Author Archives: CLK

About CLK

CLK is another digital devote (with an MSc in Computer Applications she should know what she’s talking about!). Her publishing experience comes from three years at Oxford University Press in Children’s Rights, and she is passionate about getting children reading – something Atwood Tate also feels strongly about, donating a percentage of its profits each year to Volunteer Reading Help. Her previous work experience includes time spent helping disadvantaged people get back into training and education, as well as customer care training, and Archaeology. CLK is now putting her unique spin on the recruitment of roles from entry level to mid-management across all sectors of publishing in Oxford and locations across the UK (excluding London, the Home Counties and East Anglia).

BAME in Publishing: One Year On

We are very pleased to bring you a guest post from Sarah Shaffi and Wei Ming Kam, founders of BAME in Publishing, a group which aims to support and encourage people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the publishing industry.

Last year, they wrote a blog post for us about why they set up the group and provided some advice for working in the industry, which you can read here.

One year on, they reflect on their experiences of the group, and if anything has changed:

Five things we’ve learnt in a year of BAME in Publishing…

A year ago we set up BAME in Publishing – a networking group for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds working in publishing, or wanting to break into the industry. Here are five things we’ve learnt from running the group.

  • BAME in Publishing fills a gap

When we set up the group, we weren’t sure if anyone was going to be interested, but even a year later we’re still getting new members, and all our meetings are full. It’s shown us that there is a real thirst for a group and a space when BAME people can form relationships, get career advice, and feel like they belong.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help/favours

We’ve turned to a lot of different people for help with various things and have been surprised how many want to support us in any way they can. We’ve been offered venues to host meet ups from publishers and bookshops, and it’s been heartening to know that much of the industry supports the work we do.

  • There are BAME people in the industry

Sometimes it feels like there are hardly any people from BAME backgrounds working in publishing, but running BAME in Publishing we’ve seen that this isn’t true. Our members come from all kinds of companies – big, small, trade, academic, publishers, agencies and so one. BAME talent is out there, which is encouraging, however…

  • There is a long way to go

It’s clear from our membership that a lot of the BAME talent are in junior positions. There are definitely some great senior role models out there (Ailah Ahmed from Virago, Natalie Jerome and Perminder Mann at Kings Road Publishing to name a few), but more needs to be done to make sure junior staff rise up the ranks quickly so that they can affect real change when it comes to the ethnic diversity of the industry. However, we do think that…

  • The future is bright

One thing we see at meeting after meeting is that there are so many talented people coming into publishing who want to make a difference, publish brilliant books, and be the leaders of tomorrow. We have no doubt that today’s bright young things will be heading up tomorrow’s publishing houses.

Wei Ming Kam and Sarah Shaffi at the BAME in Publishing 1st Birthday Party

Sarah Shaffi is online editor and producer at The Bookseller and tweets @sarahshaffi . Wei Ming Kam is sales and marketing executive at Oberon Books and tweets @weimingkam.

For more on BAME in Publishing, visit bameinpublishing.tumblr.com. You can also check out the #BAMEinPublishing hashtag on twitter and follow them on Instagram.

The group meets regularly, mostly in Central London. If you are interested in joining, please email bameinpublishing@gmail.com with your full name, email address, company you work for and your position (if applicable).

BAME in Publishing has been shortlisted for the #HClub100. Vote for them here!

 

 

Atwood Tate Limited embraces diversity and aims to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities. For more information visit our policies page https://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/policies/

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Team updates and welcome to the team Andrew!

Team updates and welcome to the team Andrew!

It’s been a busy time here at Atwood Tate with team promotions and a new Administrator and Social Media Coordinator, Andrew Willis joining us this month, so here are some team updates for you.

After completing an MA in Film & Literature, Andrew entered publishing through temping at various publishers. While at University, Andrew wrote a short film and many short-stories, and as well as writing aspirations, has a great interest in both the publishing and film production industries. He enjoys playing and watching cricket. He began working at Atwood Tate in May as an Administrator for the Books, Journals and B2B teams.

andrewwillis@atwoodtate.co.uk  020 7034 7900

 

We’re also delighted to announce some promotions in the team! You can find more about our team at our Meet the Team page and for a full list of all our contact info, here’s a link to our Organisation structure which also tells you who covers what job roles/sectors in our London and Oxford offices.

