Tag Archives: Publishing Events

What’s Your Excuse For Not… Overcoming Stress

Last night, Karine and I were pleased to attend the book launch for newest book in the What’s Your Excuse… series. Accompanied by nibbles and tipples, Author and Founder of Chrysalis Consulting, Kelly Swingler, introduced her new release What’s Your Excuse for not Overcoming Stress.

The book sits in a series of titles created by Joanne Henson, who authored two of the books, each taking a practical approach to their subject.

It was great to chat to some of the other authors including Amanda Cullen, Business Coach and Author of What’s Your Excuse for not Loving Your Job.

After a lovely evening, Karine and I left purchases in hand, hoping to bring back some top tips to the office.

 

Lucy Slater
Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Tel:  020 7034 7821

Email:  LucySlater@atwoodtate.co.uk

 

 

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Beanstalk and Reading Matters have joined forces!

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

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

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

About Beanstalk

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

About Reading Matters

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

More info:

www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk

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

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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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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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Our Plans for the London Book Fair & Giveaway

Plans for London Book Fair & Giveaway

Our Plans for the London Book Fair & Giveaway

With the London Book Fair officially one week away we thought we would share with you our plans for the event!

Every day of the fair there will be at least 5 members of the Atwood Tate staff milling around Olympia, either at our stand, in the Ivy Club or around the fair.

When we are at our stand (3B26, in tech) and we’re not deep in conversation , feel free to approach us. During the week we do have meetings throughout the day so we may not always be available to chat – as much as we’d like to!

You can still take a look at our stand however! We will be bringing a lot of things with us:

  • Leaflets – with all our information and details about our services
  • Printables – Are you looking for work experience? Or useful information about getting into publishing? We will have some print outs available with some resources for you!
  • Sweets – One of the most important things at any book fair: sugary sustenance.
  • Current Vacancies – We’ll have a list of all of our current vacancies at our stand as well.

We will also be on social media a lot! Not only during the London Book Fair but this week as well!

Competitions

This year we are also running competitions! The first is a Giveaway: Win £100 worth of vouchers by liking and sharing our LinkedIn page! Starting from tomorrow (8th March) and ending on the 16th of March, the last day of the London Book Fair, you could win a great prize! And all you have to do is follow our LinkedIn page and share the post on Twitter. For more entries you can also share and like our LinkedIn posts on this Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, if you follow us on Twitter you may have noticed a certain competition we’re starting for this year’s Book Fair!

The first person to come up to us, on each day of the London Book Fair, and says: ‘Atwood Tate we hear you’re great’ will win a £10 book voucher!

The earlier you get to our stand (3B26) and say this, the better. We’ll announce when someone has won the prize each day on our Twitter feed. However please respect the consultants work; if they’re in a meeting at the stand please don’t disturb them. The fair is an industry event after all.

Other Plans

On Tuesday 14th you may spot our Administrator Ellie wandering around with a camera as she films a London Book Fair Vlog for our YouTube channel! Be sure to say hello and tell us your thoughts on the London Book Fair if you get a chance!

On Thursday 16th, between 2:30pm-5:00pm, two of our Consultants: Karine Nicpon & Alison Redfearn will be attending the Career’s Clinic. You can bring your CV and have a quick 5 minute chat with them about the next step in your career!

All in all we have a lot going on!

Make sure you follow us across all our social media, and use the hashtag #LBF17, to keep up to date with what is happening at the Fair. As well as receive advice, hints and tips on what to bring and see at the London Book Fair: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

We can’t wait to meet you all!

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Rave Technologies – Annual Publishing Conference 2016

Rave Technologies - Annual Publishing Conference 2016

On the 8th of November,  Karine and David, attended the Annual Publishing Conference 2016, hosted by Rave Technologies. David attended the morning and Karine the afternoon.

Speakers: Annual Publishing Conference

The Next 15 Years

David’s talk, amongst other things, was an interesting insight into the future of technologies and how this could benefit us or possibly hinder us.

He spoke about why some companies had failed in the last 15 years as they had not kept a breast with up to date technologies and why some had not because they had done! And the pattern would continue for the next 15 years if we all don’t get on board the rapid moving technological landscape.

Another point he raised is information/cyber security both in publishing (how there needs to be more awareness of it) and in our everyday life as the number of gadgets we use increase.

Implementing a Content Enrichment – The easy way, or the right way

Jason, Director, Platform Capabilities at Wiley gave guidance on how to implement a content enrichment strategy. The idea is to enrich digital content as to make it more valuable to the publisher.

This could include related article services to grouping together content so that it can be used for multiple purposes such as SEO and TDM services.

Going beyond Content is the Secret to your Success

Paul spoke about how to really know your customers through the enhancement of data and, by doing this, knowing what products your customers want (and will ultimately purchase!).

In a nutshell, this is done by analysing the digital footprint of your customer; what their purchase history looks like, their demographic etc. (the list is endless, these are just two examples), you then can tailor products, services and campaigns to they want.

What happens when you involve users in developing your products?

Sharon Cooper, Chief Digital Officer for the BMJ, gave an interesting talk on how their digital products need to be designed in line with user needs. But how do they know their individual user needs? What could be a good function for one may not be good for another.

Well, the conclusion to this, is to involve the actual users on their specific needs across the whole spectrum of the medical industry from student to GP and management. They are then able to get an idea of the requirements and build in the functionalities for the relevant level.

Secondly, hold a Design Sprint, where you take 5 people from different sectors of the business (sales, technology etc.) and take 5 days out to road map the product as follows:

Day 1: UNPACK

Share knowledge, common understanding of the design challenge and define metrics.

Day2: SKETCH

Generate ideas and variations, critique and weighted voting.

Day 3: DECIDE

Conflicts and assumptions, storyboard and plan prototype.

Day 4: PROTOTYPE

Build a realistic version of the storyboard.

Day 5: TEST

Validate with real users and determine how people understand your product.

Did you attend the Publishing Conference at Rave Technologies? If so let us know in a comment below or send us a message on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram!

 

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PPA Business Class: Marketing Conference

ppa-business-class-atwood-tate-header

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

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

Here’s a taste of what will be covered:

Shiny Happy People

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

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

Other sessions on:

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

Speakers include:

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

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

 

 

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How to Keep Your Skills Relevant – The Galley Club

how-to-keep-your-skills-relevant

Last week I was delighted to open the talk season at the Galley Club. They invited me to share my experience about changing skillset in publishing. I focussed on production skills but really we could apply the tips and advice below to any job in publishing. Here is a retranscription of what my presentation.

Before I start, let me tell you just a little bit about me: I studied Spanish and Publishing back in France and I worked in trade publishing in Paris for a few years. I was Editorial and Legal Assistant for a pocketbook publisher there. Three and a half years ago I moved to London because I wanted a life and career change. I’ve been working at Atwood Tate for three years now. At Atwood Tate we cover all kinds of roles at all levels across all publishing sectors, from academic to STM, B2B, trade or professional. For three years I’ve been working on production and production editorial roles, amongst others. So I will focus on changing skills set in publishing and more particularly in production, and will tell you how to keep your skills relevant and adapt to changing roles.

  • Context: changes in publishing and production

This is not breaking news, publishing has been through many changes over the years. Proof of that is the invasion of “metadata” and “content” in the headlines of conferences and seminars. Publishing has changed, whether it’s in STM, academic, professional or educational and of course trade as well, which had perhaps been a bit slower to adapt than many other sectors, in terms of innovation and digitisation of content. As I’m sure everyone is aware, sales of digital products, whether that be eBooks, online journals, databases or online platforms have grown considerably. And publishers developed new systems and workflows to enable their content to be published in various formats.

This obviously has affected all roles within publishing and the skills required to do those jobs. The same goes for the printing industry. In three years at Atwood Tate, I have seen a huge variety of new job titles, most including the word “digital”, but this has changed again actually, as digital is now entrenched in all that they do and it doesn’t need to always be highlighted.

