Consultant in the Hot Seat: Clare Chan

Consultant in the Hot Seat: Clare Chan

 

What three books changed your life?

There is definitely one book that changed my life – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I read when I was 14.  It was quite a mature read then, but it changed my perspective on my daily life and focus.  I read this book in Chinese, probably time to read the English version now.

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

A lot of things happened in 2017 – got my first publishing job in the UK, meet different book buyers in the UK, travelled to Croatia and camped on the beach for the first time, flew back to Hong Kong twice…  It was a fab year!

What are you most looking forward to in the second half of 2018?

I have just joined a gym for the first time in my life; I used to swim a lot in public pools but never signed up for a gym membership.  They even have a rock climbing wall there – will see how it go!

What is on your Birthday wish list?

Time flies – my birthday is coming in less than a month.  My first wish is I will have that magic door from Doraemon (a Japanese comic character) that allows me to travel between two places just through a door so I can always see my family in Hong Kong.  My second wish is I will finally learn how to drive.

If you were the living embodiment of a publishing business model what animal would you be and why?

I would happily be a robin bird.  First, it is my favourite bird, and I love to sing too!  Secondly, they are very observant and adaptable.  I enjoy talking to different people and learn what’s new in the publishing world.  I also love to learn new skills because there is always something around the corner!

True fact:

I probably got this from my dad, but I love watching car racing.  I used to go to Macau every year to watch Grand Prix with my dad.

 

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants covers, go to the “Meet the Team” page: http://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/Atwood/meet-the-team.asp

 

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PPA Festival: CEOs Discuss Employee Potential

In May, Karine and Julie attended the PPA Festival, the leading business media and publishing event of the year. More than 700 professionals gathered to network and attend panels throughout the day.

THE X FACTOR discussion, chaired by Kathleen Saxton (founder of The Lighthouse Company), was one of the highlights of the day. The theme of this panel was how to find talent and nurture employee potential.

The guest speakers were:

Kevin Costello, CEO, Haymarket Media Group
Amanda Barnes, CEO, Faversham House Group
Jonathon Whiteley, CEO, Incisive Media

 

The three panellistsinsightful advice is relevant for graduates and experienced professionals alike. When asked to share their vision of leadership, they highlighted the importance of creating a good culture within the company. In order for employees to be successful, leaders need to provide a supportive and stimulating environment to be successful. A motivated team, which shares the company’s values, is more a guarantee of success than a good leader.

The panel had to answer the common questions about how to break into the industry. The CEOs replied they were generally open to a wide range of profiles as long as candidates match their culture.

Some smaller businesses like Incisive Media do not have apprenticeships, but others like Haymarket Media offer training programs where graduates learn a set of relevant skills to enter the industry. The CEO stated that 75% of their trainees were subsequently hired. For Faversham House, being based in Sussex can be an impediment to attracting talent. As a result, the company tends to hire entry level or fairly junior staff and focus on its employees’ strengths, helping them to develop their career according to their skills and personality.

All the speakers agreed that school and university leavers wishing to enter the industry should focus  on soft skills, as it is attitude which makes a candidate outstanding. Good communication skills and self-confidence are highly valued by employers, as well as taking initiative and seeking feedback to continually improve oneself.

The digital revolution has also had an impact on the kind of skills employers are looking for. With their constant development, data and technology are the two big areas where roles have changed drastically. The people working in B2B publishing have changed too: they need be more agile and develop their adaptability. The CEO of Haymarket pointed out that it has become harder to find talent for the digital sector as there is a real shortage of candidates. To solve this issue Haymarket is trying to develop and build their own talent pool via apprenticeships.

If you are a motivated candidate with great communication skills who wants to work in digital publishing, this is a good time for you!

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The Wider World of Publishing

 


The Variety of Publishing

Thanks to Anna Slevin for this blog post!

The SYP recently hosted a panel discussion entitled The Wider World of Publishing, Alison and Anna went to find out what it was about.

An all-female panel discussed pay transparency, diversity (or perhaps more accurately inclusivity within the industry) and Brexit. Each panellist gave a rundown of their organisation and a day-in-the-life for their job. Discussion ranged from big publishing houses poaching talent from small presses and the size of the UK market in foreign publishing – and both Germany and Italy can give big book advances

The big takeaways were that there are opportunities whether in job openings in organisations you might never have thought of, audiobooks, or the fall of the pound sterling seeing a rise in foreign publishers buying UK books (for now at least!). Book to film and TV adaptations are increasing in recent years too.

Help with funding for those starting in entry-level roles from the Booktrade Charity or support like the Spare Room Project with accommodation for people to come to London exist. They really do but public awareness of these are low so please let the publishing industry know where you were looking for advice when you were starting out!

Most importantly think outside the box!

