Posts Tagged publishing

Rosie Johns, Publishing in the Modern Era: Interview with Kathryn King, Marketing Manager

This blog post is the fourth post of an ongoing series by Rosie Johns, exploring the challenges and opportunities involved in book publishing in the current 21st Century environment. These posts are being written as part of Rosie’s second project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University.

Interview with Kathryn King, Marketing Manager at Policy Press, Bristol

Kathryn King, Marketing Manager at Policy Press

Kathryn King, Marketing Manager at Policy Press

Kathryn King has been the Marketing Manager at Policy Press for six years.  As the head of a four-person Marketing team, she has a diverse range of skills and responsibilities.  The following are extracts from the transcript of my interview with Kathryn on 19th March 2014.

Can you outline your role and responsibilities?

We are a Marketing team of four people and I oversee everything that happens, but between the three main Marketers– there’s an Executive, an Assistant and myself – we each look after different subject areas.  We publish in a variety of areas – social work, social policy, public policy, criminology, social research, public health… So we divide the subject areas between the three of us and more-or-less shadow one, or two in my case, of the Commissioning Editors. We work quite closely with them so there’s a nice handover between the books being commissioned, all the editorial work, and the Marketing team becoming involved.

What is your subject area?

I look after criminology, social research, gender education, social justice; I work quite closely with Victoria and Alison, who are the two Commissioning Editors who look after these subject areas, and I also look after the Policy and Politics journal, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice and our new journal, Journal of Playwork Practice.

'We’re starting to produce digital only products'

‘We’re starting to produce digital only products’

What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?

A year ago today we were holding a launch event in the House of Commons for a book we had published called Hidden Stories of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, by Richard Stone who was on the MacPherson Inquiry panel. He was there, and Doreen Lawrence (Stephen Lawrence’s mother) and various Lords were there. It was a really big event but we did it, so I think that was the biggest achievement.

How has the publishing industry changed since you took the position as Marketing Manager?

I’ve been in publishing for twenty two years and obviously things have changed a lot during that time, but I actually think the speed of change is increasing now. We are constantly dealing with different issues. Obviously digitization is a big aspect of it, but in terms of the marketing, the focus is all on data and figures. Marketing used to be about words but it’s so much more now. It’s great – marketing used to be sort of synonymous with advertising, because you did your marketing and then you had no idea of how that actually played out in terms of sales, but these days it’s so much more measurable. You can be so much more targeted and specific and you can track so much better the effects of what you’ve actually done, so if it works you can do it again, if it doesn’t you can tweak it and try again.

How have these changes impacted on the cost of marketing?

It’s very expensive to produce a direct mail piece and mail it, even more so these days, and we haven’t given up doing that but you can do a very quick email campaign as a test then tweak it a bit and run it again – you can do all sorts of variations to see what gives you the best effect.

So would you say the changes have been mainly positive?

I think so. I mean it’s challenging, because you’re constantly learning – as fast as you get to grips with one way of measuring your effectiveness another one pops up, and so we have been learning a lot! But we have decided on the tools we can use and regularly record the effectiveness of what we’ve done so we can report back on it.

How do you feel about globalization and working with large corporations like Amazon?

It’s a fact of life now. I think you’d get a different perspective from the Sales team because there’s been a huge move away from bookshops. We all love bookshops and love to browse bookshops. Amazon is both a good thing and a bad thing, I suppose. I am an Amazon user and from a Marketing perspective it’s a positive thing because you can gain direct knowledge of how many books are selling.

So you would say you gain a lot of important information by putting your books on Amazon?

Yes, but this is an area that the Sales Team are more involved in than Marketing.

Do they ever approach you to ask for copies of certain books?

All our books are automatically listed on Amazon because they are fed by Nielsen BookData [a global database] so they don’t need to ask us for any particular books.

Is it essential as a publisher for your books to be on Amazon?

In my opinion, you can’t not be on there.

Do you often sell books straight from your website instead?