In terms of production, we’ve seen a change in workflows and methodologies, with for example a move to xml first workflows. New products, formats and technologies means new systems being put in place, whether that be overhauling production workflows and peer-review processes or outsourcing the digital conversion of files to specialist suppliers. As a result we’ve noticed a demand for more project and programme managers, both on a permanent and fixed-term contract basis. Professionals need to be able to review and master workflows and processes.

Now don’t hate me, but there is also a lot of demand and opportunity for people with strong technical skills: knowledge of mark-up language such as html and xml is often required, as well as basic coding and analytics. Everybody should be comfortable reading and manipulating simple data. Because it’s all about data and metadata nowadays! And being able to deal with suppliers and control the quality of the data received. Highly technical roles are still relatively rare in publishing, because the majority of platforms and systems are being developed and built by external suppliers, but this could change, and larger publishers do already have teams of developers working on bespoke software in-house.

But there is a good news! Publishers are not just looking outside the industry for people with skills that are missing. When I joined Atwood Tate, I worked on Digital Producer or Video Producer roles and our clients were saying that they were open to hire people from outside of the industry, because they felt that existing publishing candidates lacked the experience and skills required. However I’m pleased to say that this has changed, and in the majority of cases, the online/digital aspects have been integrated into the traditional positions. Bringing new people in is good for diversity but often very techy people might not fit into the creative world of publishing. Now this brings me to my next point, how do you build up on your skills? How do you keep these relevant?

galley-club-image

Karine speaking at the Galley Club

  • Get to know your skills and your career options

Traditional skills are still key in publishing. The profile of production and production editorial people have not really changed. The “hard skills” used in production are still the same. Yes, you need to be able to deal with suppliers but it’s nothing a production controller is not used to be doing. You need to be a good project manager to master workflows? Well again this is a core skill of production people, organisation, time-management. You need to be able to work comfortably with data? Production professionals were always required to have a good head for numbers and a keen eye for detail. I realise I sound a bit like a job description but what I want to say is there is nothing unachievable here!

Before updating your skills though, I would advise to get to know them. Assess your experience and see what you’re good at, what you’re missing. You need to be able to identify a skill you don’t have by talking to colleagues and competitors. If you work in a very small company, maybe go to seminars to identify the latest trends in the market, talk to fellow production people. If you need advice on your options, talking to a recruiter is also a good idea. Recruiters will be able to tell you where there is a shortage of skills in the market and where you will have more opportunities. You can also have a look at some job adverts to identify the requirements of publishers.

It is important for you to be aware of your options. The days of keeping one job for life are long gone. And there are many different paths a production candidate can take, whether it’s managing a production team, or becoming a project manager. It could be working in Operations where production profiles are often required or managing relationships with suppliers. There are multiple careers available for production candidates. So ask yourself: what are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Where do you want your career to go?

  • Keeping your skills updated

Now once you’ve identified which of your abilities and skills you would like to develop, how do you get there? How do you gain new skills and update your existing ones?

One way is obviously through training.

As I mentioned earlier, publishers do understand the importance of experience and publishing knowledge. And they are now training and reskilling people rather than bringing in new people for the sake of it. A lot of our candidates are sent on training courses or in-house workshops. There are several training organisations out there and hopefully your company will back you up. It’s worth having a look at the benefits of a publisher before accepting a new role there, to see if training is provided on a regular basis.

Publishers are making an effort to retain their staff and train them for different roles. A lot of our clients are encouraging people to move into different roles or even different departments within their organisation. It’s a massive benefit and in the long term can save on time and money. They would rather develop their employees than getting some new people on board who would require a lot more training and might not be the right fit in the end.  Some of our clients also organise shadowing days where you sit next to a colleague to try and familiarise yourself with a new way of working and new workflows. If you don’t think your employer is offering this, there is no harm in suggesting it yourself!

Attending classes and getting a professional certification can be useful too. I’m thinking of Prince 2 or Agile certification, for instance, which is sometimes required for Project Manager or Product Manager roles. And it’s always a bonus on your CV and a plus for your organisation. So again, do not hesitate to ask your line manager for training. If you can’t get backing from your company then there are free online courses like the MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) offered by universities to help individuals to develop. Or affordable workshops and seminars you can go to. But you need to be ready to teach yourself new skills.