The Panel were:

Aki Schilz – Director at The Literary Consultancy

Sheerin Aswat – Head of Sales & IRC Relationship Manager for The London Book Fair

Zoe Plant – Senior Scout at Daniela Schlingmann Literary Scouting

Eliza Kavanagh – Campaigns Executive at The Publishers Association

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What is GDPR? A guide for our candidates…

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new EU regulation that will come into force on 25 May 2018. It will strengthen the current rules under the Data Protection Act (1998) by introducing new obligations for organisations and rights for individuals.

The GDPR will apply to businesses that are outside of the EU but continue to provide services to individuals from EU Member States, so will be applicable even after Brexit.

How does it affect you?

You’ve probably received a *delete as appropriate: large/enormous/mailbox breaking number of emails from companies alerting you to opt in to keep receiving emails and probably like me, you’ve followed up on a few and left quite a lot unanswered for them to assume you’re no longer interested and happy to be deleted.

As a company working with people and handling their data, we understand it’s vital to protect the privacy of data for our candidates, clients and everyone we’re working with across the recruitment process.

We’ve been making changes to the way we process your data and how long we keep it for and will be contacting our candidates to make sure we’re only holding data you’re happy for us to. You will be able to login at any time and update your preferences or change your consent options.

We’re updating many of our Policies, Contract and Forms to ensure we’re fully compliant. You can find our Privacy Policy here.

We’re members of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) and they’ve produced a great Infographic for jobseekers –  know your data protection rights.

Any questions, get in touch with Claire Law, Managing Director Atwood Tate’s Data Protection Officer (DPO) at clairelaw@atwoodtate.co.uk

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The Spare Room Project: Helen’s Experience Hosting Publishing Interns

What is the Spare Room Project and how does it work?

Let’s be honest, opportunities in the publishing industry are mainly in London and this can be a real obstacle for anyone looking to enter the industry from outside of the capital. This is where the Spare Room Project comes in.  In 2016, James Spackman (publisher and consultant) with the support of the Publishers Association, set up this project, which provides aspiring publishers with the opportunity to stay in the city for free and take up work experience placements.

So how does it work?  It’s simple really: interns are matched with hosts who are willing to offer their spare room for a week.  If you sign up to the Spare Room Project, you’ll be added to a mailing list and alerted when there are new lodgers to host.  There’s no immediate obligation to host and you only need reply when you see dates that will work for you.  I would urge anyone with a spare room to sign up and see whether you can help now or in the future.

Helen’s experience hosting interns

I’m excited to be hosting my third Spare Room Project intern in June.  Not being a Londoner by upbringing, I am sympathetic to the challenges facing anyone looking to enter the industry from outside of the publishing hubs of London, Oxford and Cambridge, so it’s been great to be involved in this scheme.  It’s not only good to be doing something practical to enable those without existing contacts to gain an insight into publishing and hopefully get a foot in the door, but it’s also been an enjoyable and enriching experience from my point of view.  We’ve had two quite different guests so far, one who was a huge fan of musical theatre and managed to get cheap tickets for shows most evenings, so we hardly saw her and our second guest, who quickly became part of the family and was a huge hit with (and incredibly tolerant of) my children.  Quite different experiences, but both were perfect lodgers and no problem at all to host.

You can find out more here https://thespareroomproject.co.uk/ or on their Twitter, @SpareRoomProj, and don’t just take my word for it, read some of the testimonials on the PA’s website and check out their FAQs https://www.publishers.org.uk/activities/inclusivity/spare-room-project/.

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Team Update: Welcome to the Team, Julie and Charlotte!

We are delighted to announce we have two new amazing trainee consultants, Charlotte Tope and Julie Irigaray! They have both joined our London office where they are learning all they need to know to become fully fledged Publishing Recruitment Consultants. Julie is supporting Karine Nicpon on B2B roles across all locations, and Charlotte is supporting Christina Dimitriadi on the Editorial desk.

Julie Irigaray

After studying for a BA in Anglophone Studies in Paris and an MA in Early Modern History in London, Julie lived between Ireland, the UK and Italy as she couldn’t choose which country best fit her personality. She worked as a translator in Bologna and earned an M.Phil.in Literary Translation in Dublin where she specialised in the French publishing market. She has taken up writing poetry in English and getting it published, so her new (daunting!) challenge is to do public readings. Julie also worked as an HR intern in Paris and is now a Trainee Publishing Recruitment Consultant. She joined Atwood Tate in May 2018, focusing on B2B roles across all locations.

julieirigaray@atwoodtate.co.uk

Charlotte Tope

Charlotte graduated from university with a degree in Interior Design, and started her publishing career with an internship at Creative Arts publisher Prestel. During her time there she gained a wider understanding of the publishing world and the many, many roles that make up the industry. Her two favourite things are Harry Potter movie marathons and Christmas.  Charlotte joined Atwood Tate in May 2018 as a trainee recruitment consultant assisting on the editorial desk.

charlottetope@atwoodtate.co.uk

See our Meet the Team page for more information and contact details for all our consultants.

