5 Questions for Sheila Bounford [INTERVIEW]

shielaSheila Bounford founded Off the Page Ideas in 2012 and works with a variety traditional print publishing and digital publishing & services businesses as they embrace the challenges of rapidly changing market forces. She blogs about books, ideas and change at www.otpi.co.uk. She’s one of our top speakers at BookMachine Unplugged, so we thought we’d find out a little bit more…

1. How did you end up working with the publishing industry?

I’m a typical example of someone who started out in publishing after leaving university just because they liked books and wanted to work with them. It was before publishing qualifications became common. I started in an administrative role at Batsford  (now part of Anova) in the days when it was an independent with offices in Marylebone. I never wanted to be an editor – I liked learning about what goes on under the bonnet of a publishing company to make the whole process work.

2. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned (without giving away your talk idea…)?

That unless your team knows and welcomes the fact that change is continuous, you will spend your life rolling stones uphill.

3. What is the aim of Off the Page ideas?
Off the Page Ideas aims to assist companies that want an outside perspective combined with practical support as they adapt (and prosper).
4. What project are you most proud of?
I don’t think there’s a single project I’m most proud of. They all have their time, place and value. I think that the single most effective project I have initiated and executed was the specification and implementation of a membership database for the IPG in 2000. That change to the fundamental administrative architecture of the organisation is what provided the platform from which the organisation has been able to become a much more effective organisation.
5. And your biggest prediction for the industry this year?
That the definition of “The Industry” will become increasingly blurred – as will its margins (in every sense of the word).

If you’d like to hear more from Sheila, you can sign up to hear her talk about he experience of collaborating with others at BookMachine Unplugged on 21st February

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