Category Archives: Industry Voices

Interviews with, and opinion pieces by, people across the Publishing industry.

Rave Technologies Conference 02/10/17

On Monday 2nd October, Karine and I attended the Annual Publishing Conference 2017 hosted by Rave Technologies.

As per normal, it was an interesting conference with the chance to meet like-minded people within publishing.

The Morning

The morning session of the conference consisted of the following:

  • Max Gabriel, Chief Technology Officer at Taylor & Francis, talking about the changing rules of economy, with the digital landscape shifting power from supply to demand.
  • Chris Marker from The IET presented a case study on AI.
  • Prabhash Shrestha from the Independent Community Bankers of America was next with an entertaining speech on digital transformation from a non-publishing viewpoint.
  • John Haynes, CEO at AIP Publishing talked about innovation in a journal and data hybrid.
  • Panel discussion, moderated by Christian Kohl, on AI in publishing: applications, potentials and constraints. The panel included Daniel Ecer – Data Scientist at eLife Sciences Publications, Ian Mulvany – Head of Product Innovation at Sage, Prabhash Shrestha from the ICBA and Christopher Marker – Lead Taxonomist at The IET.

Following this was lunch with a chance of networking.

The Afternoon

In the afternoon of the conference, there were the follwoing sessions:

  • Ian Mulvany, Head of Product Innovation at Sage, talked about managing innovation.
  • Liz Bradshaw and Kunal Ahluwalia of Elsevier discussed data-driven product development.
  • Panel discussion, moderated by Tasha Mellins-Cohen, Microbiology Society, on Agile/lean and their wider impact on publishing.
  • And the final talk was delivered by Andrew Vorster, Innovation Consultant, advising on the art and science igniting innovation initiatives.

 

See you all next year!

 

David Martin (AIRP)
Senior Consultant (Technology, Digital, Change & Transformation, Data & Analytics Nationwide)

Tel: 020 7034 7850
Email: davidmartin@atwoodtate.co.uk

 

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Guest Post: What will defy, embrace or become a disruption in scholarly publishing?

We are thrilled to bring you a guest post on our blog from Jessica Edwards, as she reflects her thoughts on the BookMachine’s recent event, ‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’.

What will defy, embrace or become a disruption in scholarly publishing?

Thoughts from BookMachine’s latest event

‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’

By Jessica Edwards

The Jam Factory, Oxford, 7 September 2017

Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta

Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta

Last Thursday, as I trundled slowly towards Oxford (kicking myself for accidentally catching a slow train – who knew there were quite so many stations between Reading and Oxford?!) I wondered what was in store at BookMachine’s latest event, ‘Scholarly Publishing: Crossing the Rubicon’. Arriving at The Jam Factory, I scanned the room of busily-networking people and took a deep breath. Although I’ve now worked in publishing for over 2 years, and always enjoy chatting to inspired publishing-types, a few seconds of panic always descends when, turning from the table of beverages, glass in hand, the reality hits that one must shuffle into a group at random and strike up a conversation. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to approach two lovely individuals from Atwood Tate – Claire Louise Kemp and Alice Crick. Not only were they extremely friendly, our conversation (and Claire Louise spotting me scribbling notes during the panel discussion) led to the suggestion, offer, and composition of this blog post!

My name’s Jess Edwards, and I’m currently Marketing Executive at Gale, a Cengage Company. Gale creates digital resources (from journal and eBook databases to digital archives) for academic, special, school and government libraries worldwide. Consequently, when the advert for BookMachine’s scholarly publishing seminar popped into my inbox, it not only looked interesting but extremely relevant to my current position, and I quickly purchased an early-bird ticket!