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Why you should apply for a job through Atwood Tate

There is an unfortunate misconception among some job-seekers that recruitment agencies don’t offer any additional value over applying directly to a company. An even worse myth is that applying through an agency will cost you money, either up front or off your future salary! This is absolutely not the case, so today I’d like to counter a few of these myths with the facts.

Our service is completely free to candidates

The way we make money is by charging our clients a percentage commission from the salary of any candidate we place with them. This does NOT come off the candidate’s salary. In fact, it just comes out of the client’s recruitment budget. Every vacancy will have a recruitment budget, whether the company is recruiting in house or outsourcing to an agency. There are costs involved with in house recruitment as well as agency recruitment, but these will not impact you as a candidate.

We can tell you more than a job ad

There’s only so much you can tell from a job ad, or even a detailed job description. We get briefed directly by the hiring manager so we understand exactly what the job entails and what the hiring manager is looking for. We can also help you prep for the interview and tell you what to expect.

We make sure you get feedback

There’s nothing worse than going to a job interview and getting rejected without a word of feedback. We make sure you get feedback after every interview, so you can improve your technique for next time. We’ll keep you updated at all stages of the recruitment process so you’re never left in the dark.

We can negotiate on your behalf

Sometimes the salary range is non-negotiable, but other times there is room for discussion on either the salary or the whole package. We are experienced negotiators and have great relationships with our clients, so are happy to handle this for you.

Register for our free job alerts

We offer a fast, free email job alert service which lets you know immediately when we have new jobs in which match your preferences. If you’re on our database, we’ll get in touch with you directly when we have a role in for you, so you can be the first to get your application in without having to spend all your time refreshing job sites.

 

We can help you find a new role, whether you’re looking for freelance work, a temporary contract or a permanent role – full or part time. Have a look at our current vacancies on our website and apply online, or email your CV to info@atwoodtate.co.uk so we can add you to our database!

 

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Literacy in a Digital Age | Beanstalk Event

Beanstalk are a nationwide charity dedicated to helping child literacy in the UK by sending trained volunteers into schools to read with them. We think this is really special which is why Beanstalk are Atwood Tate’s chosen charity. When they hosted a panel discussion on the topic of Literacy in a Digital Age, Anna went along to find out more.

In the news, recent headlines have decried a decline in the vocabulary of primary school children that has taken place in the last decade. Perhaps there is a correlation in the rise of portable technology. By using the best affordable technology to support provision to schoolchildren Beanstalk are hoping to improve national literacy levels. A new trial scheme has Amazon staff members Skyping school settings to bring voluntary reading support to remote locations it would be difficult to reach in person.

From the left: Ginny Lunn (CEO of Beanstalk), Andrew Franklin (Panel Chair; Publisher, Profile Books), Dame Julia Cleverdon (Chair of the National Literacy Trust), Francesca Simon (Author of Horrid Henry series), Prof Teresa Cremin (Head of Education at Open University), Dr Nicola Yuill (Director of Children and Technology Lab, Sussex University)

Smartphones and tablets can be a distraction, potentially leading to a lack of long-term concentration. The panel were asked whether technology could help teachers support reading or indeed help reading levels in general. The outlook was generally positive.

Comments ranged from 0-3 year olds being encouraged by tablets; the interactivity and personalisation a story with the aid of technology engaged otherwise reluctant readers; Prof Teresa drew attention to audio supplements and the digital book apps by Nosy Crow; text-based computer games can also expand a player’s vocabulary. Learning to read can be hard – and technology by its very nature is non-judgemental.

Francesca pointed out that her market is 5-8 year olds and ebooks account for less than 1% of her royalties. A parent downloading a portable copy of a book their child already has. Children still like physical books the panel agreed. How much of that is cultural habit future generations will discover.

Studies show that children are more likely to share an open book than a tablet or phone screen Dr Nicola explained, although phones for us are private and personal. Any discussion therefore needs to include frank conversations about how we interact with technology in society. The panel concluded that literacy is about more than just reading. It is about sharing ideas, stories, interests and enjoyment. Part of what Beanstalk does so well is connecting children with adults who will encourage them to read what interests them.

The ideal is to interact through the technology, not with the technology. We just haven’t got there yet. Nursery rhymes have incredible potential and replicating the anticipation with a picture book, with gaps for words and interaction may well be possible with the mediated experience delivered by technology. This could help in home environments where adults cannot sit and read with a child for ten minutes a day.

Other things discussed included the dearth of reading aloud as it is not included in school targets. The audience contributed to the conversation too and acknowledged the scale afforded by technology as it can reach more people, bringing together a community of shared readers; social media can suggest books suitable for a certain age group to busy parents.

