Author Archives: Claire Law

About Claire Law

Claire is the founding director of Atwood Tate. In her publishing life, Claire worked in Rights for Headline and Orion. She cut her recruitment teeth filling specialist publishing vacancies in London. After spending some time surfing in the West Country (who can blame her?), Claire realised she missed working with publishing people, and started Atwood Tate. With her trusted team, she has grown the business to offer a range of services including Freelance & Temp as well as Permanent and Contract recruitment for a wide range of publishers nationwide and internationally.

The Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap is something that affects a huge number of women in the UK and across most industries, including publishing. It is an issue that’s close to my heart, firstly being a woman and secondly working in recruitment and placing men and women into jobs. I’d like to hope we’re all doing more to address the gap and make this a fairer industry to be working in.

Gender Pay Gap and the Law

As members of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation), we are aware of the latest news and legal requirements in recruitment. There is new leglislation coming up where employers with more than 250 employees will need to report on gender pay gaps. The deadline is 4 April for private organisations and 30 March for public sector employers. Many employers have already started to file their data on the dedicated government website.

The Government’s Gender Pay Gap Campaign website is a good resource for employers, giving information about how to collect and report data on the issue and how to close the gap. The following infographic gives the benefits of gender diversity in the workforce.

Employer benefits: improves brand reputation, attracts an improved pool of talent, higher staff retention, boosts staff productivity, meets the diverse needs of customers

Source: Gender Pay Gap Campaign

The Gender Pay Gap in Publishing – Advertising Salaries

Publishing has historically not been transparent with disclosing salaries – likely for a number of reasons and not all of them negative. This might not be a popular view but I really feel the industry would be much healthier with full transparency where all jobs are advertised with a salary range that is based on skills and experience.

In the UK, we shy away from talking about how much we earn. This is part of the reason employers choose not to advertise salaries on their vacancies, as employees in the same or similar roles may not want their own salary to be made public. It’s a taboo to ask ‘How much do you earn?’ But without open discussion, we cannot know what we are worth and so women’s value can be underestimated, by themselves as well as by their employer.

We’ve written before about advertising salaries here. We regret that we usually cannot display salaries on our vacancies, although we always give candidates the salary information before they submit an application.

The gender pay gap is slowly narrowing, though we still have a way to go. What do you think publishers and recruiters can do to close the gap further?

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Building Inclusivity in Publishing Conference 2017

Is Publishing Inclusive these days?

Diversity or inclusivity in publishing is very much in the industry news and I went along to the Building Inclusivity in Publishing Conference organised by the London Book Fair and the Publisher’s Association. It’s really good that the industry is addressing this, but it does feel like it’s a particular issue within Trade book publishing. We work with a wide range of sectors in publishing (academic, educational, professional, trade, STM, B2B) and there is a much more mixed demographic across the other sectors.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Creative Industries said diversity is a moral imperative and our social and economic responsibility which I’m sure we all agree with. Everyone also seemed to agree we need to have more role models from diverse backgrounds and it’s vital that there is diversity in senior leadership. Simon Dowson-Collins, General Counsel and Company Secretary at HarperCollins acknowledged that all people are different – some are extrovert, some introvert but it’s important to speak out so people can see BAME people in senior roles and aspire to it.

Halo/Horns Effect

In terms of recruitment, it’s important to have processes in place that avoid what’s called the ‘halo / horns’ effect – where you immediately warm to people like you and are less keen on those who are different. Some of our publisher clients are on top of this, for example using new processes that strip out names in the application process so hiring managers are not biased in their selection process. There have also been some recent strides including the HarperCollins BAME scheme, Little Brown’s new imprint Dialogue Books (publishing books by people under-represented in publishing).

Broadening Inclusivity in Entry-Level Recruitment

The afternoon session looked at broadening inclusivity in entry-level recruitment in publishing and there has been some progress in this area – it’s no longer the case that an English lit degree and a love of books is enough! Initiatives like Penguin no longer requiring a degree and offering help with accommodation and HarperCollins using video interviews and having a BAME grad scheme are helping. But it needs more work like us going in to schools to encourage publishing as a great career for all.

The Publisher’s Association has a 10-Point Inclusivity Action Plan that publishers can sign up to and is definitely worth a read to get some good ideas!