Virtually all publishers allow people to buy books through their own website – we do, and we currently have a permanent 20% discount on there. From a Marketing point of view it’s much better, because we can capture the customer data and add them to our mailing list with their permission.  But we are realistic and know that many people are going to go to Amazon.

Is it often cheaper for customers to buy books straight from you?

There are times when we’ve done a special promotion and our books have been cheaper than Amazon, so we promote that as a key selling point. Amazon don’t check what individual publishers sell them for – they will only change the price as determined by demand.

Is Policy Press engaging with new digital products such as eBooks?

We already make eBook versions of a lot of our books available – PDFs for libraries and EPUBs for individuals, which includes Kindle. We’re starting to produce digital only products. We’re just beginning to launch a new series of ‘shorts’ – quick turn-around, shorter products, sometimes with a print option.

Is the marketing process for digital products different in comparison to traditional marketing methods?

There are overlaps because a lot of the marketing we do for print books is online these days. But there really isn’t much point in producing a direct mail piece for a short-form eBook and mailing it, so there are some differences. We sometimes publish ‘Bytes’ in advance of the publication of books, containing sample chapters, for a small cost.

What changes are you expecting for the future?

Well, the way that we sell eBooks at the moment is that we link out to various suppliers from our own website,  but we hope to be able to have eBook ordering on our own site in the future. That will enable us to capture customer data.

And finally, what are your specific aspirations for the future?

Well, we’re expanding. We’re in year two of a five-year business plan and part of that is expansion – we are increasing the number of titles we’re publishing, both books and journals, and we’re increasing the number of people we employ. We’ve just been through a re-organisation of the Marketing team and are moving into subject-based marketing. We’ve got a variety of projects we’re working on at the moment. I want to make all those things happen then move on to the next phase of the business plan. The whole management team will then be looking on to where the next five years will take us.

I would like to thank Kathryn King and Policy Press for allowing me to conduct this interview, and for consenting to the publication of this material online.  My next post will feature extracts from the transcript of my interview with Policy Press’ Sales & Distribution Manager, Ann Moore.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

Rosie Johns, Publishing in the Modern Era: Interview with John Adler, Part 2

This blog post is the third post of an ongoing series by Rosie Johns, exploring the challenges and opportunities involved in book publishing in the current 21st Century environment. These posts are being written as part of Rosie’s second project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University.

The digital revolution in publishing has been gathering pace for nearly two decades now. Back in the late 1990s, many publishers began investing large sums into the development of technology which would enable the digitization of material.

ebook_2328230b

Now, in 2014, the eBook is a well-established alternative to the traditional paper-bound product. Consumers are eagerly lapping up this digital material, often at the fraction of the cost of paper copies. Just 33 months after eBooks went on sale at Amazon.com, founder Jeff Bezos gleefully announced that his customers were buying more of the new digital product than its age-old, material alternative.

Book publishing has been turned on its head – the product is changing, the production methods are changing, everything is changing – and publishers, writers and consumers are all (understandably) asking, what does the future hold?

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

The experiment: Engaging undergraduates in advanced university research

frankenstein1

It started out as an experiment. We took the brains of a dozen undergraduate students and carefully placed them into the flailing bodies of several research projects; we fired up the electricity (well, actually, set up a webpage) and … the Project Management and Research module was born.

I have become very fond of what we have all created this year. Anthony and I have worked together on projects for over a decade now (hard to believe, I know) and it seemed like a good idea to share some of what we have learned along the way and pass on our genuine enthusiasm for project-based work. In an academic environment that is increasingly stressing employability and the transferability of skills, this module ticks all the boxes. I hope that it has given our first cohort of students a taste of research in an academic context and the opportunity to exploit the talent they have and bring out new talents they never knew they had. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Rosie Johns, Publishing in the Modern Era: Interview with John Adler, Part 1

This blog post is the second post of an ongoing series by Rosie Johns, exploring the challenges and opportunities involved in book publishing in the current 21st Century environment. These posts are being written as part of Rosie’s second project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University.

