1 What's your company called?
2 What do you publish?
Crime and thriller fiction with a big focus on ebooks, and very much aimed at a mass market readership.
3 What's the story of the company?
Betsy Reavley and I [Fred Freeman] founded Bloodhound Books in 2014. Betsy is a successful author of psychological thrillers and we felt there was a niche in the market for an independent publisher that specialised in crime fiction and put authors at the very forefront of the business. We work very closely with each of our authors, from editorial to cover design to marketing. Even as we’ve grown, and now work with more than 50 authors, that vision remains at the forefront.
4 How's business?
Fantastic! We are growing very rapidly and sales are the best they’ve ever been. We sold our millionth ebook at the start of 2017, and the next million is already in sight.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
We take a chance on authors who may have struggled to find traditional representation but whose talent and voice deserve to be heard. We work with them to make their stories the very best they can be, and then we have the ability and network to reach a mass market audience. It’s a special feeling when one of our authors tells us that, because of their success, they can give up the day job and focus just on their writing.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
Data. As every facet of publishing becomes more digitised I am fed a constant stream of data. Whether it’s analysing ROI from PPC adverts, clicks from affiliate partner links or keyword trends, there is so much information to process and to attempt draw meaningful conclusions from. It can be overwhelming, and picking and choosing how to use that data is a constant challenge.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
Use social media as much as you can to build a loyal following. Show some personality, build a brand for your company and help yourself to stand out from the crowd.
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
It’s great to be part of a community of businesses who face the same challenges and opportunities. We’ve always had good relationships with other independent publishers, and being part of the IPG gives us an extra forum to build those ties.