6 February 2017
Rights People to support independent publishers
Rights People is delighted to announce that it will be supporting more independent publishers with their rights activities under a new arrangement brokered by the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG).
It will see IPG members gain more contact with Rights People’s team of agents via a host of flexible options—from help selling a few titles to full representation in all markets.
It comes at a time when many independent publishers are increasing their rights activities. The IPG’s recent Harbottle & Lewis Independent Publishing Report
found that members now make an average of a ninth (11%) of their sales from rights and coeditions, with translation rights the most important source.
But while some independents have the resources to look after their own rights sales, many smaller ones do not have the specialist expertise or time to pursue them as much as they would like. The new arrangement will give them one-stop access to knowledge and experience that will help them fulfil the rights potential of their books.
Rights People will cement the new partnership by providing two sessions on selling rights at this year’s IPG Annual Spring Conference next week (8 to 10 February). The first, a ‘Rights 101’ session for beginners, will provide great tips for both getting started and developing sales; and the second, a ‘What’s Hot, What’s Not’ session, will look at some of the latest trends and best territories to focus on.
Alex Webb, Head of Rights at Rights People, says: “We are delighted to be given the chance to work with the IPG and its members. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to share our skills and work with a broad range of publishers.”
Bridget Shine, Chief Executive of the IPG, says: “Rights can be a great avenue for sales, but we know that many of our members would value some support. We are very happy to be helping independent publishers draw on Rights People’s expertise at next week’s Conference and beyond.” Rights People
is a rights agency that represents publishers, literary agencies and packagers around the world. We represent children’s, young adult, crossover and adult books across all genres, including non-fiction and picture books. Our sales approach is a personal one. We find the best home for every book we represent and provide a comprehensive service to all our clients. We sell directly in nearly every market, so we’re a one-stop shop for rights services. www.rightspeople.com
The Independent Publishers Guild
(IPG) is the trade association for independent publishers. It supports and represents independent publishers of all sizes and from all sectors of publishing and helps them do better business. It currently has more than 600 members. www.ipg.uk.com
18 November 2016
Meze’s Phil Turner to take IPG’s Digital Book World trip
The Independent Publishers Guild is pleased to announce that Meze Publishing founder and managing director Phil Turner will be its representative at Digital Book World in 2017.
He is the fourth person to visit the event under its Fellowship Program with the IPG, following Tom Bonnick of Nosy Crow, Petra Green of Bloomsbury and Rebecca Smart, formerly of the Osprey Group. The initiative provides holders with a complimentary event pass and accommodation in New York, and aims in particular to facilitate visits from young industry professionals who are actively involved in digital change.
Phil Turner will be tweeting and blogging on behalf of the IPG during Digital Book World, which takes place in New York from 17 to 19 January. The event, organised by IPG member F+W Media, has been revamped for 2017 to provide a broader focus on the integrated print and digital publishing environment. As founder of ambitious independent Meze—named Nick Robinson Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 IPG Independent Publishing Awards—he will be well placed to benefit from Digital Book World and report on its conversations for fellow IPG members.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine says: “We are delighted that Phil will be attending Digital Book World on our behalf. He and Meze are great examples of the brilliant entrepreneurship and innovative publishing to be found among the IPG’s membership, and we are looking forward to his insights from the event. We are grateful to F+W for facilitating his trip.”
F+W CEO Tom Beusse says: “F+W is pleased to help make Digital Book World accessible to members of the IPG and the rising stars of publishing. We are confident that 2017 will be our best event yet, and are looking forward to welcoming Phil and many other publishing experts from around the world.”
Phil Turner says: “I’m honoured to have been asked to represent the IPG at Digital Book World in January. The event will have plenty of content to help independent publishers grow and flourish, and I’m grateful to F+W for the opportunity to share its insights with my fellow members of the IPG.”
F+W offers a 10% discount on Digital Book World tickets to IPG members. To take advantage of the deal, use code IPG17 when booking at www.digitalbookworld.com.
For any further information please contact IPG chief executive Bridget Shine on 01437 563335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
26 October 2016
Independent publishers going global, new report reveals
* 83% of IPG members exported last year
* 29% of members' annual turnover is international
* Europe key export territory after US, ANZ and Canada
* Members' total annual turnover estimated at £1.1 billion
In the wake of a successful Frankfurt Book Fair and Oneworld's triumph at the Man Booker Prize this week, the new Harbottle & Lewis Independent Publishing Report reveals UK independents to be thriving and truly global businesses that source nearly a third of their sales from overseas.
Among all IPG members taking part in a major survey for the report, an average of more than a fifth (22%) of total annual turnover comes from exports excluding rights. Overseas rights and coeditions add another 7%—meaning that a total of 29% of turnover is international, and 71% from the UK.
The figures confirm that independents, while in many cases small and with far fewer sales and rights resources than large corporates, are very active on the international stage. Across all IPG members, more than four in five (83%) exported in some way in their last financial year—rising to nine in ten (90%) of those in academic, Higher Education and professional publishing.
The report shows that the US, Australia / New Zealand and Canada are the most important markets for UK independent publishers, followed by Germany, Netherlands / Benelux, Scandinavia and other European areas. That highlights the risk that Brexit poses to exports, and only 4% of members think their business will be better off after the UK's exit from the EU.
The figures come as publishers return to their desks after a very busy Frankfurt Book Fair, followed just days later by the success of independent literary publisher Oneworld at the Man Booker Prize—for a second successive year—with Paul Beatty's The Sellout. With three books on this year's shortlist, and 19 of the 36 books listed over the last six years of the prize, it shows how independent publishers are punching well above their weight and following bold and ambitious publishing strategies.
In all, the Habottle & Lewis Independent Publishing Report estimates that IPG members share total annual turnover of £1.1 billion, making them significant contributors to the UK's creative economy. The report contains a host of further insights into independent publishers' sales, output, staff, challenges and opportunities.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: "As the IPG saw at first hand at the Frankfurt Book Fair, our members are creative, agile and resourceful—and Oneworld's remarkable success this week confirms it. The Harbottle & Lewis Independent Publishing Report reminds us that independents are very successful players globally as well as in the UK, with so much to offer the publishing world. Our report, generously supported by Harbottle & Lewis, is timely and important proof of the enormous value of independent publishers."
