Tuesday 29 May 2012
The author of several works which have become international bestsellers, Robert Lacey gained international recognition for his ground-breaking biography of Queen Elizabeth II which was published in 1977. Majesty is still widely recognized as the definitive study of the British monarchy. Other notable works include his earlier historical biographies, Robert, Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Raleigh. The evening’s talk will spotlight his recent work and discuss his choice of subjects generally.Robert is particularly noted for his original historical research, and his intimate studies bring him very close to his subjects. Robert continues to focus on monarchic subjects in his writing and lectures; from the highly topical Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia to the very timely A Brief Life of the Queen. http://www.robertlacey.com/
Wednesday 18 April 2012
Author Emma Kennedy has been writing for TV and radio for over a decade and is Travel columnist for The Guardian. Emma has won Sony Awards for the Sunday Format and The Now Show. Her most recent books are the best-selling The Tent, The Bucket and Me and I Left My Tent in San Francisco published under the Ebury Press imprint, and the Wilma Tenderfoot series for MacMillan Children’s Books. Emma has appeared in award-winning comedy including Goodness Gracious Me and The Smoking Room. In 2003 she won the Comedy Lounge Best Actress Award for her role in Bill Shakespeare’s Italian Job and in 2005 won the British Television Advertising Craft Award for Best Actress. More recently at the Edinburgh International Festival, she hosted a preview showing of the first of a new series of Forbrydelsen, the successful Danish crime drama starring Sofie Grabol. Emma is going to tell us about her latest projects, about other activities such as her life on Twitter, plus some future plans. www.emmakennedy.net
Wednesday 7 March 2012
Peter Mathews has considerable experience working in the 80s and 90s in bookselling retail and as a buyer before joining Nielsen. He will talk to us about sales trends in reporting figures and where he sees the varied, apparently unpredictable influences current in the publishing industry are taking us.
Wednesday 8 February 2012
An exceptionally talented publisher, editor and translator, Alessandro will be talking about his translation work and how that fits into his publishing business. In content and production values, the books he publishes reflect his passion for quality and style associated with Italy at its best.
Wednesday 7 December 2011
Barry started at The Times in 1966, in the Special Publications department, when the paper was owned by Lord Astor. After the merger with The Sunday Times under Lord Thomson, he became the first MD of Times Books in the 1970s. He published the very successful Times Atlas of World History and subsequent Times Atlases. After Rupert Murdoch bought The Times, Barry was asked to run City Magazines as well, then John Bartholomew in Edinburgh, which had been acquired by Murdoch in 1985
Wednesday 9 November 2011
Sam Missingham has embraced social media with the Bookseller and has built up a following of over 28,000. Twitter is now the third largest traffic driver to the Bookseller’s website. She also uses Twitter to engage with the digital publishing community to source speakers, bloggers and keep up-to-date with global developments and trends. She will talk about how you build credibility and raise your profile using social media. And will give you tactics and tips for doing so.
Wednesday 5 October 2011
Fonts are integral to all our working lives in the book industry, but a trade book about fonts? Not an obvious title to appeal to the average bookbuyer, you might think. But last Christmas Simon Garfield’s Just My Type started flying off the shelves. Simon is the author of a dozen non-fiction books andin Just My Type he examines “how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world”. It explains why we are still influenced by type choices made more than 500 years ago, and profiles the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf.
Wednesday 11 May 2011
Alan Samson has also worked for Michael Joseph, Macmillan, and the Macdonald Group including its later incarnations as Little, Brown and Time Warner. ‘‘The publishing editor, and the pros and cons of celebrity books’ Alan gave an informative insight into the world of celebrity books publishing, including entertaining and gossipy anecdotes of his experiences dealing with some of his celebrity authors from the worlds of show business, sport and politics. He defended the genre against its detractors, and the evening ended with a spirited question and answer session on the ethics of publishing ghosted memoirs, or fiction by celebrities, in their own names.