Congratulations to:

 

Karine Nicpon is now Lead Consultant across all B2B publishing recruitment. Karine will be covering Editorial plus Production, Design, Sales & Marketing roles

karinenicpon@atwoodtate.co.uk
020 7034 7905
Linked in

 

 

Alison Redfearn in our Temps team has been promoted to Senior Temps/Freelancers Consultant and will continue finding great temps and freelancers focussing in Trade Book and Educational publishing sectors

alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk
020 7034 7922
Linked in

 

 

Olivia Constantinides is now a Senior Consultant in our Permanent team. Olivia looks after Sales, Marketing, Publicity and Customer Services roles in all sectors (excluding B2B)

olivia@atwoodtate.co.uk
020 7034 7869
Linked in

 

 

Don’t forget to Link in with your Consultant to keep track of new job vacancies, industry news and events.

 

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What I’ve Learnt from working at Atwood Tate as Administrator & Social Media Coordinator

Working at Atwood Tate
What I’ve Learnt working as Administrator & Social Media Coordinator at Atwood Tate

In July 2016 I joined Atwood Tate as a maternity cover Administrator. In October I was made permanent as the Administrator and Social Media Coordinator. Sadly I am now leaving the company which I have absolutely loved working for, for an exciting opportunity working as a Marketing and Publicity Executive at a Trade publishing house.

As Administrator, and later Social Media Coordinator, I have learnt a lot during my time at Atwood Tate! From the different publishing sectors to the true cost of London commuting!

Upon leaving University in May 2016 I hectically began applying for numerous jobs and work experience placements within publishing and had first-hand experience of the difficulty of breaking into this industry.

Publishing is an increasingly competitive world to enter into and often candidates requires a lot of experience to get an entry-level job. With work experience placements often over-subscribed and most not covering more than expenses, it was sometimes difficult to add extra work experience to my CV. Instead I developed my skills within blogging, social media and coding which eventually led to me gaining a few interviews.

If you want to learn more about how blogging, YouTubing and Coding/HTML can help make your CV’s stand out take a look at our blog posts on these subjects!

I was lucky enough to come across a vacancy at Atwood Tate and attended an interview for the role. I was later offered the position of Administrator and jumped at the opportunity to be working within the publishing industry on the recruitment side of things.

Working in recruitment is a great way to learn about the industry and to network with a lot of people working within it.

Ultimately, I’ve decided to return to my roots within publishing, but during my time at Atwood Tate I have learnt many things about this industry and have had a great time doing so:

What I’ve Learnt Working at Atwood Tate:

  • There are more sectors in publishing that just Trade, Academic and Educational. This includes: B2B (Business to Business), STM (Science Technical and Medical) and Professional publishing. These sectors are just as exciting as the three I knew about prior to joining, and are a great place to build experience and learn more about publishing.
  • Also, there are a lot more roles within publishing than just editorial. A lot of people are looking to enter Editorial positions when they first apply for publishing roles, but Publicity, Sales, Rights and many other job roles are just as engrossing and immersive within the industry
  • Recruitment Companies, such as Atwood Tate, are a great resource for job-hunters, both experienced and entry-level. Even if Atwood Tate have no available roles for entry-level candidates we have created resources for entry-level candidates across our social media and on our website. This includes fortnightly Q&As, a work experience resources page, quick email responses to inquiries and regular helpful blog posts on job applications, temping and skills development.
  • Publishing Recruitment is just as immersive as working in a publishing house. When I first joined Atwood Tate I wanted to meet people within publishing, and develop my networking abilities. Since starting I have gone to numerous Society of Young Publishers event, attended the London Book Fair and LBF seminars, gone to the Borough Book Bash and generally communicated with publishing houses and publishers via our Social Media accounts
  • And last but not least, one of the best things I’ve learnt from working at Atwood Tate: helping people to find a job within publishing is a fantastic feeling.

Not only have I met some great people outside of the office but I have also made some fantastic friends within the company as well – mostly from bringing in copious amounts of cake!

