Sales role can vary in different ways – you can be doing an office-based sales role or it can also be home working with a company car where you drive to meet clients on site. Sales in publishing is often a very friendly environment and it is more of a warm selling because bookseller/wholesalers knows what sells the best for them.
Are sales roles all about cold calling?
Not at all! A Business Development role, which in most cases means cold-calling and developing new client relationships. However, Key Account roles is more of a relationship-building role with your designated clients/regions. For Sales Representative roles, you will be most likely travel a lot, from arranging meetings to face-to-face, you will get to visit your region a lot.
The perks? Travelling! Sales role, especially international sales means there are unlimited opportunities to travel with the role. I once talked to a candidate who looks after international sales who has travelled from the UK to Singapore, then Australia and back. When I was working in publishing sales back in Hong Kong, I was also very excited to have trips travelling to Frankfurt for the book fair and then Shanghai and Beijing too. If you love travelling, you will not be disappointed!
So just to sum up:
The secret to successful sales is all about having passion for what you are selling
Friendly, observant and knowledge (of the market) will help you go a long way
Sales is the bridge between the customers and the publishing team. You will often bring back market feedback to the editorial and marketing team so you can all bring more success to the list
Budgeting and planning trips are usually included in the job too, so good numeric skills will definitely help
-Advice from our Publishing Recruitment Consultant, Clare Chan
If you want some more information then check our other blog!
Forget New Year’s
Resolutions and form just one or two good job hunting habits to land your
perfect new role in 2020
New Year’s Resolutions are often over-rated and
over-ambitious. How many times have you
resolved to do something in January, only to lapse before January is over? If your personal goal for 2020 is to find a
new job, we recommend spending a little time every day or every week on one or
two (or all) of these easily achieved activities and you will quickly find you
have formed some new habits that might just lead to you landing that perfect
new role. As with most things, “little
and often” pays off and helps you to feel positive and productive.
Sign up to targeted job alerts or make a list of
job boards to check daily – maybe on your homeward commute. For publishing jobs we recommend our own job
alerts and website in addition to Google Jobs,
and the IPG
Log on to your LinkedIn profile every day, maybe
for ten minutes at lunch time, and give yourself the goal of liking or sharing
a post or connecting with someone new every day
Set aside time at the weekend for working on
your CV and personal statement or LinkedIn profile and commit to that hour or
so every week, even when you don’t have anything specific to apply for. Your CV is a living document, so if you’ve
achieved something at work that week, you might want to find a way of working
it in to a new version of your resumé
Make a list of contacts to keep in touch with
regularly, such as your recruiter or ex-colleagues or people you’ve met at
networking events. Add to the list as
you build new contacts and once a month review the list and contact anyone who
you haven’t spoken to in a while to let them know you’re still looking
Give yourself the goal of attending one
networking event a month. Check our events
calendar for some inspiration.
Tell a friend that you’re committing to this, they might say they will
come with you, but even if they don’t ask them to hold you accountable, so that
you don’t wimp out. If you’re a
self-confessed introvert, don’t panic, networking can still be extremely productive. There is a lot of advice available on how to
network as an introvert, but you can start here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/network-like-introvert-gemma-stow/
Of course there are plenty of other things you can do, but
start small, form a habit or two and see where that takes you! Good luck with your job search in 2020 and if
you would like to speak to one of our Publishing Recruitment Consultants, call
us on 020 3574 4420.
We are very festive here at Atwood Tate, and most importantly, we’re all such huge fans of books! I’ve decided to ask my fellow colleagues which book they would like to find in their Christmas Stocking this year!
“I have been watching the series on BBC as he travels of the beaten track in France finding amazing restaurants cooking fabulous French
Our Associate Director, Helen Speedy is
hoping to finally get Jonathan Coe’s Middle
“This novel has been on my wish list since it came out in 2018, but I still haven’t had a chance to read it. I love Jonathan Coe and his darkly humorous commentary on society and the human condition. I can’t wait to settle down in a cosy spot with a slice of Christmas cake and read Middle England cover to cover in one sitting, so I do hope someone puts it in my stocking!”