Wednesday 20 April 2011
Giving a very comprehensive and enlightening insight into the workings of the IPG, Bridget reported that its members had had a “surprisingly good” year last year and she feared there was a real danger of “talking the down the industry”. However, she did warn of several challenges and issues facing the IPG members, and indeed publishing in general. These include the crucial need to find a successful digital publishing strategy; which rights to acquire and how to manage them; keeping up with changes in print in an electronic world; and being aware of the perils of e-book piracy which is “rife”; and harnessing social network channels to communicate with readers. She invited Galley Club members to work with the IPG for mutual benefits, and noted that suppliers and service providers can join as associate members. http://www.ipg.uk.com
Wednesday 9 March 2011
Richard Charkin, Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing and Managing Director of Bloomsbury’s Adult Publishing Division, gave an entertaining retrospective of his long career in publishing, flagging up his early involvement with digital initiatives. These included being one of the first publishers with a website (Secker.com) while at Reed; aggregating information with Ex.Refer.com; the BioMed.Net social network for scientists; and an encounter with a pioneering version of spell-check. Moving on to the present day, Richard spoke enthusiastically of Bloomsbury’s success with e-books, but warned of ‘issues’ “occurring almost daily”, including the ‘agency model’, library concerns, territorial rights and the EU open market. He ended on an upbeat note, praising the UK printing industry for adapting to the changing technology “better than any country in the world”, and stating his belief that publishing in general is at the beginning of a “golden age”. During questions, he elaborated on Bloomsbury’s ‘Public Library Online’ initiative which allows full access to themed ‘digital bookshelves’, both within libraries and remotely, offering pdf versions of books rather than downloads.
Wednesday 9 February 2011
South African-born literary agent Isobel Dixon gave an overview on publishing in the developing South African market, and other parts of the traditional UK & British Commonwealth territory, from the point of view of an agent representing a number of the country’s best Afrikaans writers. Isobel said she is a firm believer in the worth for authors, and local publishers, to separate rights in the different parts of the traditional Commonwealth market, and selling these individually wherever possible – in Australia and New Zealand (sometimes as ANZ, but several times separately for NZ authors), Canada, India and South Africa. She gave examples from her varied client list which can be viewed here. Isobel is also a published poet and briefly described how she juggles her poetry writing with her busy life as an agent. Her new collection, The Tempest Prognosticator, will be published by Salt in July 2011.
Wednesday 8 December 2010
Wednesday 13 October 2010
Peter’s career in publishing started in 1979 with what he says “seems now like the dream job” – Mediterranean Sales Rep for Faber. He went on to spend six years in European Sales at Michael Joseph and six years as Sales Manager for Asia and Africa at Penguin before joining Headline in its early years as Export Sales Director. There followed 18 years of direct responsibility for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and the US, and for the sales team in London who looked after all other markets around the world, and latterly his brief encompassed special international projects and organisation of the Frankfurt Book Fair for the wider Hachette Group. Peter currently undertakes a variety of international sales consultancy roles for small to medium sized publishers and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Peter’s talk at the Club started with an entertaining resumé of his experiences of “carrying the bag” around the world in export sales. He moved on to consider the impact that digitisation is having on export sales of the printed book, and discussed the future potential of developing markets, especially the ‘BRIC’ countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Alison Baverstock is the author of a number of guides on writing, marketing and publishing books. In her talk at the Galley Club she gave a broad overview of publishing in the 21st century and what kind of skills and competencies publishers are likely to need in the future. She spoke about her work in training tomorrow’s publishers and asked: “In an industry that has traditionally relied on nepotism, patronage and informal recruiting, what role do universities have in education and recruitment? What are we teaching them and what do we try to turn out? And are we any better at equipping the new generation of entrants?” Alison also talked about the opportunities for authors to enter the world of self-publishing: “Personally, I now see self-publishing as an option for authors to exercise some self determination – and a business opportunity for publishers – rather than the abandonment of hope on both sides.”
Mark Majurey has 17 years experience in academic publishing, having worked across both journals and books businesses in a variety of roles in Production, Marketing and Sales. He is currently responsible for developing the digital strategy of Taylor & Francis Books.Building on two centuries’ experience, Taylor & Francis has grown rapidly over the last two decades to become a leading international academic publisher. With offices in London, Brighton, and Abingdon in the UK, New York, Boca Raton and Philadelphia in the USA and Singapore and Melbourne in the Pacific Rim, the Taylor & Francis Group publishes more than 1,400 journals and around 2,000 new books each year, with a books backlist in excess of 45,000 specialist titles.Taylor & Francis are the leading providers of ebooks with over 21,000 titles available in a variety of formats. Taylor & Francis Group is an Informa business. Informa plc is the global information provider for the academic, professional and commercial markets
Bill Kennedy’s company provides marketing, promotion, sales and rights broking solutions through exclusive representation agreements with academic, professional, reference and scholarly publishers, which seek to develop sustainable sales growth for their print and electronic products in all Middle East countries.Born, brought up and educated in Edinburgh, having graduated from Napier University in 1975, Bill has worked in a number of areas not only within the publishing industry but also, bookselling, library supply, and consultancy. His first business trip to the Middle East was in the capacity of as a rep for an academic publisher in 1979 – needless to say, having experienced many changes in the scale, substance and nature of the market over those 30 years. His travel schedule takes him to countries in what is predominantly the Arab Middle East, North Africa and Iran for around 100 days in the calendar year.
