Tag: publishing

Diversity and Inclusion

The Real State of Diversity and Inclusion in Publishing

Nancy Roberts is an experienced entrepreneur and a domain expert in diversity and inclusion. She is the founder of Umbrella, using AI and data analytics for diversity and inclusion. She is also a highly skilled leader with 20 years of experience including at board level. She has a BA, two MAs, and a PhD in Postcolonial Feminist Theory, and is currently an Exec MBA student at Cranfield University.

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future of publishing

“The future of publishing is in your hands” – coding for all [EVENT]

Abbie Headon runs Abbie Headon Publishing Services, and offers a range of skills including writing, editing and commissioning, alongside social media, website development and publishing management. She champions fresh approaches to solving the industry’s challenges and can be found mingling at most publishing events. Abbie’s also BookMachine’s Commissioning Editor and sits on the BookMachine Editorial Board

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Flat Design

Flat design, the view from my sun lounger, and the power of colour: tools to revitalise publishing design

Suzanne Kavanagh is a strategic market specialist and programme curator working with BookMachine Works and the BookMachine community. She worked with Sophie O’Rourke, our Editorial Board member to curate the BookMachine Unplugged: Talking Design event.

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John Mitchinson

Small independent presses: interview with John Mitchinson

In the latest blog post Norah Myers interviews John Mitchinson. John is a writer and publisher and the co-founder of Unbound, the award-winning crowdfunding platform for books. He helped to create the award-winning BBCTV show QI and co-wrote the best-selling series of QI books. He is co-host of Unbound’s books podcast Backlisted (@BacklistedPod) and a Vice-President of the Hay Festival of Arts & Literature.

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Audiobook publishing

Audiobook publishing: where to begin

Jo Forshaw is a consultant specialising in audiobook publishing. Having previously tinkered with audio as an agent, retailer and programmer for Oneword Radio, she ran the audio publishing team at HarperCollins, growing it from 60 abridged titles to 500+ unabridged recordings per year and driving projects like Total Audio and the RNIB partnership to ensure all readers can access books on publication. Follow Jo on Twitter @audioguvnor

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Heather O'Connell

Smart, scalable and responsible print production [Heather O’Connell interview]

Heather O’Connell has more than 20 years experience in the publishing industry and worked her way up from controller to senior management positions at Penguin and Harper Collins. She now runs Bluebird Consulting and also teaches Production both in-house and via the Publishing MA at UCL.

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make audiobooks more accessible

Accessibility matters: how we developed an app to make audiobooks more accessible

After 30 years in academic publishing (the final 13 years at board level) Jo Burges now co-runs i-Publishing Consultants. The team specialises in working with publishers, cultural heritage organisations and the not-for-profit sector to help them make the very best use of technology and information management and to engage effectively with their customers and members.

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Quantum 2018

Don’t Delegate the Future: FutureBook event report

Friday’s FutureBook Conference, organised by The Bookseller, presented three conferences in one: alongside the main FutureBook programme, there were parallel streams on The Audiobook Revolution and EdTech for Publishers.

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Sven Huber

How technology can make reading fun: Sven Huber interview

Ahead of How technology can make reading fun, an event in London, we decided to interview the expert speakers. Sven Huber is founder & CEO of Boolino, creator of reading tools like Boolino Book Box and publisher of the unique literacy resource Fiction Express. 

1) Some people think Technology deters kids from reading, with young people choosing to play games and spend time on social media instead. Do you think this is the case?

This can be the case, more with tablets than eReaders. I think that regardless of format, the main goal should be to give children plenty of books to read. By giving a choice, children are more likely to connect and engage and if a child connects with the story and its characters, he or she will be more motivated to read on.

There are other things that can have a positive influence too, for example, showing an interest in the book your child is reading and discussing the story together. There has been always “competing” media around, first the radio, then television and video games and today the internet and apps. I believe it is more about the content and not so much about the book format.

2) What online tools have you seen which effectively encourage the love of reading?

Most readers love to share the books they are reading with friends. Online tools such as blogs, video blogs and websites like Boolino and Wattpad are great platforms for sharing and discovering books.

There are also deeper interactive reading tools which can enrich the experience, for example Fiction Express, the interactive e-book platform which allows readers to decide on the plot by voting online.

Fiction Express authors write a new chapter of a story every week, and at the end give three possible options for how the plot should continue. Young readers then vote online by choosing between the three options and, depending on what the winning vote is, the author writes the next chapter. This is a great example of how readers can become part of the creative process, and it tends to trigger high levels of motivation to follow the story. Children also have the possibility to interact directly with the author through the Fiction Express blog and by commenting or suggesting their own ideas for the ending.

3) What can teachers do to create an atmosphere in which children will read?

Ask the children to bring in their favourite books from home or libraries, and have them explain to the class why they love their books. Then facilitate book sharing. My 7- and 8-year old children discover a lot of books through their friends at school, and these tend to be the books they like most. It is so much more powerful for them to discover books they WANT to read, as opposed to telling them what they HAVE to read.

4) If a child actively hates reading, what do you think their parents and teachers should do?

Understand what topics the child is interested in and find books that focus on that topic. Read together, talk, and discuss the books in detail. Create a fun atmosphere. Routines really help too – parents can suggest reading together every day for 15 minutes as a joint activity. If a child actively hates reading, he or she has not yet discovered the joy of it and it is the parents’ and teachers’ role (in that order!) to facilitate this discovery.