There were four engaging speakers on the panel. Phill Jones, Director of Innovation at Digital Science, a company who invest and nurture research start-ups creating software to aid scientific research; Charlie Rapple, Sales & Marketing Director and co-founder of Kudos, a platform which increases research impact by driving discovery and facilitating the sharing of academic work; Byron Russell, Head of Ingenta Connect, a publisher-facing content management system that enables publishers to convert, store and deliver digital content; and Duncan Campbell, Director of Digital Licensing and Sales Partnerships at John Wiley & Sons, ranked ninth on the Publisher’s Weekly list of the world’s 50 largest publishers, 2017. Bringing together speakers (and an audience) from both large, established publishers and newer, often technology-based start-ups, led to some interesting discussion on the relationships between the two; the responsibilities of each; and whether one or the other is best placed to cope with the disruptive forces in publishing – or themselves be disruptive.

The discussion generated by the panel was wide-ranging and insightful, broadening my understanding of the challenges, relationships and roles in publishing beyond my own. It made me think more deeply about the hugely influential and clearly disruptive issues looming over the industry, as well as the ideas and innovations which currently exist around the edges of the industry, meeting niche requirements today, but which could, in time, disrupt, engulf or evolve the whole publishing landscape.

Insights and topics of discussion that I found particularly intriguing include:

  • The symbiotic relationship between start-ups and established publishers

The opening discussion about innovation in publishing included the suggestion that it is more difficult for established companies to innovate – something easier for new-comers. However, there was also an agreement that innovation is a necessity at every tier of the industry. The conversation moved on to the common practice of publishers supporting innovation elsewhere; encouraging and funding the technological start-ups often responsible for floating fresh new ideas. The arguments were put forward that these start-ups rely on funding and support from the publishing establishment, who had a responsibility to nurture them. Yet the establishment in turn rely on the innovation of the start-ups for their own development and evolution – often acquiring them down-the-line as part of their innovation strategy – thus the relationship could be described as cyclical or symbiotic.

  • Piracy V. Green OA

Although I was relatively familiar with the term ‘Open Access’, I was not with ‘Green OA’. (This was one of the things I was inspired to google following the event, and consequently am now aware of both green and gold OA!) Reference to green OA was made in discussion of the threat and disruptive nature of piracy in the publishing industry. There was also consideration of how attitudes towards sharing have changed over time – and where the fine line now sits between piracy and OA. It was suggested that in the past, if one academic was to email an article to another based elsewhere, it would have been seen by publishers as an infringement of copyright. Now, perceptions of sharing have evolved, with the industry instead taking an observational approach; monitoring such behaviours with the intent to better understand the market. The distinction was made, however, and agreed upon unanimously by the panel, that sharing on a need-to-know basis remains different from mass-uploads by networks such as Sci-Hub. Yet it was also recognised that such ‘dark’ enterprises are also examples of innovation forcing the publishing industry to evolve. The disruptive impact of such ‘dark’ innovation was nicely summarised by Phill Jones: ‘It has forced the agenda, but at the same time, it’s not the solution.’

It’s testament to how packed, insightful and content-rich the discussion was that I could go on…! However, this blog post is already heading towards classification as a tome, so I won’t elaborate on the other interesting discussions, though will squeeze in that these included the impact of new business models such as ‘Netflix for journal articles’(!), how a trend towards trans-disciplinary research and developments in research evaluation will affect publishing, and the future of Discovery Systems.

All-in-all, I highly recommend anyone interested in learning more about a particular area of publishing, or the industry in general, goes along to a BookMachine event. Absorb what the experts have to say – it will almost certainly come in useful in the not-so-distant future – and meander your way into a conversation during the networking drinks – who knows what connections you’ll make, you might even end up writing a blog post for somebody!

A little like Where’s Wally…spot me in the stripey top! Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta.

A little like Where’s Wally…spot me in the stripey top! Image courtesy of Michael Belcher, Marketing Manager at Ingenta.

Nb. All views are my own, and not those of Gale, Atwood Tate, or BookMachine. If I have misrepresented any of the discussion or speakers’ arguments, this is down to my own misunderstanding.

Twitter @Jessica2Edwards

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicaedwards1/

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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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Publishing and the unpaid internship

A recent article in the Bookseller covered the attitudes changing around the unpaid internship. For some time now, there has been a building frustration with how impenetrable the publishing industry can be to people who cannot afford to undergo the necessary work placements that make finding one’s first job that much more viable.

