The Emporium: A Treasure of Creativity came about after a few glasses of wine on a couch between two English students who wanted to do more with their degree. To push the limits of what they have learned and to accomplish the dream of any creative writing student before they graduate: to become published.
Self-publishing is a massive, growing industry with unique potential. Though this project did not push the boundaries of the publishing format, it did push our skills and talents.
The goal with the Emporium was to provide a professionally compiled, beautiful anthology for the Creative Writing graduating class of 2015. Our intention was to have the tradition pass on from graduating class to graduating class, and though the publication was a success and a copy of our anthology sits in the bookcase of published works by Royal Holloway staff and alumni, the tradition, unfortunately, did not live on.
The Emporium: A Treasure of Creativity is, therefore, a single edition publication unique to Royal Holloway, University of London. Created, compiled, and edited by Cassandra Kosmayer and Sophie Goodall, it will forever remain a highlight and a proud accomplishment.
In order to acquire the support of the managing staff of the English and Creative Writing departments, a project proposal was created. Within this proposal, the cover page, layouts, and costings were provided.
Costings and Logistics
Multiple self-publishing avenues were researched for quality and budgeting purposes. In the end, Amazon’s on-demand self-publishing platform CreateSpace was chosen as it provided us with the ability to officially publish the anthology and print physical copies at cost.
The budget was created based on the cost of CreateSpace’s services based on the volume of copies. In the end, it was agreed that every graduate who contributed their work would receive one copy and that the department would keep two. The overall budget was minimal and covered by the English department.
To create the cover an image of Royal Holloway, University of London was sourced from the university’s website and sized to the aspect ratio of a standard-sized book. Using the image as a source guide, vectors were then created with the Magnetic Lasso Tool to transform the image from a photograph to an artistic representation using triangular geometric abstraction.
The font was sourced and copy was created and added to the cover of the anthology. The logo was created by compiling multiple layers of sourced vector images found with creative commons licenses.
Page Layout Creation
Typesetting was created within Adobe InDesign. Page layouts were created for:
- Author Pages
- Fiction Pages
- Poetry Pages
- Screenwriting Pages
- Letter from the Department
Website Design and Creation
To provide graduate writers with an easy system to submit content for their author page and their fiction, screenwriting, or poetry piece an online portal was created, and several accounts for file acquisition were made.
The website was created with WordPress.com with a free theme customized to provide students with a professional environment in which they can learn about the project and what they need to do to be a part of it.
Sourcing Content from Graduates
An author form, with prompts for name, specialty, and a short bio was created using an online free tool. The information from here was used to fill author pages. To advertise these services the department sent out multiple emails to graduating students.
Once the content was acquired Sophie Goodall edited and compiled the content into the anthology.
Obtaining Special Messages from Staff
We had the staff create a personal message to the graduating class of 2015 as a touching farewell to their students. This was formatted and included at the beginning of the anthology.
Publishing Using Amazon CreateSpace
Using online tutorials and Amazon CreateSpace’s intuitive interface the project was uploaded and published. Upon publishing the department ordered copies of the anthology and the books were printed on demand and shipped to the English Department where they were handed out to graduates on their graduation day.