May 1st saw the launch of the latest crop of books published by Clan-u Press.
Clan-U is the publishing imprint of UCLAN's Centre for Employability in the Humanities. Students taking humanities degrees at UCLAN can opt to take one of their course modules in the Clan-u Press headquarters and work throughout the academic year in a realistic working environment.
The students apply for posts on the projects and during the year work on the commissioning, editing, production and promotion of books. The aim of this is to give them a chance to explore the way that their academic discipline can be applied to industry, and to increase their chances of finding employment in a field relating to their degree once they leave.
Friday's launch in the Media Factory was a lively, friendly affair. There was a real sense of celebration and achievement (and lots of balloons) not only on the part of the students who had put together the finished books, but also the writers, artists and community members who had partnered with the university.
The three books launched were Responses - a chapbook style collection of art produced by participating students at Beaumont College along with written reflections on the pieces by their tutors. The second was Michael Molyneux, Selected Poems and the third is Memories From Frenchwood - a collection of oral reminiscences transcribed and collated by student editors designed to celebrate the recent renewal of this area as well as capture something of its history. Each of the authors and contributors, as well as a representative for the students at Beaumont College, talked of how much they'd enjoyed the process and how pleased they'd been with the finished product.
Julian Millward, an English and Creative Writing Student who worked on the Frenchwood anthology, said the highlight of the experience for him had been the first time he'd seen the 'end product' after a year's hard work transcribing and editing.
Michael Molyneux, who is a graduate of UCLAN, a poet and the author of four other published works published by Littoral Press was very happy with the arrangement. He'd approached UCLAN with the idea for a collection and was pleased with the opportunity the project had given him to publish his collection of poetry.
The leader of the publishing element of CETH is Kay Boardman, who stressed that the students are always in need of new projects and that she'd be happy to hear from groups or individuals who had an idea for a publishing project. She can be contacted via the CETH email address here. She's also interested in expanding the Clan-U imprint into digital publishing.
It is worth noting that if you're considering approaching CETH with a project, authors and contributors are asked to cover their own printing costs and that the Clan-U imprint does not offer much in the way of sales and distribution. Seeing your book in Waterstones or recovering your initial outlay is unlikely unless you're willing to do most of the leg work yourself. As Kay says, 'sales and marketing are the weak point' of the project, but with the new MA in Publishing about to commence, including modules on Sales, Marketing, Digital and E-publishing, the imprint is sure to develop in these areas.
For more on the pros and cons of self publishing go here. To buy the books launched on the evening, contact CETH.