Those already in publishing have recognised this roadblock and are making significant steps to facilitate entry into the industry for those candidates who may have considered it an impossible option previously. Paid internships are slowly but surely becoming a feature of some of the larger publishers, who have determined to increase diversity through any and all means. It is certainly a cause for celebration for a lot of recent graduates but also for anyone who has hoped to make the move into publishing from another industry but could never forgo a regular income, even for a short period of time.

Atwood Tate’s temp’s team have helped a number of graduates unable to work unpaid, get their first paid job in publishing. Publishers are always looking for support staff with some office and administration experience, and contact the Atwood Tate temps team often with urgent, start next day roles.

Candidates that do not have a traditional background in publishing also have found their way into the industry through our desk and it is a great source of pride to us that we are able to provide the underdog with a much-needed chance to live their dream.

We do also help interns to build on the experience they have gained and get paid roles. We act as another lever into the industry and our clients come to us when they need help managing a volume of roles or need temp staff quickly.

So, while the industry slowly brings about the necessary changes to internships, Atwood Tate is here to lend a hand. Get in touch, send your CV. We’re here to advise you, and answer questions about salary, job types, the different sectors, feel to pick our brains and see if we can help you get your foot on the publishing ladder!

Our contact details are below and we look forward to hearing from you!

Kellie Millar                                                              Alison Redfearn

0207034787                                                             02070347922

kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk                            alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk

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SYP Panel Talk: “How to assert yourself in publishing”

SYP Panel Talk: “How to assert yourself in publishing”

On Tuesday night, I went to my first SYP event, which was a panel talk on “How to assert yourself in publishing”. On the panel were: Roly Allen (@roly_allen) a Publisher at Ilex, part of Hachette UK,  Bryony Woods (@BryonyWoods)  Literary Agent at Diamond Khan and Woods,  Ailah Ahmed (@ailahahmed), Commissioning Editor at Little, Brown, part of Hachette UK, and Pinelopi Pourpoutidou, Head of Foreign & Digital Sales at Michael O’Mara Publishing.

Discussion ranged from topics such as knowing when it is time to speak up in meetings, what confidence is, and whether maternity-leave affects career progression, and what can be done to change this. Here are 7 of the top tips to take away from the evening.

 

On Applications…

1. Keep your cover letters short and specific to the job

Cover letters do not need be very long. Half a side of A4 will suffice. Make it short and sharp and to the point. Outline your key skills and how they make you suitable for the requirements of the role. Investigate the company, know what they do. Say why you want to work for them and why they should want you to work for them.

2. Sell yourself in your interests.

The interests section in your CV is your chance to sell yourself, and gives the company an idea of you as a real person. Be honest, but also be professional. Do you play sports, play in a band, part of an activity/ interest club, been travelling? Make sure you share!

 

On Confidence…

3. Fake it till you make it

Few people can start in a role and have complete confidence right away. It is learnt over time as you acclimatise to the role. Being nervous as you start out is normal, but if you are not confident, you can just pretend you are. The panel suggested Amy Cuddy’s method of ‘Fake it Till You Make It”. Watch her TED Talk on it here: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

The panel also suggested Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg as a resource particularly for women with tips and advice on how to build confidence and how to be a successful leader in the workplace.

 4. Loudness isn’t confidence- knowing what you’re talking about is.

Don’t think that you will come across as confident just by talking louder and being brash and confrontational. Being quieter and more introverted doesn’t mean that you are less effective or less valuable. What is important is preparing your facts before you talk and share. An idea that you have investigated and can support with facts and realistic costings is much more useful than something unprepared, said loudly.

5. Form a support network, even if just an informal one.

One tip suggested, especially to benefit people from minorities with less representation in the industry, was to form a support network with people in the industry who have come from a similar background. Either in your company, or out wider out into the industry; find someone or a group of people who are at a similar stage to you, and people you feel you can confide in, and ask advice from, who you can meet up with once a month over a coffee.

