Author: Laura Summers

Co-founder of @bookmachine - the network for forward-thinking #publishing folks; and BookMachine Works - the fresh new creative agency for publishers

Announcing BookMachine meets…

Today BookMachine launches BookMachine meets…, a brand new event series designed to explore the strategies of some of the top publishing houses, in order to find out what makes them unique and successful.

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BookMachine launches brand spanking new event series: BookMachine Unplugged 2019

The popular event series is back, covering key industry topics – Production, Editorial, Tech, Marcomms, Audio and Design. This year there will be 6 Unplugged events, with 6 hosts, more than 18 confirmed speakers, 1 brand new venue and an awards ceremony.

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Freelance Book Publicist

Interview with Claire Maxwell, Freelance Book Publicist

Claire Maxwell is an experienced publicist and former journalist. Having worked at some of the UK’s leading publishing houses including Canongate Books, Claire has implemented PR campaigns that have seen titles rocket up the bestsellers charts. She was the publicist behind the campaign for the Sunday Times Bestselling How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, and has worked on a huge variety of books and projects. She co-programmed BookMachine Unplugged 2018: Talking Marcomms, which takes place this Wednesday evening [SOLD OUT] and sits on the BookMachine Editorial Board.

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BookMachine Unplugged series to launch in January 2018

Over the past 7 years BookMachine have organised over 100 industry events, and listened to over 300 industry speakers kindly share their knowledge. From this, we have learned that that if you want to stay at the forefront of what’s happening, then you need to understand the past and have a sense of what is happening in the future – but you also really need to know what is happening now, both in your discipline and across the indusry.

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Freelance Book Publicist

BookMachine Works welcomes leading publicist to the team

Since launching at The London Book Fair 2017, BookMachine Works – the marketing and events agency arm of BookMachine has worked on a wide range of successful campaigns and events with publishers large and small.

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BookMachine events

A note about BookMachine events

Over the past fortnight BookMachine have announced their two latest projects – both are publishing events, which will take place in London. They have been designed to attract people from across the trade, those who are looking to meet interesting people whilst learning something new.

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BookMachine and the Frankfurt Book Fair launch THE ARTS+ event

On Tuesday 6th June 2017, BookMachine and the Frankfurt Book Fair announced their plans, which had been brewing for months. Their first joint event was officially launched: ‘Reinventing Culture: How the Arts Worlds Collide in the Age of Technology’. It’s set to take place on the evening of 5th July 2017 at The Library Private Members Club.

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sophie o'rourke emc design

Want to know more about book publishing? Ask an Agony Aunt/Uncle

In August 2016 BookMachine invited a group of publishing-savvy professionals to join its editorial board. This, in short, means that it’s not just the 3 of us (Sam, Laura, Norah) who are thinking about how to publish the best ideas insights about the industry on the site – there is now a group of experienced insiders working on this.

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Unsung Heroes of Publishing 2017: Sam Perkins announced as a winner

Everyone likes to win an award – it spruces up your CV by showing that you are at the top of your profession, achieving more than the list of tasks on your job spec. It illustrates that others recognize your talents and think highly enough of you to nominate you. It’s like a great big pat on the back.

This is the second annual Unsung Heroes of Publishing list, celebrating talented publishing specialists working in-house or freelance. It was launched last year by Whitefox – the largest curated network of publishing skills and specialisms in the world.

BookMachine’s very own Sam Perkins, has been listed as a 2017 winner. Sam has been managing the BookMachine site since September 2015. She also oversees the annual publication of Snapshots, a collaborative publishing project with Kingston University Publishing MA students. Sam commissions new content on a weekly basis, and also makes sure that it is distributed throughout the industry. She does this week after week, tirelessly, on top of a full-time job at Sage Publications. She is most definitely our hero!

Other winners include Pete Adlington (Canongate), Helen Coyle (Freelance), Jo Forshaw (Harper Collins), Louise Harnby (Freelance), Laura Marchant (Freelance), Emma Paterson (Coleridge &White), Rebecca Ritchie (Curtis Brown), Jill Sawyer (Freelance), Rebecca Servadio (London Literary Scouting), Martin Toseland (Freelance), Mathieu Triay (Penguin), Gemma Wain (Freelance) and Annabel Wilson (Michael Joseph).

