An Inspired Guide to the Frankfurt Book Fair!

Excitement is building for this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair and here at Inspired Selection, our FBF team is busily scheduling in meetings with all our attending clients and brushing up on their German phrases!

Our Deputy Managing Director, Donald Smith, is a seasoned Book Fair attendee and has put together an engaging summary along with some top tips to all those who are jetting off next week. This is the first in a series of lead-up campaigns we are running so do keep an eye on our Twitter page too! #FBM14

AN INSPIRED GUIDE TO THE FRANKFURT BOOK FAIR (BUCHMESSE), by Donald Smith

So, it’s your first visit to one of publishing’s major events of the year! If you’re in Trade or Education publishing you’re likely to be making that long walk from the Book Fair entrance to Hall 8 or if your interest is in Academic or STM publishing you could be looking for Hall 4.2.

Once on site you will realise that there are quite a few different halls dealing with different publishing cultures from around the globe (that’s why the big publishers are called ‘global’).

There are a number of mini buses which travel between each of the halls, so if you get some free time, be sure to take a trip outside and you might find an open air market or two for some souvenir hunting!

The key point about the Frankfurt Book Fair is that it is a real centre of activity in the sale of rights between publishing companies worldwide and a terrific forum for publishing people to meet, formally and informally, and to attend a wide variety of seminars and talks about issues which are relevant to the industry today, e.g. Big Data, Open Access, Digital Publishing, Amazon ……..etc.

Most publishing companies will have a large presence of Rights sales staff, seated at tables on their stands and have walls displaying new products, existing products and increasingly screens to present their digital offerings.

Mostly the Rights team will have back to back meetings on half hourly pre-booked appointments with their customers.

If you are going as a Rights Assistant, then this is where you get the opportunity to meet and mingle with many of your international customers and learn the basics of your future career.

How can you find a potential customer to sell the rights in your new product in Brazil? How do you find someone to buy the overstocks of your English language titles in sub-Saharan Africa?

Come to Frankfurt Book Fair!

Each Hall has a plethora of coffee, snack and sandwich stations plus a few seated areas. Find the nearest one to your stand and this will help orientate you so that you can find your way back to the stand!

As a visitor to the Book Fair for the first time, you don’t have to be fluent in German (although it is an advantage) but worth having the following available:

Wo ist Halle acht                             Where is Hall 8

Ein kaffe bitte                                   A coffee, please

Zwie bier bitte                                  Two beers, please

Quittung                                            Receipt (for the above, dinner, taxi)

checklist

So, all set? Bags packed? Dummies ready? Sales material to hand? Got your Euros?

Enjoy your first Frankfurt Book Fair and remember, next year you’ll be an expert!

 

Byte the Book – New Print Models – How is print adapting to the shifting consumer market in the Digital Age?

On Monday evening we attended September’s Byte the Book event at the beautiful Ivy Club in Soho where the topic of the night was how print is adapting to the shifting consumer market in the digital age.  Chairing the panel this time was Lisa Edwards, Publisher at Carlton with the panel consisting of Andrew Davies, Publisher at Immediate Media, formerly BBC Magazines,  Laila Dickson, Key Accounts Manager at Scholastic, Martin Spear, Reprints Controller at Osprey Books  and Maggie Calmels, Creative Global Development Director at Eaglemoss Publishing Group. This was a lively and jovial night, with the audience engaging with the key ideas well in the follow up questions.

The topics of the night included Bookazines, Partworks, Print on Demand and Special Sales as different forms of successful Print in the digital age. Martin Spear of Osprey publishing kicked off by talking about how Osprey, specialist producer of Military History books, is currently in the process of converting 2000 books to print on demand. He explained that in the past some products wouldn’t have been print published due to little interest but now with Print on Demand, it is possible to print these products for the small numbers of interested consumers. This in turn is not only beneficial for sales but also for boosting Osprey’s brand identity and consumer loyalty, as their customers know that they can get hold of their more obscure products.

osprey

Andrew Davies of Immediate Media spoke of the problems facing magazines with the advent of digital magazine content and it’s cost effectiveness, and explained the print option of Bookazines. These tend to be special-edition enhanced magazines that are on sale for up to 8 weeks and act as a brand extensions of other magazines such as Country Life. These products target existing consumers so are inexpensive to launch but enhance the brand with their collectable quality.