Interview with John Adler, Part 1: Background

John Adler, Sole Trader of Herbert Adler Publishing and Pomegranate Books

John Adler, Sole Trader of Herbert Adler Publishing and Pomegranate Books

John Adler founded Pomegranate Books in 1999 and established his subsequent imprint, Herbert Adler Publishing, in 2008. He has over 20 years’ experience in journalism and photography, and his skills and experience enable him to manage most aspects of publishing in-house. During his time at the University of Bristol he combined lecturing with arts administration; he edited New Theatre magazine, as well as writing the 8-volume Responses to Shakespeare. The following are extracts from a transcript of the interview that I conducted with John on 3 February 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

Lucy Ellis, The Kindle: Self publishing

This blog is part of an ongoing series focused on the Kindle, drawing on the experiences and perspectives of final-year English Literature student, Lucy Ellis. These blog posts are being written as part of Lucy’s first project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University.

Part 4

The publishing world is changing.

We’ve all heard of JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series with an estimated fortune worth £560 million. What few people know is before Rowling’s first novel was picked by Bloomsbury in 1996, she received a dozen rejections from other publishers. Considering Rowling is arguably the most successful and wealthiest children’s author in the world, it goes to show just how difficult it is for authors to get their books on the shelves. This is not an isolated story. James Joyce’s The Dubliners (1914) was rejected 22 times, Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell 38 times, Beatrix Potter was rejected so many times she decided to publish 250 copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901) herself. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Lucy Ellis,The Kindle and the world of publishing: Interview with novelist Helen Cadbury

This blog is part of an ongoing series focused on the Kindle, drawing on the experiences and perspectives of final-year English Literature student, Lucy Ellis. These blog posts are being written as part of Lucy’s first project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University.

Part 3

1 Helen cadbury image

My last couple of blogs on the Cardiff Book History blog have focused solely on the impact of the Kindle from the perspective of the reader. However, before a novel reaches a pair of warm hands, sitting on an old armchair with a cup of tea, it goes through a brutal and lengthy process known as publishing. Therefore, in order to fully understand the impact of the Kindle, I need to explore this other crucial side. And what better way to find out than asking a real life author who’s been through the process herself?

Helen Cadbury is a York-based crime writer who released her debut novel To Catch A Rabbit in May 2013. After starting out by entering a competition with a novel she’d written at university, it has received dozens of positive reviews and is still going strong. Published by the newly launched Moth Publishing, To Catch a Rabbit is available both in print and in Kindle edition. Being a fairly new writer plunged into a very different publishing world, I was interested to hear about Helen’s personal experience and her thoughts on the Kindle’s technological and societal impact. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

3 Comments

Visiting speaker, 19 Nov 2013: Ronan Deazley on comics, copyright and academia

Ronan Deazley (University of Glasgow) will be presenting his paper, ‘Comics, Copyright and Academic Publishing’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 19 November 2013. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 0.31.

Abstract
2013.03.deazleyThis paper explores the culture of copyright clearance within the domain of scholarly communications through the prism of comics scholarship. It will be of interest to copyright scholars, as well as to academics working in the arts, humanities and social sciences who make use of copyright material in their research publications.

About the speaker
CCC_deazleyRonan Deazley is Professor of Copyright Law at the University of Glasgow and Founding Director of CREATe, the RCUK-funded Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy (www.create.ac.uk). He is the author of numerous publications on the issue of copyright and intellectual property, including On the Origin of the Right to Copy: Charting the Movement of Copyright Law in Eighteenth Century Britain, 1695–1775 (2004) and Re-Thinking Copyright: History, Theory, Language (2006, 2008). Between 2006 and 2008 he was the UK national editor for an AHRC-funded digital resource concerning the history of copyright in Italy, France, Germany, the UK and the US: Primary Sources on Copyright 1450-1900. More recently, he secured £5.1M of RCUK funding to establish CREATe: the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy.

Download a flyer for the talk (PDF).

