If you have attended an 2020 event already, we hope you had a great time and picked up some useful publishing tips.
The BookMachine Christmas party takes place on Thursday 10th December 2020. We are busy plotting the programme.
We will be launching the 2021 event series in early January, so please sign up to our mailing list to be the first to find out what is happening.

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BookMachine Unplugged 2019: Talking Tech

22 May @ 6:30 pm 9:30 pm BST

Talking Tech Literacy Evening

6.30pm, 22nd May 2019 | The Century Club, London
£ 5.50 – £10.00 (FREE for
BookMachine Members)

With thanks to our Unplugged 2019 sponsors:

About the event

The world is faced with challenges like never before. Between the climate crisis, widespread injustice, and political upheaval, it’s hard to know how to be as impactful as these strange times demand. Thankfully, we’ve chosen wisely: we’re in the only industry that can amplify the considered, thoughtful, inspiring voices that will get us through. But to do those voices justice, we urgently need to get much better at how we work.  

This is not going to be another cheerful networking talk where we enthuse about apps or pretty projects. You’ll hear about the wider context and the problem with publishing tech literacy; why tech giants are a threat and how customer needs are not being met. 

But don’t panic: code is accessible, this is doable. If you work in publishing, you already have the skills to do it. 

You’ll learn what coding is and the different roles in it. You’ll understand that coding is just like editorial mark-up or proofreading. You’ll see how uplifting and beautiful code can be. We’ll show you a “code and tell” using Cascading Style Sheets – making a webpage beautiful before your eyes. You’ll be inspired by the joy of elegant coding in Ruby. You’ll hear about key concepts in coding, but in a way utterly relevant to your job. 

It’s never too late, but you need to do it now. There is no mystery: we can all code. We’ll show you how. Be inspired to learn to code.  Then use that skill to change the industry for good.

Your Speakers

Emma Barnes (Founder & CEO, Consonance, Snowbooks and Make Our Book)

Emma taught herself to code after founding her own independent publisher, Snowbooks. She went on to build Consonance, the next-generation publishing system. Now she’s on a mission to promote tech skills within the publishing industry and beyond, and is an advocate of employers providing time for side projects to promote innovation, creativity and tech literacy. Her own side project, Make Our Book, is an innovative schools publishing app. 

Follow Emma on Twitter: @has_many_books @consonance_app @makeourbook

Sara O’Connor (Full Stack Developer, Consonance)

From a Masters Degree in Children’s Literature to software developer at Consonance. Sara O’Connor spent 13 years in children’s editorial, publishing books about vampire twins, shrinking planets and rubbish heaps. Over time, her digital hobbies became professionally useful for making ebooks, leading departments through software implementations and creating the digital strategy for the launch of Hot Key Books. After two week-long coding courses, she caught the bug and, eventually, left publishing for the intensive Makers Academy bootcamp, making the switch to full-time software developer. She is now writing code to help make the publishing system she wishes she had when she was an editor, and determined to spread digital skills throughout the publishing industry. 

Follow Sara on Twitter: @saramoohead @consonance_app

Nick Barreto (Co-founder and CTO, Canelo)

Nick Barreto is one of the co-founders of Canelo and their technology director. He’s managed and built mobile and web apps, and is as an expert on e-book formats and book metadata as well as workflows. He is committed to automating all the repetitive tasks to free up more time for the work that matters.

Follow Nick on Twitter: @nickbarreto @canelo_co

Nadia Odunayo (CEO, The StoryGraph)

Nadia is founder and CEO of The StoryGraph, a new website for avid readers. Before that, she co-directed Ignition Works, a company that helps large firms to manage their cloud platforms. She previously worked at Pivotal and originally learnt to code at Makers Academy in London. She reads, goes to dance classes, and maintains speakerline.io in her spare time.

Follow Nadia on Twitter: @nodunayo @thestorygraph


BookMachine Unplugged is an event series that aims to answer a simple question: what is happening in the world of publishing right now?

Watch inspiring talks from industry insiders. Meet publishers, editors, marketers, audio publishers, designers, techies and more – the people who make publishing happen. If you crave an explosion of knowledge, ideas, and personal development, all in a strictly social and informal setting, unplug from your desk and join us.   

There will be six events throughout 2019. Each will zoom in on a segment of the publishing industry and feature 3 expert speakers taking to the stage with their insights into what works for their business now.

If you want to learn from your peers, and stay at the forefront of what’s happening, then BookMachine Unplugged is for you.

Event details

Date: 22nd May 2019
Time: 6.30pm – 11pm

The Venue

The Century Club

61-63 Shaftesbury Ave
London, W1D 6LQ United Kingdom
+ Google Map
+44 207 534 3080


Who is this event aimed at?

BookMachine is a thriving community for everyone involved in book publishing. We created it for those who crave knowledge, ideas, and personal development, but in a strictly social and informal setting. BookMachine Members are at the heart of the community and can attend all the events for free and benefit from discounts from across the industry.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, just show up and your name will be on the door.

Will I get a seat?

You might not get a seat at the event, so wear comfy shoes. This is deliberate as the space has been designed for you to meet as many people as possible in a short space of time, rather than sitting down with your colleague/the same person all evening. The talks section lasts for 45 minutes and there is a cloakroom for any heavy bags/coats. 

Some words about the Unplugged Series…