#Inclusivityconf17

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London Info International 5 – 6 Dec 2017

Next week is the London Info International conference and exhibition at The Business Design Centre, Islington. Atwood Tate will be exhibiting for the first time so we hope to see you there. Anyone can book a FREE place for the exhibition now so invite your colleagues and industry friends! (Entry is free if you pre-register)

London Info International (LII) is a conference for the information industry with a diverse set of world leading speakers who will discuss and debate the most important and pertinent topics affecting us.

There are over 40 different speakers from the widest range of disciplines, organisations and geographies with top keynotes including:

  • Ziyad Marar, President, Global Publishing, Sage Publishing
  • Alfred Rolington, CEO Cyber Security Intelligence
  • Danny Kingsley, Deputy Director of Scholarly Communication University Library, University of Cambridge, Head of Scholarly Communications, University of Cambridge
  • Nicola Jones, Head of Publishing for Grand Challenges, Springer Nature
Themes:

The conference will cover all the main themes affecting information professionals today, including: Facing the realities of uncertainty. New tribes, changing realities. The AI and machine learning renaissance – a revolution in the waiting? Dispatches from the university publishing revolution. Meet the upstarts – the publishing start-ups challenging the status quo. Valuing truth in the age of fake. Birth of the new infotech. Whose research is it anyway? Open science, open futures? Welcome to the new impact.

See the full Conference programme and speakers here.

There will also be Showfloor presentations including sessions on includes sessions on Rights, Counter, Copyright, Text and Data Mining, Scientific Research and Education, Content and Technologies.

And look out for the ‘Disruptor Zone’ (a competitive event designed to offer start-ups, vendors and publishers the opportunity to showcase their newest and most innovative products, platforms and/or content).

Exhibitors will be across the industry showcasing the best of scholarly, research and professional publishing, tools, technologies and service providers.

You can prebook for ‘Scheduled Networking’! There is a 1hr session each day where you will be given the opportunity to spend a few minutes with organisations of your choice to exchange business cards and have a brief discussion which can be extended on their stand or another meeting set up. Click here to sign up.

And lastly, there’s an Event app so you can plan your visit and for up to date news on-site. Book meetings, sessions programmes, Exhibitors list, floorplan, reminders and more! Available from 29th November.

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Beanstalk and Reading Matters have joined forces!

We were delighted to hear that Beanstalk who we’ve been supporting for the last 7 years has now merged with another literacy charity, Reading Matters. This will allow them to support even more children and young people and help them to achieve their 2020 vision of working with 30,000 children.

The aim of the charity is to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds gain confidence in reading. Beanstalk provides 1-1 reading support to children in primary schools and early years, Reading Matters covers secondary schools so this is a great combination.

In 2016-17 Reading Matters helped 6,497 children and young people while Beanstalk worked with 11,000 children over the same period.

About Beanstalk

  • Beanstalk is a national charity that provides one-to-one literacy support to children who struggle with their reading.
  • The charity recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one literacy support in primary schools.
    Beanstalk’s trained reading helpers transform the lives of the children they support, turning them into confident, passionate and able readers.
  • In the last school year the charity helped over 11,000 children across England, in over 1,400 schools, with the help of over 3,000 reading helpers, ensuring children have the skills and confidence to reach their true potential.
  • By 2020-21 Beanstalk aims to help 30,000 children every year, with 8,000 volunteers.

About Reading Matters

  • Reading Matters is a registered charity and not-for-profit social enterprise which began in 1997. Since then, the charity has supported tens of thousands of young people.
  • In 2016/17, Reading Matters supported 6,497 children and young people and on average increased reading ages by 13 months in just 10 weeks.
  • The charity runs a range of programmes: Reading Mentors, Reading Leaders, Reading Families and Reading Teams. They provide schools with a resource box of reading materials that will engage and encourage reluctant readers.
  • Reading Matters’ social mission is to help children, young people and adults to reach their potential by becoming confident and enthusiastic readers.

More info:

www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk

and check out the Bookseller article: https://www.thebookseller.com/news/beanstalk-and-reading-matters-merge-664681

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PPA Business Class: Marketing Conference

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The PPA has launched a new series of half day conferences specifically for senior professionals – this one on Friday 21st October is for Marketing and one in November for Tech.

See: www.ppa.co.uk/events/businessmedia2016 for more details.

Here’s a taste of what will be covered:

Shiny Happy People

Faced with an increasing array of new marketing tools and the requirement for smarter, savvier marketing to cut through the noise surrounding customers, getting the right skills has never been more important. Our panel of experts tackle the key issues:

  • Business strategist…customer insight expert…innovation leader…what is the role of a marketing director in 2016?
  • What marketing skills are needed right now?
  • How do you address the digital skills gap?