Laila Dickinson explained how different outlets like supermarkets, The Works and newsagents has meant that print can now target different audiences and so the print has to adapt to target those audiences. Products such as specialised boxsets or bookazine-type products mean that print options are still bringing in new consumers.

Collectively, the panel discussed and agreed that although the digital era and the digitalisation of print is beneficial for the industry, it is not ‘dinosaur’ to still champion print as print is still popular as a consumer product, especially niche high quality collectable products. Design and understanding your consumer is key, and that does not necessarily mean going entirely digital. Laila offered the example of children’s books which has had a huge growth in the last year, especially with authors such as Julia Donaldson who currently refuses to digitalise her products on principle and yet is still a highly successful author, showing how print is definitely not going anywhere.
ipad-ibooksIt was fascinating to listen to the debate and to find out about all the different avenues that print is going down whilst adapting to this digital era, which just shows how the publishing industry is growing and expanding into new and exciting ventures. I think perhaps most interesting was to learn how digital has actually opened up and enabled these different avenues for print – particularly in the example of POD thus showing that maybe, just maybe, the future is print and digital co-existing side by side.

Improvement is Trending in Publishing

Coming out of the Book Industry Communications seminar on Monday, I felt even more excited about the future of publishing than before. After a few years of uncertainty about its direction and the big Digital Mystery was not yet solved. The seminar, held in the majestic RIBA offices, threw the spotlight on some of the fantastic clues that lead us to the conclusion that technology and innovative thinking really are enablers to our industry and not things to be frightened of.

The clues took the form of industry trends and first we must decipher what a trend actually is. Karina Luke from the BIC took us through the difference between a trend and a fad and what we are looking out for here are new developments with longevity. It can be hard in the early days to know if we are in a trend or a fad but we can make an educated guess: is it likely to catch on? Does it answer a business or consumer need? Is there a cost benefit?trnading

For example, Paul Porter from the RNIB demonstrated how Apple’s VoiceOver and Braille Display technology has enabled a huge number of visually impaired people to access books that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Accessibility to books does not just mean reading them, it means being able to search for them, choose and buy them. For the 1 in 8 adults that have severe sight problems this technology has allowed them that choice as without it they have a very limited range of books in Braille. Technology has vastly improved the access that was already there, meeting a demand that wanted to read.

Similarly, a panel discussion told us about the efficiency gains made by Auto Stock Replenishment; cheaper than print on demand, this technology keeps stock up to date and ready to go. However, this does not negate the need for good people – Inventory and Stock Controllers – it is not replacing their cognisance. Rather, it allows them to spend their time on making more strategic decisions, interfering with the ASR if their knowledge supersedes the predicted sales figures when, for example, an author event happens that a machine wouldn’t know about. Again, technology is improving an existing system; the trend towards printing improvements is a lasting one meeting a need and allows people to do what people do best – make decisions about publishing.

People are at the core of this industry as it is driven by people’s passion for publishing great content and it’s important to remember that these new trends are not threatening that. Stuart Evers from the Bookseller Award Winning NetGalley explained how their platform improves the process of getting content to influencing readers: reviewers, librarians, booksellers etc. Inter-departmental liaison and postage delays are eliminated, giving people more time with the content. With this in mind, it’s important that we have the right people on board and a further panel discussion reminded us that with these new trends in our industry, new skills will be needed and we’ll need to market ourselves as an attractive industry to work in to people with the right technical skills.

Monday uncovered several new trends in our industry, many of which are emerging through new technologies and we do seem to be solving the Digital Mystery. However, listening to them all seemed to bring one overarching trend to light; as an industry we are looking for ways in which to improve. We are looking forward to the future and asking more of ourselves. Technology can be the answer to this but it can also give us to time to do this more. We’re on an upward trend!

Abigail Barclay  By Abigail Barclay, Managing Consultant

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!

