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BookMachine is born from a desire to drink and talk [August party review]

Felice Howden, Writer and Digital Media Production assistant at OUP, writes really well so  we were really excited to read her review of last week’s party. Want to read it to? Bet you do.

Rocking up to industry events without a wing-man can often feel like walking into Dragon’s Den armed with nothing but a peanut and a spatula. But knowing that BookMachine is born from a desire to drink and talk to people that have similar interests without feeling pressured to fling business cards into every available silence, I braved last week’s London event stag. As always, it was a great mix of friendly chat, interesting people and well earned mid-week beers, and left me feeling more like the inventor of some kind of amazing robot.

The variety of ages and professions of those gathered in Smithy’s, from recruitment agents to eBook creators, app developers and booksellers, really serves as testament to the fact that the industry is expanding like so many supernovas. BookMachine embraces the limitlessness of a publishing profession, and is the perfect place to gather and share ideas and experiences. Not that the conversation is confined to industry – an exposition on the many underrated attributes of the Beach Boys was particularly formative.

Optional name-tags were provided – a good idea at informal gatherings as you can automatically tell who is there for the same event, minimising risk of striking up a conversation with someone and only 10 minutes in realising that everything after the words ‘are you having fun?’ was referring to a retirement party 5 tables away.

Unfortunately, at this stage I can neither confirm nor deny the stereotype that educational publishers can drink trade under the table. But there’s always October, and I’m up for a challenge.


educational publishers, Felice Howden, party, publishing


Felice Howden

Felice Howden had opinions before she knew what the word 'opinion' meant. She wrote for the publishing and ideas blog Socratic Ignorance Is Bliss, and has had short stories published around the place. She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2008 with a degree in English and Philosophy, and now spends her time typing code and hatching brain eggs for the future of publishing in a major publishing house.

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