Tag Archives: publishing world

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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Book Machine: Reinventing Culture: How the Arts Worlds Collide in the Age of Technology

Reinventing Culture: How the Arts Worlds Collide in the Age of Technology

This is a Bookmachine event, run by the Bookmachine.

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Types of Sales Roles in B2B Publishing

Types of Sales Roles B2B

Types of Sales Roles in B2B Publishing

There are many different types of sales roles within publishing. It is worth asking what type of sales role you are applying for, and highlighting which type you’ve done on your CV, when applying for a job.

Our Sales Consultant in the London office, Olivia, has put together a list of the key types of sales roles to explain further.

The key types are:

  • Delegate – selling delegate spaces (i.e. tickets) to attend events and conferences
  • Sponsorship – selling sponsorship opportunities for events. It can also refer to sponsored editorial content, which is when companies pay to publish an article in your publication as a way of promoting their own brand.
  • Advertising – selling advertising space. Can be either print (e.g. a print publication or magazine) or online (eg. a website). It can also be classified (i.e. no graphics, inexpensive small messages) or display (these include graphics and colour and might take up half a page or more).
  • Subscriptions – selling a subscription to a product. Can be print (e.g. a print publication or magazine) or digital (e.g. an online database or service).
  • Conference production – this isn’t really classified as media sales. It’s basically a varied mix of sales, marketing, editorial and project management but for entry level conference production roles clients usually want someone with some sales experience, such as delegate sales.

A B2B Sales role, for example, could involve just one or several of these types of sales. It’s quite common to see delegate and sponsorship sales together or delegate and subscriptions.

Generally the skill set required for each type of sales role, and the types of clients they deal with, will be similar. But it’s always best to check with our consultants beforehand which ones the role involves just to avoid confusion.

For more information about Sales roles you can view our current vacancies page and select Sales in preferences.

You can also contact us on info@atwoodtate.co.uk or 020 7034 7900. Or via social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

 

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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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How to Register with Atwood Tate

how-to-register-with-atwood-tate

New Year, New Job?

Why not use Atwood Tate to help you find your next job in publishing. To take the first step you need to register with us!

This is entirely free and can be done online on our website!

Register Online

Click on the Login/Register button in the top right hand corner and then click on ‘Not Registered?’ This will take you to our registration page where you can fill out all of your personal details, your preferences and upload your CV.

You can choose up to three preferences, from a list, for three separate areas:

  • Job Type: i.e. Editorial, Sales or Marketing
  • Job Sector: i.e. STM, MedComms or B2B
  • Job Location: i.e. London, Oxford or International

You can also choose whether or not to receive Job Alerts. Job Alerts are tailored to your preferences, so if your top preferences are Editorial in a B2B sector if a job becomes available you will be alerted via email.

**Please note that when you sign up for Job Alerts you may receive several immediately. This will stop after a few hours, as these will be our current jobs that suit your preferences.

Also, our Job Alerts are not tailored to salary so some roles may be too senior or too junior for you depending on your experience. Please note that you are able to search for jobs by salary on our website Job search though. If you are confused or interested in any of these roles but are unsure of whether they are suitable, each email comes with the contact details for the consultant covering that position. Feel free to phone or email them for more details.

In addition, when you register with us you set yourself a password which will allow you to login to your profile page and make edits, such as upload a new CV, turn on/off your job alerts etc. Please make a note of your password upon registering. Your username will be your email address.

Once you have filled in your details and uploaded your most recent CV, press Register.

The Next Step

Your profile will have been added to our system and our Administrator Ellie Pilcher will review it within a couple of days. She will either send your details to the most relevant consultant:

For example:

Or, Ellie will respond herself to clarify any questions we may have, or to suggest that you gain more work experience. The majority of our clients require at least 3-6 months’ worth of in-house publishing experience before considering candidates for a role. Although our Temps desk may consider applicants with less experience who have admin skills, for temp roles.

Don’t be disheartened if we respond suggesting you need to gain more experience. We have resources we can point you to, to help you gain that experience! And we’re happy to answer any questions about Work Experience on our social media accounts. For more in-depth information please contact Ellie at: eleanorpilcher@atwoodtate.co.uk.

Office Registration

Once a profile has been reviewed by Ellie and forwarded to one of the consultants, that consultant will then get in touch with you! They may invite you to register with us in person, at either our London or Oxford office depending on your immediate location. We can also do registrations via the phone and Skype.

When you have registered online you are registered with Atwood Tate. You do not need to meet us in person before you can apply for our roles, you may do so immediately.

When a consultant organises to meet with you in person it is to gather more information about your past experiences, your skills and where exactly you would like to work within publishing. You and the consultant will sort out a time and date suitable for you both and directions/information will be given before your registration.

It is an informal registration, but you can use the experience as a practice interview if you like. You will be asked to complete a couple of forms, including our Equal Opportunities form, and you’ll be required to bring along two forms of identification: a passport &  your National Insurance number.