BankHoliday1

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SYP Annual Pub Quiz

Last night Inspired donned our thinking caps once again to attend the SYP Annual Pub Quiz held at Shillibeer’s Bar and Grill near the Caledonian Road. Our consultants arrived ready and raring for a fantastic evening of quizzing with rounds covering Literature, Film & TV and Geography to a Guess the Link and Pot Luck, all literary themed of course! Our personal highlight was the Dingbat picture round in which we scored a rather respectable 16/18 – a favourite pastime of Inspired and so we had had a lot of practice!

At the half way point, The Inspired Quizmeisters were going strong with a solid score of 36/50. We had the prize in our sights, a rather large pile of books, what more could a young budding publisher want?

SYP QUIZ3  SYP QUIZ1

In the second half the competition really got underway and it was a close fight to the end with the top three teams scoring within one point of each other. The Inspired Quizmeisters came a not too shabby 8th, beating our previous best. We may have some ground to cover in preparation for next year and perhaps a couple of trips to our local to practice…but watch this space!

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and wish to thank the SYP for putting on a great evening, see you next year!

 

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

 

Women In Publishing – Meeting on Marketing

What a week of Marketing?! On Monday we had Byte the Book #bytethebook and Wednesday we had Women In Publishing where the fantastic Sophia Blackwell and Vicky Hartley shared with us their approach to marketing, their reflections on its evolution and their predictions on its future. The power of marketing has truly taken the publishing industry by a storm but what is it about marketing that makes it so fascinating to us?

                                       Image

From hearing the speakers’ stories, their successes and lessons over a career of campaigns, it initially seems that the same model or marketing strategy cannot be replicated, we can’t rely on it time and time again and sometimes we just don’t know why a campaign works so well. Which can be frustrating but also fascinating – it’s an enigma! Sometimes a campaign just clicks with the public and it gives us such a sense of brilliance that we want to try again and again to make that happen and slowly but surely we are totally consumed by author tours and direct campaigns.

Well that’s one view. It’s a valid view too but perhaps a, how do I say…. traditional view? As publishers we love books and stories so much that we want to believe that the magic of the tale captures the heart of the public so very much that it’s like a spell has been cast over us and we realise that we were all born with one true aim – to read Gone Girl.

Vicky Hartley certainly believes in story telling but her stories are marketing narratives. Does she need to even read the book she’s marketing? Not necessarily, she is gripped by her own plot. The content, not the book, drives the campaign and is the main character. Other characters could include social media, other products, re-purposed versions of the content, emails, above the line advertising…. They are all functioning for the purpose of the main character’s development and success, to get the content to its denouement as a top seller.

Sophia Blackwell positively “facepalms” at her former self, a budding marketer ready to tackle the publishing industry one campaign at a time, innocently oblivious to the importance of data. This was right at the beginning of her career of course and now we have before us a marketing data evangelist. With data you can know why campaigns work and why they don’t and you can make them work better. With data you can link sales figures with customer behaviour, surely the very essence of marketing. Information is power and marketing intelligence is the faculty of our industry.

Whether you are creating your own story through marketing or interrogating data, it seems that marketing isn’t such an enigma. It actually is a tool of control for us which used by the right hands can construct an efficient and strong bridge between book and reader.

 

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.

Follow @inspiredjobs at London Book Fair 2014 #lbf14

Follow @inspiredjobs at London Book Fair 2014 #lbf14

The countdown is on to London Book Fair 2014 and we are in a flurry of preparation and anticipation here at Inspired Selection, finalising our meetings, printing off our maps and locating all the stands we will be visiting! With our sponsorship of the People Development seminar stream this year, we will be particularly active on Twitter throughout the event, making sure that we are sharing information with those who can’t make it to the seminars and interacting online with those who are also there.
LBF marketing products

As well as tweeting from our Inspired Selection account, each Inspired Consultant will be tweeting on behalf of @inspiredjobs from their own Twitter accounts. As our clients and candidates know, each Consultant works across a specific sector/s of the industry and we will tweet accordingly. Our aim is to make sure that our followers get a rounded and engaging summary of our seminars and of the Book Fair generally. Make sure you are following us and keep an eye on the #lbf14 hashtag for a live feed of updates, info and news. We may even be tweeting details of new roles we pick up along the way!

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. If you are attending London Book Fair this year, we invite you to take a look at our People Development seminar stream that is running throughout the 3 days. 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.