One of the best bits of feedback we can receive from candidates and clients alike is about how friendly they find the staff at Atwood Tate, and it’s true! I may be biased but the main aim of everyone at Atwood Tate is to get our candidates their dream jobs, and clients their dream employees. And to give advice during the times that we’re waiting for those jobs to come in.

I’m leaving Atwood Tate in the full knowledge that if I ever need a new job in future I will be in safe hands when coming to them.

I also leave behind our new social media which I have had the great responsibility and joy of developing, including our YouTube Channel and Instagram. I leave this in the capable hands of our new Administrator and Social Media Coordinator: Andrew Willis.

You’ll be hearing more about Andrew in the coming week! So watch out for that.

For now I leave Atwood Tate with huge thanks for the wonderful opportunities and experiences I have had. And best of luck to our new Administrator Andrew, who’s going to do a wonderful job!

 

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Stand Up For Science: Why STM Publishing in April is all about March?

Today we have a guest post from STM publishing professional, Emma Williams.

Emma Williams STM publishing

After completing an MA in Publishing at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies (OICPS) Emma began her career in STM Publishing almost 7 years ago at Elsevier, specializing in licensing and journal management. Emma is currently happily employed within the Health Sciences group at Wiley, helping partner societies to manage and develop their journals to their fullest potential. Also a former Society of Young Publishers Oxford Chair, Emma is a particularly keen follower of industry developments and innovation and interested in supporting early career professionals. Emma advocates The Scholarly Kitchen blog to nearly everyone she meets in Publishing, and is active on Twitter where you can get in touch via @TheRightsOne (personal) or @JournalsEmma (professional) respectively.

Stand Up For Science: Why STM Publishing in April is All About March?

You may not see it, but scientific and academic research is all around you. It helped build your house, fixed your headache, drove or cycled you to work, was mixed into your coffee and even contributed to that mysterious three lbs that you just can’t shake…

(Authors Note: This could also be the commonly practiced Schrodinger’s Biscuit Tin experiment too- if the lid is closed, are there even edible biscuits in there?)

Research in all its forms and fields is effectively the pursuit of an objective truth, often for the purpose of the benefit and/or advancement of humanity. In a time when ‘alternative’ facts and false news run riot, we must be like Indiana Jones and the Grail Knight- well informed so we can choose wisely. By this, I mean that we must try to understand and communicate the importance of well structured, methodologically sound, evidence based research practices and their contribution to defensible end results.

In the past, there have been barriers to communicating research to the public, outside of traditional scholarly journal publication.

Historically, science was commonly a pursuit for the wealthy elite and discussed in technically complex language between experts in the field firstly through correspondence, which eventually became formalized within Scholarly publishing. I would encourage everyone (especially all early career STM publishing professionals) to look at the creation of The Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions for more on the development of early scholarly publishing.

Alongside the formalization of these academic conversations around research, history has also documented public distrust of science and scientists. Perhaps this relates to an amount of disconnect from scientific conversation, but it may also be defensive (science is always a potential catalyst for innovation) against change for reasons which people may not like, be ready for, or even fully understand. This is clearly documented internationally in many cases of fear of ‘magic’ or witchcraft, religious conflict, and even cultural stereotyping.

Just think briefly for a moment on events like the Salem Witch Trials (circa 1692), or films such as Terminator (1984). Consider novels like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) or Frankenstein (1818). What about the depictions in both old and new media primarily made for young children, of Belle’s so called ‘crackpot’ inventor father in the story of Beauty and the Beast (1991) ? His eccentricity (i.e. scientific curiosity) predisposes him to such general public concern that he is nearly sent to an asylum- a particularly terrifying and often permanent commitment in past days. It is clear that in the historic public consciousness, there were very real fears that scientific curiosity, or developments, left unchecked would then get humanity ‘in over their heads’ across a variety of situations.

I believe that most people, living during even the more modern dates of some of these examples, would have thought of 2017 as sufficiently advanced into ‘The Future’, to expect better understanding, explanation and truthful rationalization of some of these fears. However, the modern citizen now faces a frightening time- we see heightened (or certainly more vocalized) opposition to evidence-based science; fear of globalization; and concerns about access to quality education.

So where can we find these trusted truths, to understand our world, communicate with each other and inform appropriate decision making for public good?