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Adam Thorpe discusses translating Madame Bovary, 7 Feb 2013, Cardiff University

Respected novelist and poet, Adam Thorpe, will give a lecture entitled ‘My Nights with Emma B’ in the Optometry Building, Cardiff University on 7 February 2013 at 7pm.

Adam Thorpe

Adam Thorpe

Adam Thorpe is a celebrated novelist, poet and playwright, who has recently branched out into the world of translation. His writing in various genres has garnered recognition throughout his career. His first collection of poetry, Mornings in the Baltic (1988), was shortlisted that year for the Whitbread Poetry Award. His first novel, Ulverton (1992), an episodic work covering 350 years of English rural history, won great critical acclaim worldwide.

After producing three novels in as many years, Adam Thorpe accepted a Vintage commission to translate Flaubert’s Madame Bovary with the idea that it would be a break from creating. Three exhausting years later, he was prepared to accept that literary translation is one of the hardest – if poorest paid – disciplines of all. Yet its addictive nature led him to accept a further commission to translate Zola’s Thérèse Raquin. Thorpe discusses his experience of the translator’s art and its perils, pains and peculiar satisfactions.

A panel, entitled ‘Why do we need a 20th translation of Madame Bovary?will take place from 3 to 5 pm on 7 February in Room 1.29 of Cardiff University’s Law Building. Panellists include Adam Thorpe, Alexis Nuselovici (Cardiff), Kate Griffiths (Cardiff), Amanda Hopkinson (City), Anthony Mandal (Cardiff) and Bradley Stephens (Bristol).

For further information on how to register for this lecture or this panel, please contact Kate Griffiths: GriffithsKS@cardiff.ac.uk

This lecture is part of Cardiff University’s Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings eminent and influential guest speakers to the University in order to showcase their work to a wider audience. It is also supported by the School of European Languages, Translation and Politics’ Research Group on Politics of Translating and the Languages, Cultures and Ideologies Research Unit. The lecture is hosted by the University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and is free and open to all, but booking is essential.

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/europ/research/groups/translating/index.html

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/europ/research/researchunits/lci/index.html

, , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Visiting speaker, 12 Dec 2012: Rupert Gatti on Open-Access publishing

Rupert Gatti (Cambridge) will be presenting his paper, ‘Open Access Publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences’, at 4pm on Wednesday, 12 December 2012. The talk will take place in the Cardiff Humanities Building, Room 2.48.

Please note: this paper was originally scheduled to run at 2.30pm but is now running at 4pm.

Abstract
2012.04.gatti
The nature and methods of academic book publishing is transforming radically in the wake of external pressures and the rising costs of scholarly monographs. Open-Access publishing is increasingly being perceived as a solution to the problem facing both institutions, whose library budgets are being cut year-on-year, and scholars, who are attempting to disseminate their work to the widest audience possible. One company that is responding to this situation is Open Book Publishers: an imprint run by academics for academics, which is changing the nature of the traditional academic book. Its books are published in hardback, paperback, PDF and e-book editions, but they also include a free online edition.

We are in the midst of what journalists are calling an ‘academic spring’. Researchers are realising that the high cost of academic books and journals means that only a select readership can access their work. Open Access (that is, making texts free to read online) helps spread educational materials to everyone, globally, not just to those who can afford it. It is increasingly becoming a requirement for publicly funded research to be made available in Open Access format and we are able to achieve this quickly and effectively. Open Book Publishers, a signatory of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, shows that an Open Access model of publishing can be sustainable. In his talk, Rupert Gatti will discuss the transforming landscape of academic publishing and its implications, as well as talking more specifically about Open Book Publishers and its vision.

You can read more of Rupert’s reflections on open-access publishing in his article for the Guardian Online and on the Open Book Publishers YouTube channel.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Autumn 2012 speakers’ programme available

The CEIR speakers’ programme for the autumn 2012 session is now available, by visiting http://cardiffbookhistory.wordpress.com/events/speakers/. Fuller details and abstracts to follow shortly.

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,423 other followers

%d bloggers like this: