Since Jason Darwin graduated from the publishing course in 2004, he has become one of the book industry's go-to people for ebooks and digital publishing. Most recently a digital publishing architect at Learning Media, he has worked for organisations such as the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre and CWA New Media, and on his own digital projects. His work has ranged from one-off ebook projects to creating online publishing systems to make many thousands of pages of content available on the web.
Prior to enrolling in the publishing course, I had worked in print production and in commercial IT. My introduction to publishing came through working on Critic newspaper while at the University of Otago, then I moved into digital pre-press as desktop publishing was transforming the industry.
I'd always been interested in literature and the production side of publishing. Completing the publishing course seemed like an ideal way to both get a rounded education in publishing and find out about local opportunities.
Publishing is one of those fields where there's a wide range of skills and niches, and the Whitireia publishing course was a great way to be introduced to many of these. I'd always enjoyed the sense of accomplishment and achievement that comes from making ideas available to a wide audience, but recognised that if I wanted to be part of this, I needed to find out more about tools, techniques and conventions that are involved.
Two years after graduating, I founded meBooks, a company that provides ebook conversion and retail services for New Zealand publishers, and I recently developed a new open-source e-reading system, Readk.it.