Join us at How technology can make reading fun on 17th May, in London.

Production Controller

Quarto launches Spanish language imprint

The Quarto group already sells books across 50 countries and in 39 languages. This week they expanded on this further, with the launch of Quarto Iberoamericana – a new Spanish language imprint.

The new Quarto Iberoamericana imprint will publish 20 books a year with the first six books,launching in Autumn 2017, in adult categories such as cookery, lifestyle and spirituality. Titles will be sourced from Quarto’s rich intellectual property catalogue.

Marcus Leaver, Chief Executive of The Quarto Group, commented: “Our stated intention to further expand our scale and reach around the globe sees it third iteration in the Spanish language, following the successful launch of Kalimat Quarto, our Arab language imprint in 2016, and Quarto Editora, our Brazilian imprint in 2015. This is another great example of finding further opportunities for growth with the right partners who share our values.”

David Inman, Managing Director, Quarto Partners added: “There is tremendous opportunity in the Spanish language market and we believe this new venture with our long-standing partner Catapulta Editores will help us grow our business further around the world.”

Production Controller

New sales and marketing structure at The Quarto Group

Since 2016, The Quarto Group’s 48 imprints have been set to run as creatively independent businesses all supported and serviced by a global, central platform.

The Sales and Marketing teams sit within this central platform and today The Quarto Group have announced the following changes and updates:


  • Ken Fund, is Chief Operating Officer for the Group
  • Andrew Stanley has been appointed Sales Director, UK and Europe starting 10 July 2017
  • Tim Loynes joined Quarto on 17 April 2017 as Director of Children’s Sales
  • Mary Aarons becomes Director Sales, E-Commerce and ANZ, Canada, Asia, Latin America. Monica Baggio becomes Director Sales EMEA, Central Asia, Korea, Taiwan, India & Subcontinent


  • Kristine Anderson joined Quarto in March 2017 as Adult Marketing Director
  • Diane Naughton joined Quarto in January 2017 as Children’s Marketing Director
  • Jessica Axe becomes Adult Marketing Director
  • Katherine Josselyn becomes Children’s Marketing Director

Best of luck to everyone at Quarto in their new positions!


5 years since launching whitefox: founder insight interview

In the run up to celebrating 5 years of whitefox at their birthday bash, we wanted to interview John Bond about his experience of setting up the popular publishing services agency for publishers, agents, authors and brands.

1) How did you get the idea for the whitefox model?

We came out of traditional publishing houses where we thought there was only going to be a greater drive to reduce fixed costs and an ever increasing need to rely on the diaspora of freelance specialist talent. We also thought that talent pool would be relevant to writers who wanted to take their own books to market, and to content owning brands. If I’d still been working in house, I’d want to work with a trusted, flexible partner to help me achieve my objectives more efficiently. And I knew that didn’t really exist.

2) Is whitefox today, anything like you anticipated it would be 5 years ago?

In many ways, it is exactly as we anticipated. It is just that it has taken five years for that to be the case ! Initially, we pitched our business to the people we knew, publishers and agents, large and small. Some got it immediately and others didn’t. So our strategy evolved to encompass brands and corporates, content marketing and more complex project management. Gradually, more and more publishers, content owning institutions and indie writers have chosen to work with experienced external creative partners. And we’ve been happy to help.

It is interesting looking back at what was preoccupying everyone in publishing five years ago. The big issues that were flying around were how the future was all about e rather than p. What would happen to bricks and mortar retailers? And would subscription services eventually take off ? Actually, there’s a greater than ever emphasis on making the most of physical books, the sales of which have seen consistent year on year growth. Even Amazon are opening bookstores and Waterstones is making a profit. Plus look what happened to Oyster.

3) What has been your biggest business lesson learned in 5 years of running whitefox?

That in the end, what matters is being synonymous with good creative work. I think you can easily get seduced in start-up land by press releases and mentions in Forbes. Investors love it, but better to have a growing, dynamic business where you are genuinely making a material difference. We were told when we set up that to create sufficient value, it was all about demonstrating the ability to scale. But we’d never compromise quality of service for the sake of size. No one wants a ‘quite good’ copy-edit or a ‘reasonable’ cover, whether you are traditionally or self-published.

4) What do you look for in whitefox employees?

We have a small (but growing) in-house team who share a vision for the business, who care passionately about the quality of their work and who thrive on the huge variety of projects we are involved with. And they have to laugh at my jokes ( ! ).

5) If you had one piece of advice to offer budding entrepreneurs; what would that be?

If you believe your idea is good enough, it is never, ever too late to start.

Join BookMachine and whitefox to celebrate 5 years of whitefox on May 9th in London. Tickets and info here.

Book Aid International Publisher Ambassadors programme

Do you love books and want to use your passion to help others? Join Book Aid International’s Publisher Ambassador scheme and help hundreds of thousands of people access the books and information they need to change their lives and shape their own futures.

Publisher Ambassadors represent Book Aid International in their organisations and within the book industry by distributing promotional materials and sharing news of their work on their own and their organisation’s social media accounts, in corporate newsletters and intranet sites. They seek and share potential speaking opportunities and also give talks and presentations themselves, organising fundraising events and supporting others to do so. They act as points of contact for other Book Aid International fundraisers or supporters in their workplaces and represent Book Aid at events and festivals they attend.

For further information on how to get involved, email jenny.hayes@bookaid.org or call 020 7733 3577

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