Catherine Roney’s Christmas stocking book wish is, Giver
of Stars by Jojo Moyes!
“I am a huge Jojo Moyes fan, and cannot wait to get a copy of her latest book. Set in England in the late 1930s, it is a story about two women and a mission to spread the wonder of books and reading to those who are poor or lost. This book is based on a true story and sounds exactly like the wonderful and motivational read needed to start off the New Year
“I couldn’t attend the Bloomsbury event on it but I’ve been interested in this since I first heard about it and it took home the title of Best Travel Book at last night’s National Geographic Traveller Reader Awards!”
Last but not least, our consultant Clare Chan is hoping to get 1Q84 by Murakami!
“I love his fiction, but I haven’t managed to get around
to this classic!”
If you’re in need of some great books as gifts this year
then here are some of the best books of 2019:
Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams and Tony Ross –this
book would be great for the younger ones to find in their stocking!
Pinch of Nom:
100 Slimming, Home-style Recipes by Catherine Allinson, Kate Allinson,
and Kay Featherstone, is the perfect stocking gift for someone who is
passionate about cooking! (I have it myself and think it’s the handiest book ever!!)
Testaments by Margaret Atwood for someone who is a fan of Atwood this
would be the best gift to find in their stocking!
There have been so many amazing books released this year,
so there are plenty to choose from for the perfect literary gift! Here at
Atwood Tate we cannot wait to see what books we’ll be blessed with next year!
Wishing you all have a lovely Christmas and a wonderful
are responsible for promoting a publisher or client’s products or services in
order to reach their target audience. Marketing can be either traditional (e.g.
print advertisements, brochures, flyers) or digital (e.g. social media, email
campaigns, websites, SEO, digital advertising). The main goal of marketing is
to generate sales. Nearly all marketing roles that we recruit for do have a
strong digital element, so it is important to keep these skills up to date.
easy is it to transfer your marketing skills into a role in publishing?
skills and knowledge that you develop in marketing are highly transferable,
especially if you have particular expertise or a specialism that is in demand.
Marketers often need to have strong copywriting skills and a keen eye for
detail, as well as excellent communication and relationship building skills. An
up-to-date knowledge of the sector you’d like to work in as well as an understanding
of the company and its target market, will strengthen your application.
marketing roles do we work on?
work on marketing roles in book, journal, magazine publishing and events across
all sectors and related industries.
Content marketing is also a growing area. No matter the sector,
marketing is a highly creative role and publishers are always looking for
imaginative strategies and innovative ways to engage audiences. As there are so
many marketing roles, there are many opportunities for career progression. If
you’re interested in a marketing role or would like to find out more, we would
love to hear from you!
just to sum up:
Marketers are responsible for promoting a publisher or client’s products or services in order to reach their target audience and generate sales.
The skills and knowledge that you develop in marketing are highly transferable, especially if you have particular expertise or a specialism that is in demand.
Marketing is a creative role so it’s important that you market yourself as well as your product. Be authentic and think about your personal brand!
PLANNING! Get a marketing plan at least 3-6 months ahead of publication date!
-Advice from our Publishing Recruitment Consultant, Catherine Roney
Did you know that the UK is
the world’s biggest exporter of books? Publishing
is a large and growing industry and the total number of books published in the
UK last year was 173,000. Publishing
businesses in the UK alone have a collective annual turnover of £6 billion,
making the UK the fifth biggest market in the world after the US, China,
Germany, and Japan. On average, the UK publishing industry employs 30,000
people directly and roughly 70,000 people indirectly spread across over 8,000
publishers. Publishing is now a multimedia business and last year digital books
accounted 15% of the 360,000,000 physical and eBooks sold. Ebook sales have
dropped a little in recent years from 17% to 15%, perhaps because they are
being rapidly displaced by digital audio books! These figures give you an idea
of the size and importance of the publishing industry.