6. Don’t be afraid of speaking up in meetings, but know when to stop.

If you have an idea that is relevant, share it. But if you are told it will not work, then know when to stop.

 

On Asking for More…

7. When to ask for a pay rise

The panel suggested that you should perhaps start thinking about asking for a pay rise after a year into a role. An employer should not think less of you for asking, and the worst that they can say is no. If they do reject your request, ask if you can review this decision in 3 to 6 months. They suggested that you should pick your time to ask also based on what the situation of both you and your company are. If the company is making cut backs, it might not be the correct time to ask. But if you have had a period of success (as opposed to just one success), then you should ask. Your request should make a case for your worth to the company, and why you deserve this rise.

 

This was a fascinating talk, and all the speakers were enthusiastic and entertaining. Thanks to the speakers and The SYP for hosting the event!

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A Day In The Life Of . . . A Temporary Rights and Permissions Assistant

Today, we have another of our temporary workers, breaking down their role as a Rights and Permissions Assistant for us!

What was your role and how long was the assignment for?

I started on a six week placement which extended to three months reviewing permission logs.  This then progressed to the current temporary contract and I have been in this role for 2 ½ years.

Were you interviewed for the role?  Yes

What were your key duties?

Reviewing published books to check any third party items such as images and quotes had been cleared for use.

Processing incoming permissions queries, preparing licenses and invoices

Processing incoming translation and other rights requests, negotiating the terms and fee payable, preparing the contract and invoice

Some marketing of titles for rights selling

Tell us about the culture?

Everyone at the company is very friendly and helpful (which has been great given how many questions I have asked of people).  Everyone is keen to produce the best books they can.  Many roles include foreign travel and even if you stay in the UK you are always working with people around the world both inside and outside the company which gives a real multi-cultural flavour to the role.

What did you like best?

There are so many things, among them I really enjoy being able to tell authors that their books are being translated. Seeing the translated books when they arrive is always a great pleasure as you never really know how they will look until you see them.

What did you learn?

Everything!  I had never done this role before and so it has been a real baptism of fire as I have learned how to use new systems and databases, copyright rules as well as refining my negotiation skills.

How did you find your experience with Atwood Tate? Great, Kellie, Michael and the team have always been very supportive and helpful at every step.

How did Atwood Tate approach you for the role? Atwood Tate’s database, job board?  I first contacted Atwood Tate after seeing the role on The Bookseller website and then spoke with Kellie about it in further detail.

Interested in temporary opportunities? Please contact Atwood Tate’s temps team administrator, Michael Lawlor michaellawlor@atwoodtate.co.uk

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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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How to Get Ahead in Academic Publishing

Today we have a guest post from Academic Professional: Suzanne Kavanagh.Suzanne Kavanagh Academic Book Week

 

Suzanne Kavanagh has worked in publishing for over 20 years, most recently as Director of Marketing and Membership Services at ALPSP. You can contact her via @sashers or suzanne.kavanagh@gmx.com.

 

How to Get Ahead in Academic Publishing

Armed with a fistful of crumpled CVs and an Art History degree, I trudged up and down Charing Cross Road looking for a bookselling job. I’d set my heart on working in publishing in my third year at uni, but trawling through The Guardian I realised it would be hard for me to stand out from hundreds of applicants who, no doubt, also felt just as passionately about books and read voraciously as I did. I figured bookselling would be a good starting point.

This was the first time I’d considered what I had to offer. It made me think about how selling jeans in a shop provided influencing, negotiation and questioning skills. I realised that bar work provided customer service and conflict resolution skills (as well as excess consumption of warm white wine…essential for low budget book launches). Fast forward a few weeks and I was happily ensconced at a specialist art bookseller.

Aside from a borderline obsession with alphabetising each section and secretly sniffing new stock, I learned a lot that would be relevant for my career.

