The Bookseller Children’s Conference 2014


This time last week, The Bookseller hosted its annual Children’s Conference at the South Bank Centre. With a fantastic line up of speakers from all areas of the Children’s market including: Greg Childs, Co-creator and Editorial Director of The Children’s Media Conference, Michael Acton-Smith of Mind Candy, Alison York of Nickelodeon UK to name a few.

To open the conference, Ann-Janine Murtagh of HarperCollins Children’s Books (winner of Children’s Publisher of the Year at this years Bookseller Awards) used a brilliant quote from her best-selling author, comedian David Walliams:

“But being a child is such a special fing. When yer a child, ya can see all the magic in the world.”

This was very poignant as not only did it highlight the importance of children’s publishers as gatekeepers, inspiring and nurturing a lifelong love of reading from an early age, but it also displayed what a magical and rewarding experience publishing for children can be.

The day was full of interesting and insightful talks providing vital information and research covering all aspects of the children’s publishing industry. Nickelodeon UK provided some interesting statistics on kids and their digital habits in a thought-provoking talk entitled ‘Me, Myselfie and I’ which covered the online behaviour and attitudes of children. The key finding from this research was that children prefer and engage with immersive experiences above all others, and so publishers should strive to achieve this when producing digital content.

The Bookseller’s own John Lewis then provided us with some exciting data on the Children’s book market in a comparison with the previous year which showed that in 2014 the market is up by 10%. He also touched on the importance of utilising your backlist as a children’s publisher by stating that there is no backlist in children’s publishing: if a child hasn’t read it, then it is a new book. He supported this by revealing that six of the current top best selling children’s books are not new titles.

The conference also included two panel discussions. The first, chaired by Charlotte Eyre of the Bookseller, was on Social Media and Kids. The panel consisted of Sanne Vliegenthart, Digital Co-ordinator – Hot Key Books, Sean Moss, Digital Marketing Officer – Walker Books and authors Matt Haig and Alice Oseman.

Key points of the discussion were:

  • Social media is integrated into the publishing process now and therefore it is no longer free as time is money and not always the most cost-effective way to reach children.
  • YouTube is the most effective social media platform for reaching young readers via book trailers, interactive videos and live streaming from book launches.
  • YA readers are mostly hanging out on Tumblr, yet it is more difficult to reach them due to the personalised nature of the platform.
  • To use social media effectively is to remember the social aspect and to start conversations; to be direct but remember your audience as a collective; and to be inclusive not exclusive as this cuts down the market outreach.

The second panel discussion, chaired by Anna James of the Bookseller, focused on Working Together – how we can be a more collaborative industry. The panel discussed initiatives that are working well in the industry such as PR relationships and collaborations schools and running interactive author events and book readings. They also discussed what could be better and the resounding answer was that publishers could provide more support to independent bookshops, which at the moment feel as if they are somewhat detached from the rest of the industry and don’t receive as much recognition from publishers for all the hard work they put in selling their titles.

At the end of the day the Bookseller had an exciting announcement: the launch of their YA Book Prize for outstanding fiction in the UK and Ireland. It is the very first prize of its kind and is open for short-list entries until December, with the prize winner to be announced in March 2015.

Overall, it was an insightful and motivating day with lots of opportunity to expand our knowledge of the Children’s market. It was so wonderful to experience the passion and enthusiasm those involved in Children’s publishing have and made it part of the industry we can feel proud to be a part of.

By Zoe Portway



Did You Bag a Book for the Bank Holiday?

What better way to spend the long weekend than to settle down with a bestseller? Here at Inspired we spent some time leafing through the Bookseller Bestseller List on Friday to find our perfect Bank Holiday read. We then took ourselves down to our local bookshop to browse the shelves and found ourselves a few treats!


Here are our top four weekend reads:

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt                     

A story of loss, obsession, survival and self-invention, the Goldfinch combines thrilling suspense with a beautiful addictive story.

The perfect read for the night-owl.

Mad About the Boy – Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones is back and how we have missed her! Mad About the Boy is timely, touching and very witty.

The perfect book to curl up under a blanket and escape the rain with.

The Song for the Dying – Stuart MacBride

MacBride’s new novel is a heart-stopping crime thriller following a detective with one shot at redemption, at earning his freedom, at revenge.

A gripping thriller that leaves you hanging until the last page.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

An exploration of sibling love and conflict with an underlying mystery plot full of surprises from the very start. Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize this year.

A funny, clever and honest tale filled with ideas that will leave you thinking long after you’ve finished.










Congratulations to all the 2014 Bookseller Awards Nominees!

March 14 2014

This morning heralded the announcement of The Bookseller Awards shortlist. As sponsors of the event, this has been an exciting morning for us all at Inspired Selection as we find out which of our clients have been nominated and discover the talent and innovation that has impacted and impressed the industry this year.

From the most creative marketing campaign, imprint of the year, editor of the year to best independent bookshop, library of the year and literary agent of the year, every aspect of the industry is covered. In a constantly shifting and forward-thinking publishing world, those who are moving with the times yet staying true to traditional publishing priorities – good content, engaging content – can be recognised and show-cased.

At Inspired Selection, we spend our days talking about content with both our clients and our candidates so many of those on the list were no surprise to us!

With an excellent range of nominees across the award categories, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. To get this far, even, is such a fantastic achievement and everyone on the shortlist should be very proud; a great start to the weekend for all involved…Happy Friday!

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

Bookseller Awards 2014

With less than 24 hours to go before the Bookseller Awards shortlist is announced for 2014, we are all incredibly excited here at Inspired Towers.

Inspired Search & Selection is dedicated to supporting the best talent in the industry and so it is a real privilege for us to be sponsoring the Bookseller Awards this year, an event devoted to just that. We are constantly meeting with fantastic people of the publishing industry who are looking to develop their creativity and innovation in new environments and this event shines the spotlight on the very best creators and the top innovators in the market.

It’s our mission to fuel the industry with talent, introducing publishing professionals to each other resulting in new roles for people which are going to both personally develop the individual and also develop the organisation with the ideas, skills and imagination of that individual. Celebrating the success of such innovators and creators in the upcoming shortlist will be a great moment for us all as we recognise the individuals’ achievements and take a step back in admiration for our industry and its evolution.

At this point, while we wait in anticipation for the shortlist to be revealed, we would like to raise our thanks to the Bookseller Awards Judging Panel. It’s a dream team of publishing professionals, well placed to review the nominations coming from great success within the industry themselves. They’ll have made numerous tough calls, judging the wealth of talent nominated for the various categories will have been no easy task and it takes great experience to be in that position.

So for now, we sit with congratulations at the ready for those shortlisted, with gratitude to the judges and with pride for being part of this fantastic event.