Alex Hardy, senior associate at law firm Harbottle & Lewis, said: "Our law firm has a long association with the publishing industry, working with businesses large and small, helping them succeed in the UK and around the world. It is an honour to sponsor this Report, which shows the important contributions independent publishing makes both culturally and financially in the UK and in international markets."
About the IPG The Independent Publishers Guild is a leading trade association that helps publishers to do better business and become part of a community that shares advice, benefits and information. It supports and represents 600 companies of all sizes and from all sectors of publishing.
About Harbottle & Lewis Harbottle & Lewis is the leading law firm for the UK publishing industry. Working with publishers, authors, agents, retailers and technology providers, its lawyers advise on a broad range of commercial, corporate and intellectual property matters.
16 September 2016
Harbottle & Lewis to support IPG Independent Publishing Report
The IPG is pleased to announce that leading publishing law firm Harbottle & Lewis is to sponsor this year’s Independent Publishing Report, the major annual analysis of the UK’s dynamic independent publishing sector.
The report, compiled with Nielsen Book, was published for the first time in 2015 and highlighted the enormous contributions that IPG members make to the UK’s creative economy. Based on a detailed survey, it revealed that the IPG’s member publishers now have combined turnover of more than £1bn, and provided important statistics about aspects of publishing operations including output, exports, rights and staffing levels. The report also served as a useful benchmarking tool for members to assess their performance, and gathered opinions on key publishing issues that have informed IPG events and services this year.
The 2016 Harbottle & Lewis Independent Publishing Report will again be based on a survey of IPG members that was completed over the summer, and for the first time will identify year-on-year trends in the sector. Jo Henry of Nielsen Book will present headline findings at the IPG’s Autumn Conference on Tuesday 20 September, and contributors to the survey will receive a full copy of the findings in October.
Harbottle & Lewis’ involvement will now help to advance the report in its second year. IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “We are hugely grateful to Harbottle & Lewis for its sponsorship of our Independent Publishing Report. The first edition of the report was a real landmark for us, and proved a very good way to quantify the magnificent achievements of independent publishers. It was very well received by members and has helped us to shape our activities at a time of big change in publishing. With Harbottle & Lewis’ backing we can take the report from strength to strength.”
Harbottle & Lewis partner Shireen Peermohamed said: “Harbottle & Lewis is delighted to be supporting the IPG and its members through the Independent Publishing Report. Independents are among the UK’s most creative, successful and ambitious publishers, and this report promises to be a very important means of assessing strengths and weaknesses and identifying opportunities and threats. We are pleased to be involved and look forward to reading this year’s findings.”
29 July 2016
IPG partners with Thought Industries to launch online skills hub
The IPG is to deliver free training and professional development opportunities for its members.
The Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) today announced a new partnership agreement with Thought Industries, one of the world’s fastest growing online learning companies. The IPG will leverage Thought Industries’ cloud-based platform to deliver free online learning courses and professional skill development opportunities for its growing membership.
The new IPG Skills Hub will build on the IPG’s current online training packages and will add significant value for its members. By partnering with Thought Industries, the IPG will be able to deliver self-paced, interactive and mobile-friendly e-learning modules from leading tutors, helping members sharpen skills in key areas of publishing. Future learning modules will be determined by a survey of IPG members’ priorities.
Training and professional development were identified as among members’ most pressing concerns in the IPG’s Independent Publishing Report, and the Skills Hub will help to keep them fully trained and educated. The project is being funded by the Tim Rix Training Programme, an initiative set up in honour of the IPG’s late former president and renowned publisher, and will be available free of charge to all members.
Thought Industries and its cloud-based Learning Business Platform will enable the IPG to deliver customized online experiences and much more. By leveraging the platform’s consolidated feature-set, including web page creation, built-in drag and drop course authoring tools and in-depth reporting, the IPG will now be able to quickly build new learning sites and course modules, and also track a variety of user engagement metrics.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “We are thrilled to be opening up new educational opportunities for our members to make their businesses even better, and excited to be working with Thought Industries to help us provide accessible, user-friendly and engaging learning experiences. We are really looking forward to launching our first modules.”
“Associations and member-based organizations are well positioned to leverage their subject-matter expertise in order to promote online education and training opportunities,” said Doug Murphy, President of Thought Industries. “We’re excited to see the IPG take an innovative approach to enhancing its membership offerings through online learning and are looking forward to a long-term and successful partnership.”
About Thought Industries
Thought Industries is powering the business of learning with the world’s first Learning Business Platform™. Offering a comprehensive suite of enterprise-level learning delivery and monetization tools, the customizable platform enables businesses and organizations to deliver engaging and fully-branded learning experiences to their business and consumer audiences. From creating online courses to managing an online learning business, the platform hosts a library of powerful, easy-to-use features that enable organizations to get to market quickly and cost-effectively. Learn more at www.thoughtindustries.com
22 July 2016
IPG to support leading literary festival in competition partnership
The Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival and the Independent Publishers Guild have announced a partnership to find a publisher for the winning title in a new Children’s Picture Book Competition.
This is believed to the first time that a literary festival and a publisher will have joined together to produce a picture book. The Stratford Literary Festival will launch the competition in early Autumn, aiming to attract debut authors and illustrators. It is now working with the IPG to find a publisher to publish the winning story and handle marketing and distribution. It is hoped the book will be launched at next year’s tenth anniversary Festival, which opens on 23rd April 2017.
‘The Festival already has a strong reputation for being a festival for writers, especially debut writers,’ says Director Annie Ashworth, ‘and we already publish a book each year containing the winners of our worldwide creative writing competition, but we are very excited to be launching a book especially for children and to be working with an organisation as highly respected as the IPG.’