Although publishers and academia alike have recognized and begun to rectify some of the conversational gaps between academic research reporting and the general public through a wide variety of science engagement initiatives (Pint of Science events, or Publisher blogs for example) there is clearly still a lot of work to be done around mitigating unfounded fears and improving integrative discussion.

Now more than ever, the public must be able to either understand research processes directly, or to trust a third party to understand these and then report research results accordingly. Only then can we assess that end result and allow it to inform our own decisions and opinions. If we are not able to understand or we do not have access to such trusted sources, we are increasingly vulnerable to choosing poorly, and any ensuing negative consequences on an individual, national and a global level.

This is why scientists, academics, publishers and many other people gathered in various locations worldwide to March for Science on Saturday 22nd April. My personal experience of the global research community is that it is richly diverse, and full of those who have decided to embrace their curiosity about how something works, or could be improved, or could be learned from, and report back to the rest of us. I consider these people- our scientists and researchers- as an advanced guard, gathering intelligence on everything from climate change to medicine to lessons from history.

It is my opinion that we should fund and support research and engage with scientists and academics wherever possible in order to ensure that we don’t repeat mistakes, help people faster and preserve our world for generations to come.

For more information, please see:

https://www.marchforscience.com/
https://hub.wiley.com/community/exchanges/discover/blog/2017/02/16/values-have-no-borders?referrer=exchanges
Want more? Please see the below articles that the author came across while writing this, for ‘interesting’ further reading:

1. ‘Fake research’ comes under scrutiny, by H. Briggs, BBC News, 27th March 2017. Accessed via http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39357819 on 18th April 2017.

2. 8 Hilarious Historical Fears That Seriously Delayed Progress by P. Carnell, Cracked, March 11th 2015. Accessed via http://www.cracked.com/article_22224_8-plainly-stupid-fears-that-held-back-human-progress.html on 17th April 2017.

3. We have always been modern, and it has often scared us by R. Higgitt, The Guardian, 24th June 2013. Accessed via https://www.theguardian.com/science/the-h-word/2013/jun/24/technology-history-modernity-speed-fears on 18th April 2017.

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Creative CV Design: the do’s and don’ts.

Creative CV Design: the do's and don'ts

There is lots of advice out there on how to write a good CV for most roles in publishing, and one of the key things you are told is not to put images in and not to get too creative with your layout.

But what if you are designer and images and creative layout are what you do?

So here are some things to help when applying for book designer roles * (this will post mainly talk about roles in Trade book design, but the same hints/tips can be applicable for most sectors).

Before we get started:
Firstly, bear in mind that the CV, cover letter, and your portfolio, all need to work together. Let’s call this bundle “the application pack”. Whist most people will read a cover letter first, you cannot guarantee it won’t be the CV (or even the portfolio) that they start with. So make sure each part of your application pack gives the very best impression of you and your skills that they can.

Next, remember you are a designer. You profession is essentially about imparting information in a visually impactful way. The application pack are the first pieces of your work a potential employer will see. So make sure they are good!

One hiring manager I spoke to takes all the application packs submitted for a particular job, prints them out (in black and white) and spreads them over the meeting room table. All the team then walk around, picking up their favourites. The lesson to take from this? You have to be prepared for the application pack to be viewed in multiple ways – print, screen, colour, black and white… The way to go is A4 and portrait for the CV and cover letter. A4 and either portrait or landscape for the portfolio.

Creative CV Advice

Designers, a “creative CV” can be helpful. However, it can go horribly wrong if it is badly designed or illegible.

  1. Make sure the layout is clean and readable. It is quite common to have a one page CV as a designer, but if you need more room take the full two pages.
  2. Get some personality in there – don’t just use a stock template.
  3. At the same time, don’t go over the top. The CV has a fairly traditional format for a reason. If it doesn’t clearly show your past work experience, education, and relevant skills, then it isn’t doing its job.
  4. Put dates on your CV – dates of qualifications, education, and past employment.
  5. Include a link to your portfolio on the CV. Be prepared for the CV to get separated from the rest of the application pack and handed/emailed round the office. Make it easy for the person viewing just your CV to get to the relevant information about you.
  6. Detail what your responsibilities were in each role: if you were working on covers; did layout; worked with illustrated books, children’s or adults; if you were dealing with illustrators; if you were commissioning freelancers, managing staff, etc. It’s not all about your design skills, you also have other skills to show!
  7. If your CV is in PDF format (standard for designers) and you’ve put in a link to your portfolio, make sure that the link is clickable but also fully visible. Show the person viewing on a screen that you are aware of the possibilities of InDesign. Show the person viewing a print-out that you can design for multiple audiences.
  8. Lastly, (and to reiterate the first point) it needs to be readable! Showing your skills and your creativity is great, but most importantly we need to be able to see at a glance what your experience is. If it is too much of an effort to see what you’ve been up to, the recruiter/HR might give up quickly as they likely have a big pile of CVs to go through.