Other sessions on:

  • Subscriptions
  • ‘Community’
  • Putting The Commercial Into Content Marketing

Speakers include:

We’re pleased to be an official sponsor for both events and Olivia Constantinides from our London office and Claire Louise Kemp from our Oxford office will be attending the Marketing one, so do request a meeting or get in touch on the day.

Let us know how if you’re attending by using the PPA twitter hashtag #PPABusinessClass. Don’t forget to add @PPABusiness and us too @AtwoodTate!

 

 

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The London Digital Book Printing Forum

I recently attended an event for print and production professionals – the London Digital Book Printing Forum at The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

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The event give updates on the key trends and issues in the book market, looking at both  the supply chain and book manufacturing, including the status of digital printing. I made it to the afternoon session where speakers covered:

Market Evolution and Emergence of New Business Models: Some of the key players in book publishing, distribution, and manufacturing gave their insights on the changes occurring in print procurement and book distribution, and on the impact of digital printing on the streamlining of the supply chain.

Richard Fidczuk, Production Director at SAGE Publications spoke passionately about their use of digital – they publish 250 books a year and over 500 journals with most journals still being print rather than digital. They printed their first frontlist digital 4 colour title in March 2016 and most reprints are now printed digitally to reduce stock and print runs. In terms of the impact of digital on the supply chain, it means books never need to go out of print. They can also print locally in many different locations which is useful for new books with no sales history.

We also heard from Paul Major, Global Senior Procurement Manager, Oxford University Press and David Taylor, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisition International, Ingram Content Group.  All of the speakers agreed keeping stock in warehouses was much reduced nowadays due to print on demand options.

We also heard about some innovations from international publishers, the one that really caught my eye was Frédéric Mériot, Managing Director, Presses Universitaires de France (PUF) talking about sending a ‘statement of disruption’ to the market. They opened a shop in Paris to print their own list (and 3 million Google titles). It’s proved a huge success – you can go in, select a book, get a coffee and the Espresso book machine will print your book while you wait – and with a personalised message if you wish!

It was also great to hear from some smaller publishers in the ‘Medium & Small Publishers’ Points of View’ section. Their workflows and requirements are often very different to the larger publishers but all were using digital printing and POD to some degree. Michelle Jones, Production Manager, IWA Publishing said they need to be flexible and open to new technology and they often select a print process on a book by book basis based on price, quality etc.  Claire Watts, Production Manager, Oldcastle Books agreed the POD option would be good for reasons of cost and the environment. Anne Beech, Managing Director, Pluto Press said her colleagues can tell the difference between a litho and digitally printed books (but it’s less likely the readers would) and that POD is the hidden saviour of the small publisher.  Daniele Och, Production Director, Zed Books said 90% of their frontlist and all backlist titles are printed digitally and it’s essential to their business to have good digital printing options.

And lastly Jane Hyne, Production Manager, National Gallery Company gave an insight into how she has been working with digital printing to produce high quality colour books.

Overall it was a good opportunity to catch up on production and printing news, terminology and what the future might hold.

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Penguin Living – Careers 360 Immersion Day 11th September

Penguin Living, a new initiative from Penguin Random House, is launching a great series of events to promote authors and experts specialising in personal development. We’re really delighted to be involved in the very first one – the Careers 360 Immersion Day on 11th September.

The day will involve a series of talks with workshop elements from selected authors and experts – authors confirmed so far are Tim Vincent, the author of Nail That Interview, Caroline Goyder, author of Gravitas, Alice Olins and Phanella Mayall Fine, authors of Step Up – Confidence, Success and Your Stellar Career in 10 Minutes a Day, John Williams, author of Screw Work, Break Free, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, authors of Designing your LifeBuild a Life That Works for You, and Kevin Rodgers, author of Why Aren’t They Shouting? Books will be on sale throughout the day.

The brand’s overarching aim is to “empower people to live life better” by making best use of its authors’ ideas, advice and insight.

The day, priced £15 per session or £40 for the whole day, will be divided into three segments: “Applying for Jobs”, “Improving your Career” and “Career Choices”, with PRH’s authors and experts – including Atwood Tate! – offering tips on how to give a great interview, changing careers and flexible working.

Check out the Penguin Living website, www.penguinliving.co.uk, the Twitter handle is @PenguinLivingUK and hashtag #DoItBetter.