When 1 in 4 children do not own a book of their own in the UK and public libraries are closing it is easy to think that access to books is the only problem but technology can give access. The other major issues are generating the desire to read and knowledge of what is available. Technology is the tool, not an answer in itself.

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5 Great Reasons to Work in Academic Publishing

Today marks the end of Academic Book Week 2018 (#AcBookWeek), which is ‘a week-long celebration of the diversity, variety and influence of academic books aiming to open up a dialogue between the makers, providers and readers of academic books.’

Academic publishers produce and sell scholarly journals, books, eBooks, text books and reference works for researchers, students and academic libraries. We work with a lot of academic publishers on a variety of roles, from Editors to Marketing gurus to Production Controllers to Salespeople, in permanent, temporary and freelance positions. It’s an exciting and rewarding industry to be in, and here’s why:

  1. You work on cutting-edge research from top academics. The articles and books you publish will help teach new generations of students, and may even revolutionise the field. You could even publish work on sociology and politics which helps to shape public policy. If you’re looking for a rewarding career that makes a difference, academic publishing could be for you.
  2. Use your strong academic background in a related field. Your humanities or arts degree or postgraduate degree will be invaluable in an editorial role in academic publishing, so you can continue working on the subjects you love. (N.b. you do NOT need a PhD to work in academic publishing, but it is an advantage in some areas. A keen interest in the subject area is essential.)
  3. In a world of fake news and the devaluation of experts, be part of an industry which values intellectual rigour and research integrity through peer review processes.
  4. Be at the centre of exciting debates and advances in the industry. Join the debate on Open-Access or be at the forefront of technological advances in academic materials and e-learning. If you’re into tech and finding new ways of engaging digitally-savvy audiences, academic publishing is an exciting place to be.
  5. While it’s not all about the money, the salaries are often higher in academic publishing than in other sectors like trade.

So what’s your favourite thing about working in academic publishing?

For more information about what academic publishing is and how you can get into it, see our blog posts here and here.

To see our current academic vacancies, click here.

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Food Writing with the British Library

The British Library is currently hosting its first ever Food Writing season, some of these events include tastings. Anna from Atwood Tate went along to the first one…

Food writing as we understand it has been growing for the last fifty years. The days of Mrs Beeton lumping it together with household management are long over. Recipes to memoir… three panellists explained their understanding of the genre.

Claudia Roden, a Jewish Egyptian, began writing as a way to record the oral traditions of a mosaic of communities forming the refugees from her homeland. The publication part was something of a surprise. Sumayya Usmani, a solicitor from Pakistan, decided to write in Britain and changed the attitude towards food in Pakistan, a region in which food has evolved over only 70 years. Both women come from a background of families sharing recipes through practice and a culture of entertaining in a way that Britain does not. Tim Hayward, the final panellist from the South East of England ran away to America to become an advertiser before turning to food writing with a nerdy delight.

Have you ever torn recipes out of a magazine or newspaper?

How often do you actually cook from them?

When was the last time you cooked with confidence sans recipes?

All of the panellists would rather write without recipes. Unfortunately, recipes are what sell and no publisher will countenance a food publication without recipes. Every food writer has been approached to write an article with the title something like “10 recipes with…” and offered a flat rate but they find them dull to write and targeted for SEO. Even trying to give specific timings like Jamie Oliver or Delia Smith for cooking onions: 3 minutes? It depends on the hob, the pan, the quantity of onions. The food writers teach their children skills at home, or like Usmani in cookery classes.

Examples of recipe books at the London Book Fair

Turn to the works of Roden or Usmani instead. Be transported by the prose to the places the food evokes, that the descriptions conjure. Food writing is the new travel writing.

In the Q&A session afterwards an American asked about the growing fears of cultural appropriation. The authenticity of the recipes, the veracity of voice.  The panellists acknowledged the dangers of this – Hayward as a white male especially, with British imperialism historically behind him. Roden on the other hand argued that cooking is shared and developed. Whilst researching in the Mediterranean she discovered a cook she was discussing recipes with had used Roden’s own book to develop some of her published work and Roden could not have been more delighted. Food writing also is truly global in that sense despite being region-locked by cuisine.

Yet readers rarely cook themselves. Roden observed the aisles of ready meals in supermarkets have grown in recent years and Usmani noted the descriptions of those ready meals taking inspiration from Mediterranean cuisine.

Interestingly all three panellists said that writing about fads and food they wouldn’t want to make themselves would be the hardest thing to write about. Fashion in food unless it falls within your interests is impossible to do well.

A desert island book to finish with. Roden could not choose as too many of her friends could be in the audience! Hayward unequivocally recommended The Gastronomical Me by M F K Fisher. Usmani wanted to take the family book, sort of a diary, a collection of travels she is never allowed to publish, or failing that, Allen’s book of cooking skills.

 

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