Earlier in the month, Parissa
Bagheri from Atwood Tate was invited back to her alma mater, the University of
Greenwich, to attend an event they were holding to discuss Working in the Book
Trade: The Business of Selling Books. The panel of speakers included CEO of
Bonnier, Perminder Mann, CEO of Hachette, David Shelley, and the Ex-Chairman of
Blackwell’s Bookshop Trevor Goul-Wheeker. These leading figures in publishing
and the book trade shared their experiences and journeys into publishing,
offering advice to those in the audience looking to do the same. We know a lot of our followers are aspiring
publishing professionals or still young in their publishing career, so wanted
to share their insights with you too.
CEO of Hachette David
Shelley was first up in telling the audience about how he entered the industry.
David’s parents owned a second-hand bookshop, so he was exposed to the sales
side of publishing from an early age. He began his career as an Editorial
Assistant for Alison and Busby (a well-established small publisher). He kept the company running for 5 years and
encompassed problems along the way, such as the book distributor going bust and
relocating the office near to Brixton near to where he lived. The owner of
Little, Brown asked David if he would consider buying a few books a year as an
Editor and he joined the company, which eventually led to his promotion to
Publisher, then Head of Division, and finally to his current role running
Hachette publishes 5,000
books every year and has a staff of 18,000. David explained that the editorial departments
receive 1,000 applications for every editorial assistant job, whereas the sales
team often only receive around three direct applications. He emphasised the
importance of exploring different sectors; foreign rights professionals get to
read, travel and correspond with authors whereas, production departments,
whilst equally driven and creative focus more on the people and processes in
the background. David also advised that publishers are looking for people who
are keen to work in finance, also stating that the first two to three years of
entering the industry is all about grafting your way through. It is necessary
to differentiate yourself from others, don’t rely on just the contacts you have.
Don’t be afraid to be bold and fearless in your first year, don’t undersell
yourself, and be proud and show off your achievements. People love to mentor
younger people, so offer to have coffee with them to show your passion and
His tips for a good cover
Look up the books
that your target publisher is publishing and research its heritage
Brilliant quality writing
– this is a reflection of how well you can communicate
Talk about your
favourite writers, what are they doing?
Be thoughtful and
Don’t follow the
rules strictly, break rules and disagree!
Bonnier is the sixth largest
publishing company in the UK and its CEO Perminder Mann also talked about her
experience in the publishing industry. Growing up, she spent much of her time
reading, making sure to build up her English vocabulary. She spent time
interning and eventually had an interview with Macmillan for a role in its in
Special Sales department. She was offered the job, which she explained was quite
challenging, but she used the opportunity to gain as much knowledge as she
could. Perminder was then promoted in sales and travelled throughout the UK to
meet buyers. Later she moved to Transworld (now part of Penguin Random House)
as an entrepreneur in a five person team, and faced the problem of not having
as much contact or support, constantly having to juggle between having a career
and being a mother. She survived that and then moved into children’s
publishing, but was travelling too much and decided to move out of publishing altogether. Publishing isn’t quite like any other
industry, though, and she ended up returning when she was offered a position at
Perminder talked about how at
Bonnier you don’t have to choose between a career and family, as you can work flexibly
she has put benefits in place such as a good a maternity policy. This is something that Perminder is extremely
passionate about given her own experience throughout her career and she is now
in the middle of improving paternity pay and continuing to champion equality.
Finally, the ex-chairman of
Blackwell’s Bookshop Trevor Goul-Wheeker took to the floor to explain how he
fell in love with the publishing industry. Trevor started off as a bookseller
and fell in love with the book trade, partly because of the people involved in
it. Blackwell’s is a well-known book retailer, but as the digital publishing
industry gradually took over, Blackwell’s was forced to start closing stores
and were closing 16 high street shops every day. Currently, the UK bookshops
account for 41% of books sold with ecommerce accounting for 35% of book sales. However,
Trevor stated that bookshop recommendations are still the number one influencer
when people are choosing which book to buy. He believes that bookshops still offer
customer engagement and a valued experience and that bookselling and publishing
go hand in hand.
