The Unite Workshop (powered by BookMachine): why you should come


In only 26 days BookMachine and Unite will celebrate their exciting new partnership with a Workshop, led by Unite, exploring how the union supports publishers in the workplace. Here Christopher Norris, editor and development executive for the Insight Film Festival and owner-freelancer of CopyGhosting Editorial Services, introduces the event by telling BookMachine members and the wider publishing community why the Workshop is an important evening for career development.

Book publishers have a friendly rivalry, compared with other industries – this is mainly based on good relationships between decent people. It was once known as being a club for literary gentlefolk – a utopia of long lunches and books that sold themselves on the strength of their cultural impact and merit. These days are long gone – publishers of today save up these social moments for evening events – hence the growth of BookMachine!

Looking back to the 1980s, when the wider media sector started buying up publishing houses, the goal was ultimately to maximise profit for shareholders. There was an old publishing joke – ‘The only way to make a small fortune in publishing is to start with a large one’ – that is no longer true, as the book trade became a commercialised part of the media.

If you work in publishing now, you will know that you cannot automatically rely on your employers always having your best interests at heart. You will have mentors and supporters along the way, but the person with the keenest interest in your career in publishing is you.

This is where Unite can support you. As an individual, you can’t possibly know everything there is to know about the following:

  • Training and education opportunities
  • Information and consultation
  • Pay and conditions
  • Employment law
  • Flexible working
  • Parental leave.

Membership of a union gives you access to collective expertise and sources of help, as and when you need it.

Gareth Lowe’s comprehensive overview of Unite’s place in the book-publishing sector, ‘We are Unite. We publish’, is a useful introduction to how the Union can have relevance for everyone in the book trade. Whilst the Unite website provides generic advice to publishers on its FAQ and Mythbusters pages – which are well worth a visit – the Unite Workshop is a gilt-edged opportunity to explore what the Union can do for you in person.

So, what should you expect from the Unite Workshop?

  • Our keynote speaker is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, who will kick-off the night
  • Choose two from our four workshops (Lifelong Learning, Corporate Social Responsibility, Trends in Employment, and Employment Law)
  • Food and drink.

– Join us  for ‘United, We Publish‘ (discounted for members of BookMachine, NUJ, and Unite) to learn more about protecting your publishing career and developing your skills.

Get tickets

You can follow Chris on Twitter at @InsightFF (Insight Film Festival) and @chris24n.

If you want to read more about Unite, check the links below:

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