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine says: ‘The IPG is always looking to establish new partnerships across publishing and culture, and we are delighted to be able to help Stratford Literary Festival with this initiative. Our members include many of the UK’s most creative children’s publishers, and the competition will be an exciting opportunity for them to discover new talent in picture books.’
The Competition fits with the Festival’s 2017 birthday campaign, Sharing Stories, to encourage parents to read with their children, and is designed to find an engaging illustrated story by an author and/or illustrator who has not been published before.
The book will be:
•Aimed at children up to 5 years
•Maximum 28 pages
•Maximum format 254 x 203mm
15 July 2016
Richard Fisher to take on new policy role with the IPG
The IPG is pleased to announce that Richard Fisher, former managing director of academic publishing at Cambridge University, is to assume an additional role to help keep its members up to date with policy issues.
As academic correspondent, Richard has provided very popular monthly updates on issues in and around Higher Education that impact on the substantial academic publishing community within the IPG. Now, as academic and policy correspondent, he will widen his brief to update all IPG members on significant policy news and their likely impacts on day-to-day publishing operations. His contributions will be free to all IPG members.
In the wake of the Brexit vote and a shake-up in government cabinet posts, Richard’s judicious reflections will be hugely valuable through the uncertainty of the months and years ahead. As well as keeping members informed, his expertise will help to guide the IPG’s own strategies, events and engagement with government on issues relevant to publishers.
With three decades of publishing experience at Cambridge University Press and various ongoing roles in the industry, Richard is very well placed to survey policy issues. His new role adds further to the knowledge and experience that independent publishers can draw on from the IPG.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “Richard has very quickly become an integral part of the IPG team, and his wisdom is valued by our members and ourselves. We are delighted that he will now add even more benefits to IPG membership by monitoring national issues affecting independent publishers and reviewing their practical implications. The IPG now has more than 600 members, and it is more important than ever that we stay abreast of policy and represent our sector where needed. Richard will help us to do just that.”
Richard Fisher said: “I am truly delighted to be working for the IPG in this expanded capacity. Over the next few years British publishers will be interacting with public policy, whether national or international, in a myriad of ways, well beyond the traditional core concerns of intellectual property, taxation and employment law. I hope both to introduce and to interpret major policy moves as they affect our sector, working with colleagues within publishing, government and education. At this moment in British history I don’t anticipate any shortage of issues to think or write about!”
24 May 2016
Rohan Silva to be keynote speaker at the 2016 IPG Autumn Conference
The Independent Publishers Guild is pleased to announce that tech entrepreneur, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister and now bookseller Rohan Silva will be the keynote speaker at its Autumn Conference on Tuesday 20 September.
Silva served as Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister during the Coalition Government, and created the Tech City initiative to support the growth of the cluster of digital companies in east London. He then became an entrepreneur and founded Second Home, a start-up creating innovative incubation spaces in cities around the world. Earlier this year Silva and Second Home opened new experiential independent bookshop Libreria, featuring an in-house printing press, bar and events space as well as books for sale—and supporting independent publishers in particular.
Rohan is a widely respected speaker and well positioned to comment on many of publishing’s most pressing digital issues, as well as the intersection of traditional media like books with new technology. He will set the tone for what promises to be a stimulating day of discussion and debate at the Conference in September.
The Conference will hear from many other speakers both from publishing and beyond, including representatives from Amazon and IPG members presenting case studies of their work. It will also reveal some of the key findings from the second edition of the IPG’s Independent Publishing Report, the landmark survey of the sector that was launched last year with Nielsen; and reveal the first recipients of the IPG Foundation’s new Bursary Awards, newly set up to support training in independent publishing. The IPG is also pleased to launch a new three-for-two ticket offer for the 2016 Autumn Conference, providing one free place for publishers aged under 30 for every two tickets booked.
The IPG’s 2016 Autumn Conference will be held on Tuesday 20 September, returning to last year’s venue at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. More speakers will be revealed in due course.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “We are thrilled that Rohan Silva will be joining us as the keynote speaker at our Autumn Conference. He is one of the country’s sharpest thinkers around digital issues, and having made his first move into bookselling he will have some great insights for all independent publishers. We ask all our members to save the date and join us for an inspiring day in September.”
Bridget Shine, chief executive, IPG: 01437 563335, email@example.com
6 May 2016
Nigel Farrow to become IPG Patron
The Independent Publishers Guild is delighted to welcome Nigel Farrow as its latest new Patron.
Nigel has been active and influential in publishing for more than half a century. He was chairman of Ashgate Publishing until it was sold to Taylor & Francis’ parent company Informa last summer, and founded its original imprint, Gower, in 1967. He continues to have interests in the industry through his ownership of art book publisher Lund Humphries, which was separated from Ashgate and relaunched as an independent company in late 2015. He has also held various directorships in educational publishing companies and is founder of the Estelle Trust, which supports educational charities and projects, especially in Africa.
Nigel joins the growing group of IPG Patrons, who are made up of former publishing company members of the IPG who have given significant service to independent publishing and who wish to remain involved with the guild in some capacity. Many, like Nigel, choose to become Patrons after selling their independent publishing companies, and so continue to provide invaluable support to the IPG and its members. Patrons contribute donations in return for a life membership, which are ring-fenced for special projects or purchases rather than channelled towards the IPG’s general expenditure.
The full list of Patrons, who together embody the entrepreneurial and collegiate spirit of the IPG, is: David Blunt, Kathryn Earle, Nigel Farrow, Alan Finlay, Oliver Gadsby, Chris Hall, Jonathan Harris, Pat Heathcote, Sonny Leong, Edward Milford, Brian Moeran, Geoff Nuttall, Jill Pearce, Martin Sheppard, John Skelton, Jim Smith, Brian Willan and Martin Woodhead. The late David Fulton and Tim Rix have also served.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “We are delighted that Nigel has chosen to become an IPG Patron. Ashgate was a much-valued member of the IPG for many years, and we are very pleased that Nigel can join a group that makes such an important contribution to our work. Their generosity is typical of our membership and the spirit that makes the IPG so special.”
