are responsible for promoting a publisher or client’s products or services in
order to reach their target audience. Marketing can be either traditional (e.g.
print advertisements, brochures, flyers) or digital (e.g. social media, email
campaigns, websites, SEO, digital advertising). The main goal of marketing is
to generate sales. Nearly all marketing roles that we recruit for do have a
strong digital element, so it is important to keep these skills up to date.
easy is it to transfer your marketing skills into a role in publishing?
skills and knowledge that you develop in marketing are highly transferable,
especially if you have particular expertise or a specialism that is in demand.
Marketers often need to have strong copywriting skills and a keen eye for
detail, as well as excellent communication and relationship building skills. An
up-to-date knowledge of the sector you’d like to work in as well as an understanding
of the company and its target market, will strengthen your application.
marketing roles do we work on?
work on marketing roles in book, journal, magazine publishing and events across
all sectors and related industries.
Content marketing is also a growing area. No matter the sector,
marketing is a highly creative role and publishers are always looking for
imaginative strategies and innovative ways to engage audiences. As there are so
many marketing roles, there are many opportunities for career progression. If
you’re interested in a marketing role or would like to find out more, we would
love to hear from you!
just to sum up:
Marketers are responsible for promoting a publisher or client’s products or services in order to reach their target audience and generate sales.
The skills and knowledge that you develop in marketing are highly transferable, especially if you have particular expertise or a specialism that is in demand.
Marketing is a creative role so it’s important that you market yourself as well as your product. Be authentic and think about your personal brand!
PLANNING! Get a marketing plan at least 3-6 months ahead of publication date!
-Advice from our Publishing Recruitment Consultant, Catherine Roney
Did you know that the UK is
the world’s biggest exporter of books? Publishing
is a large and growing industry and the total number of books published in the
UK last year was 173,000. Publishing
businesses in the UK alone have a collective annual turnover of £6 billion,
making the UK the fifth biggest market in the world after the US, China,
Germany, and Japan. On average, the UK publishing industry employs 30,000
people directly and roughly 70,000 people indirectly spread across over 8,000
publishers. Publishing is now a multimedia business and last year digital books
accounted 15% of the 360,000,000 physical and eBooks sold. Ebook sales have
dropped a little in recent years from 17% to 15%, perhaps because they are
being rapidly displaced by digital audio books! These figures give you an idea
of the size and importance of the publishing industry.
Earlier in the month, Parissa
Bagheri from Atwood Tate was invited back to her alma mater, the University of
Greenwich, to attend an event they were holding to discuss Working in the Book
Trade: The Business of Selling Books. The panel of speakers included CEO of
Bonnier, Perminder Mann, CEO of Hachette, David Shelley, and the Ex-Chairman of
Blackwell’s Bookshop Trevor Goul-Wheeker. These leading figures in publishing
and the book trade shared their experiences and journeys into publishing,
offering advice to those in the audience looking to do the same. We know a lot of our followers are aspiring
publishing professionals or still young in their publishing career, so wanted
to share their insights with you too.
CEO of Hachette David
Shelley was first up in telling the audience about how he entered the industry.
David’s parents owned a second-hand bookshop, so he was exposed to the sales
side of publishing from an early age. He began his career as an Editorial
Assistant for Alison and Busby (a well-established small publisher). He kept the company running for 5 years and
encompassed problems along the way, such as the book distributor going bust and
relocating the office near to Brixton near to where he lived. The owner of
Little, Brown asked David if he would consider buying a few books a year as an
Editor and he joined the company, which eventually led to his promotion to
Publisher, then Head of Division, and finally to his current role running
Hachette publishes 5,000
books every year and has a staff of 18,000. David explained that the editorial departments
receive 1,000 applications for every editorial assistant job, whereas the sales
team often only receive around three direct applications. He emphasised the
importance of exploring different sectors; foreign rights professionals get to
read, travel and correspond with authors whereas, production departments,
whilst equally driven and creative focus more on the people and processes in
the background. David also advised that publishers are looking for people who
are keen to work in finance, also stating that the first two to three years of
entering the industry is all about grafting your way through. It is necessary
to differentiate yourself from others, don’t rely on just the contacts you have.