All three speakers did
emphasise that you do not need a masters to get into publishing; most
publishing companies prefer more hands on experience, which shows a variety of
skills. They also all agreed that ecommerce
and ebooks are slowly taking over from print as they are easier to access and
to read on the go. Audio books are now attracting a new demographic of “readers”
and enabling publishers to tap into a new market. Publishers are already and
will continue to learn about and develop in the area of audio.
It is only a week to go until the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019,
so we’ve put together a collection of top tips and things to do and see while
you’re there! These suggestions are aimed at anyone attending, whether you’re
coming as a student, publishing professional, job-seeker or just trying to
increase your knowledge of the publishing and media industry. Even if you’re an
annual attendee at the event, we’ve got some ideas for you!
Here are some of our top tips:
Plan your time in advance: there will be many conferences and events throughout the day so it is important that you check the schedule in order to see what events might interest and benefit you the most. It is a huge venue with plenty going on, so by planning your time well, you’ll be able to get the most out of the fair! Do also use the hall plan to avoid getting lost!
You will be meeting clients and important contacts, so you do want to be smart and ladies might be tempted to wear heels, but trust me, you will most definitely regret this decision. The Frankfurt exhibition centre is huge and the book fair is spread across several halls, so you will for sure be on your feet all day. Wear flat shoes or shoes that are comfortable. Of course dress code varies but you can never go wrong with business casual, a pair of flat clean shoes or boots will keep you comfy throughout the day!
Considering it’s an all-day event and you might well be using your phone to contact colleagues, show clients clips and perhaps be taking plenty of photos and videos yourself, bring a portable phone charger! Download the Frankfurter Buchmesse App for a convenient guide around the fair as well as a timetable of the event. Do take pictures of impressive stands you like as a reminder to yourself, but most definitely share them on social media too!
As this is the biggest international event of the year for the publishing industry, there’ll be a lot of people and food stalls and stands will have queues! So remember to carry a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated! Bring a snack if you’re super organised. It’s very easy to get hot and dehydrated in big events, to avoid the long queues and high prices at the cafes!
Lastly, although you are out in Frankfurt for the Book Fair, it’s also
important to plan some chill-out time,
so that you don’t get overwhelmed! Walking around all day or keeping a
constantly cheerful face on for your back to back meetings is exhausting. Frankfurt
is a beautiful city in the centre of Germany and there is plenty to see and do
to escape for a little while! Take some time before arriving to see what there
is around and see if there is an alternative venue that you can escape to to,
whether that be cultural things to do and see or places to eat and drink in
peace! This is a tough event for anyone prone to anxiety in crowds, so be prepared
and look out for friends and colleagues who might be struggling a bit.
Here is a list of places you might like to visit near/around the venue:
If you get a tired of the traditional German food, this traditional Japanese restaurant called Mangetsu, offers great Japanese food and is a great place to go if you’re in need of some quiet space.
The heart of Frankfurt is The Römerberg: Frankfurt’s Old Town Centre, this town centre is filled with traditional buildings, a very picturesque square that will look amazing in photos!
The Palm Garden is the largest botanic garden in Germany, so it is definitely worth seeing if you have the time. I’m sure the garden will look fantastic during the Autumn season!
For more places to
visit around Frankfurt click here!
Make sure to check
what events are going on throughout the fair and which companies are attending!
Byte the Book is
networking at the book fair this year and are offering Networking Drinks on
October 16th in the fair from 9pm till late! This will be a great
opportunity to meet some new people from the media and publishing industry and
would be great to broaden your knowledge on both industries! For more
information on the event click
In case you weren’t aware Norway is the guest of honour this year so to
honour that we’ve decided to share some of our favourite Norwegian reads:
What are soft skills? Soft
skills are defined as character traits or interpersonal aptitudes that effect the
ability to work and interact with others in a work environment. We most often
learn soft skills at school, in the classroom, directly or indirectly. They are not always “people skills” but are
abilities relating to emotional intelligence and can be useful for all industries
and job types.
Examples of soft skills
Attention to detail
Hard skills unlike soft
skills are more job specific skills that are usually acquired through education
or training. They are based solely on technical knowledge. Hard and soft skills
complement each other in the workplace: hard skills reflect whether you would
be suitable for the job and the technical skills it requires, whereas soft
skills are unique and personal as they reflect the way you deal with situations
specific to a work environment or the role for which you are applying.
