Tag: events

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.


Business Club at Frankfurt

Calling all publishing people! 2 minutes needed

We would like to draw your attention to this very short survey from the marketing team at Frankfurt Book Fair, which will take less than 2 minutes to complete and could win you a Business Club pass.

By filling in the survey you are helping to shape Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 and future fairs – a very important task indeed!

One respondent, picked randomly on Friday 17th June, will be offered a week’s pass to the Business Club at the Book Fair. The Business Club helps you to get more out of your time in Frankfurt by offering you a working space, learning centre and networking hub. Club members also benefit from access to a programme of talks and the FBF pre-conferences.

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Snapshots III, the launch [EVENT]

Today, a new must-attend free publishing event is announced. Snapshots III – the launch is an informal evening in 4 UK cities, in celebration of the third edition of this publishing-themed book.

Each event will focus on one of the four sections of the book. Events will take place in London, Oxford, Cambridge UK or Brighton and a range of top speakers will be delivering short talks. Speakers include Seonaid Macleod (The Publishers Association), Kieron Smith (Blackwells Bookshops) and Matthew Clayton (Unbound).

This third volume in BookMachine’s Snapshots series, produced in collaboration with students from the renowned Publishing MA at Kingston University, focuses on what the next 5 years of publishing might bring.

The first part of the book is about Predictions. In this section, expert publishers give their insights into the next 5 years. From transitions in retail to new commercial models – a range of industry issues are covered.

Part 2 focuses on Thinking About Design. One thing that digital publishing has taught us is that slick design is fundamental to the success of any project. Multi-device publishing impacts on the design process, and as publishing becomes more global, there is much more to consider.

Part 3 is on Business Models. One noticeable change across the industry is all the new business models being explored. From adapting to smaller screens, to creating an online brand for a product – the publisher to retailer model was long ago disrupted; and now only the smartest business models will rise to the challenge in the new era.

Finally, this book covers Skills for Publishing. No longer is an English degree the only prerequisite for a publishing career. In Educational publishing there’s a drive towards creating enhanced learning material which can include multi-media components. In the world of audio-visuals, ‘editing’ can have a number of meanings. Across the board, people who have digital skills are also in high-demand.

You can choose your city, and grab a free ticket by clicking here.

Community Building: pleasure, pain and lessons learned

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.


Swotting up on Academic Book Week

This is a guest post by Alastair HorneSocial Media and Communities Manager for Cambridge University Press, on what to expect from Academic Book Week.

Why does academic publishing get so little attention? For a multimillion-pound business whose products ought to be familiar to every graduate working in publishing, it’s surprisingly obscure.

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United, We Publish – Danny Freeman interview

In the run up to October’s event, United, We Publish, BookMachine will be featuring a number of opinions on Unite-focused topics such as training, pay, employment law and flexible working. Danny Freeman is the Education & Development organiser for the London & Eastern Region of Unite. Danny is passionate about education and lifelong learning and promotes it across all sectors of Unite. We interview him here. 

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Recap of #BookMachine Twitter chat: Will we all be meeting face-to-face in 10 years time?

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.

New BookMachine London publishing event

London Publishing EventNot long to go until our face-to-face meetings at London publishing events are replaced by virtual meet-ups. Where the familiarity of shaking someone’s hand is replaced by the opening of a Webcam.

This idea is just evolving. In June 2014, HarperCollins hosted its first ever virtual Romance Festival. If you were lucky enough to take part you’ll know that it was attended by several of the biggest authors in the world, as well as a number of industry experts.

Sam Missingham, Head of Events at HarperCollins, who organised the festival is kindly presenting it as a case study at a new London Publishing Event – BookMachine London on 22nd July. It was the first publisher-agnostic virtual event organised by a publisher ever, and we are chuffed that Sam will be joining us to present and answer questions about the London Publishing event.

We would really like to thank Inspired Selection for sponsoring this event. Inspired Selection is a specialist recruitment consultancy dedicated to serving the publishing industry, across all markets, both in traditional print and digital media. The Inspired Selection team will also be attending BookMachine London on 22nd July.


5 Tips for creating your own literary night

There’s something really inspiring about watching a group of people come together to create a whole new literary experience.

This time we’ve stumbled upon Letters You Never Sent.

Zakia Uddin is part of the ‘crew’ who have put it together:  “We wanted to make our event interactive. We wanted to revive the letter as a dying form of story-telling, while also reconciling our love of pop culture and great literature”.

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