BookMachine has a fresh coat of paint for 2018 and we’d love your feedback! Let us know what you think.

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On 14th July BookMachine is back, this time in collaboration with Unite and with Guardian columnist and political activist Owen Jones as keynote speaker. (Owen is author of Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class and The Establishment – And How They Get Away With It.)

The event focuses on pay and conditions in the industry, and the aim of the evening is to review the current position of workers in the UK publishing industry and discuss various models of how workers pay should be decided.

Owen will give an introduction to the event, with other speakers that follow comprising Simon Dubbins, international director, Unite the Union, and Michelle Stanistreet, the first woman in history to be elected general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (UK and Ireland). The event will be chaired by Gareth Lowe, chair of Unite’s national publishing and media branch and a publishing programme manager at DK. Speakers will also take questions from the audience.

More information and tickets: https://bookmachine.org/event/united-publish-ii-pay-say-2/ – early bird tickets are on sale until 24 June.

grow

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? No? Many young people don’t know about the industry and all the opportunities it provides. The Publishers Association have launched a new programme where people in publishing go into schools, colleges and universities to share their knowledge.

We all know that publishers are conscious of the need to attract a wider range of people to its workforce. However, to make this happen young people need to know about the wide range of jobs and opportunities on offer. This is the aim of this new initiative, to share knowledge so that it is seen as a viable career option from an early age.

To get involved, people are being asked to volunteer as publishing ambassadors with their local schools. This can be done be contacting schools, colleges or universities in their local area or previously attended by the person. Alternatively it will be possible to register on the PA’s People Database to receive updates on upcoming opportunities to give hold a session.

To make such visits as easy as possible, The PA has created a wide variety of digital resources accessible via Dropbox. The resources can be tailored and adapted to suit the user’s style and content. They include:

  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Scripts
  • Leaflets
  • Tips for presenters

For more information please contact Seonaid smacleod@publishers.org.uk

 

BookMachine co-founder Laura Summers has been awarded proxime accesserunt (runner-up) at this year’s Young Stationers’ Prize. Judges called her ‘forward-thinking’, ‘innovative’ and possessed of ‘masses of drive’, and said of BookMachine itself: ‘a great idea, and she’s executed it brilliantly’.

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You there! What week is it? No, silly little Dickensian orphan, Christmas was two months ago, this is BookMachine week. Between Monday 23 and Friday 27 February, BookMachine is running a series of events across the world, with publishing folk gathering in Brighton, London, New York, Barcelona and Oxford to hear from a variety of industry speakers. Topics under discussion include the fate of illustrated books in the age of digital, the problems posed by shrinking retail space, the impact of self-publishing and the effect that social media is having on publishing.

In the latter instance, the medium is the message – on Friday afternoon, City University is sponsoring a BookMachine Twitter chat, ideal for those who can’t make it along to any of the real-world events or suddenly think of the perfect witty retort just as they’re leaving and want to seek retribution. The focus, as at the events, will largely be what digital means for images in publishing. The hashtag to use to take part is #BookMachine, which is where you’ll find the questions under discussion too. It kicks off at 3pm GMT/4pm CET/10am EST. The week’s discussions will then be rounded up here on the site for anyone who can’t even muster the energy to look at Twitter come Friday afternoon.

50 book challenge

50 Book Challenge for 2015?

This is a guest blog from Stacey Croft. Stacey blogs about books on Pretty Books (on WordPress & Tumblr) and works as a Marketing Executive in children’s book publishing. She loves taking photographs of books, exploring London and visiting new bookshops and coffee shops. You can find her at @theprettybooks

You’ve probably come across the BBC’s Top 100 Books, but on social media, people have been getting creative and making their own lists. I discovered the 50 Book Challenge on LiveJournal and LibraryThing in 2009 and in 2010, I brought it over to Tumblr, where I’ve been running it over on Pretty Books ever since. Laura stumbled across my blog and invited me to talk a little bit about the challenge.

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One evening a group of publishing people got together to think through ways to keep in touch throughout their careers. The aim was to keep it casual and get lots of people involved. There were too many conferences, a lot of formality – and really, lots of people they knew who just wanted to meet for a pint and keep connected to each other.

And so BookMachine was born.

