Romance isn’t Dead, it’s Digital!

At Inspired Selection, we were delighted to sponsor this week’s BookMachine Event where guest speaker Sam Missingham – Head of Events at HarperCollins – told us about the virtual romance festival which she created.

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For those of you who couldn’t make it, you may be asking yourself what a virtual romance festival is…. Should you be hiding your screen if you’re reading this at work?! Do you need to delete your browsing history after this?! The answer to both is absolutely not. Although don’t feel alone in asking, from welcoming people as they entered, we think that perhaps some of the attendees had similar questions before the talk began as well!

Let us explain. Sam Missingham’s innovation is an opportunity for fans and authors (both established and aspiring) of romantic books to engage with each other, brought together by their passion for passion which is the sole agenda. Over the course of two days, people with similar interests form a community and share thoughts, knowledge and experiences. Just like any other festival. That is of course, aside from the fairly crucial distinction that all parking, tents, yurts and glamping facilities are entirely cast aside and replaced by Google Hangouts and online forums.

This festival is much more about creating a strong ‘glampaign’ (if I may coin that term) than glamping. Sam had to attract the audience in order to create the community and in the essence of the event itself, this was done digitally. In keeping with festival season, the marketing had the look and feel of festival promotion and on first glance could be Glastonbury’s or Wilderness’ artwork but the way it reached the eager romance readers was all done online. To attend the festival was entirely free; you just had to register online. For Sam, the email addresses of delegates is priceless as this allows you to keep in touch and keep building and strengthening the virtual pillars of your new community.

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Blogs, tweets and likes were all crucial in generating interest for this event before, during and after it but the real winner that Sam keeps coming back to is the power of email. People read emails, they open and click through to links and above all with the right information you can target specific groups of people with specific content in them. Email addresses are the data that can truly develop business and a community that will become loyal to that business.

We jumped on board with the digital theme of the evening with no hesitation, offering a Kindle to the lucky winner of a Prize Draw which we ran as part of our involvement with the event. This seemed particularly fitting as there is a higher proportion of romance fiction read on e-readers than other genres as we sneak in a good love story on the train allowing fellow passengers to believe we’re deep in the tomes of War & Peace or similar.

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This talk came as refreshing respite in the current heatwave, hearing about such a highly successful business innovation that is purely built on the foundation of adding value to authors and readers. Beneath the digital and technical walls that surround this project, Sam has managed to take us back to what publishing is really all about and that is the love of books. How romantic!

Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about. We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter.

Book Machine in Conversation with Sam Missingham – Sponsored by Inspired Selection

Tomorrow evening, July 22nd, we are making our way to Adam Street Private Members Club to hear Sam Missingham, Head of Events at HarperCollins, tell us all about the first ever virtual literary festival organised by a publisher. As sponsors of the event, Inspired Selection are very excited to attend and to be associated with such an interactive and innovative concept.

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In June 2014, HarperCollins hosted the Romance Festival and it was a resounding success, allowing readers to follow and engage with world renowned authors through social media platforms.

Want to find out how they did it? Come and hear for yourselves! We will hear how authors were interviewed on Twitter, partook in Google Hangouts and had Facebook chats with fans. Social media engagement over the weekend reached impressive levels, including 4599 tweets using #Romance14 with a potential reach of 17.9 million users.

In a world where social media engagement is so important, this was a wonderful move by once known traditional book publishing to launch itself into the virtual realm. Instead of donning flower garlands and pitching a tent for the weekend, festival-goers could enjoy the event from the comfort of their own homes and take time to reflect on all that was going on and pick and choose what to “attend” without running through a muddy field!

We can’t wait to find out more and hope to see you there!

To book your ticket, follow this link: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bookmachine-london-with-sam-missingham-of-harpercollins-publishers-tickets-12041806367?aff=eorg

There will be a competition on the night – be in with a chance of winning a Kindle by completing a short entry form on arrival!

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Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about. We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Bucks for your Book – What Alternative Revenue Sources Work in the Digital Age?