With a career in publishing stretching back 20 years (13 of those in total at T & H), Neil was a late-starter in the industry and first joined Thames and Hudson after completing a degree course at Edinburgh’s Napier University. After working there for 30 months or so, he left to work in a succession of publishing companies ~ Dorling Kindersley, Mainstream, Pavilion ~ and prior to rejoining Thames & Hudson as Director, he was Production Director of Phaidon. With his interests firmly focused on the arts, design and architecture, he is naturally at home in T&H. Neil talked us through the events of the first 60 years of this family-owned company that have helped to shape the company’s development and which has firmly establish its reputation for well produced, accessible books on subjects ranging from archaeology, art, architecture, design and visual culture.
http://www.thamesandhudson.comDinner 1970’s style with founders Eve and Walther(L to R) Frijz Landshoff, Naija Abrams, Wilfred Gilchrest, Eva Neurath, Harry Abrams, Walther Neurath
At the end of this decade, with a prevailing wallpaper backdrop of eBooks, iPhones, falling print runs, creeping digitisation and sizeable bookshop failures, Tim Coates is coming to The Galley Club to talk to us about how he thinks the book will fare in libraries and elsewhere as the next decade approaches.Bookseller; author; champion of public libraries; publisher ~ not necessarily in that order ~ oft-quoted in The Bookseller; he has eclectic interests, inevitably interwoven throughout by his broad experience in our industry, as typified by his latest book, Delane’s War (published last October by Biteback) about the Crimean War and in particular, the 19th-Century Times Editor John Delane and his efforts to challenge the government of the day and their warmongering activities. Tim has 35 years in the book trade behind him, from Sherrat & Hughes to Waterstone’s to London Borough of Hillingdon Library Service, in all he has achieved success in one degree or another; some might say notoriety; with a formal complaint upheld last July against the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council about its actions regarding Swindon Library Service.
Michael Johnson, Chief Executive of BPIF is no slouch and is driving the BPIF forward from a sound foundation of increased membership and resilient support for the industry. He is coming to The Galley Club to talk to us about how our British Industry is bouncing back from the blows dealt in the last years and what happens nextMichael is very active as the head of the BPIF, facing the challenges of this digital age with initiatives such as Dotgain.org; not averse to working proactively with Unite to pursue common goals; and is also currently President of The Printers’ Charitable Corporation.
Steve Bohme is Research Director of BML and is presenting a short history of books and consumers to The Galley Club.Steve joined BML in 1994, became its Research Manager in 1996 and Research Director in 2001. Since 1997, he has managed BML’s ongoing Books & Consumers survey, which monitors British book-buying habits. He also runs the PA Sales Monitor (PASM) scheme on behalf of the UK Publishers’ Association, and compiles the PA’s annual UK Book Publishing Industry Statistics Yearbook. Over the years, Steve has managed and worked on a huge variety of ad-hoc qualitative and quantitative research projects on behalf of book publishers, retailers, trade associations and arts organizations. He is a Member of the Market Research Society (MRS).BML recently acquired by Bowker Publishing Services – is the premier source of market information and research on the UK book industry, undertaking a wide range of private and syndicated research projects, and publishing a variety of market reports.BML – Growing the book market through research.
