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19: Getting inside someone's head (Emma Donnan interview)

Emma Donnan is a ghostwriter, and in this week's podcast we explore the often-overlooked and important work that ghostwriters do. In Emma's case this grew from her work as a journalist, and she sees her work writing memoirs as an extension of that - discovering and spreading stories that from extraordinary people, as well as from ordinary people who have important stories.


18: Don't listen to the doubters (Justo Hidalgo interview)

Justo Hidalgo co-founded 24symbols 8 years ago, and this 'Spotify for Books' contender is still around and successful. In this week's podcast, we talk about how books really can compete against Angry Birds, the importance of continuing to provide ways for people to easily find and read books, and of balancing your work and home life. In the episode, Justo mentions several great business books in passing so I thought I'd list them here for you. Hacking GrowthAmazonKoboScaling...


17: Focus on the problem (Bec Evans interview)

Bec Evans is Co-Founder of Prolifiko, the digital productivity coach for writers that uses persuasive technology to help people achieve their writing goals. She's also worked as Head of Innovation for Emerald Group and as Centre Director for Ted Hughes's historic house and grounds, and the writing courses that were held there. In the episode, we talk about finding a problem you're passionate about, and embracing the fact that your solution to that problem will change. Being a Founder...


16: Lead the market (Emmanuel Nataf interview)

Emmanuel Nataf is the co-Founder and CEO of Reedsy, a marketplace for authors, editors, designers, marketers and more to come together and form teams to get books published. In this interview, we talk about Emmanuel's belief in leading the market - coming up with new ideas and solutions rather than just asking what people want. Also, how he founded a business to save his own mental health, picking the right home country for your company, and finding networks to help and support you. In...


15: Discovering and repeating success (Tom Chalmers interview)

Tom Chalmers is Founder and MD at the Legend Times Group, and also founded IPR License (now sold to the Frankfurt Book Fair). In this week's episode, we talk about finding your way to success in publishing with a combination of serendipity and deliberate reflection, using market comparisons and data to focus on the areas where you have the greatest chance for success. And don't be put off by the craziness of your ideas!


14: Local action, global passion (Syima Aslam interview)

Syima Aslam co-founded the Bradford Literature Festival in 2014, and in this episode we discuss what makes this festival special, the ways that a literature festival helps the city that hosts it, and what it means for her to run this successful, growing annual event. In particular, her passion for reading and stories shines through - and for her home city and how books, libraries and reading in general are essential for young people to succeed in life. It's inspiring how she's making...


13: Be your own Google (John Espirian interview)

This week, John Espirian and I talk about how to be your own Google (providing the best answers to people's real questions in your areas of expertise), pursing clarity and simplicity in your writing, and how content marketing can work for your business by creating content that works for you even when you're on holiday - and how to balance the time spent creating that content against the time spent doing the work that directly brings in revenue! John is a freelance copywriter, helping...


12: An unexpected need (Mindy Gibbons-Klein interview)

Mindy Gibbons-Klein and I talk about finding your business idea in unexpected directions, the importance of peer support (for your staff, for your authors and especially for you as the person running the business), and how to balance the need to plan for the future with the need to respond to what's happening now. Mindy runs Panoma Press and The Book Midwife, helping people to find their best message and turn it into a great book. She came from a corporate marketing background and moved...


11: Outside your comfort zone (Simon Appleby interview)

Simon Appleby is Founder and Director of Bookswarm, the digital agency for the publishing industry. In this week's episode, we talk about being a non-specialist founder of a tech company, the power of networks and personal connections, and the idea of business-karma and "paying it forward".


10: Better together (interview with Bridget Shine)

Bridget Shine is the Chief Executive of the Independent Publishers' Guild, a UK-based organisation that helps independent publishers to have better business through support, training, communication and a whole range of activities. She's run the IPG for about 15 years, in which time it's more than doubled in size. In our conversation, we talk about the ways in which the IPG helps its members, as well as the approach Bridget takes and what she's learned. What always amazes me about the IPG...


9: People, people, people (interview with Suzy Astbury)

Suzy Astbury owns and runs Inspired Selection, a recruitment agency dedicated to the publishing industry. In this podcast, we talk about her early determination to run a business, her decision to buy Inspired Selection, and the many things that working in recruitment brings. It's not just the people who work for us, either, but those we work for, those who advise and support us, and those who hold us to account. Overall, a great conversation!


8: Experimenting and learning, from print to digital (interview with Ken Jones)

Ken Jones is Director of Circular Software, creating software like CircularFlo (to easily create advanced fixed-layout EBPUs) and Green Light (to make sure that files from your team and suppliers follow all the right specs for your printer). He's also helped develop exciting ebooks like Galdo's Gift (with Tapocketa), which we talk a little about in the podcast. In this episode, Ken talks about his background in print (an actual family tradition), his time spent training and in particular...


7: Passion and working on your business (interview with Alison Jones)

In this week's episode, Alison Jones and I talk about how important it is to work on your business as well as in it - that is, to plan carefully. But even more, how passion and fun can drive you to success while making sure you enjoy the journey. Alison's worked in publishing for 25 years, starting as a bookseller and then an assistant editor at Chambers, then Oxford University Press and Palgrave Macmillan, to become Digital Innovation Director. Then she left to make a career change, and...


6. Checking my privilege

This was the hardest episode of this podcast so far to record (so apologies in advance for the slightly scrappy quality of some of the audio), because I'm getting personal about some subjects that are often taboo - education, career progression, choices, and the privileges that affect our access to these things. "Privilege" is the preferential treatment that we get from other people, companies and society in general because of our skin colour, socioeconomic class, gender, health or other...


5: Surviving the workplace (interview with Suzanne Collier)

Suzanne Collier (@suzannecollier) of BookCareers entered publishing at 16 from school and has since then chaired the Society for Young Publishers and worked for a range of publishers in a range of jobs. Some changes in personal circumstance led to her setting up her own business, and over the past 20 years, Suzanne's been instrumental in making the publishing industry a bit more open and honest through exercises like her annual pay survey. And along the way, she's helped a lot of people...


4: A review of LBF18

The London Book Fair was its usual self - perhaps a little cooler this year, both in temperature and busy-ness levels, but still a great few days. This is my review, touching on the terrible mobile app, the fantastic people, the surprising conversations and the odd discoveries. For another view of the Fair, check out Julia Garvey's (written) review!


3: Epiphanies, cultural significance and tech literacy (interview with Emma Barnes)

In a special LBF18 episode, I talk to Emma Barnes, the CEO and Founder of Snowbooks, Bibliocloud and Make Our Book. We discuss discuss epiphanies, passion for what books can mean, and why everyone should learn at least the basics of computer programming. Links mentioned in the podcast: Rails TutorialLearn Enough to be DangerousMakers' Academy Thanks again to Emma for this fascinating conversation!


2: Preparing for the London Book Fair

In this episode, I share some thoughts about getting the most from the London Book Fair (or any trade fair) as a visitor: planning; presentation; and parties! If you see me at the Fair, say hello and let me know you listen to the podcast. I hope to see you there!


1: So what's this podcast, then?

First proper podcast episode, in which I describe where I'm coming from and the sorts of thing I plan to talk about in future episodes.


The core of book publishing

Thoughts on what makes the publishing industry what it is, and how we sustain it.