Nearly 6 years on, with 77 registered events, 13,500 Twitter followers and an online Water Cooler (ever been to one of those?) we are organising the very first BookMachine event about ‘How to build a community’ – with Will Rycroft (Vintage Books) and Sara Perkins (ex-Mills & Boon, now Disney) sharing their wealth of experience.

With BookMachine the goal was defined from the start. It was something that we needed for ourselves. It wasn’t hard to find others to join us. Most of our peers liked the idea and wanted to attend.

The most painful experience was the very first night. We wanted it to start big. In reality there were about 12 of us sat around a table. Everyone seemed to have a good time though, buy into the idea, and told their friends to come, and before we knew it we were meeting 100s of people from across the trade – from niche military publishers to large education publishing houses – it has been interesting and a lot of fun.

Here are some lessons we have learned about community building along the way. They are in no particular order, as every community is different:

  • Everyone has a story to tell. It’s true. Even if you are the brand and craft your story impeccably, your community have their own stories too. Listen to them, ask about them and understand them. It will help build up trust and loyalty.
  • Don’t try and do everything at once. New social networks launch every month. You can’t respond and focus your energies everywhere. Work out where your community are and focus on one or two networks to start. Read all the advice you can, follow similar accounts and learn from them and most importantly engage every single day. Twitter helped to launch BookMachine. From there we created a popular Facebook account and Linkedin Group. With this as a foundation we were able to experiment with our own niche sites such as BookMachine Connect and more recently the Water Cooler.
  • Work with others. There will always be other communities appealing to the same audience as you. It’s better to work together than compete. Your community, and particularly your superfans are likely to belong to both. You could even run an event or a campaign together and help each other out.
  • Fail fast. A familiar phrase, which is true. If you try something and it isn’t working then stop it quickly. We can normally tell within 24 hours whether an event or a campaign is going to work as there is a flood of interest. Yes, you can re-iterate or re-launch; but if you have an ordinarily keen community and they don’t respond to a campaign quickly, it’s normally because it just hasn’t been positioned properly or just isn’t right.
  • Get everyone using the software. Everyone running the community needs to know how this works. If you send emails on Friday’s for example and the one person who knows how to operate the mailing list is off sick, you need to make sure someone else can login and keep the routine going.

To learn more specifically about growing a community of book readers and fans, join us in London on 18th May for ‘BookMachine Nights: ‘How to build a community’. The event will also reveal what’s next for publishing’s first ever online Water Cooler, and how you can get involved.

 

Childish, too niche, corrupting our youth – the criticism against comic books has taken on many forms. But despite this, comic books are one of the few literary genres which have seen a rise in sales figures following the recession. At BookMachine’s latest event, Tim Pilcher walked us through the vindication of comic books, and why publishers need to join in on the fun.

On Tuesday evening, Phoenix Artist Club was packed to the brim with publishing professionals eager to hear what Humanoid’s comic book guru Tim Pilcher had to say about the rise and redemption of comic books.

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BookMachine will act as a media partner on a single-day course for authors to take place at Kingston University on Saturday 28 March. Is Everyone Now A Publisher? will provide an overview of ‘the publishing and writing landscape’, advice on preparing manuscripts for publication and opportunities for networking. Tickets are £115 apiece if bought before 30 January, £130 afterwards, with tickets for Kingston University staff and students available at the reduced rate of £90 throughout.

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Last Wednesday at 11am we hosted the first #BookMachine Twitter Chat of 2014. The topic of debate was: Will we all be meeting face-to-face in 10 years time?

The question has already been answered in different industries but we wanted to know the answer for the publishing industry.

The discussion consisted of topics such as the importance of personal interaction in business, the role of innovative tools like Hangouts which enable you to have a face-to-face conversations and the new platform to buy and sell rights. Have a look at our Storify.

The Twitter Chat flowed from the general question to more in detail discussions about the best way to do business. Publishers logged on from both Spain and the UK. It was a multicultural and enriching experience for all involved.

Although there was an agreement on the relevance of digital meeting tools as a productive method of conducting business in the publishing industry, the resounding opinion was that the face-to-face interactions are and will be essential now and in the future.

Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their thoughts. We hope to meet online and offline again soon.

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