It was pretty cutting edge for *coughs* 1993 *coughs*. We had a PC networked stock management system. We used this to mail out subject leaflets to customers around the world. I used my enthusiasm and retail experience to help customers find the book they were after and proved to be an occasional foil to the sometimes-grumpy owner.

My first job at a small trade publisher was in the sales and marketing team. I dealt with bibliographic information, wrote jacket blurbs, marketing copy and produced the new titles catalogue. I got to know everyone in the company and gained a real insight into the publishing process.

But the low salary made it hard to live in London. Sound familiar?

Meanwhile a friend kept telling me about the publisher she worked at. They published academic texts for students, researchers and professionals in the humanities and social sciences. She loved working there. And she was paid quite a bit more than me. Academic publishing had never occurred: I’d always assumed that publishing meant fiction, poetry and pictures. But the facts speak for themselves.

The UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport reports that the publishing sector employed 200,000 people in 2015 – an increase of 3.7% on the year before. (Source: DCMS 2016 Focus on Creative Industries report). These figures include book, journal, newspapers, magazines and database publishing. However, in 2011, Creative Skillset reported the breakdown by sub-sector: Journals and Periodicals employed 26% of the workforce and Book Publishing 17% and Academic is drawn from both these categories.

In May 2016 the UK Publishers Association reported that total sales of book and journal publishing were up to £4.4 billion in 2015. Academic journal publishing was up 5% to £1.1 billion and there were £1.42 billion export revenues with two thirds of this figure in education, academic and ELT (English Language Teaching). (Source: PA Statistics Yearbook 2015 news release)

Academic is a vibrant sector employing a lot of people and is a major economic driver in the creative industries.

My second publishing job was at that academic publisher promoting journals and reference works. When asked why I wanted the job, the answer was clear: I’d relish working with books that support education, research and the furthering of knowledge. I got the job and – to my surprise and delight – a decent pay rise.

The great thing about many academic publishers is that they tend to be large organisations with more opportunity for training and promotion. I took all options open to me. I applied for internal jobs to learn about different lists and improve my skills. I was curious, enthusiastic, worked and played hard. I got to know people, respected different departments and personalities it took to run the business. Roles included Marketing Coordinator, Executive, Manager, Senior Manager.

Since then I’ve had the privilege of working in a range of organisations including Taylor & Francis, Continuum and the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers. I saw first hand how diverse the sector is at ALPSP, an international trade body for not-for-profit organisations. Their members include the American Historical Association, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the OECD, SAGE, as well as all the larger commercial companies like Elsevier and Springer Nature. There are a lot of publishers covering pretty much all disciplines.

I know it seems obvious, but the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that job mobility and training go hand in hand with progressing your career.

You may start in one department/role. That doesn’t preclude you moving to others where your experience is applied in different ways. There are plenty of opportunities with more specialist jobs where, with the right training, you can become expert in a particular niche.

When I started out, it was relatively simple: assistant / coordinator / executive / manager roles in sales / marketing / production / editorial. And now? Well a quick glance through the Atwood Tate vacancy list tells a story. Roles like ‘Predictive Analytics and Insight Specialist’ and ‘Instructional Designer’ sit alongside Product Editor and Marketing Executive. It’s a taste of how the industry is changing. If you move roles, and learn new skills, you’re more likely to get on.

So what does the future hold for you and what skills do you need to be successful? There are three main areas you need to plot your profile against. Where do you map yourself on this chart? Where do you want to be? This is by no means exhaustive, but provides insight into where the industry will be.

Academic Flow chart

My final advice for working in academic publishing?

  1. Be curious: ask open questions, listen and learn
  2. Read industry publications, blogs and research
  3. Remember you’re dealing with people: be courteous, build your network
  4. Take every training opportunity – from free webinars to paid-for courses
  5. Enjoy it! You’re giving something back to advancing human knowledge.

 

We thank Suzanne for her wonderful guest post!

For more information about Academic Book Week, and more information about academic publishing, see the official website and the Twitter feed.