        Tim Vincent                 Caroline Goyder                    Alice Olins                   Phanella Mayall Fine

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   Kevin Rodgers                     Dave Evans                      Bill Burnett                      John Williams       

 kevin_rodgersDave Evans110625.BruceHeimanWeddingjohn_williams2 

 

 

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Scholarly Social with FuturePub – New Developments in Scientific Collaboration Tech

I wanted to tell you about an event I went to recently that’s definitely worth looking out for. They have regular, very well organised events usually including pizza and drinks!

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Scholarly Social is a social networking group for people involved in scholarly communication (including publishers, librarians, researchers, consultants, intermediaries, and students).  They’ve linked up with FuturePub (from Overleaf) to bring us Futurepub7 – an hour of 5-minute talks themed around the future of scientific publishing.

Here’s the basic list of 7 speakers and topics but lots more detail can be found here:

  1. Reimagining scientific news: How user research led to an entire product redesign, by Sybil Wong and Mimi Keshani
  2. Publishing Research Ideas and Outcomes, by Ross Mounce
  3. Peercog: Peer-to-peer recognition from author to reviewer, by Laura Harvey
  4. Peer to Peer Science, by James Littlejohn
  5. Automating peer review for research, by Daniel Shanahan
  6. Peerwith – connecting experts, by Joris van Rossum
  7. Citizen Science, Open Science & scientific publication, by Muki Haklay

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Keep an eye out for future events and join the LinkedIn group or follow them on Twitter.

Scholarly Social

@ScholarlySocial

#ScholarlySocial

Overleaf

@overleaf

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The British Book Industry Awards 2016 (BBIA)

The Bookseller has revamped The Bookseller Industry Awards (the trade “Nibbies”), making them much more focussed on books and all about getting more people reading.

If you didn’t make it to the awards, here’s the list of winners highlighting the best of the British book trade and the people working in it:

http://www.thebookseller.com/british-book-industry-awards

And here are some reading ideas with the shortlists for books of the year in various categories:

Children’s Book of the Year

Debut Fiction Book of the Year

Non-fiction Book of the Year

Fiction Book of the Year

Here’s the Bookseller’s article about the winners:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/bbia-crowns-transworld-and-w-h-smith-328533

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Competency Based Interviews: Top Tips

A lot of companies are now using competency based interviews so you need to be prepared. Competency questions are about your behaviour and are a way for the interviewer to predict how you will act in a situation in a more objective way.
The interviewer will ask you a series of questions along the lines of:

  • Describe a situation when you…
  • Give an example of a time when you…

They vary from a standard interview which may be more of a conversation or information gathering. Competency based interviews are more systematic with questions targeting a specific skill or competency. You will be asked questions about your behaviour in specific circumstances, and you’ll need to give situational examples.

Ideally you will have been provided with a Job Description and Person Specification to help you prepare for the interview. Use this to focus on the skills and competencies they’re looking for. Look back at your employment and personal history to find a couple of examples for each that show you’ve got the relevant skills and strengths in each area to achieve a positive result.

For example, if you think you’ll be asked questions about your communication skills, find an example of when you resolved a disagreement, gave a presentation or taught someone how to do something.

Use the STAR technique (situation, task, action and result). Put together a sentence to describe each of these elements and remember the result or outcome is the most important bit to show you learned from the experience.

  • Think of a Situation where you applied the competency
  • What was the Task required as a result
  • Explain the Action(s) you took to fulfil the task
  • Highlight the Result of that action

Some key competencies include:

  • Communication skills
  • Decision making
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Responsibility
  • Organisation

Some typical questions and what they’re assessing:

  • Tell me about a time when your work or an idea was challenged and you had to deal with conflict.
    Individual qualities – adaptability, compliance, decisiveness, flexibility, resilience, tenacity, conflict management, empathy, teamwork, independence, risk taking, integrity
  • Describe a situation where you had to lead a team through change.
    Managerial skills – leadership, empowerment, delegation, influencing, strategic thinking, organisational awareness, project management and managerial control
  • Tell me about a time when you came up with a new solution to a problem.
    Analytical – decision making abilities; innovation and creativity, problem solving, practical learning and attention to detail
  • Describe a situation where your communication skills made a difference to the outcome of a situation.
    Interpersonal – Social competence and communication (verbal, listening and written).
  • When did you feel the greatest sense of achievement at work?
    Motivational – resilience, motivation, result orientation, initiative and quality focus.

Some more examples can be found here:

http://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/star-technique-competency-based-interview

http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/compet/skillquest.htm

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