Don’t be afraid to be bold and fearless in your first year, don’t undersell
yourself, and be proud and show off your achievements. People love to mentor
younger people, so offer to have coffee with them to show your passion and
His tips for a good cover
Look up the books
that your target publisher is publishing and research its heritage
Brilliant quality writing
– this is a reflection of how well you can communicate
Talk about your
favourite writers, what are they doing?
Be thoughtful and
Don’t follow the
rules strictly, break rules and disagree!
Bonnier is the sixth largest
publishing company in the UK and its CEO Perminder Mann also talked about her
experience in the publishing industry. Growing up, she spent much of her time
reading, making sure to build up her English vocabulary. She spent time
interning and eventually had an interview with Macmillan for a role in its in
Special Sales department. She was offered the job, which she explained was quite
challenging, but she used the opportunity to gain as much knowledge as she
could. Perminder was then promoted in sales and travelled throughout the UK to
meet buyers. Later she moved to Transworld (now part of Penguin Random House)
as an entrepreneur in a five person team, and faced the problem of not having
as much contact or support, constantly having to juggle between having a career
and being a mother. She survived that and then moved into children’s
publishing, but was travelling too much and decided to move out of publishing altogether. Publishing isn’t quite like any other
industry, though, and she ended up returning when she was offered a position at
Perminder talked about how at
Bonnier you don’t have to choose between a career and family, as you can work flexibly
she has put benefits in place such as a good a maternity policy. This is something that Perminder is extremely
passionate about given her own experience throughout her career and she is now
in the middle of improving paternity pay and continuing to champion equality.
Finally, the ex-chairman of
Blackwell’s Bookshop Trevor Goul-Wheeker took to the floor to explain how he
fell in love with the publishing industry. Trevor started off as a bookseller
and fell in love with the book trade, partly because of the people involved in
it. Blackwell’s is a well-known book retailer, but as the digital publishing
industry gradually took over, Blackwell’s was forced to start closing stores
and were closing 16 high street shops every day. Currently, the UK bookshops
account for 41% of books sold with ecommerce accounting for 35% of book sales. However,
Trevor stated that bookshop recommendations are still the number one influencer
when people are choosing which book to buy. He believes that bookshops still offer
customer engagement and a valued experience and that bookselling and publishing
go hand in hand.
All three speakers did
emphasise that you do not need a masters to get into publishing; most
publishing companies prefer more hands on experience, which shows a variety of
skills. They also all agreed that ecommerce
and ebooks are slowly taking over from print as they are easier to access and
to read on the go. Audio books are now attracting a new demographic of “readers”
and enabling publishers to tap into a new market. Publishers are already and
will continue to learn about and develop in the area of audio.
It is only a week to go until the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019,
so we’ve put together a collection of top tips and things to do and see while
you’re there! These suggestions are aimed at anyone attending, whether you’re
coming as a student, publishing professional, job-seeker or just trying to
increase your knowledge of the publishing and media industry. Even if you’re an
annual attendee at the event, we’ve got some ideas for you!
Here are some of our top tips:
Plan your time in advance: there will be many conferences and events throughout the day so it is important that you check the schedule in order to see what events might interest and benefit you the most. It is a huge venue with plenty going on, so by planning your time well, you’ll be able to get the most out of the fair! Do also use the hall plan to avoid getting lost!
You will be meeting clients and important contacts, so you do want to be smart and ladies might be tempted to wear heels, but trust me, you will most definitely regret this decision. The Frankfurt exhibition centre is huge and the book fair is spread across several halls, so you will for sure be on your feet all day. Wear flat shoes or shoes that are comfortable. Of course dress code varies but you can never go wrong with business casual, a pair of flat clean shoes or boots will keep you comfy throughout the day!
Considering it’s an all-day event and you might well be using your phone to contact colleagues, show clients clips and perhaps be taking plenty of photos and videos yourself, bring a portable phone charger! Download the Frankfurter Buchmesse App for a convenient guide around the fair as well as a timetable of the event. Do take pictures of impressive stands you like as a reminder to yourself, but most definitely share them on social media too!
As this is the biggest international event of the year for the publishing industry, there’ll be a lot of people and food stalls and stands will have queues! So remember to carry a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated! Bring a snack if you’re super organised. It’s very easy to get hot and dehydrated in big events, to avoid the long queues and high prices at the cafes!
Lastly, although you are out in Frankfurt for the Book Fair, it’s also
important to plan some chill-out time,
so that you don’t get overwhelmed! Walking around all day or keeping a
constantly cheerful face on for your back to back meetings is exhausting. Frankfurt
is a beautiful city in the centre of Germany and there is plenty to see and do
to escape for a little while! Take some time before arriving to see what there
is around and see if there is an alternative venue that you can escape to to,
whether that be cultural things to do and see or places to eat and drink in
peace! This is a tough event for anyone prone to anxiety in crowds, so be prepared
and look out for friends and colleagues who might be struggling a bit.
Here is a list of places you might like to visit near/around the venue:
If you get a tired of the traditional German food, this traditional Japanese restaurant called Mangetsu, offers great Japanese food and is a great place to go if you’re in need of some quiet space.
The heart of Frankfurt is The Römerberg: Frankfurt’s Old Town Centre, this town centre is filled with traditional buildings, a very picturesque square that will look amazing in photos!
The Palm Garden is the largest botanic garden in Germany, so it is definitely worth seeing if you have the time. I’m sure the garden will look fantastic during the Autumn season!
For more places to
visit around Frankfurt click here!
Make sure to check
what events are going on throughout the fair and which companies are attending!
Byte the Book is
networking at the book fair this year and are offering Networking Drinks on
October 16th in the fair from 9pm till late! This will be a great
opportunity to meet some new people from the media and publishing industry and
would be great to broaden your knowledge on both industries! For more
information on the event click
In case you weren’t aware Norway is the guest of honour this year so to
honour that we’ve decided to share some of our favourite Norwegian reads:
What are soft skills? Soft
skills are defined as character traits or interpersonal aptitudes that effect the
ability to work and interact with others in a work environment. We most often
learn soft skills at school, in the classroom, directly or indirectly. They are not always “people skills” but are
abilities relating to emotional intelligence and can be useful for all industries
and job types.
Examples of soft skills
Attention to detail
Hard skills unlike soft
skills are more job specific skills that are usually acquired through education
or training. They are based solely on technical knowledge. Hard and soft skills
complement each other in the workplace: hard skills reflect whether you would
be suitable for the job and the technical skills it requires, whereas soft
skills are unique and personal as they reflect the way you deal with situations
specific to a work environment or the role for which you are applying.
“94% of recruiters believe that soft skills outweigh
experience… 75% of recruiting professionals have cut an interview short because
a candidate didn’t demonstrate the soft skills needed for the position they had
Soft skills distinguish you
from other employees as they are unique to your individual personality. They also
tend to highlight your leadership skills and this is what employers most often
look at. There are many ways that you can show off your soft skills to your
employer, generally this is usually over face-to-face interviews. Using
examples is a brilliant way to show off your soft skills as you can demonstrate
how valuable your skills really are and how these have aided you in many
difficult work situations. For example, it is particularly important that when
asked questions about difficult work situations you cleverly answer with how it got solved or what you would do
differently next time rather than just stating the final result.
Here are some examples of
common soft skills and their DOs and DONTs:
Team Work & Collaboration
Avoid ‘I’s’ and use
Make sure to mention
team accomplishments as well as personal ones, how you contributed to team effort.
Perseverance & Dedication
Show confidence in
why you made certain decisions.
passion and dedication to work, as it is a reflection of your work ethic.
Give examples that
reflect your perseverance to accomplish anything, both work problems and
personal work goals.
Time Management & Organisation
Time management is a
clear representation of how efficiently you work.
It reflects an
organised candidate, who shows how passionate and seriously they want the role!
If you have good time
management skills, it reduces the likelihood of stress within the workplace.
Describe how you solved a
problem step by step e.g. “First I spoke to my manager and then…”
Soft Skills in Publishing
Now that you know all about
soft skills, which of these will be the most important when you are applying
and interviewing for a role in publishing?
Effective communication and
emotional intelligence are important in the world of publishing. It is
important to understand the mood, tone and the values of those around us. Fair
and consistent communication is essential; being able to asses and attend to emotional
needs is integral to gaining understanding.
Openness and honest are also
very important. For those just starting a career in publishing it is imperative
to be open to the entire experience being a learning process. Being honest in
saying ‘I need help’/’I’m not good at that’ shows your interviewer/employer
that you do struggle but are willing to learn and grow within those personal
Finally, learning with
agility is another key soft skill in publishing; everything is a trial and
error both in life and in the world of work. It is okay to fail in work tasks
as long as you’re learning quickly. Persevering demonstrates your potential and
growth in character. Always strive for better and work proactively within your
job. You may find that in publishing certain traditions are kept, but all
businesses look ahead, so having employees who are equally forward thinking helps
the industry to grow!
more information on transferable soft skills click
Our editorial roles receive a huge amount of interest,
however our sales roles not as much. This made us stop and think, why not?
Many graduates come to us and ask our advice on how to
launch their editorial career in publishing, which is great! But… editorial is
not the only option available to you!
In this blog, we want to discuss why sales roles are also
great and can even aid your future editorial career.
First things first, you want to work in publishing because
you love books, right? Sales roles are the perfect way to express your passion!
Why? Because you get to talk about books all day long!
It is your job to get the books out there! You go through
lists, samples and catalogues deciding which bookstores need which books. What
better way to spend your working day, than browsing the latest titles and most
likely even receiving a copy for your own personal collection!
Sales roles are very social roles – you will work with a
range of people from editors and writers to designers, buyers and journalists. This
means you receive a comprehensive understanding of the industry.
A sales role will also give you knowledge of the market and trends;
this will aid your knowledge if you wish to work in a commissioning editorial
role for example.
Another advantage of sales roles is that they enable you to
develop transferable skills. One of these being communication, a skill desired
in every role.
In a sales role, you can find yourself working for many
different publishers and selling to many different types of customers, this
will enable you to develop key relationship building skills.
A sales role does not necessarily mean endless cold calling
and this definitely is not the case in publishing. You are more likely to meet
customers face to face in a more consultative sales approach. You may find
yourself selling to bookshops, retailers, universities, or even software to
libraries and hospitals.
This kind of sales approach means you get to have
interesting conversations, develop strong relationships and take a break from
being in the office!
You are also likely to be invited to events! A new store
opening for example.
In the UK we are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change and more and more of us are thinking about how we might take some responsibility for making our world greener. I attended the BIC (Book Industry Communication) Breakfast to hear about what’s happening in the publishing industry.
Carnstone’s Book Chain Project speakers outlined how they’ve been working with 28 publishers to review issues in the supply chain. There are 3 main areas they’ve looked at:
Labour & Environment
Labour standards and work conditions at printers need to be regularly
assessed. There is the issue of modern slavery particularly in the Far East and
the onus is on publishers to monitor this.
Chemical Safety & Materials
There’s a lot that publishers can do to in terms of
materials choices. However, it’s not as simple as stopping using glitter as
children’s publishers need to supply the demands of the market (and it turns
out biodegradable glitter really isn’t?!)
Publishers can look at using sustainable wood for pulp eg buy
from mills that source wood from plantations in place of supporting deforestation.
Neil Springall, Head of Operaions, Penguin Random House
Distribution clearly feels we all have a moral duty to start making changes and
drove a plan to focus on a reduction of plastic use at PRH. He had some great
quotes including: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone
else will save it.” Robert Swan
Incredibly over 40% of all global plastic usage is in
packaging. Publishers mainly use plastic for shrink wrapping and carton filling
to protect books.
After only a few months, PRH have already achieved a 47%
reduction and are aiming for 75% soon.
One major change has been a move to ‘multi use pallet lids’ – these are an expensive product but save both on huge amounts of shrink wrap and labour time. They now employ 4 people full-time to shred all their cardboard which is then used as packaging material in place of plastic. Brilliant!
Another issue is reducing mileage for transporting books
between printers, distribution centres and bookshops. This lead nicely onto the
Dave Thompson of Publiship gave a round-up of shipping and gave
some fascinating facts – did you know that:
90% of world trade is moved by sea
Shipping containers were only introduced in the
1950s and widespread adoption from the ‘60s is the largest contributor to
globalisation (and not the net!)
There have been improvements in engineering over recent years helping reduce emissions but container ships still emit enormous levels of Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Dioxide (international shipping accounts for 2.1% of all CO2 emissions). Publishers need to get books from their printers to countries around the world and there are other options:
Clearly, shipping is the best option and ‘slow steaming’
(takes c. 1 week longer) saves huge amounts of fuel and emissions.
I also learnt about Ballast – ships take on huge amounts of water to stabilise as they use up fuel / when empty of their cargo. They load the ballast water in the source port then discharge at the destination port with issues that they’re potentially discharging polluted water and predatory sea creatures. Fortunately there are laws in place to help avoid this now. Thanks to Alaina-Marie Bassett of BIC for organizing such an interesting event. If you’d like to learn more about BIC see @BIC1UK and www.bic.org.uk
A seemingly perfect crime, what can go wrong? A couple
honeymooning in paradise find something in the water. Deciding to keep it a
secret, they think they are the only ones who know about the discovery. They
soon find out that their actions have deadly consequences and someone else
knows their secret. A good thriller and the perfect summer book that hooks you
in right from the very first page.
At the heart of this gripping read are a trio of brothers, a disappearance and a lack of suspects. Set in the Australian outback, this atmospheric thriller is not one to be missed this summer.
`One of the year’s most unmissable debuts’. Queenie’s life seems to be spiralling out of control, a family that don’t understand her, a boss that doesn’t seem to notice her and a man she can’t get over. Queenie is a character you will be rooting for from the first page.
A story of love and war. The Biafran War is told from the perspective of three characters whose lives are interwoven in ways they would not have imagined. This novel is great if you love to immerse yourself in historical fiction with compelling and intelligent characters.
Non-fiction that stirs the desire to make change. Mainly aimed at black women but plenty to take away for everyone. A read that will make you challenge your assumptions and think about `space’ in different contexts and ways.
May not be the typical relaxing holiday reading but worth it! Set post world war ll, a woman with financial inheritance attempts to build economic prosperity in a small community in Australia where her romantic interest lives.
Azraa has joined Atwood Tate as our new administrator where she will be supporting the permanent team! Azraa will be supporting our consultants by carrying out key admin duties. Recently completing her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and with a keen interest in the publishing industry and a love for books, Azraa was drawn to us!
What is your favourite book series?
My all-time favourite book series is the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare!
What is your dream destination?
My dream destination is to visit Bali!
If you could have dinner with anyone dead/alive who would it be?
I would have dinner with Margaret Atwood because
I’m a huge fan of her work, I think she’s very inspiring and would be an interesting
Byte The Book hosted an event in June 2019 at the Groucho Club “What Does The Future of Culture and Storytelling Look Like?” The panel, hosted by Tortoise’s Michael Kowalski included Alex Holmes of Mostly Lit, Ines Bachor from the Frankfurt Book Fair and Pan Macmillan’s Technology director, James Luscombe.