Portfolio Advice

As a designer, a portfolio is essential to show that you actually have the skills you said you have in the CV.

  1. We highly recommend you have a website version of your portfolio. You don’t have to pay for a personal domain, or for a very elaborate design – unless you want to! There are lots of free services out there – behance, Tumblr, WordPress, Deviantart to name just a few. At a minimum you need a place to display examples of your work. It also shows recruiters you have technical skills in digital software
  2. But you also need to have a curated PDF version of your portfolio ready to supply if asked for it (especially if the advert expressly wants this). This demonstrates your ability to select your work, and to present it in an orderly and beautifully designed way.
  3. Try to make sure this is a fairly small file size because quite a lot of companies limit the size of attachments that can be received. 4MB is a good guide size. It also shows you are capable of choosing the appropriate resolution and image size for your audience.
  4. Avoid dark backgrounds in your application pack – it is still very common to print out applications, and often only on a B&W printer. Dark backgrounds become unreadable really easily.
  5. TAILOR YOUR PORTFOLIO – applying for a print job? Make sure your book/magazine layouts are at the top. Web-design? Feature them first. And be aware of your audience – applying for a job at a children’s publisher? Don’t feature NSFW art!
  6. In the portfolio – both web and PDF – consider using headings (books, web design, product design, adverts) and providing a bit more description about each project (e.g., “I did the full layout for this book for a paying client” , or “This is a self-started cover design to practice” …)

Cover Letter Advice

We’ve talked about cover letters before on the blog and all of that advice still holds true for designer roles. Whilst your portfolio is your main selling tool for design jobs, don’t ignore the cover letter – especially in publishing, where words matter. Take the one A4 page to clearly demonstrate your suitable skills and why you want this particular job at this particular company (and don’t forget to include that link to your portfolio!)

Some general advice

(a.k.a what-not-to-dos from a recruiter who has looked at a lot of CVs from Designers of all levels in the last few months):

  1. Illustration is not book design. Whilst the two are related, and there is often overlap, the two are different skill sets. For example, your experience illustrating gift cards doesn’t necessarily mean you have what it takes to do interior layouts for text books. Know what you are applying for and what your relevant skills/experience are.
  2. And book design can be more than just cover design. You will often need to be able to do layouts, both text and visuals. If this is specified in the job description, make sure your portfolio (and CV) details any relevant experience you have.
  3. Don’t have printers/formatting marks on the edges of your CV/portfolio/cover letter. The first impression these give is that you cannot export a document from InDesign that is suitable for your audience.
  4. Don’t try and take over my screen with Full Screen mode in the PDF. It’s just rude. Most of us live with multiple windows open.
  5. Keep your website simple – see everything I’ve already said about making things easy and readable – (and please avoid Flash if you possibly can!)

And that is it from us. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please do add them in the comments.

If you have any questions we haven’t answered through our blog or website let us know through anyone of our social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

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Museum & Cultural Publishing: an evening with OPuS

 

opus-museum-and-cultural-publishing-event

Last Thursday, OPuS held an event to discuss Museum and Cultural Publishing. The speakers were Declan McCarthy (Ashmolean Museum), Samuel Fanous (The Bodleian Library) and Katie Bond (National Trust). John Hudson (Historic England) was the Chair.

The publishing and retail scene in museums, galleries and the heritage sector has been resilient during the recent unsettled years in publishing, and is a significant component of the wider cultural sector which is one of our national success stories. Within the sector, books are published on a variety of models – on a fully commercial basis or one of cost recovery, or in some cases conscious subsidy as part of a wider agenda. In this session, publishers from the National Trust, The Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum, all based locally, describe their business and the particular characteristics of the cultural publishing sector.

