resources into projects of scale like handbooks and encyclopaedias that we certainly would be hard pressed to take on, but without the independent publisher to break the ground in the first place with a risky but interesting monograph, or an edited volume of global scope with chapters by all the people who are pushing the envelope on a certain issue, it is unlikely that those other projects would ever take off. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

The Channel View team

The Channel View team

Similarly, the independent publisher who publishes out of a sense of belief in an area will most likely still be around long after the corporate publishers have moved on to whatever the latest fashion is, and when politically and economically the tide turns against certain fields of study, we will often stick by them because we believe in them.

A major advantage of working with a smaller independent publisher, whether you are coming into contact with us as a customer or as an author, is the stability and transparency of any contact you have with us. It is highly likely that you will have dealt with the same people last time you contacted us, and we will have a detailed knowledge of your past projects, or if there were any special handling requirements for your orders, we will probably know them already.

We do not change staff every 6 months, and we don’t have a revolving door internship policy. When we take on interns, it is always with the hope that they might stay with us long term.

Finally, with most small independents, you are never more than a phone call away from the senior management. Problems do occur in all businesses, and whilst we do our very best to make sure that they are as few and far between as possible, anytime you do need to talk to us,  all you need do is pick up the phone and ask to be put through. You will always find someone with the authority to make a decision, and we will almost always be very happy to talk to you, so long as you don’t call on the day that we are all rushing around getting ready to leave for the Frankfurt Book Fair!

Tommi


A-Z of Publishing: G is for…

29 June 2015

G is for GroverG is for Grover. The Grover family founded the company in the late 1970s. When raising their two sons, Tommi and Sami, in English and Finnish, Mike and Marjukka Grover realised the lack of publications supporting bilingual parents and with that the idea for the company was born. The company has since grown and expanded to include not only Multilingual Matters, which publishes books on bilingualism and bilingual education, language education, sociolinguistics, language acquisition and translation, but also Channel View Publications, which publishes books on tourism studies.

This post is part of our ‘A-Z of Publishing’ series which we will be posting every Monday throughout the rest of 2015. You can search the blog for the rest of the series or subscribe to the blog to receive an email as soon as the next post is published by using the links on the right of the page.


Getting to know the Channel View team: Tommi

21 April 2015

In the first of a new series of posts where we get to know more about the Channel View team, we ask Tommi some challenging questions!

Some of our readers may already be aware that Channel View Publications/Multilingual Matters is a proudly independent publisher and that we were founded in the late 70s by Mike and Marjukka Grover. Our Managing Director, Tommi Grover, took over the running of the company from his parents in 2006 and has led the team ever since.  In this post we’re hoping to give you a little insight into the man behind the company!

As your parents set up the company, it probably seemed like a given that you would follow their footsteps into publishing, but did you ever consider a career outside of publishing?

Many different careers! After admitting to myself that I wasn’t going to be Britain’s first ever cross-country skiing Olympic champion, I considered a variety of different options including becoming a barrister, and even tried my hand at selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. However, I eventually came to the realisation that the book industry was where I wanted to be. Not necessarily publishing, but somewhere in the book trade.

Ah, so we can deduce that you’re keen on winter sports! As there aren’t many opportunities for skiing in the UK, do you have a favourite destination elsewhere?

TommiI do. I always try to get to Finland at least once in a winter, and as the southern winters are getting less snow cover, for the last few years I have been going to the Kiilopää fell centre on the edge of the Urho Kekkonen National park. The countryside is beautiful so to spend a day skiing around the trails is the perfect way to get away from daily stress, and the smoke sauna followed by a quick dip in the avanto is the perfect restorative for tired muscles at the end of the day!

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised you chose Finland! (Readers may not know that Tommi is British-Finnish, his mother’s family comes from Oulu in north-western Finland). We know that you do a lot of travel both as part of your job and for fun, what’s the most interesting journey that you’ve ever been on?

I have spent my whole life travelling, whether that was wintery train/boat journeys to get to spend Christmas in Finland with my grandparents, or summers spent wandering around Europe in a camper van, my parents brought me up to understand that the journey was as much a part of a good holiday as the destination. It really is hard to pick one interesting journey as there have been so many! I’ve always enjoyed travelling by train and boat, as you tend to meet people in a different way than you do travelling by plane. I’ve struck up a few close friendships while travelling, and met a whole host of interesting people.

One of the biggest regrets about modern travel is how most of the interesting ferry journeys from England to Europe have long since been closed down. My favourite was always the Harwich to Hamburg route where, after crossing the North Sea overnight, you would then spend the morning travelling down the Elbe. On approaching Hamburg, there was a particular point where a band would play and welcome the ship into the city. I think most of the time they replaced the band with loud speakers, but I remember once or twice seeing a live orchestra, and it just felt very special.