Nigel Farrow said: “It is an honour and a pleasure to be joining IPG’s group of Patrons. Especially as the present and past members of the group include several good friends and former colleagues among its list of distinguished publishers.”
12 April 2016
IPG launches training Bursary
Grant from IPG Foundation to support professional development
The Independent Publishers Guild is delighted to announce the creation of the IPG Foundation Bursary, a new initiative to help its members support the professional development of its talented members of staff.
The Bursary will provide a total funding pool of £5,000 this year, with grants available to individuals to maximum of £500 each. The money is intended to pay in full or part for any appropriate course, workshop or other training activity that staff think will help improve their publishing expertise.
The money is intended in particular to help people who are in their first or second jobs in publishing and who are ambitious to progress their careers with IPG members. It should also help publishers operating on tight budgets to access training for the first time.
Applications are open to anyone who works for an IPG member in the UK and who has been working in publishing or a related industry for fewer than five years. Submissions can be made either directly by individuals or on their behalf by a colleague. The deadline for applications is 1 September 2016. Bursaries will be limited to one individual per company per year, though there is no limit to the number of applications that a company can make.
The Bursary is being administered by the IPG Foundation, which has been set up to support members’ development of publishing skills—one of the core aims of the IPG. The £5,000 Bursary has been generously supplied from the IPG Patrons’ Fund, established by publishers who have sold their businesses or retired but wish to continue supporting the IPG’s activities, and separate to the IPG’s core funds. A board of Patrons led by former IPG honorary president Sonny Leong will coordinate the scheme and allocate Bursaries.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “IPG members employ an incredible range of talented and ambitious people, and our recent Independent Publishing Report showed that staff training and retention is a very important issue for them. We are constantly looking for new ways to support independent publishers and hope this new Bursary will give valuable new training opportunities to people who might otherwise not receive them. Publishing needs to do everything it can to encourage the next generation of publishers, and this scheme will help equip our members with even more skills. We are very grateful to the IPG Foundation and Patrons for making it possible.”
12 February 2016
IPG reveals 2016 Independent Publishing Awards shortlists
The Independent Publishers Guild is delighted to announce the shortlists for the tenth annual IPG Independent Publishing Awards. They are:
Ruth Killick Publicity Trade Publisher of the Year
Faber & Faber, Head of Zeus, Oneworld, Pavilion Books
IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year
Barrington Stoke, Bloomsbury Publishing, Nosy Crow, Quarto Publishing Group UK
Frankfurt Book Fair Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year
Berghahn Books, Bloomsbury Publishing, Policy Press, SAGE Publishing
Publishers Licensing Society Education Publisher of the Year
Bloomsbury Publishing, Bright Red Publishing, Illuminate Publishing, PG Online
IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year
How2Become, SPCK, V&A Publishing
Nick Robinson Newcomer Award
Meze Publishing, Orenda Books, PG Online
The Bookseller International Achievement Award
Accent Press, Nosy Crow, Pavilion Books, Walker Books
Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award
Bloomsbury Publishing, Faber & Faber, Nosy Crow
Nielsen Digital Marketing Award
Accent Press, Faber & Faber, How2Become, Nosy Crow
Alison Morrison Diversity Award
Barrington Stoke, Carcanet Press, Oneworld
IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year
Joshua Brown, How2Become; Ola Gotkowska, Nosy Crow; Sam Richardson, SPCK;
Rachel Williams, Quarto Publishing Group UK
GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award
Graham Bell, EDItEUR; Compass Independent Publishing Services; Firsty Group; Stison
The IPG Independent Publishing Awards attracted a record number of submissions in their tenth anniversary year, reflecting the vibrancy and diversity of independent publishing in the UK. Judges, who compiled the shortlists over two intensive days of discussion, commented that the standard of entries was higher than ever before, and competition was extremely strong in many of the categories. It led judges to produce shortlists of four candidates in the bulk of the Awards, rather than three as in most previous years.
The 12 different Awards shortlists feature no fewer than 22 different publishers, as well as five individuals and three publishing service providers. Nine publishers—Accent Press, Barrington Stoke, Bloomsbury Publishing, Faber & Faber, How2Become, Nosy Crow, Oneworld, Pavilion Books and PG Online—have two or more nominations. Nine—Berghahn Books, Head of Zeus, Meze Publishing, Oneworld, Orenda Books, PG Online, Policy Press, Quarto Publishing Group UK and V&A Publishing—appear on the Awards shortlists for the first time.
The 12 winners of the 2016 IPG Independent Publishing Awards will be revealed at a Gala Dinner during the IPG’s Annual Spring Conference on Thursday 3 March, hosted by the BBC’s Tanya Beckett. They will be followed by the presentation of a final Award—the flagship Independent Publisher of the Year. The shortlist for this Award will comprise of the winners of the five Publisher of the Year categories. Its recipient will be the tenth overall champion, joining previous winners Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Templar Publishing, Alastair Sawday Publishing, Earthscan, Continuum, Constable & Robinson, Bloomsbury Publishing’s Academic and Professional Division, Usborne Publishing and Search Press.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: “Competition for the IPG Independent Publishing Awards gets tougher every year—but the strength of this year’s nominations was remarkable. We congratulate all the IPG members who entered the Awards and thank our judges for the care they have taken over these shortlists. Every company and individual on these lists should feel very proud, and those who did not make the final cut from such an excellent range of entrants should not be discouraged. It is fitting that our tenth anniversary Awards should have such an exceptional range of finalists, and we are really looking forward to celebrating the outstanding achievements of the independent publishing sector on 3 March.”
The IPG would like to thank the sponsors of the 2016 Independent Publishing Awards: Fox Williams LLP, The Bookseller, The Book Trade Charity, The Frankfurt Book Fair, Grantham Book Services, Ingram Content Group, Nielsen, Publishers Licensing Society and Ruth Killick Publicity.
The IPG is grateful to all the judges of the Awards: Ed Armitage, e-commerce director, Waterstones; Graham Bell, executive director, EDItEUR; Ann Betts, former managing director of client services, Nielsen Book; Nick Clee, editor, BookBrunch; Gareth Cuddy, chief executive, Vearsa; Elise Dillsworth, founder, Elise Dillsworth Agency; Pete Duncan, PD Associates; Mary Elliott, associate, Fox Williams LLP; Peter Faber, partner, Fox Williams LLP; Andrew Furlow, sales and marketing director, Icon Books; Jonathan Griffin, head of digital services, Publishers Licensing Society; Jo Henry, vice president, insight and analytics, Nielsen Book; Ruth Jones, director of publisher business development, Ingram Content Group; Peter Lake, group business development director, John Smith Group; Stephen Lustig, business development director, Eurospan; Sarah Shaffi, online editor and producer, The Bookseller; Tom Tivnan, features and insight editor, The Bookseller.
Judges’ comments about each of the companies and individuals on the 12 shortlists for the 2016 IPG Independent Publishing Awards follow.
Ruth Killick Publicity Trade Publisher of the Year
Faber & Faber, winner of this Award in 2007 and 2011, is shortlisted after a year of commercial success across an extremely broad range of publishing. Judges admired the way it had experimented with new business models, including a ‘Faber Members’ programme and a direct-to-consumer store. “Faber is a very well established publisher but it never lets the grass grow under its feet—it is always looking for the next new thing to do,” they said.
Head of Zeus is shortlisted at the IPG Independent Publishing Awards for the first time, three years after its launch. It grew revenue sharply in 2015, and judges liked the way it has built authors and series of books, as well as its eye for international opportunities. “This company really knows what it is about and has a very clear strategy for getting to some ambitious sales and profits targets,” said the judges. “The rate of expansion so far is phenomenal.”
Oneworld also makes the Awards shortlists for the first time, following a stellar year in which its books won ten prizes, including the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. But it did much more besides, launching new crime and children’s lists and growing sales even without its Booker winner. “This is a fantastic company that takes risks and does innovative things. It has been plugging away for a long time and it feels like its time has come,” said the judges.
Pavilion Books won this category in 2015, and is shortlisted again for continuing a reinvigoration of its publishing and brands. Its year was led by the Millie Marotta colouring book phenomenon, but it also worked its backlist hard, picked up several prizes and opened its own ‘Books Pavilion’ shop. “Pavilion has not been resting on its laurels,” the judges noted. “It is a very well run company that managed its success extremely well last year.”
IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year
Barrington Stoke was lauded for its efforts to make reading more accessible to dyslexic, reluctant and hesitant readers. Last year saw it reposition itself in the market, sharpen up its marketing, launch a new ‘Conkers’ fiction list and add a reading-friendly iPad app. It also built various partnerships with charities, retailers including WH Smith and big-name authors. “Barrington Stoke is a trailblazing publisher and does some great work,” said the judges.
Bloomsbury Publishing sharply increased its UK, export and rights sales in children’s books in 2015. Its highlights included several picture book hits and extensive licensing and coedition activity, and it breathed new life into JK Rowling’s backlist with new illustrated editions and a Harry Potter Book Night. “Bloomsbury’s big challenge has been to maintain the Harry Potter brand, and it has done that very well—but its publishing goes much further,” judges said.
Nosy Crow, winner of this Award in 2012 and 2013, grew its sales once more in 2015. As well as strong front and backlist sales, it promoted itself vigorously via apps, masterclasses and free children’s book groups. “Nosy Crow clearly has huge passion for its books, and it has been very good at building services around its publishing,” judges said. They also admired its partnerships with the National Trust and British Museum, its care of staff and charitable work.
Quarto Publishing Group UK is shortlisted for the launch of an acclaimed new non-fiction list, Wide Eyed Editions. The imprint hit the ground running with very high quality content and strong sales in the UK and internationally, backed up by excellent marketing and publicity on both brand and books. “This is a new type of publishing—Quarto is creating real excitement around children’s print non-fiction again,” the judges said.
Frankfurt Book Fair Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year
Berghahn Books is nominated for these Awards for the first time, some two decades after it was founded. Judges admired the way the business has been nurtured through growth, and saw evidence of rigorous, high quality content and commercial success in 2015. It worked hard on digital publishing and social media too. “Berghahn has been going for a long time now but it is constantly coming up with new ideas,” judges said.
Bloomsbury Publishing, winner of this and the overall Independent Publisher of the Year Award three years ago, had another strong year in 2015, excelling in digital and international sales in particular. It has built best-in-class platforms for content including drama and the Winston Churchill archive, and made smart targeted acquisitions. “This is a very professional and well run academic publisher with a clear sense of purpose,” judges said.
Policy Press is another publisher to be shortlisted for these Awards for the first time. It had a standout year in 2015, publishing a range of important, influential and well-reviewed books, experimenting with activities including short reads, apps and freemium content and hitting record turnover. “It has increased sales and stepped up its publishing in a difficult market, and that takes a lot of nerve,” judges said. “It really punches above its weight.”
SAGE Publishing celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, and impressed the judges with its ability to innovate while staying true to its purpose. It showed sharp thinking around digital, ramping up video content in particular, struck up a range of academic partnerships, and made tactical acquisitions in journals. “This is a traditional publishing business doing what it has always done very well—but trying some very interesting new things too,” the judges noted.
Publishers Licensing Society Education Publisher of the Year
Bloomsbury Publishing adds a shortlist placing here to nominations in the Children’s and Academic & Professional categories. It has made itself an authoritative source of drama content both online and in print via its Arden and Methuen lists, successfully marketing itself to students, teachers and exam boards. “Bloomsbury is showing very good focus on its niches and is strategically making itself the go-to platform for this content.”
Bright Red Publishing nearly doubled its list in 2015, while also extending its digital audience and launching an enhanced website—all achieved with a small team and amid upheaval in the Scottish curriculum. “There was impressive growth here in 2015—this is a fast-moving, innovative and risk-taking business,” said the judges. They also liked its agnostic approach to technology, making its content accessible across multiple platforms.
Illuminate Publishing, winner of this Award in 2015, is shortlisted again after a year in which it doubled turnover and tripled profits. It used its independence to respond quickly to publishing opportunities in the changing curriculum, extending its reputation in psychology in particular and launching a new digital platform. “This is a thoroughly impressive business, and it is hard not to be impressed by what it achieved last year,” judges said.
PG Online is a first-time nominee at the IPG Independent Publishing Awards, having been founded in 2013. But it has made a very quick impact in its specialism of computer science education, and judges especially liked the interactive and editable elements of its resources. “It has got turnover going very quickly indeed and is exploiting its niche with some targeted publishing,” they said. “It’s a small team with a great attitude.”
IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year
How2Become, shortlisted here for the third year in a row, achieved best-ever turnover in 2015. Website visits and viewers of its popular YouTube video content reached record levels too, and nearly two thirds of its sales were made direct to consumers via its website. It invested in staff and pushed further into the education sector too. “It’s great at social media, great at getting publicity and great at selling direct to its users,” said the judges.
SPCK is the longest established publisher on these shortlists, having been founded in 1698, and it achieved best-ever sales in 2015 despite the continued closure of many Christian bookshops. It successfully integrated the InterVarsity Press business, published several high-profile books, rolled out a ‘New Leaf’ app and undertook work with charities and prisons. “This is a difficult part of the market, but SPCK is doing very well in it,” said the judges.
V&A Publishing had a transformative year in 2015, making its biggest ever contribution to the Museum’s finances and publishing some blockbuster exhibition books. It also restructured its publishing team, revamped its souvenir guidebook, enhanced its stationery programme and agreed new co-publishing partnerships. “You would expect the V&A to produce some beautiful books, but it really upped its game in 2015,” said the judges.
Nick Robinson Newcomer Award
Meze Publishing has quickly built a reputation in regional cookbooks, produced to high standards and energetically promoted, including well beyond the book trade. Judges liked the fresh way its team has approached book publishing, having previously worked in the magazine sector. “Meze’s publishing has great quality, local focus and a strong sense of its market. It has clear plans and there is huge potential to grow.”
Orenda Books, founded in late 2014, has established itself in the literary fiction market thanks to hard-working promotional activity, including extensive social media, an impressive range of author events and imaginative plans for own-brand roadshows and salons. “Orenda has pitched itself into a challenging area of the market and tackled the promotional aspect head-on,” said the judges, noting strong sales for some of its early titles.
PG Online has made an immediate impact in its niche of computer science, using its in-depth knowledge of the sector to carve out a strong specialist reputation. The company has been lauded in particular for its high quality presentation, flexible and accessible business models and excellent customer service, leading to very good word of mouth. “PG Online ticks every box—it has honed in on its subject and completely nailed it,” judges commented.
The Bookseller International Achievement Award
Accent Press raised its international profile in 2015, with the key achievement a new partnership to sell ebooks and audio content in the US and Canada. Its tenacious negotiations led to a very good financial deal and an agreement to preserve rather than replace the Accent Press brand in north America. “Accent Press is a small but perfectly formed publisher—it knows what it wants and goes out and gets it,” said the judges.
Nosy Crow, a two-time winner of this Award, had another year of intense international sales activity, wrapping up hundreds of coedition and rights deals and scouting out more new partners at book fairs. It hiked its export turnover too, and sold apps in translation. Non-UK markets now account for nearly half of the publisher’s turnover. “Nosy Crow is exceptionally good at building partnerships all over the place—international is at its core,” judges said.
Pavilion Books is shortlisted for echoing the remarkable UK success of Millie Marotta’s colouring book franchise in international markets. It adroitly handled coedition partnerships and rights deals, as well as logistics like stock control and printer liaison as sales rolled on. “Managing success is as much of a challenge as managing failure, and Pavilion did that brilliantly in 2015,” the judges said. They noted international success well beyond Marotta too.
Walker Books streamlined its foreign market sales strategy into a single London team in 2015, and achieved another year of sharp sales increases, in key territories in Asia and the Middle East in particular. Its team travelled far and wide to sell rights and coeditions, and Walker also supported literacy projects in Africa. “There has been spectacular growth in many overseas markets—Walker really knows what it is about,” judges commented.
Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award
Bloomsbury Publishing is nominated for its Drama Online portal, which increased in size substantially last year. The platform secured three new content partnerships, enhanced its interactivity and grew sales to institutions worldwide. Judges liked the way it deploys technology to build a business for the long term. “Bloomsbury is very creative in partnering with other sources of content—it uses technology very well and understands its market.”
Faber & Faber, winner of this Award two years ago, is nominated this time for its app interpretation of Iain Pears’ novel Arcadia, which interweaves strands of the story in an immersive experience. The freemium app has been critically acclaimed and is driving interest in the print version of the book too. Judges said: “Faber sees digital as another way of publishing rather than a flashy use of technology—the app is part of a great package rather than a standalone.”
Nosy Crow’s place on the shortlist is earned by its in-house apps and Stories Aloud project that uses digital audio to enhance print picture book content. It added more fairy tale apps and several dozen Stories Aloud streams in 2015, and grew its iBooks list too. “Stories Aloud has taken the much-maligned QR code and turned it into a very useful application,” judges said. “Nosy Crow goes on pushing the boundaries and digital is having a big impact on sales.”
Nielsen Digital Marketing Award
Accent Press is shortlisted for its digital marketing on brand authors including Jodi Taylor, a campaign for whom included Facebook and Goodreads groups, video trailers and imaginative web-based merchandising. “Marketing series of books like this could have been pedestrian, but Accent has really hammered away at social media,” judges said. “There is an awful lot of digital marketing going on, and it is a big part of the reason the company has grown so quickly.”
Faber & Faber is nominated here alongside the Digital Publishing category—this time for its campaign to promote the ‘Faber Members’ scheme. Its range of loyalty offers, exclusive editions, events and deals have been strategically promoted with email and web activity, deepened Faber’s engagement with readers. “This is belt and braces marketing using all the digital tools at its disposal,” judges said. “The strands have been pulled together brilliantly.”