 

opus-logo

Things learnt:

  • Lots of cultural publishers are members of ACE: The Association of Cultural Enterprises
  • The Ashmolean publishing programme focuses on event catalogs, tied to the 3-5 exhibitions the museum holds each year. These differ from general trade books in that the sales are tied very strongly to the actual exhibition, and any sales beyond a show are a bonus.
  • For the Ashmolean, business is still very focused around producing beautiful, physical books. E-books, apps, and other digital forms do exist and are continually looked into, but at the moment they are not viable revenue generators.
  • Whilst the Bodleian has always published, the current publishing programme is still very new and has been grown gradually and carefully.
  • Public engagement is fundamental to the continued survival of cultural institution, and a publishing programme is a useful tool for this.
  • The Bodleian has several different approaches it takes when publishing titles: 1) doing a direct facsimile edition of an out-of-print book, 2) repackaging material in a new format, 3) publishing newly authored titles (that often use illustrations and source material from the collections), 4) gift-books to bring in a new audience of non-scholars.
  • The National Trust has over 200 shops – that is more nationally than Waterstones – and around 50% of their book revenues come from sales in those shops. The other 50% is primarily from sales in the UK trade. Like the Ashmolean, most of their sales are print, with digital and ebooks having more presence overseas.
  • Along with the annual Handbook that goes to all National Trust members, and the individual property guidebooks which are done in-house, they also publishing specialist books, illustrated narrative non-fiction, and children’s books. These are published in partnership with Nosy Crows, Pavilion, and Faber & Faber.
  • A book that sells well in the Trade does not (always) sell well in the gift-shops, and vice versa. Katie has learnt that the more a book is embedded in the organisation and ties back to their core message, the better it does.
  • The Children’s market is challenging, nostalgic, brand driven, infuriating, hard to break in to, but with massive talent, potential, and hugely rewarding.
  • As an editor you may come across challenges from elsewhere in your organisation about why you commissioned a particular title from a particular author. You need to know what you are publishing and why, and don’t be afraid to stick to your guns if it is important. That is the editors job!

All in all, it was a fascinating evening learning about a sector of the industry many of us are not aware of. The main lesson I learned was that publishing in the heritage sector requires a thorough understanding of the requirements of your market, a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of your source material (be that a museum, a library collection, or several hundred distinct properties around the country), a creative mind to see the new potential, and the willingness to take a risk on something that hasn’t been done before.

Let us know your thoughts on the event, on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn! Or tag us in your photos on Instagram!

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PPA Master Class: The Marketing One Summary

 

ppa-masterclass

The PPA recently launched a new series of half day conferences specifically for senior professionals, and last Friday was one for Marketing.

A range of professionals from across the industry came together to share their experiences in a morning ably chaired by Ruth Mortimer, Content Director, Centaur Media. The first panel focused on the key skills the panel of Caroline Hird  (BMJ), Kendal Mott (Procurement Leaders), and Ian McGowan, (Merit Group) felt marketing professionals needed. Marketing automation, data analytics, and strategic thinkers were all things the panel felt were crucial. Indeed, these three things were mentioned repeatedly throughout the morning.

Nick Varney and Amanda Munoz of Dow Jones, then led a panel discussing subscriptions, using their experience with the Wall Street Journal as an example to illustrate how membership can revitalise revenue streams. The importance of personalisation, exclusivity of content, and engendering a sense of customer loyalty were the key take-aways from this panel.

Caroline Hird, Marketing Director of the BMJ spoke on the importance of community and driving customer engagement to increase revenues, build customer loyalty, and drive innovation. Caroline’s three key points about communities:

1)    Be clear why you are doing this – and be able to report on your successes (and failures)

2)    Have a unique value proposition – know your niche and offer them something they cannot get elsewhere

3)    Be focused – just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should

Nik Dinning, Marketing Director of Retail Week/New Civil Engineer explored how using targeted content strategies – both exploiting back catalogue content and developing new partner content – to drive revenue and substantial return on investment. Again, Nik talked about the importance of knowing your niche and doing your research to find out what the market wants.