“94% of recruiters believe that soft skills outweigh
experience… 75% of recruiting professionals have cut an interview short because
a candidate didn’t demonstrate the soft skills needed for the position they had
Soft skills distinguish you
from other employees as they are unique to your individual personality. They also
tend to highlight your leadership skills and this is what employers most often
look at. There are many ways that you can show off your soft skills to your
employer, generally this is usually over face-to-face interviews. Using
examples is a brilliant way to show off your soft skills as you can demonstrate
how valuable your skills really are and how these have aided you in many
difficult work situations. For example, it is particularly important that when
asked questions about difficult work situations you cleverly answer with how it got solved or what you would do
differently next time rather than just stating the final result.
Here are some examples of
common soft skills and their DOs and DONTs:
Team Work & Collaboration
Avoid ‘I’s’ and use
Make sure to mention
team accomplishments as well as personal ones, how you contributed to team effort.
Perseverance & Dedication
Show confidence in
why you made certain decisions.
passion and dedication to work, as it is a reflection of your work ethic.
Give examples that
reflect your perseverance to accomplish anything, both work problems and
personal work goals.
Time Management & Organisation
Time management is a
clear representation of how efficiently you work.
It reflects an
organised candidate, who shows how passionate and seriously they want the role!
If you have good time
management skills, it reduces the likelihood of stress within the workplace.
Describe how you solved a
problem step by step e.g. “First I spoke to my manager and then…”
Soft Skills in Publishing
Now that you know all about
soft skills, which of these will be the most important when you are applying
and interviewing for a role in publishing?
Effective communication and
emotional intelligence are important in the world of publishing. It is
important to understand the mood, tone and the values of those around us. Fair
and consistent communication is essential; being able to asses and attend to emotional
needs is integral to gaining understanding.
Openness and honest are also
very important. For those just starting a career in publishing it is imperative
to be open to the entire experience being a learning process. Being honest in
saying ‘I need help’/’I’m not good at that’ shows your interviewer/employer
that you do struggle but are willing to learn and grow within those personal
Finally, learning with
agility is another key soft skill in publishing; everything is a trial and
error both in life and in the world of work. It is okay to fail in work tasks
as long as you’re learning quickly. Persevering demonstrates your potential and
growth in character. Always strive for better and work proactively within your
job. You may find that in publishing certain traditions are kept, but all
businesses look ahead, so having employees who are equally forward thinking helps
the industry to grow!
more information on transferable soft skills click
Our editorial roles receive a huge amount of interest,
however our sales roles not as much. This made us stop and think, why not?
Many graduates come to us and ask our advice on how to
launch their editorial career in publishing, which is great! But… editorial is
not the only option available to you!
In this blog, we want to discuss why sales roles are also
great and can even aid your future editorial career.
First things first, you want to work in publishing because
you love books, right? Sales roles are the perfect way to express your passion!
Why? Because you get to talk about books all day long!
It is your job to get the books out there! You go through
lists, samples and catalogues deciding which bookstores need which books. What
better way to spend your working day, than browsing the latest titles and most
likely even receiving a copy for your own personal collection!
Sales roles are very social roles – you will work with a
range of people from editors and writers to designers, buyers and journalists. This
means you receive a comprehensive understanding of the industry.
A sales role will also give you knowledge of the market and trends;
this will aid your knowledge if you wish to work in a commissioning editorial
role for example.
Another advantage of sales roles is that they enable you to
develop transferable skills. One of these being communication, a skill desired
in every role.
In a sales role, you can find yourself working for many
different publishers and selling to many different types of customers, this
will enable you to develop key relationship building skills.
A sales role does not necessarily mean endless cold calling
and this definitely is not the case in publishing. You are more likely to meet
customers face to face in a more consultative sales approach. You may find
yourself selling to bookshops, retailers, universities, or even software to
libraries and hospitals.
This kind of sales approach means you get to have
interesting conversations, develop strong relationships and take a break from
being in the office!