Congratulations to everyone on this year’s selection, and particularly to our Sam.

New home for BookMachine

BookMachine has a new home. It’s a private members club in Covent Garden, aptly called ‘The Lib-rary’. The walls are adorned with bookcases and books. The bar is stocked with ample selection of beers, wines and spirits. There’s a lively main bar area – where our events will take place, and upstairs a number of clusters of chairs where BookMachiners can head for a quieter chat.

For international visitors there are hotels rooms too (we can get you a discount if you are coming to one of our events); and downstairs is a restaurant called Saint Luke. Working with publishers and author chefs – Saint Luke’s has a rotating food menu based on cookbooks – with bookmarkers to denote starters, mains and desserts.  Saint Luke’s Head Chef is Alessio Piras who works with and alongside guest chefs to launch each cookbook.

If you are keen to join us there in 2017, here are some dates for your diaries – topics to be announced soon.

8th Feb 2017 – 6.30pm

29th March 2017 – 6.30pm

27th April 2017 (private party for BookMachine client)

28th June 2017 – 6.30pm

27th September 2017 – 6.30pm

As well as organising our own events, we are able to market, host and organise events for publishers, publishing associations and authors. So if you have something to celebrate we would love to help you – please get in touch.


10 lessons from BIC’s New Trends in Publishing Seminar

Attending an event on ‘new trends’ seems apt at this time, just as everyone is ramping up on their Frankfurt preparation. We took away much more than 10 lessons from this jam-packed morning – but thought 10 might just whet your appetite for now.

Ruth Jones (Publisher Business Development, Ingram Content Group):

  • Amazon chose to go to market first with books, because books are well-ordered and categorized. Publishers understand their IP and know how to sell under ‘normal’ conditions – which helps to ride any waves of uncertainty and makes experimentation easier to manage.
  • It is thought that young people who spend time online have small attention spans as they constantly engage with bite-size content. This is just not true – they have huge attention spans, but only for content that is relevant, engaging and personalized to them.

Richard Orme (Chief Executive, DAISY Consortium):

  • Captain Ian Fraser lost his sight during Battle of Somme. Because of this, he worked with RNIB to find a reading machine for other blind soldiers. RNIB and DAISY now work with publishers to make sure as many books as possible are published in accessible formats so they can be enjoyed at the same time by anyone, regardless of their reading requirements or preferences.
  • The Marrakesh Treaty facilitates access to published works for people who are blind, visually impaired or print disabled. It was the fastest UN treaty to ever be signed, and it comes into force on 30th September 2016. The Treaty lays out specific rules for accessible formats.

Natalie Smith (Associate, Harbottle & Lewis):

  • The data protection act was made in 1998, so needs updating in line with changes to the way businesses operate. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into direct effect in the EU from 25 May 2018. It will result in big changes, and higher penalties for misuse of data.
  • Even if the UK leaves the EU, we will still need to comply and adjust to the GDPR standards, because they will have a new extra-territorial scope for those, from outside, who do business with the EU.

Andre Breedt (Director Book Research International, Nielsen Book):

  • New research from Nielsen shows that the most important element of successful book sales is uploading a cover image with your book data. 83.2% of books sold had a ‘full-set’ of metadata assigned to them.
  • Timing is also important for a successful book launch. It is advised by BIC that metadata is provided 16 weeks prior to a publication date.

Florin Craciun (Head of Sales, Ingenta):

  • Your backlist, is another publishers frontlist. In other words – a good place to look, when trying to increase revenues is monetization of the backlist.
  • Revenue from rights departments flows to the bottom line. Historically there has been minimal investment in the infrastructure of rights departments; and this too, can be an ideal place to focus for increased revenues.

Thanks to BIC for hosting such an interesting event!