Another favourite of mine was the night train from Paris to Bologna. Often the train would arrive around dawn, and you would get off the train just as the sun would come up and the city started to open its eyes, almost as if the sun itself was saying “welcome to Bologna!”

These all sound like great journeys, and I’m sure you’ve got many more in store! Aside from your international travels, do you spend much of your weekends out and about closer to home?

Tommi orienteering

Tommi taking part in an urban orienteering event. Photo credit: Robert Lines

I spend most weekends indulging in my other favourite Nordic sport of orienteering. In short, it is running with a map and compass, trying to visit a set series of locations in the forest (or city) as fast as possible. During the winter, we have a Night Orienteering league which is the same thing but in the dark with headtorches. The pleasure of running on your own and finding the control points in the middle of a dark forest is matched by the drink and meal together afterwards where we can each compare notes and discuss where we got lost!

Not too lost, I hope! Thanks for sharing your stories of your travels and sports with us, Tommi. To finish up, let’s hear your response to these quick fire questions!

Summer or winter? Both! And I love Spring and Autumn too…
Theatre or cinema? Theatre. I love the fact that live performance is never the same twice.
Sausages or steak? Steak.
Football or rugby? Ice hockey.
Moomins or Donald Duck? Moomins
Tea or coffee? Good coffee. If it can’t be good coffee then tea is a safer choice!
Pop or classical music? Ooh tough question. Pass. I quite like silence.

Thanks Tommi! We promise to have the office radio off sometimes!

Keep an eye out for posts about the rest of the team over the next few weeks!


Behind the scenes at Channel View – how we deal with your daily enquiries

12 February 2015

One of my responsibilities as Publishing Assistant at Channel View is to check and respond to all the many and various emails that come into our info box every day from people all over the world. It’s an important task, as the info box is often the first point of contact for our customers. As such, it’s the first thing on my to-do list when I arrive at my desk in the morning, and I monitor it regularly throughout the working day.

FloAll sorts of enquiries turn up in the info box, the most common being requests for inspection copies from academics looking for suitable texts for the courses they run. These arrive either directly from the individual or, more often, automatically via our website. I verify that the customer has provided the correct ISBN and check to see if their contact details are in our database (if not, I add them). I then pass on the request for action to our distributors – either Marston Book Services for the UK and the rest of the world, or the University of Toronto Press for North America. If the request is for an e-book inspection copy, I arrange for it to be sent to the customer myself on receipt of the email. This means customers often receive their e-inspection copy the same day!

We also frequently receive requests from University Disability Support Services all over the world for book formats that are accessible for visually or print impaired students. In these cases, the universities will be using our books as required texts for their students and it is the Disability Support Services’ job to obtain the e-file from us (something we are always happy to provide) for conversion into a suitable format for their students,.

Other common requests and queries include: booksellers asking for quotes; contacts wanting to be added to our mailing list or advising us of changes of address; prospective authors enquiring about the process for submitting book proposals; authors seeking to claim their author discount; questions about our website; order enquiries; and many more. I also forward some of the more specific requests (e.g. about permissions, conferences and review copies) to the appropriate person in the Channel View team – so, if you’re not sure who to send your message to, email us at info and I’ll make sure it reaches the right person!

These kinds of questions come up on a regular basis but sometimes we get more unusual enquiries.  Not long ago a message popped up from a publishing company in Denmark which was just starting to venture into books on bilingualism and had been hunting for one of our titles without success. Unfortunately the book in question was published in 1995 and had been out of print for quite some time! This sent me searching through our archive, where I eventually found what they were after. We only had the one archive copy of the book, so I couldn’t send it out but, as the company only needed a specific section of the book, I offered to scan the relevant pages and create a PDF for them, thereby reaching a successful conclusion to their search! We also recently received a request from BBC Scotland to be added to our mailing list and asking for our catalogue of new titles. Not a typical customer for us, but they were on the look-out for ‘new talent and idea collaborations’ and acknowledged that this can often be found in writers and the stories and subjects that interest them. Here’s hoping for a forthcoming documentary about Channel View!

If you have any queries, great or small, send us an email at info@channelviewpublications.com!

Flo


60% off all ebooks in July

1 July 2014

We are offering a special 60% discount off all Multilingual Matters / Channel View Publications ebooks for the month of July.

Just go to the ebook page on our website and enter the code JULY60 when you get to the checkout.

We hope that you enjoy this special offer. Please feel free to pass this on to your colleagues.

Please email info@multilingual-matters.com for further information or if you have any problems.

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