No matter how you chose to update your skills or what opportunities you are given, there is one thing you will always need, and it’s the right attitude.

  • The right attitude

Something that we hear HR and in-house recruiters say all the time is: you need to be adaptable. The industry changes constantly, roles don’t tend to stay the same, there are so many factors impacting your professional career, politics, economics, etc. So the one thing you need to develop is your adaptability. Be curious and resilient. Be flexible. Don’t be put off by change, embrace it! It’s not always an easy thing to do. Some people are open to change naturally and actually really like it, for some others it’s more difficult to adapt. But if you want to evolve with the industry, you have to be flexible. The pace is fast. If you can’t demonstrate your willingness to move with the times, to upskill and learn new tech, understand new business models, then you won’t keep up. Your experience and the skills you already have are gold for publishers. But you need to be eager to learn more every day.

It’s not easy for everyone. It was certainly not easy for me. When I came to London, I knew nothing about recruitment. I had worked in publishing, I knew the industry quite well, yes. But recruitment doesn’t exist in France. So when I got hired at Atwood Tate, I had everything to learn. And I was really eager. I moved to London because I had in mind that things are different in England and that transferrable sills are actually a thing. And they are! In France it’s very difficult to move to another industry, if you studied Spanish, then you can be a Spanish teacher, or live in Spain, but that’s pretty much it! In England I do really think that we have the chance to move to different roles using these so called transferrable skills.

Of course I received a lot of training at Atwood Tate. And I keep getting training every step of the way, because if the publishing industry is changing, my job is changing too. And it’s all about keeping up-to-date and adapting to the market really. When I started three years ago, we didn’t need to dig out candidates, we had plenty of applications for our roles. It’s very different now. The market is very fast-paced and we constantly need to head hunt some candidates for some roles like Junior Production Controller for example which is a level where it’s really difficult to find people. So we have had to adapt too. Claire sends us on courses and we go to seminars, we talk to our candidates, our clients, we listen and we try to evolve. Some of us took a recruitment qualification recently. I’m not a person who loves change. But I had to learn to be more flexible and to be fair, I’ve only be more successful since then. More confident as well as I have developed a lot more skills than I thought I had.

 

To sum up I would say that you need a positive attitude and an open-mind to keep on top of things. More than a skillset, it’s a mind-set. You need to take ownership of their careers and be proactive. Jobs are changing and so is the industry, but it’s really up to you to keep learning and be open to trying new things.

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ALPSP Conference 2016

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Three weeks ago Claire and I attended the annual ALPSP conference, which brings together a large number of scholarly and professional publishing professionals from across the UK and overseas. The conference was hosted over three days (14-16th September) and delegates were treated to a packed schedule of presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

The key discussion points at the conference were:

  • The disruption caused by digital developments, which affect the publishing industry as a whole, and how companies can future proof their brands and products. We should let technology lead, not disrupt.
  • Metrics and the ever-expanding range available. How can Metrics be used to measure publication performance as well as other research outputs and activities. What is the future of research evaluation?
  • The evolution of peer review and its relevance today. How can peer review be used effectively in different communities, if at all. How is peer review used outside of scientific publications and what specifics should it address.
  • The data revolution and the implications this has. Publishers can’t solely be content businesses. They need to be innovative and become technology companies to stay relevant.

On the second night of the conference the ALPSP Awards were hosted. The Award for Contribution to Scholarly Publishing was given to Alice Meadows, Director of Community Engagement and Support at ORCID. Awards for Innovation were given to Cartoon Abstracts by Taylor & Francis and Wiley ChemPlanner.

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The ALPSP Winners – Image attributed to ALPSP – http://alpsp.org/ALPSP-Awards

You can download the full conference programme and view the video footage at http://www.alpsp.org/2016-Programme.

Next year’s conference is being hosted in the Netherlands. We’ll see you there!

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