Verna Wilkins was born in the British colony of Grenada, growing up with stories of Snow White and Goldilocks, poems about hosts of golden daffodils, and maths problems about how much coal would be required to heat a house in winter. Not wishing her children to grow up believing that only white children could feature in children’s books, she started Tamarind Press in 1987 despite having no knowledge of the book trade, or any wish to be a publisher. Twenty years on, Tamarind Press is flourishing. In recognition of her pioneering work,Verna was awarded the decibel Cultural Diversity Award, and is Chair of the recently formed Independent Black Publishers Group.This is a return visit to the Galley Club for Verna. Nineteen years ago we heard about her struggles with resistant booksellers to stock her books (‘Why don’t you try Brixton or Moss Side?’). We look forward to hearing about her battles and successes over the years, and whether she is still a ‘reluctant’ publisher. www.tamarindbooks.co.uk Verna Wilkins gave an inspirational talk to an appreciative full house at the first meeting of the Galley Club’s new season on 8 October.As a pioneering publisher and author of multicultural children’s books, Verna founded Tamarind Books in 1987 to provide a high positive profile for black children, which was lacking in existing children’s books. She firmly believes literature is a catalyst for integration and that books have the power to include or to ignore but also to create modern-day heroes.Her books also include Asian, Chinese and disabled characters. Her stated aim is to go all out to redress the balance in publishing by presenting images of similarities and differences so that children will learn to accept differences without fearGrowing up in Grenada in the Caribbean, she herself was taught from English books and at times struggled to see the relevance of calculating how many hundredweight of coal it would take to heat the house when it was 90° outside! However, it was when her eldest son came home from school one day with a book he had made about himself, with pink skin, that made Verna take action. When asked why he had portrayed himself as pink, her son thought his picture had to be that colour because it was for a book and people in books always had pink skin. Although Verna had no knowledge of publishing, she felt she had to do something about this. She admits now that if she had known then what she knows now, she perhaps would not have embarked on this ambitious venture. Thankfully, however, as her son has often remarked, she is “unfettered by reality”She began by visiting her local schools (at that time, Camberley in leafy Surrey) to see what teachers thought about her producing books whose characters were black children. She was encouraged to produce three books that included jigsaw puzzles. The Sunday Times did a feature spread and as a result Verna received 450 letters and was contacted by enthusiastic writers and illustrators who wanted to become involved. Tamarind Books has since gone from strength to strength. Verna still spends time in schools because she is inspired by children. She spent Children’s Book Week in an East London school that had selected Dave and the Tooth Fairy as their chosen book. Tamarind Books are also very popular in the Caribbean – Verna takes pleasure in giving something back and goes back every year to its annual literary festival..Verna has written and published a series of biographies of high-achieving black people including Benjamin Zephaniah, Malorie Blackman, David Grant and Rudolph Walker that featured in Black History Month. Tamarind’s The Life of Stephen Lawrence won a Book of the Year award. Stephen Lawrence had read Tamarind books as a young child, and his mother asked Verna to write his biographyRecently, Tamarind Books has become an imprint of Random House, which has provided greater publishing opportunities – a commitment to publish 10 books a year and much-needed premises in Ealing so that Verna gets her dining room back! However, Verna’s creativity in marketing her books provided Random House with a new challenge when she took her books to a black hair and beauty fair in London. After a successful day, she presented the finance department with a carrier bag containing £1200. When they said they couldn’t accept it without invoices, she replied, “Give it backto me then – I’ll buy Jimmy Choos with it!”Looking to the future, Verna would eventually like to hand the reins over to someone else and devote herself to writing full-time (preferably about “fit young men”!) and buying more Jimmy Choos. She would dearly love to see more black people in publishing and 3 years ago set up the Independent Black Publishers Group, a support network of seven other publishers, including Mango Publishing and Brown Skin Books. We were glad to hear that Verna enjoys the whole creative process of producing and writing books, and is no longer a reluctant publisher.
Alastair Mann is a former Edinburgh Napier University publishing student who went on to work at Penguin Books for 12 years, in various guises, before beginning an academic career back in his native Scotland, and now at the University of Stirling. He is the author of ‘The Scottish Book Trade 1500 to 1720′ which won the Saltire research book of the year prize, one of Scotland’s foremost literary prizes. He publishes widely on Scottish book and parliamentary history and is co-editor of the Records of the Parliament of Scotland, a digital, online record of the medieval and early modern Scottish Parliament which has just been completed after a mammoth 10 year project. Dr Mann’s talk is entitled ’500 years of love and hate: the book trade of Scotland and the Westminster question. A discussion of the history of book trade relations between Scotland and England to mark the 500th anniversary of the Scottish press.’ In this he will explore the comparisons and difficult relations between the English and Scottish book trades, focusing particularly on the first 300 years of their respective trade histories. Printing began in Scotland in 1508 and this year sees a range of public and academic events in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland to celebrate 500 years of the Scottish press. This talk is well-timed to briefly bring London to the party. Dr Mann’s talk, prompted by the 500th anniversary of printing in Scotland this year, was not a cultural England v Scotland match, but a rather engaging, erudite exploration of our complex relations in the book trade – focussing on the period prior to 1800. He expounded on those things which have prolonged our relations on a common basis – apart from our connected geography – such as choosing English rather than French in the 15th Century as the language of government; in the 16th Century we adopted the same new religion; in 1603 we provided a king when England’s was ‘out of print’; in 1707 we agreed to unite our parliament with England’s. Dr Mann explored the reasons why our neighbouring book trades have lived awkwardly together at times – and the ‘Westminster question’. His talk ranged from the works of George Buchanan, tutor of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Hugh Blair, professor in rhetoric and belles lettres at the University of Edinburgh – and in effect the first chair in literature in the UK – through to the publishing activities of Archibald Constable and Anges Campbell. We were introduced to the likes of Raban, the first printer/book trader to establish outside of Edinburgh in Aberdeen. Raban was responsible for promotion of two popular publishing genres, psalm books and almanacs. He introduced the first Scottish almanac in 1623. Almanacs became the most profitable publishing properties of the period, emanating from Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as Aberdeen. We explored the cross-border implications of the differences in copyright and the restrictive practices of The Stationers’ Company in London. We considered we interesting facts:- In Scotland you were twice as likely to be a female book trader (printer or bookseller) than in England; most copyrights were granted to authors, not booksellers as in England. Scottish authors already had a sense of personal right to their own labours. The result was a deregulated market on the Dutch model that encouraged everyone to participate. As for the Westminster question? London created the problem; the weakness of Bristol, Newcastle, Oxford and Cambridge in the face of the monopolists in London created the difficulties for Scottish book traders. Oddly, before the Tudors interfered in it, early copyright in England was identical to that in Scotland. That anomalous organisation, The Stationers’ Company, distorted the trade of the entire British Isles. It took some Scottish traditions and legal opinion to get us back to common sense arrangements that freed up the market. Fear not, Gordon Brown notwithstanding, perhaps we Scots and English understand each other much better in 2008 than in 1508. We are the judge of that.
Chris entered the Book Trade as a bookseller in 1969. He joined Wm Collins and Sons Co Ltd (sic) as a trainee sales rep in 1972. After sales positions for Collins, Hamish Hamilton and Penguin he joined Ward Lock Ltd as Managing Director in 1986. He joined BBC Worldwide as Head of Books in 1990 and over the years took on responsibility for Audiobooks, Video and Music. He created the JV company 2 entertain, and oversaw the launch of the DVD format and the growth of audio digital downloads. Chris retired from the BBC on 30th September 2008.
L to R : Angus Phillips; George Walkley; Peter Crawshaw; David Kohn
This evening we debated the burning issue of the day. Our expert panellists in alpha order are:-
Each panelist gave us 5-10 minutes of their perspective on the impact of e-books on the UK and international book publishing world, and their predictions of the implications for the future of the industry, followed by questions and debate from the floor. www.georgewalkley.com/2009/01/galley-club http://www.atlantic-books.co.uk/blog/2009/01/youre-booked.asp
Judy Piatkus, publisher and entrepreneur, will talk about the 28 years of Piatkus Books. Judy founded Piatkus Books from the spare bedroom of her home in Loughton, Essex in 1979From small beginnings, Piatkus Books became a worldwide respected independent publishing imprint specialising in commercial fiction and lifestyle books. The company also published a wide range of other subjects. Judy retained shareholding control of the company throughout its life and successfully sold Piatkus to Little Brown in the summer of 2007. www.judypiatkus.com
Toby Mundy is an influential figure in the London publishing world – and that’s official – as listed in the Evening Standard’s ‘The 1000: London’s most influential people 2008’. Toby worked at Harper Collins and Weidenfeld & Nicholson prior to starting his own house at Atlantic Books in 2000. Before Aravind Adiga won the Man Booker prize in October 2008 with White Tiger, Toby’s talent had already been recognised variously, including the award of ‘Editor and Imprint of the Year’ at the British Book Awards in 2005; and an Honorary Doctorate from University of Bournemouth in 2004. We look forward to hearing what effect the Man Booker Prize 2008 has had on his publishing operation at Atlantic since October.
Marcus had an apparently unconventional education at Edgbaston Church of England College for Girls, and King’s College, Cambridge, with a couple of schools in between. His career in our industry began in 1964 as Sub-editor at the Automobile Association, followed by a stint at Cambridge University Press, ending up a Deputy Home Sales Manager. He joined Granada Books in 1973 as UK Sales Manager, hardcover books, and then Publications Manager at WHS Distributors, where he launched the Heinemann/Octopus Pickle omnibus titles. For four years from 1983, Marcus was Special Sales Manager at Penguin before causing a big stir in the publishing world with £1 Classic paperbacks at Wordsworth Editions. Note, this was in the days of the Net Book Agreement when books could not be sold at less than the fixed retail price. Returning to Penguin Press in 1999 as Editorial Director, he launched the Penguin Classic Military/History/Biography ranges. In 2002 he established CRW Publishing with fellow directors Clive Reynard and Ken Webb, publishing the renowned Collector’s Library.