5 questions for the hosts of BookMachine Oxford – 28th June [INTERVIEW]

Charly Ford and Emily Holmes work at Osprey Group in Oxford and will be hosts of the next BookMachine shindig in Oxford. We thought you might like to get to know these two lovely ladies, and find out what they’re in to ahead of the event…

The event is on June 28th, in All Bar One (High Street) from 5.30pm. You can sign up here:

Charly, you’ve been working at Osprey Group for over 3 years, why do you think you were so well positioned to win this year’s IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year award?

Charly FordI believe we work hard as a group to keep moving forwards to bigger and better things – we know our audiences and we engage with them on many levels, not least through our strong online presence using our websites and social media. We like to stay at the forefront of publishing, keeping in line with the development of ebooks, apps and digital-only lists, which Emily can tell you more about. In short, we’re a medium-sized company with big goals and ambitions, and to top it all off, we’re a nice bunch of people!


Emily, you recently wrote an article on the Futurebook blog about your new digital-only list – how do you think this new list is going to help you reach more readers and grow your brand?

Emily HolmesOsprey has a great core of dedicated readers, both for our series publications and trade titles; this new list will hopefully appeal to our existing readers through the publication of very niche subjects. However, it will also allow us to reach new audiences through an extended digital marketing and social media campaign, as well as word of mouth. Digital publishing allows us to try different formats (such as diaries, blogs and essay collections) that will appeal to a different readership than those who buy the more traditional heavily illustrated Osprey titles.


Emily, and what issues have arisen in terms of processes involved, which you might not have previously anticipated?

Emily HolmesAs much as possible we keep the editorial processes the same for ebooks as we do for print titles, so the main change is in the production and design of the titles. One of the biggest challenges has been the cover process and trying to get everyone to think about a thumbnail rather than a book cover. In order to over-come this we now load the covers onto the iPad in order to view them more accurately and get people thinking ‘digital’ not ‘print’.


Charly, why do you think that Oxford is growing so rapidly as a hub for publishing companies?

Charly FordOxford is a lovely city and it’s known for its history, beauty, vibrancy, literary heritage, academia, culture… the list goes on! In my opinion, these factors make the city a natural home to creative industries such as publishing. It’s also a great place to work and live, and has good transport links to other key parts of the country, so it is convenient for both employers and employees.


Emily & Charly, why do you think it’s about time that BookMachine events take place in Oxford too?

Charly FordCharly: I have been told many times that everyone knows everyone else in publishing. This isn’t quite true, but if everyone working in publishing in Oxford knew each other, that would be very cool.

Emily HolmesEmily: As Charly said, it’s a great opportunity for us to network, not just with publishers but agents and authors, while enjoying a cocktail. In the current situation, as we reassess how we think about books and content, I think it is important to review our roles and work together as an industry; this is a great first step for Oxford.

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