6 questions for Camilla Prince, host of BookMachine Oxford on 6th Sept [INTERVIEW]
BookMachine Oxford is on 6th September at 6pm in the Ashmolean rooftop bar , you can sign up here:
1) You’re on the social committee for Macmillan, can you explain a little more about why and how you decided to host a BookMachine event?
Me and a colleague went along to the last event hosted by Osprey and were really impressed by what a great event it was. I suggested to BookMachine’s lovely Laura Austin that it would be great if we had events like these more often in Oxford and she got in touch to ask if we would like to host the next one – so here we are with BookMachine Oxford number two!
2) Why do you think it is important to have events for the publishing community in Oxford?
Considering that Oxford is one of the major publishing hubs outside of London we don’t have that many opportunities to network and meet other people from different publishers. The Society of Young Publishers and Oxford Brookes organise some really great events but perhaps inevitably they focus more on students where as BookMachine events attract a great variety of publishing people from students through to well seasoned veterans.
3) And do you think they will impact how different publishing businesses work together in Oxford and the surrounding areas?
I think publishing is such a tightly knit community anyway that we all know a bit about what everyone else is up to but I think it fosters a spirit of healthy curiosity to meet and discuss things face to face. Also seeing as many publishers are facing the same challenges at the moment I think it is particularly important that we have these opportunities to discuss and exchange ideas.
4) What is going to be great (or different) about the BookMachine event you are organising with Macmillan Education?
Well the Ashmolean rooftop restaurant and bar is such a lovely place that it’s nice to have an excuse to spend the whole evening there! But besides that it’s a rare opportunity to speak to some lovely publishing types you might not meet otherwise.
5) Working in the Digital Publishing Unit at a busy educational publishing house, do you think the (text)book is dead or dying?
People seem to have been asking this question for a very long time but no I don’t think so especially in educational publishing. But before I start to sound too heretical I would like to qualify that by saying I think we are all moving (however slowly) to be publishers of content and to offer this in whatever form the customer would like it – whether that’s in a book or on their mobile.
6) What challenges do you think there are working on the digital side of things compared to more traditional print-based roles?
Though it’s been around for quite a while now when you compare digital publishing to the age of the print industry digital is still taking its first baby steps really. There is an awful lot of stuff that is still to be worked out or is under debate but I think this is what makes it an exciting area to work in.