How2Become, also shortlisted in the Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year category, has taken a multi-strand approach to marketing, making smart use of video content in particular. Its CRM, data analysis and SEO work were strong too. “This is a really interesting use of multiple channels that you don’t see often enough in publishing,” judges said. “It can be hard to engage people with content like this, but How2Become has gone at it hammer and tongs.”
Nosy Crow is seeking to win this Award for the third year in a row. In 2015 it relaunched its website to provide ecommerce and mobile optimization, and harnessed all its digital marketing elements to generate big sales for a debut novel, My Brother is a Superhero. “Nosy Crow has been great at social media from the start, but it has taken its online activity a step further now. It engages its readers brilliantly and is totally professional in everything it does.”
Alison Morrison Diversity Award
Barrington Stoke has championed accessibility and inclusivity in books by encouraging dyslexic and hesitant readers—something that benefits all of publishing. “Barrington Stoke is really thinking about the full range of ways to get children interested and confident in reading,” said the judges. They also liked its launch of new lists in 2015 and its commitment to diversity in both its book content and its workforce, including via internships.
Carcanet Press won this Award last year for the huge ethnic and cultural breadth of its poetry list, and it deepened its commitment to diversity again in 2015. Its international authors were acclaimed in literary reviews and award listings, and it integrated the translated poetry list of Anvil Press into the business. “It has had another great year championing a form of publishing and writers that do not get as much attention as they deserve,” judges said.
Oneworld has a vividly multicultural publishing programme and more than 50 different nationalities on its author list, including Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James. Its workforce is diverse too, and it supported BAME students via the Creative Access programme in 2015. Judges commented: “Oneworld takes risks and sticks with authors like Marlon James for the long run—it has a really impressive range of publishing and never dilutes the quality.”
IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year
Joshua Brown of How2Become was instrumental in a record year for his company in 2015. As operations manager he took ownership of its website, led on recruitment, excelled in marketing and oversaw the publication of dozens of new titles—all at the age of 24. Judges noted: “Joshua has knuckled down to a lot of work and taken on some big responsibilities in the last year. His impact in a small business has been substantial.”
Ola Gotkowska of Nosy Crow has risen up the ranks to rights manager over four years at the company, and has played a pivotal role in its burgeoning coedition and rights business. She constantly unearths new publishing partners around the world and manages international activity with meticulous precision. “She finds an exceptional number of new customers and brings something unique and significant to Nosy Crow,” the judges noted.
Sam Richardson of SPCK has led the turnaround of a flagging brand in the Christian sector. Looking afresh at the business’ strengths and weaknesses, he has made solid structural improvements, broadened the range of publishing and weaved in more digital activity. Judges commented: “In the face of an incredibly challenging market, Sam has rebooted SPCK and helped to stand it apart in its niche—a remarkable achievement.”
Rachel Williams of Quarto Publishing Group UK had two major achievements in children’s publishing in 2015: launching a new Wide Eyed Editions imprint and reinvigorating the Frances Lincoln brand. The former has quickly built strong sales, and the latter has been given fresh impetus in a competitive sector. “Rachel was charged with two big projects and delivered both of them brilliantly,” judges said. “To get things moving as she has takes some doing.”
GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award
Graham Bell of EDItEUR is nominated for his work to help independent publishers improve their bibliographic data standards. His activities include extensive support in metadata and ONIX skills, including via the IPG’s Tim Rix Training Programme. “Graham is unfailing in his efforts to support us,” said one IPG member. “The entire book supply chain has been positively impacted by EDItEUR’s activities, and they deserve every recognition they get.”
Compass Independent Publishing Services, a previous winner of this Award, is nominated after another energetic year building the sales and profiles of its many clients within the IPG. “We regard Compass as a proper collaborator, as though we had all embarked on this venture together,” said one. “They keep us focused on the market and its needs, and focus the market on our activities—we could not exist without them,” echoed another.
Firsty Group has helped IPG members build professional websites and take advantage of new opportunities to sell direct to consumers, and is highly rated for its project management and post-launch support. “Their knowledge, dedication and customer service are excellent,” said one client. “They are flexible, innovative, hard-working and open-minded partners who retain a can-do attitude and a good sense of humour, whatever we throw at them.”
Stison has been lauded for its modern and effective systems that help publishers manage data, workflows, royalties and sales analysis among other things. IPG members have found its solutions cost-effective and its service personal. “It is a business partner in the true sense of the word—proactive, responsive and always ready to help,” said one IPG member. “Best of all they are good and decent people who understand our business,” added another.
9 November 2015
IPG books Digital Book World trip
Tom Bonnick, business development manager and commissioning editor at Nosy Crow, is to represent the Independent Publishers Guild at the 2016 Digital Book World conference and expo under its Fellowship Program.
Tom’s acceptance onto the Program follows his recognition as Young Independent Publisher of the Year at the IPG Independent Publishing Awards earlier this year. He will be tweeting and blogging on behalf of the IPG during Digital Book World, which takes place in New York from 7 to 9 March 2016.
Digital Book World’s Fellowship initiative provides holders with a complimentary total access pass and accommodation in New York. It aims in particular to facilitate visits to the event from young industry professionals who are actively involved in digital change. Digital Book World
is organised by IPG member F+W and will explore the latest issues in digital publishing in various sectors around the world.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine says: “As our most recent Young Independent Publisher of the Year Tom is a very worthy recipient of this fellowship to represent the IPG at Digital Book World. He has been instrumental in Nosy Crow’s success over the last few years as well as generous in sharing his expertise at various trade gatherings, and I am sure he will provide us with excellent insights from inside the event. We are grateful to F+W for making this superb opportunity available.”
F+W CEO Jim Ogle says: “We are delighted to welcome Tom to the Fellowship Program in 2016. Now in its third year, this program is helping some of the rising stars in our industry to attend Digital Book World. They benefit not only from the conference content but also the opportunity to meet and network with industry peers from around the world.”