Editorial Director

Editorial Director [JOB POSTING]

At Canelo we are building a different kind of publisher. We take the most exciting stories to the widest possible audience, combining a dynamic digital-centred approach with a fantastic deal for authors.

Just 12 months after our first titles launched, Canelo is already making its mark on the industry, with major acquisitions, acclaimed chart-topping titles, and consistently strong sales growth. But we want to achieve much more, and this new position has been created to realise those ambitions.

About the Role

We need a savvy and enterprising editor with an excellent knowledge of commercial and genre fiction, great relationships in the author and agent communities, and the passion and creativity to uncover and develop bestsellers.

You will have the desire and talent to build something truly significant. We’ll make sure you have the platform and support that successful books demand.

We’re open to flexible working, are an equal opportunities employer, and are happy to discuss further.

Please write to

Editorial & Sales Assistant [JOB POSTING]

Music Sales Group is one of the World’s leading music publishers, owning and managing over 200,000 popular and classical music copyrights. The Group is also Europe’s largest printed music publisher and distributes sheet music, books, instruments and accessories from the UK, Europe, US, Australia and Far East.  The UK Group both owns and operates a number of retail outlets along with offering a market leading online business –

The Group is privately owned by one family over several generations.  The UK Head Office is situated in London, in the West End, where the Group Board resides and where the Editorial and Creative teams are located. The support functions (Purchasing, Sales, IT, Copyright accounting & Finance) together with a substantial worldwide distribution centre are located in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.


The Editorial & Sales Assistant supports the Managing Editor and Sales Manager in the provision of general editorial and sales support for Omnibus Press, so must have good writing and general editorial skills.  The recruitment process will include proof reading and writing tests.

Key Objectives:

1. Supporting with editorial work

2. Sales duties

3. Editorial & Sales support


Editorial work

  • Straightforward proofing and editing
  • Collating page proofs, checking online printers’ proofs and liaising with the parties involved
  • Editorial work for Overlook Press editions
  • New project research where required
  • Sending out routine rejection letters
  • Liaising with freelancers where necessary

Sales Duties

  • Processing client and author purchase orders
  • Responding to publication enquiries (specifically product availability, price, discount, format and publication date)
  • Liaising with external agents (home and export) on sales opportunities ? Sourcing new leads and acquiring and updating our client information details
  • Collating data for sales presentations and AI sheets and assisting with sales reports
  • Organising meetings with clients and authors alike
  • Listing and amending Omnibus Press publication information on Nielsen Book Editor and other online platforms
  • Creating the annual Omnibus Press catalogue

Editorial and sales support

  • Fixing book fair appointments and other meetings (e.g. sales conferences, filming days)
  • Dealing with general enquiries
  • Ensuring Overlook Press are supplied with up-to-date information
  • Maintaining the Omnibus Press schedules under supervision
  • Collating information for a contracts database
  • Helping out at publicity events, Book Fairs
  • Ensuring information for translation rights sales is up-to-date
  • Collating editorial and sales materials for presentations, pitches, trade fairs etc
  • Routine author liaison to ensure we have up-to-date biographies, author photos, etc
  • Sending out complimentary copies and reviews and ordering up sample copies; ensuring we have a reference set of our own titles
  • Departmental filing
  • Providing holiday and sickness cover for the Editorial and Sales Managers



Minimum of a year’s experience within publishing, media or book trade is desired

Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ambitious self-starter

Personal Qualities

  • A confident, outgoing team player who also has the ability and drive to work under minimal supervision
  • A keen interest in music and film
  • Confident and outgoing individual with adaptable people skills


Core working hours are 0930 to 1730 Monday to Friday, however you will need to be flexible and able to work additional hours as required ensuring deadlines are met.

Willing to travel to the Suffolk office and sales exhibitions from time to time, as required.

This is a role with huge variety and we require someone who is willing to do everything from making tea for guests to aiding us run sales campaigns and meeting with authors and packagers.

The role will offer great experience in almost every aspect of publishing.

Please send your CV and a covering letter, explaining why you think you would be suitable for the role, to no later than the closing date of Monday 5th September.

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