1 What's your company called?
Mainline & Maritime.
2 What do you publish?
Railway and maritime books and Locomotives International, the UK’s only worldwide railway magazine written by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.
3 What's the story of the company?
Founded in 2011 as part of a wider career change to obtain a better work-life balance, we have expanded our range and aspirations to take advantage of opportunities that have arisen. Which is another way of saying that the books we are publishing now are not the books we set out to publish when we started!
4 How's business?
Good. Our flexibility about the type of books we publish has enabled us to move into niche markets, as and when our competitors retire. This means that for most of the books we have a dedicated and loyal customer base.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
We have never been anything but independent, so it’s hard to say. But what we enjoy about the industry is that moment of satisfaction when we see a complete stranger reading one of our books.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
Self-belief. I perceive that we spend a lot of time worrying about how the market is changing, and indeed whether there will still be a market for our products in the future. The reality is that if we are motivated enough to create the books, and get them to market, there will be people interested enough to read them. We just need to believe in ourselves and our products sufficiently to spend time doing the marketing.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
Look for the gaps in tomorrow’s market, not those in yesterday’s.
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
The reassurance of being part of a larger organisation, where one is unlikely to be the first and only person to face a particular issue. Guidance and support is only a phone call away.