Tom Bonnick says: “It is a huge honour to have been asked to represent the IPG at Digital Book World, and I am immensely grateful to both Bridget and Jim for this fantastic opportunity. Independent publishers are some of the most innovative, dynamic and digitally forward-thinking players in our industry, and I can’t wait to share what DBW has to offer with the IPG’s members.”
F+W is also offering a 25% discount on Digital Book World tickets to all members of the IPG. To take advantage of the special deal, use code IPG16 when booking at www.digitalbookworld.com.
Bridget Shine, chief executive, IPG: firstname.lastname@example.org, 01437 563335
2 November 2015
IPG membership tops 600
Membership of the Independent Publishers Guild has hit a record high of more than 600 companies—proof of the flourishing state of independent publishing in the UK at the moment.
The number of members has been steadily rising for several years now, but this is the first time it has reached the 600 mark, thanks to a flurry of publishers signing up at the recent Frankfurt Book Fair. As well as emphasising the popularity of independent publishing, the milestone illustrates the burgeoning reputation of the IPG, which offers its members more events, resources, benefits and networking opportunities than ever before.
The IPG’s membership continues to diversify as well as increase, and members now cover the whole spectrum of publishing, from trade and children’s to academic and professional to education and specialist consumer sectors. While some members have left the IPG over the years—very often as a result of being acquired by larger publishers—they have consistently been outnumbered by new publishing start-ups joining the fold, as well as many existing independent publishers signing up for the first time. A growing number of individuals and companies, offering services in numerous different aspects of publishing, have also opted to join the supplier member category.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine says: “It is a real thrill for us to see membership of the IPG reach the landmark of 600 companies. The rise in our member numbers has been in tandem with an increase in the activities and resources we provide, and we like to think there are more reasons to belong than ever before. But of course it is independent publishers who make the IPG what it is, and we are truly thankful for the support of so many outstanding companies and talented individuals over the years. I have no doubt that the IPG and independent publishing in general will continue to go from strength to strength.”
IPG Chair Oliver Gadsby of Rowman & Littlefield International says: “This is a remarkable milestone for the IPG to reach. When independent publishers first got together to form this wonderful organisation more than half a century ago, they could never have imagined that 600 companies would one day belong to it. The IPG is one of the most vibrant and energetic organisations in the books business, and its phenomenal success is testament to the exceptional support it gives its members and the tireless hard work of our chief executive Bridget Shine and the IPG team.”
Bridget Shine, Chief Executive, IPG:email@example.com, 01437 563 335
9 October 2015
IPG and EDItEUR offer new metadata training
The Independent Publishers Guild and EDItEUR are pleased to announce the launch of a new training partnership to help sharpen up IPG members’ metadata skills.
The offer is part of the Tim Rix Training Programme, an initiative to enhance independent publishers’ learning that was set up in honour of the IPG’s late former president and renowned publisher. It follows an inaugural package of training on social media strategies.
The new metadata training is free to all IPG members, and will be particularly suited to people who are new to the publishing industry. Its launch follows feedback from IPG members that consistently reveals metadata to be one of the most important aspects of publishing, but one that is not yet fully understood by all.
The training will aim to demystify metadata and put its terminology and acronyms into plain English. It will outline the vital importance of accurate and timely metadata to content discoverability and sales, and explain why all publishing professionals, whatever their role or department, should understand its basics.
Training will be online, allowing IPG members to follow the course at their own pace, and fully interactive, with exercises that encourage learners to experiment with their own data. It will connect simple data management in familiar spreadsheets to the latest version of the industry’s standard metadata format, ONIX.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine says: “We think this training will be a valuable extra benefit for IPG members. Metadata is a subject we frequently return to in our conferences and seminars, and this new initiative will be an excellent way for independent publishers to deepen their knowledge. EDItEUR does great work in promoting metadata and we are delighted to be teaming up with them.”
EDItEUR executive director Graham Bell says: “EDItEUR is excited to be launching this new training course with the IPG. We have worked to create an introduction to metadata – one of the Cinderella topics in publishing – that’s easy to approach and suitable for independent publishers and their staff who may well not be familiar with the topic, and the IPG is the ideal launch partner. Metadata is not about complex software but simply good organisation, clarity, accuracy and timely communication, and far from being a chore it lies at the core of the publishing business.”
Bridget Shine, Chief Executive, IPG: firstname.lastname@example.org, 01437 563 335
24 September 2015
Independent Publishers Guild joins PLS
The Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) was accepted yesterday into membership of the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) — the first new member to join the society in more than three decades.
The IPG’s membership of PLS will ensure that the interests of independent publishers, spanning trade, academic, professional, educational and specialist sectors, are well represented in collective licensing and the management of rights. PLS welcomes the additional firepower that the IPG can bring to its development of relevant new services for publishers, which currently include PLSclear, the straightforward permissions service; and Access to Research, providing free access to journals in public libraries.
The IPG is the first new member of PLS since it was established in 1981, and joins existing trade association members the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP); the Publishers Association (PA); and the Professional Publishers Association (PPA). Membership will mean that the hundreds of members of the IPG have a stronger voice within PLS and its important evolution of collective licensing.
Oliver Gadsby, Chair of the Independent Publishers Guild, said:
“We are thrilled to become a member of PLS. IPG members thrive on the strength of their copyright, and collective licensing is a very important part of the commercial landscape. PLS does invaluable work to protect and develop collective licensing and we look forward to energetically supporting it, both on behalf of our members and for the good of the publishing industry.”
Mark Bide, Chairman of the Publishers Licensing Society, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the Independent Publishers Guild into membership of PLS. With its strength and prominence in representing the best of independent publishing, we hope our new partnership will help to further promote the benefits of collective licensing to an ever wider audience and enable more publishers to benefit from the variety of services we offer.”
About the Publishers Licensing Society
The Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) offers rights management services to the publishing industry. PLS is not-for-profit; set up by the industry, for the industry, with their primary remit being to oversee collective licensing in the UK for book, journal, magazine and website copying for the 3,300 publishers they represent. www.pls.org.uk