Helen Smith photo

On BritCrime online literature festival: Helen Smith interview

Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. She’s the founder of BritCrime. BritCrime gives crime readers an opportunity to meet at online events – they are free and accessible to everyone. Here Stephanie Cox interviews Helen about the festival and how it was all set up.

1. Please introduce yourself and give us a brief overview of your career.

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Carly Watters

On being a VP and Senior Literary Agent and blogger: Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a VP and Senior Literary Agent at the P.S Literary Agency. Since joining the agency in 2010 and becoming a VP in 2014 Carly has had great success launching new authors domestically and abroad with acclaimed women’s fiction author Taylor Jenkins Reid being published in 14 languages around the world. Her blog www.CarlyWatters.com has thrice been awarded the Writer’s Digest distinction of ‘101 Best Blogs for Writers.’ You can follow her @carlywatters – this is an interview led by Norah Myers.

1. Please take us through a day in the life of your work as an agent.

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Bookseller Rising Star

On working at Nosy Crow and organising events: Tom Bonnick interview

We last interviewed Tom Bonnick, Business Development Manager at Nosy Crow, after his big win at the IPG awards earlier this year. We clearly can’t get enough of him! Here Stephanie Cox interviews Tom about his role at Nosy Crow and his recent nomination as a Bookseller Rising Star.

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers and give an overview of your career so far.

I’m the business development manager at Nosy Crow, where I’ve worked for the past four years. It’s quite a wide-ranging role: I work on all of our digital and audio publishing, web development, digital marketing and social media, event planning, and other kinds of new business.

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independent press

On launching an independent press: Jamie McGarry interview

Valley Press is an independent publisher of poetry, non-fiction and fiction, founded in 2008, and run as a full-time business since January 2011. Here Stephanie Cox interviews Valley Press founder Jamie McGarry about setting up a new press and how it all came about.

1. Tell us the story of how Valley Press came about.

The short version: after an unsuccessful attempt to become a Primary School teacher, I fell into an English Literature degree, and then realised this was not a subject that was going to make me highly employable. I had been making books of various kinds since the age of 6, so decided to start doing that a bit more purposefully, to enhance my CV – using the name Valley Press, as I lived on Valley Road at that time. It was the summer of 2008.

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social media manager

Tips on working as a social media manager: Maya Ninel Robert interview

Maya Ninel Robert is the Social Producer for Mashable in the UK. Previously to this she worked for the publisher, Pan Macmillan. Here Norah Myers interviews Maya about her great job, and about working with social media.

1. Please take us through a ‘day in the life’ in your work as a social media manager.

In any one day, I’ll start by looking at what’s currently being shared and talked about on various social media platforms, looking out for trending conversations and comparing our content’s performance. A large bulk of my job is scheduling out our own content on our platforms, and seeing through a strategy that I have developed. I’m constantly on the look-out to identify gaps in the market, too, and relaying that back to my team. I work very analytically, so a lot of my day is spent testing content and reporting back useful data to my team or outlying a strategy I think would benefit our community.

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Literary and Digital Consultant

On being a Literary and Digital Consultant: Philippa Donovan interview

Philippa Donovan is an experienced Literary and Digital Consultant, who has been running Smart Quill Editorial for over 4 years. Here Norah Myers interviews Philipppa about how she works with author, and in particular how she works with Unbound.

1. Please introduce yourself and give us an overview of your work as an editorial consultant.

My name is Philippa, and my consultancy is called Smart Quill. I set it up in 2011 so I could have closer conversations with authors about what they needed from the publishing process. Different stories take different forms, especially in the digital age, and I wanted to support this. I offer “bespoke author services” – structural edits, copyediting, agent recommendation, writing tips and books reviews via my YouTube channel. I have just moved to LA to enable screenplay review with hollywood experts, and am aiming to connect up UK and Australian writers with tv and film executives here – there is a huge demand for original IP, so I’m helping to widen the net!

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Editor and Publicist

On being an editor and publicist: Sam Eades interview

Sam Eades spent eight years as a publicist working for Transworld, Headline and Pan Macmillan on authors including Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, Jessie Burton and Hercule Poirot (David Suchet). She is now Senior Commissioning Editor & Associate Publicist at Orion Fiction. She is looking for crime fiction, speculative fiction and reading group fiction for commercial and literary/commercial crossover markets. Here Norah Myers interviews Sam about her work as an editor and publicist.

1. How do you organise your time as both an editor and publicist?

It is very much a 50/50 split so each day varies from the next. I might be pitching an author for interviews or setting up their tour one minute, and the next I’m out meeting agents talking through the kind of books I want to commission. No two days are the same (which I love!).

2. How does your work as a publicist inform your work as an editor?

Publicists have a great overall view of the book market. We sound out the competition early for similar titles we are working on, spot trends in publishing which we can use to our advantage to position our own books, we see what books share review space, which ones are getting social media buzz, who we can pair authors up with for events etc etc. Plus journalists will share with us what they are reading. We also (mass generalization) are a generous bunch, and read books from our friends at other publishing houses and hear what they are excited about working on. This knowledge of the market is very useful when it comes to commissioning!

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