The panel agree that predicting the future can be incredibly
hard and not many would have predicted the recent spurt in popularity of
audiobooks and podcasts. Hopefully they’ve still not reached their peak and
there will be lots more opportunities to engage with authors, interviews etc.
The panel agreed people really like the authenticity of podcasts.
On thoughts for what new tech will be coming soon:
James has been playing around with a voice app but it’s
really hard to control and is still too early for the available technology. 4G
made downloading and accessing content much quicker and easier and it’ll be
interesting to see what 5G will bring…
Ines talked about cutting-edge areas for storytelling
methods. Innovative story telling is coming with immersive content and AI eg Springer
brought out an AI textbook but there’s still the question of how to monetise
these kind of products.
Alex mentioned what some of the audience agreed with –
the future is scary (he referred to Black Mirror! And that we don’t know what’s
going to happen next.
The panel agreed there’s a huge amount of stories and
content out there, which means that the really good things can get drowned out.
As well as great books, there’s so much extra marketing content too – everyone
is a storyteller, with social media we’re now living in a storyfied world.
An interesting question from the audience was to see how
many people use Siri etc with only 25% of the room currently engaging. So we
all love reading but it might be a while before we ask them for a bedtime
Last week we went to the Inside Bloomsbury: Publishing
for Animators and Video Editors event and we had a great time! We even got to
view the video created for the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and
The Philosopher’s Stone!
On the panel was Head of Digital Marketing Trâm-Anh Doan, Anthony and Jason from Robot Ninja and chaired by Senior Marketing Manager Rachel Wilkie.
The panel discussed the campaign for the 20th anniversary, why they chose Robot Ninja to be the animators, how they worked together and why it was so successful.
Trâm-Anh told the audience that the aim of the campaign was to bring back the feeling of nostalgia and make people feel emotional again. The team decided that the best way to do this was through animation by bringing back the focus to the words and the books. They used social media for fans to send their favourite Harry Potter quotes that are used in the video.
Why Robot Ninja?
When deciding who to hire as the animators, Robot Ninja shone! Robot Ninja opened their pitch with puns and GIFs to show that they are fans and want to be a part of the franchise. They added more creativity to the brief with 20 memorable moments that people could share as GIFs.
What were the next steps?
Storyboards and google sheets were created and fans were asked for their favourite moments. Trâm-Anh is used to seeing designs in a finished format, when being shown unfinished proposals and storyboards with lines and sketches the panel laughed at her `what is that?’ responses.
Robot Ninja worked with existing illustrations by Jim Kay. Working with existing artwork did take some time and Photoshop was often used. They wanted to bring out words individually and move away from faces, how else to represent Dumbledore? His cloak!
When creating the sound Anthony and Jason thought back to the times they sat in the office making funny noises into the microphone. They did not like Trâm-Anh’s choice of music; instead, they went with a slower track to allow for the up and down emotions in the video to breathe.
How to make everyone watch it?
Franchise partners shared the video; they were set up
to post when it was released. Facebook featured the video on their creative
hub. The video was posted at 8am in the morning, for people to be able to watch
on their commute. By 10am, the video had 1 million views, which then reached 11
Loop able GIFs were released throughout the year to keep engagement levels up. The aim was to make each moment interesting on its own and be able to loop it repeatedly.
It is important to remember that a video could have one life, but this life can be extended!
Beyond Harry Potter
Animation is an amazing way to highlight a great
cover. It is a great moment for the author to be able to share something that
is not just static and not just text focused.
A cover reveal that is not just static makes a
statement on social media, especially because video performs so well on social
Something as simple as animating text can perform
Bloomsbury Modern Classics, a list of 10 books, the
covers of each designed by a different artist have been animated to bring new
life to iconic covers.