BookMachine Success Story: Charly Ford (IPG)

Charly Ford

Here is a short interview with Charly Salvesen-Ford, Membership and Events officer at IPG, as part of the ‘BookMachine Success’ series.

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1. How did you first get involved with the BookMachine network?

I co-organised Oxford’s first BookMachine event, a social in 2012, and loved it. Before long Gavin and Laura asked whether I wanted to look after BookMachine in Oxford more permanently, and I leapt at the chance.

2013 and 2014 were fantastic years, in which I organised and hosted a number of BookMachine events, with a range of brilliant speakers. Having hung up my BookMachine event hat at the end of 2014, I continue to be a big fan and still write Oxford’s monthly newsletters.

2. What difference has it made to your career?

It is not an exaggeration to say that BookMachine has had a big impact on my career. My publishing life started with many happy years working in editorial, then digital, roles at a great independent publisher, and I started to arrange BookMachine events in my free time.

This new pastime opened my eyes to how satisfying it is to organise events, and it also gave me an interest in the publishing community more generally. It also made me wonder just how many connections could be made within our industry, and how much knowledge and experience could be shared.

In mid-2014 a vacancy opened up at the Independent Publishers Guild to work on their events, and it was an opportunity I could not pass up. I’ve been with the IPG since autumn and it has been a brilliant new challenge.

3. What advice would you give to anyone looking to explore different areas of working in publishing?

Go to events, including events that you’ve attended before – it doesn’t take long to start seeing familiar faces and to build up connections within the industry. Keep your eyes peeled at all times, and say yes to exciting opportunities (even if it means stepping outside of your normal comfort zone) as this will add more skills to your portfolio. Who knows, it may even show you a whole new path.

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