You are also likely to be invited to events! A new store
opening for example.
In the UK we are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change and more and more of us are thinking about how we might take some responsibility for making our world greener. I attended the BIC (Book Industry Communication) Breakfast to hear about what’s happening in the publishing industry.
Carnstone’s Book Chain Project speakers outlined how they’ve been working with 28 publishers to review issues in the supply chain. There are 3 main areas they’ve looked at:
Labour & Environment
Labour standards and work conditions at printers need to be regularly
assessed. There is the issue of modern slavery particularly in the Far East and
the onus is on publishers to monitor this.
Chemical Safety & Materials
There’s a lot that publishers can do to in terms of
materials choices. However, it’s not as simple as stopping using glitter as
children’s publishers need to supply the demands of the market (and it turns
out biodegradable glitter really isn’t?!)
Publishers can look at using sustainable wood for pulp eg buy
from mills that source wood from plantations in place of supporting deforestation.
Neil Springall, Head of Operaions, Penguin Random House
Distribution clearly feels we all have a moral duty to start making changes and
drove a plan to focus on a reduction of plastic use at PRH. He had some great
quotes including: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone
else will save it.” Robert Swan
Incredibly over 40% of all global plastic usage is in
packaging. Publishers mainly use plastic for shrink wrapping and carton filling
to protect books.
After only a few months, PRH have already achieved a 47%
reduction and are aiming for 75% soon.
One major change has been a move to ‘multi use pallet lids’ – these are an expensive product but save both on huge amounts of shrink wrap and labour time. They now employ 4 people full-time to shred all their cardboard which is then used as packaging material in place of plastic. Brilliant!
Another issue is reducing mileage for transporting books
between printers, distribution centres and bookshops. This lead nicely onto the
Dave Thompson of Publiship gave a round-up of shipping and gave
some fascinating facts – did you know that:
90% of world trade is moved by sea
Shipping containers were only introduced in the
1950s and widespread adoption from the ‘60s is the largest contributor to
globalisation (and not the net!)
There have been improvements in engineering over recent years helping reduce emissions but container ships still emit enormous levels of Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Dioxide (international shipping accounts for 2.1% of all CO2 emissions). Publishers need to get books from their printers to countries around the world and there are other options:
Clearly, shipping is the best option and ‘slow steaming’
(takes c. 1 week longer) saves huge amounts of fuel and emissions.
I also learnt about Ballast – ships take on huge amounts of water to stabilise as they use up fuel / when empty of their cargo. They load the ballast water in the source port then discharge at the destination port with issues that they’re potentially discharging polluted water and predatory sea creatures. Fortunately there are laws in place to help avoid this now. Thanks to Alaina-Marie Bassett of BIC for organizing such an interesting event. If you’d like to learn more about BIC see @BIC1UK and www.bic.org.uk
A seemingly perfect crime, what can go wrong? A couple
honeymooning in paradise find something in the water. Deciding to keep it a
secret, they think they are the only ones who know about the discovery. They
soon find out that their actions have deadly consequences and someone else
knows their secret. A good thriller and the perfect summer book that hooks you
in right from the very first page.
At the heart of this gripping read are a trio of brothers, a disappearance and a lack of suspects. Set in the Australian outback, this atmospheric thriller is not one to be missed this summer.
`One of the year’s most unmissable debuts’. Queenie’s life seems to be spiralling out of control, a family that don’t understand her, a boss that doesn’t seem to notice her and a man she can’t get over. Queenie is a character you will be rooting for from the first page.
A story of love and war. The Biafran War is told from the perspective of three characters whose lives are interwoven in ways they would not have imagined. This novel is great if you love to immerse yourself in historical fiction with compelling and intelligent characters.
Non-fiction that stirs the desire to make change. Mainly aimed at black women but plenty to take away for everyone. A read that will make you challenge your assumptions and think about `space’ in different contexts and ways.
May not be the typical relaxing holiday reading but worth it! Set post world war ll, a woman with financial inheritance attempts to build economic prosperity in a small community in Australia where her romantic interest lives.