5 questions for Richard Sullivan, MD of Osprey Publishing [INTERVIEW]
In the run up to BookMachine Oxford, we’re compiling some interviews with publishing-type folk who will be going to the event.
Richard Sullivan (who is our key speaker) is the MD of Osprey Publishing which is a leading publisher of military history, amongst other things and part of Osprey Group – the destination for enthusiasts. Richard has a particular interest in seeking new partnerships to develop print and digital products for niche audiences across the globe. He was previously Marketing Director of Osprey and is currently reading some gritty crime noir alongside a history of Dreadnought battleships. You can hear him talk at BookMachine Oxford.
1) What is the single best thing about being MD of Osprey Publishing?
Apart from working with Charly Ford? I get to be involved in every stage of bringing stuff I love into being. And I get to read them. And I get to work with some fantastically smart, funny people.
2) Why do you think Oxford is such a great place for publishing?
I have no idea. I’m from Essex.
3) Do you have any words of wisdom for other publishers of niche content?
Stay away from military history. Apart from that engage with the customer. Ask them what they like, run stuff by them and properly listen. Ideally you should hire a couple of them and give them powerful positions.
4) Collaboration is increasingly important in publishing, what types of business has Osprey been collaborating with recently?
We’ll happily collaborate with anyone and have been talking to TV producers, game designers, academics and military men. For our wargaming products we’ve worked with wargamers masquerading as games companies and toy soldier manufacturers.
5) If you could invite one literary/publishing person, past or present, to attend your “BookMachine With” evening, who would you choose?
Our customers, the ultimate publishing person. I’d conduct a survey of their likes and dislikes in order to make our books even more closely aligned to their interests. Then I’d head for the door before BookMachine worked out the bar bill.
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