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.
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
You have reached the interview stage, great news! Now you have to face the dreaded interview. Don’t worry, we have some interview dos and don’ts for you to master your publishing interview, and maybe even enjoy it!
Use the job description and person specification to hone in on the skills and competencies they are looking for
Practice an interview situation with your friends or family
Greet the interviewer with a firm (but not bone breaking!) handshake
Take copies of your cv, covering letter and relevant documents with you
Dress well; publishing is a creative industry and you can express yourself with your dress whilst looking smart
Leave plenty of time to get to your interview; being late will make you feel stressed prior to the interview
Keep eye contact, wait for your turn to speak and listen carefully to the questions you are being asked
Answer the question and express yourself clearly (practice will help with this)
Ask questions! An interview is also your opportunity to see if the company will be a good fit for you as well as you for them, so prepare some well researched questions in advance
Be confident in your skills and abilities, have examples ready which demonstrate your experience in relation to the job requirements
Show your enthusiasm! You can also follow up after the interview to thank them for their time
Dress too casually
Complain about your previous role or employer!
You want your interview to be a positive experience
Lie about your skills or abilities, lies can be
detected! You also don’t want to be in a difficult situation if you find
yourself unable to do the job
Be too hard on yourself if you do not answer a
question quite right, instead remain positive and move onto the next. You won’t
be judged for making a mistake on one question
Bring up salary, holidays and benefits unless
your interviewer does
Be blunt or too simple in your answers with just
a `yes’ or `no’, you are expected to explain where possible, without rambling
Talk over your interviewer or finish their
sentences for them
We had a fantastic response to
our blog competition and we do aim to answer all of your brilliant questions!
The team decided that ‘Flexible
working: Does it work for employee and employer?’ should be the first
question we address as it’s very much a hot topic and the question of flexible
working is often raised by our candidates when considering a role.
We have researched this topic by asking our clients their company’s stance on flexible working, what policies they have or what is in their pipeline for the future.
Types of flexible working you might consider:
Working from home on a regular basis
Our clients have noticed a shift from flexible working being more focused on hours e.g. flexible starts and finishes to now moving onto location.
Does it work for employee?
We all dread that rush hour
commute and we all wish we could have been home for that boiler repair, right?
The opportunity to avoid commuting (even once a month!) and make that all
important appointment is a huge stress reliever.
Flexible working and the trust
that comes with it from our employers gives employees a positive feeling and a
sense of autonomy, encouraging a positive attitude towards their work.
An office atmosphere is great!
However, if a member of staff has a lot on and needs to focus, this atmosphere
can sometimes be a distraction. Allowing an employee the option of working from
home can be beneficial as they can work without distractions.
Some employees don’t enjoy
working from home, instead they miss that social interaction and that is fair
It goes without saying that for employees with children or family commitments, flexible working is extremely beneficial.
Does it work for employer?
Our clients recognise that allowing
employees to work from home, is a trust exercise and employees have reacted
positively to this. In particular millennials are expecting a more flexible
work environment and companies need to respond to a changing workforce.
For expanding or small companies,
flexible working is also a positive because it allows for a better working
environment in terms of space. Small offices can be quite cramped and stuffy,
by employees taking it in turn with their flexible working allows for a much
more comfortable working environment in the office.
A concern our clients
acknowledged was centred on creativity. People often work best when they can
bounce off each other and discuss ideas and their concerns in person. So there
is a need for people to be present for meetings and to maintain communication
However, with most people having access to good wifi, it’s possible to have meetings from remote locations using Skype / Google hangout etc – once everyone gets the hang of it this works fine!
Does it work for employee and employer? YES!
The response from our clients was
overall positive and flexible working has become part of company consciousness
and improving working standards.
For some clients their flexible
working policies are already in place with employees working one day a week
from home (with successful completion of probation period in mind) for others
the policies have started with some improvements to go.
If flexible working does not have a negative effect on the working standards then why not!
BytetheBook hosted a particularly good event called ‘How Do you Market Authors and their Books?’
Introduced by Justine Solomons and chaired by Hermione
Ireland (Marketing Director at Little Brown Book Group @hermioneireland) the
evening covered a really good range of questions for both authors and those
working in marketing in publishing.
They had a range of experts including Julia Silk (Literary
Agent at Kingsford and Campbell @juliasreading), Truda Spruyt (Director of PR
agency Colman Getty @TrudaSpruyt) and Kit Caless (Author and Publisher at
Influx Press @KitCaless) to ensure we heard all sides of the story!
It’s important to market yourself (or your
author) not just your product. You need to creative and authentic.
It’s vital to be resilient (perhaps more in
publicity) where you get lots of no’s before you get yes’s.
There was a split on the importance of social
media with Kit saying it depends if the author is confident to do. Similarly
events can work well if the author is behind it and has connections.
Partnerships also work well if the author has a
strong back story and connections.
Everyone agreed it’s vital to get a marketing
plan together at a very early stage – 3-6 months ahead of publication date and
you either need time to do marketing yourself or money to pay someone to do it
Publishers should put together a detailed
marketing plan for you with a budget that generally reflects the size of the
For self-published authors, be creative (Kit
sends 2-300 advance copies with a hand-written note out to all the indie
booksellers which generates strong advance orders).
Metadata is vital to get right. There are
various codes and key words that can be used and manipulated to gain
visibility. In big publishers there are tech people doing this but you can put
your book in several niche sub categories to reach a wider audience. You might
be number 1 in a niche!
Facebook advertising can be used effectively
especially for genre publishing. And try Facebook Live which is free.
Authors should think about their
readers/audience as the book will need to go through a long selling chain if
published by a publisher (Agent – Editor – Sales – Marketing etc) and they’ll
all be asking – who will be interested in buying this book?
Thanks to the panel and Justine, founder of @BytetheBook and
look forward to the next event!