The meeting shouldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes, but it is your opportunity to ask us any questions you have, to highlight where you want to go within your career and to discuss any vacancies that we currently have.

Applying for a Job

Whilst registering with Atwood Tate you can apply for any of our current vacancies. However, if you require more information we can only forward further details, such as salary, location and the company name after you have registered with us, due to client confidentiality.

When you apply your information will be forwarded directly to the consultant handling the position. We recommend that you do not apply for more than three roles at a time, unless you are certain you have the required experience.

If you would like to contact us for more information regarding a job please have the reference number and Job Title to hand. They will be on the job alert or our website.

We will let you know within a few days whether or not you are suitable for the role. Although, if you have not heard from us after two weeks it is unlikely we can consider you for that position.

And there we have it! That is how you register with Atwood Tate!

If you have any further questions about registering with us please contact our administrator via telephone or email. And if you’ve registered with us before but have forgotten your details, or are struggling to access your profile, also contact our administrator.

If you have any immediate questions feel free to contact us via social media or comment down below. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram.

We hope that you will register with us soon!

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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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Recruitment at Christmas Time

recruitment

It’s that time of the year again. The first dates of the advent calendar have been pried open, the decorations have gone up, the streets of London are lit like a chandelier and, of course, Die Hard is on TV. But what does it mean work-wise?

Well, for a lot of offices, it means a short month as everyone closes up for the holidays. And where there are brief intervals, there are temporary contracts!

Already, the temps desk has had several short-term roles in that start immediately and run up to Christmas Eve. These vary from junior roles to more senior ones, with some contracts extending into the new year, depending on workload and performance.

A lot of people think Christmas is an unstable time to go job-hunting but here at Atwood Tate, we can attest to the fact that the search never stops. Some people like to wait it out, go into professional hibernation, so to speak, and check what the lay of the land is in the new year. How is anyone supposed to think about a new job when there’s Christmas shopping to do, family and friends to see, Star Wars films to watch in the cinema?

But we know from experience that some companies are looking to fill roles right up to the holidays and the industry is ripe with opportunities for the brave and the bold.

This very minute, we are reading applications, arranging interviews, sending congratulations, playing matchmaker between client and candidate like we always do. Christmas doesn’t need to be a quiet period, it can be the ladder to a very different year for you! So, if you’re looking for a change, drop us a line. John McClane was in the wrong place at the wrong time but if you’re smart, you could be in the right place at the right time!

To get in touch with the temps desk about possible temp work over Christmas call Kellie Millar on 02070347897 or Alison Redfearn on 02070347922!

Be sure to enter our Christmas Giveaway for a  chance to win a Stocking of Christmas Goodies!

If you have any questions regarding our temps team, temp jobs or other just get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.! We’re happy to help!

Merry Christmas!

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Break into Publishing: Networking

Breaking into publishing: Networking

Common Symptom #2: Networking

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Book

You’re at a fancy venue. You have a glass of wine in your hand, maybe some food or maybe only the fond memory of food at this point, you’ve been standing here so long, watching, waiting, trying to find an in, an opening, a shot – that’s right, you’re networking.

Networking in publishing can be a fairly daunting prospect, especially for young graduates. It’s difficult to be assertive when you don’t claim to be an expert on anything this early in your career. And if you’re quiet and retiring, you’re not exactly going to make a lasting impression. But it’s a worthwhile endeavour so it’s important to try.

As we’ve previously covered in our work experience blog, publishing is a saturated market so you will always have to run a little faster, climb a little higher, work just that little bit harder, to make any headway. It can be bitter pill to swallow but it comes back to how badly you want it.

The important thing to remember is that, believe it or not, networking in the publishing world can actually be quite fun! It’s a chance to mingle with like-minded people who know your struggle and are usually quite helpful in offering advice or tips. A memorable conversation can go a long way. What starts as an observation about the venue or your journey there can lead to suggestions and introductions you could not have come across in any online search you might try. Take a business card, take two! Take as many as you can until you have a winning hand. And if you have your own cards, even better.

Events

There are great events happening all the time, from Christmas parties to pub quizzes, hosted by a variety of societies and institutes, all of them masters at bringing people together for a night of fun and games while also creating an ideal space for networking.

And don’t worry, if networking doesn’t come naturally to you, remember that, like everything it gets easier the more you do it. You don’t need to own the room, you can be yourself and let your passion show through. Think of talking points in advance to help break the ice, familiarise yourself with publishers and who their authors are so you can show you know their company and what they’re about.

Next step? Sign up to newsletters, check out websites like the SYP, Bookseller, BookMachine, then pencil in some dates – who knows, it’s possible you could bump into one of our staff making the rounds and we might be just the person who can help you!

If you have a question in need of answering, about networking or other work experience related questions, let us know on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn!

 

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Museum & Cultural Publishing: an evening with OPuS

 

opus-museum-and-cultural-publishing-event

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

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

 

opus-logo

Things learnt:

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

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

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