If you are a publishing professional and would be interested in writing a guest post for Atwood Tate just get in touch.

Please email: eleanorpilcher@atwoodtate.co.uk or get in touch via any of our social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

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Building Inclusivity in Publishing

building-inclusivity-in-publishing

Our pledge to help publishing to build inclusivity

Last month The London Book Fair, in partnership with The Publishers Association, held a conference on Building Inclusivity. I attended the event for Atwood Tate, because in our role as a publishing recruitment agency we have a responsibility to ensure recruitment processes are inclusive and offer all suitable candidates an equal opportunity to be considered for a role.

As members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, we adhere to its Code of Professional Practice.  A respect for diversity is one of the main guiding principles of this code. We adhere to all applicable legislation, encourage equal opportunities in recruitment and establish working practices to safeguard against prejudice.

Over the past few weeks, I have been reflecting on the thoughts and insights that were shared at the Building Inclusivity event.  To start with, in using the word “inclusivity” rather than “diversity” the organisers of the event were clearly trying to drive on the tired conversation which has been stalling for a long time in the publishing industry.  Semantics can have a strong effect and I did feel that there was renewed energy and determination shown by speakers and delegates at the conference.  There was a focus openness and accessibility rather than a defining of differences and analysis of the norm versus the “other” in the publishing industry as things stand.

In her keynote speech, Crystal Mahey-Morgan, founder of OWN IT!, reminded us that books lead to readers developing empathy, and empathy leads to humanity.  I only learned about this proven link between reading and the development of empathy and morals when reading Maryanne Wolf’s wonderful Proust and the Squid (which incidentally I would recommend to anyone interested in literacy, reading, neurology and sociology), so whilst a lot of people in the book industry may know about the importance of reading for society, Mahey-Morgan’s words were a powerful reminder.

Charities like Beanstalk do important work in getting into schools to promote reading to all, but I know from observing my own children learning to read, that in order for a person to want to read, the content needs to be engaging and interesting.  None of us expect our friends and family to necessarily share all of our interests or preferences, so we already accept a variety of genres and content, but the consensus at the Building Inclusivity conference was that the books published in the UK are not wholly representative of our society or meeting its needs.

Recruitment & Inclusivity

It was clearly felt that there is a correlation between what is published and who is working in publishing and that’s where the recruitment side of things comes into play.  The industry needs to be more than just “open” to recruiting from outside of the traditional profile of publishing people but needs to make an effort to demonstrate the desire to be inclusive and take measure to increase accessibility to a wider pool of prospective employees.

At the conference, employers were encouraged to make a pledge as what measures they would aim to take after the conference in order to play an active part in creating a publishing industry that is inclusive and representative of our society as a whole.

My pledge on the day to do more at the grass roots level with Beanstalk was inspired by looking at what we could do personally at Atwood Tate to help bring a love of reading to a wider range of children.  Crystal Mahey-Morgan’s words about humanity and the story of author Robyn Travis struck a chord with me, as a governor at a primary school in a deprived area, where a lot of children a brought up in homes without books.

However, we at Atwood Tate also want to make it our pledge to ensure that we are providing as much advice and support to our publisher clients, as possible to help them to promote equal opportunities in recruitment and share ideas as to how to establish working practices to safeguard against prejudice and promote inclusivity and equality.

We are not HR consultants or expert advisors, but we can offer the following:

  • As trained members of the REC, we all have a solid understanding of all applicable legislation and Atwood Tate embraces diversity and seeks to promote the benefits of diversity in all of our business activities and to develop a business culture that reflects that belief.
  • Through our daily work and attending industry events and REC round table meetings we keep up to date with new trends and initiatives. We can share the knowledge and insight we have about what is being done in publishing and other industries to improve inclusivity in recruitment processes.
  • We are expert at writing engaging and non-discriminatory job advertisements and we are able to advertise widely and reach out to candidates outside of the publishers traditional networks.

What are your thoughts on inclusivity in publishing? Let us know in the comments below or contact us on our social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

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