Lastly, Ruth Mortimer looked at the difference between customer engagement and customer numbers, driving home the message that a targeted group of engaged consumers can be vastly more valuable than a high CPM. She also talked a little about the importance of measuring the right things to help make fully informed marketing choices.

All-in-all it was a fascinating morning, and if you get the opportunity to go to the Tech & Data one in November, do so!

Make sure to let us know if you attended the conference on twitter @AtwoodTate 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to read Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends  because Ruth Mortimer told me to!

 

 

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OPuS Event: Careers in 21st Century Publishing

opus-careers-in-21st-century-publishing

The other week our Oxford-based consultants, Claire Louise Kemp and Lisa Smars, attended the Atwood Tate sponsored Oxford Publishing Society (OPuS) event Careers in 21st Century Publishing. OPuS invited four industry professionals to share their career stories and their top tips for getting into the publishing industry. What we learned was that there is no one career path you can take in publishing – and often what you thought you’d be doing is not where you actually end up!

The speakers:

David Spencer, Publisher Social Sciences at Elsevier

When starting university, David hadn’t really considered a career in publishing. He taught in Australia for a year, and completed a master’s of sociology in sport, before starting to apply for jobs. He landed his first job in publishing in the editorial department at Taylor & Francis. From there he advanced and got his own list responsibilities, and he recently joined Elsevier as Publisher.

Emily Brand, Managing Editor at Bodleian Library Publishing

After studying history at university Emily started working at Osprey Publishing as an Editor, stayed there for a couple of years before joining OUP as a Production Editor. Recently she started working at Bodleian Publishing as Managing Editor. Emily has been working as a freelance writer and historian alongside her full-time roles, and have published several books.

 Robbie Cooke, Marketing and PR Manager at Rebellion

After finishing a Master’s in Publishing from Oxford Brookes, Robbie started his first job in publishing as Marketing Assistant at Taylor & Francis.  Following on from that he worked at Boardworks, and Pearson Education before getting a job at Rebellion as a Marketing and PR Coordinator. Rebellion is primarily a games company, so not a traditional publisher as such, and when Robbie joined them, he was their first ever marketing person.

Emily Pigeon-Martin, Online Consultant at Lidl

Like Robbie, Emily also has a MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes, but so far her career has been very different. She started her publishing journey at Haymarket as Direct Marketing Executive, before working in marketing at News International and Sunday Times. After that she left more traditional publishing and joined the supermarket chain Lidl as Digital Marketing Manager.

Thing we learnt, important advice, and interesting facts:

  • When you start applying for you first job in publishing, don’t be disheartened by job rejections – we all get them!
  • When companies are recruiting new staff, it’s important to remember that they often look for candidates that can progress within the organisation.
  • Show enthusiasm in job interviews.
  • When you start your first job in publishing, remember to show initiative, manage your time properly, try your best to understand the day-to-day challenges of the people around you, get out of your comfort zone, and never stop learning.
  • Don’t be afraid of maternity cover contracts – they can be a great way to gain valuable experience and to get a foot in the door of a company.
  • A lot of the skills you’ll pick up are transferable.
  • Networking is a key part of every job – so get good at it! (read our blog on the topic!)
  • Believe in yourself.

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Careers in 21st Century Publishing

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Atwood Tate are pleased to be sponsoring the OPuS event tonight, Careers in 21st Century Publishing.

In the fast-moving world of publishing, “jobs for life” are an anomaly and transferable skills essential. But how easy is it to progress in publishing and move between market sectors and different roles? What are the key elements you need to build your career? Is it possible to succeed outside traditional publishing companies?

Focusing on their own specific work experience in moving onwards and upwards from entry level jobs, 4 speakers from a wide range of companies will give a unique insight into the diverse profession loosely referred to as “publishing”.

Confirmed speakers:
• David Spencer: Publisher, Social Sciences, Elsevier
• Emily Brand: Managing Editor, Bodleian Library Publishing
• Robbie Cooke: Marketing and PR Manager at Rebellion
Further speakers to be announced.