This week Inspired Selection attended the final Byte the Book event before the summer break – ‘More Bucks for your Book – What Alternative Revenue Sources Work in the Digital Age?’ Eric Huang, co-owner and director of Made in Me, chaired the panel consisting of James Woollam (F&W Media), Xander Cansell (Unbound) and Asi Sharabi (Lost my Name). Eric started us off by talking about digital in the broadest sense, highlighting how the industry is changing and with this change, there are now revenue streams quickly becoming available that do not include selling physical books. It’s not about traditional publishing dying, he was quick to assure the audience; it’s about what we are doing right now and embracing new opportunities to create digital revenue.

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At F&W Media, known five years ago as David and Charles Publishing, a traditional print publisher, they knew they needed to make a change in terms of what their business was about, so they did three key things:

 

1.) Focused on illustrated non-fiction categories and created tailored communities within those categories in order to engage with and bring their consumers together

2.) Committed to a digital strategy

3.) Committed to becoming consumer focused

 

By launching an e-commerce business F&W Media were able to create brands in order to build relationships with their end consumers. They also started to sell companion products; this allowed them to shape their print business around digital products from just one commission.

 

Unbound took on a slightly different method, they are crowd funded and their main focus is the interaction with the author in order to allow that consumer connection. By combining interesting technology with emotion and what a book means to the author and the reader they have been able to create a 360° experience for both parties, building communities around each published product.

 

Asi launched ‘The little boy (girl) who lost his (her) name’ allowing people to create their own, personalised book; these are created digitally and then printed on A4 environmentally friendly paper and then sent to the user. Asi’s idea started as a hobby when he saw an opportunity to turn this into a revenue stream. Coming from a digital agency background rather than publishing, he has taken a different approach which has been hugely successful, showing us that innovation doesn’t necessarily have to come from publishing but it is these new ideas that are growing and expanding the publishing industry that we see today.

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Fundamentally, different revenue streams have to be adapted depending on the product and also on the market but it seems there are a couple of key factors just based on these few examples from the panel discussion last night…

 

  • Free must be part of the package in order to compete with those already offering free content online, as well as in order to drive traffic but also, turn that traffic into revenue.
  • It must be about the consumer – whoever your market may be, the product, and the strategy must be tailored towards them and allow them to become fully engaged in a real, interactive community (not just a Facebook page)
  • Content is king – we hear this time and time again but it is a valid point, people won’t engage with content if it’s not interesting or not something they want to read – it must be high quality, it must adhere to the brand and it must add value (whether it’s free or not.)

 

Finally, if you’re looking at different revenue steams to support your book then one of the biggest things is a mind-set change. If you can see your vision and create a brand in which people can trust whilst tapping into your niche market then alternative revenue streams can absolutely be successful – just don’t forget it is all a part of publishing that we can all embrace.

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Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about. We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter.

 

The Bookseller Marketing and Publicity Conference 2014

On Tuesday, our Consultant Chelsea Vernon attended The Bookseller’s Marketing and Publicity Conference 2014 at the trendy Southbank Centre. The day was jam packed with excellent speakers providing a glimpse into the world of publicity and marketing as we heard about innovative campaigns that have achieved success, big ideas about how to engage your audience and call them to action as well as how to drive creativity and practical tips that could be applied immediately, if desired. We could span pages and talk for hours about everything that was said but for brevity’s sake, we wanted to share our top highlights of the day and favourite moments: MandP2014

  • The morning focussed on social media and how to improve your strategy. Daniel Dalton, Staff Writer at Buzzfeed really stood out with his talk ’14 Social Content Tips You Can Use Right Now’. Most interestingly, Daniel is obviously not from a publishing background, however, his ideas could be applied to social media strategy’s within any industry as well as you have to know they work – I think we would all agree Buzzfeed has very quickly become so pervasive in our society! Of the 14 tips, share the responsibility, tell stories, rinse and repeat and lastly, be emotional (not rational) were particularly compelling – and being emotional brings us to the next point…
  • Emotion is more important than reason, at least when it comes to writing good copy according to Andy Maslen, Founder of the Andy Maslen Copywriting Academic. In his excellent presentation, Andy not only gave the room advice that could be immediately applicable, but a science lesson as well to prove his point! Andy explained how in humans, our brain is wired so that our limbic system, the part of our brain which controls our emotions also controls our decision making – not the frontal cortex which is the part of our brain that is logical and uses reason. For this reason, if you want to make someone do something, call them to action and make a decision, you must appeal to their emotional side, not the rational!

