Many might ask why move away from the tried and tested formal dissertation? My rationale is as follows:
Since the beginning of my degree I have been thinking, the industry I would love to work in is publishing. I find the way textual creations go from a simple manuscript to a consumer ready product, such as a book, very interesting. For along time I have fully imagined myself sitting behind a desk in a publishing house proofing and editing textual works and seeing them progress into their final form. I like the way publishers such as Oxford World Classics re-edit and publish old works of fiction. The primary area I have always wanted to explore is the re-publication of classic texts.
The next stage in my rationale comes from analysing the world we live in. I attended several lectures on the routes into publishing and I learnt where the industry is heading. The general point I remember most vividly is how quickly traditional publishing is being taken over by digital publishing. So then came my biggest decision, after these lectures and some other research, I made the ultimate decision that I would fully pledge myself to work in the digital publishing industry. It was not a difficult decision, I realised that I can still work on classic texts but instead of proofing a manuscript I can encode and create a digital versions.
The main thing that is drummed into a university student is: “you must obtain as much experience as you can in your industry. You cannot just walk out of University with a degree and expect a job. You must put yourself above other applicants applying for those jobs”. With a very busy schedule of University and paid work I do not feel I have the time to gain all of the ‘real world’ publishing experience I need. So I decided to be intelligent about it; quite literally. In every way I can I have focused my entire final year of University around publishing. Out of the four modules I am taking this year two of them directly relate to publishing. One of them is even called ‘Publishing in the Digital Age’. Then my dissertation or better known to me now as ‘My Digital Project’ is focused entirely on creating a digital text. I feel that by focusing my academia around digital publishing I can obtain a huge amount of relevant industry experience.
With a lot of hard work and some serious text encoding I feel I will be ready for the fast moving industry of publishing.
Stay tuned for my next post. It will outline my first steps into choosing which text I am to use and why.