Drinks & Networking from 6.15pm
Presentations 7-8.30pm
Willow Buildings, Oxford Brookes University
To register, go to http://www.opusnet.co.uk/events/forthcoming-events/careers-in-publishing

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BAME in Publishing

Sarah Shaffi, online editor and producer at The Bookseller, and Wei Ming Kam, sales and marketing assistant at Oberon Books, have recently set up the BAME in Publishing network “in response to the endless diversity debates and panels that have come and gone in the last few years”. The following blog is from Sarah, giving a bit more of the background behind the network and some next steps we can all take to improve things for everyone in the industry.

BAME in Publishing - correct
sarah shaffi
Let me tell you a story.

I was at a book launch and was introduced to a man working for the publishing company which had released the book in question. We’d not met before but within seconds this man, let’s call him Colin (not his name), said that we had. I told him we hadn’t.

He then named a very specific occasion on which we’d met. Impossible, I said, I wasn’t at that event.

Ah, of course, Colin countered, he’d met me at this other event, he said, naming a place and rough date. Nope, not me either, I said, with frustration probably suffusing my voice.

Luckily he stopped, because I was this close *holds thumb and forefinger apart just enough to slide a piece of paper in between* to snapping at him that he was clearly mixing me up with some other brown girl he’d met at a publishing event.

My story isn’t unusual. Ask any person from a Black, Asian or majority ethnic background in publishing if they’ve ever been mistaken for someone else because of their skin colour, and I guarantee most of them have similar stories to mine.

Which is one of the many reasons it’s time to make sure publishing diversifies its workforce. It’s a selfish reason, but I’d like there to be more brown girls in publishing so the six of us here already (OK, maybe a few more than six) don’t keep getting mistaken for each other.

But on a more serious note, publishing should recruit more people from ethnically diverse backgrounds (and economically and geographically diverse backgrounds) because it will be a good thing for the industry. Why? It kind of boils down to one thing…

The wider the backgrounds of the people working in publishing, the more likely publishers are to come up with new ideas and new books and see new voices. And this means that publishers can reach wider audiences, sell more books, and make more money.

Helping to increase the number of people from BAME backgrounds in publishing, and then hopefully the number of books by BAME people published in the UK, is behind why me and Wei Ming Kam set up BAME in Publishing.

The group, which is for people already in the industry and those aspiring to work in publishing, is a positive, fun space for BAME people, but also a safe one, where people can share experiences, get advice, and make connections and find mentors. It’s time to turn the discussion around diversity in publishing from one where we moan about how terrible it all is to one where we celebrate the BAME talent already in the industry, support them, and make sure they’re visible, to the industry itself and to those wanting to join.

For people from ethnic minority backgrounds wanting to come into publishing, I have the following tips:

  • Don’t be afraid. I know it can seem daunting to be one of the only non-white faces around, but you’re paving the way for future generations, and you should always remember that.
  • Speak up. One of the valuable things about you is that you might look at the world from a slightly different perspective, so if you have an idea or an opinion, share it. (Politely and in an appropriate setting, of course.)
  • Go for paid positions. There are a number of paid internships out there, so make sure you apply for them. Work experience is fine, but working for free should only be done for a week or two absolute maximum.
  • Make connections. Find people who have done the jobs you want to do, and drop them a line to say hello and ask if they would mind you asking their advice. It’s especially easy to do this with Twitter.
  • Join BAME in Publishing!

And for publishers, a few things you could be doing:

  • Look beyond Creative Access. Creative Access is brilliant, but one intern a year in your company probably isn’t going to change anything fast.
  • Reach out to schools. London is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and so many UK publishing firms are based in the capital. It’s not difficult to find schools where the make-up of pupils is diverse, so go out there and talk to them, make sure they know the many different roles and opportunities available to them at a publishing house.
  • Pay. I can’t say this enough – publishers should be paying interns and, if possible, should at least be shouting travel expenses for work experience students.
  • Widen the advertising net. Sure, The Guardian and your own website are great, but are you making an effort to reach new audiences with your job adverts? Are you advertising on Twitter and Tumblr, in publications targeting people of different ethnic backgrounds?

My hope is that, if we all work together, BAME in Publishing will no longer need to exist, and I’ll never be mistaken for that other brown girl in publishing again.

Want to find out more? Go to BAMEinpublishing.tumblr.com/faqs, email bameinpublishing@gmail.com, or leave a comment below.

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