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  • Next up on our favourite moments is Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Digital Account Manager at Random House, and her case study for a Digital First approach. Crystal explained how they had a business book from the founder of SBTV they wanted to deliver, however, they realised its target audience was NOT made up of readers. Therefore, their challenge was to figure out a way to engage them. They decided to deliver the book in 5 separate sections, which they called levels, and price each of these at £1.99 on the Apple Store. They found if they matched the price point and delivered the content in a manner that was familiar and comfortable to their target audience, not only could they engage them, but it was a resounding success and it was the first business book to reach number one on the paid for Apple charts.
  • Finally, Preena Gadher, Co-founder and Managing Director at Riot Communications (a specialised arts and publishing PR company) spoke to us about how to get creative and foster this in our own lives as well as create a culture of creativity. Her top tips? Carry an ideas book around, go analogue, get out of the office with your colleagues – go for a coffee break and a chat, and create your very own ‘creative board of dreams’ – this would be the people or companies you find most creative and inspiring and then when you’re stuck, look to them and think about what they may do!

This is by no means a full report on what was an extremely interesting and insightful conference but just a quick snapshot. This day provided us here at Inspired Selection with not only invaluable information to help us understand better our client and candidates’ needs; but also fantastic tips for how we can improve our own outreach and communication programmes!

Did you attend this year’s conference? Do get in touch, we’d love to hear all about your highlights!

Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about. We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter.Inspired Logo

4th of July Festivities

Happy 4th of July, ya’ll!

In the immortal words of Stephen Colbert, England’s greatest gift to the world is America. Therefore, today at Inspired Selection HQ, we decided why not celebrate America’s 238th Birthday and our very own native Texan and American with a lush breakfast spread and tasty baked goods (and well, it’s just another good reason to have loads of treats on a Friday!)

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We began with breakfast and then quickly moved on to cake for elevenses – we think there may be a celebratory lunch in there as well…

4th July Cutting Cake

Why not come join our friendly and fun team in London Bridge? We’re currently looking for a new publishing recruitment consultant to join us – check out our website for further details at www.inspiredselection.com! We’d love to have you.

Hope everyone has lovely sunny weekends!

4th July Cake

Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about. We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter.4th July 2014 (3)

Books about Town: The New Initiative by the National Literacy Trust

   If you are out and about in the city of London this summer keep your eyes peeled for some new and very special book-shaped benches that have popped up along the capital’s streets. This is not a new government initiative to provide public seating, but in fact the new project launched by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Wild in Art: Books about Town. The project celebrates London’s literary heritage and aims to promote reading for pleasure, following the unveiling of new research revealing that children’s enjoyment of reading has increased for the first time in eight years. 

There are 50 benches in total, each bench dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character and has been decorated by some of the country’s top artists and illustrators. The decorations cover a broad spectrum of some of our most treasured book characters from Sherlock Holmes and Bridget Jones to The Gruffalo and Paddington Bear. As well as celebrating the authors behind the stories, benches can be found dedicated to George Orwell, Malorie Blackman, Jaqueline Wilson, Charles Darwin and many more! To find your favourite why not take a look at the full list.

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You can also track the benches on specially created literary trails around Greenwich, the City, Riverside and Bloomsbury – the details of which can be found on the newly launched website. The benches will be displayed until mid-September and auctioned at the Southbank Centre on 7th October, to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust.

Here at Inspired, our passion for books stretches beyond the pages, and what with our London office sitting amidst the heart of London’s literary genius’s, literally in the building where poet John Keats once made his home, we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to go and scout out some of the nearby benches ourselves along the Riverside trail.

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On our travels we managed to seek out the War Horse Bench dedicated to children’s classic of print, stage and screen by Michael Morpurgo and the delightful homage to the legendary characters created by the harmonious partnership between Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson.

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It really is a treat to see such beautiful tributes to London’s literary talents. So if you’re nearby this summer don’t miss out – take a seat, sink into a book and soak up the city.

 

Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about. We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter