The IPG Independent Publishing Awards entry form
Name of company: Anonymous Publishing
Address: Paperback House, Book Lane, Reading
Postcode: AB1 CD2
Telephone number: 01234 567890
Website address: www.anonymouspublishing.co.uk
Name of individual submitting entry: A Publisher
Job title: Managing Director
Telephone number: 01234 567890
[ ] trade publisher of the year
[ ] academic & prof. Publisher of the year
[ ] children’s publisher of the year
[ ] education publisher of the year
[ X ] specialist consumer publisher of the year
[ ] newcomer of the year
[ ] international achievement of the year
[ ] diversity award
[ ] digital award
[ ] digital marketing award
[ ] young independent publisher of the year award
Accounting information required (for publisher of the year categories)
Details from latest accounts, made up to October 2016
Figures in £
Fixed assets (A): 20,000
Current assets (B): 300,000
Current liabilities (C): 200,000
Liabilities (amounts due after 1 year) (D): 50,000
Net worth of business (=A+B-C-D): 70,000
We are delighted to nominate Anonymous Publishing in the category of trade publisher of the year in the 2017 IPG independent publishing awards.
Anonymous Publishing was founded in 2001 as a publisher of literary fiction. It is wholly owned by its two founders, A and B publisher, employs six full-time and two part-time staff, and has a backlist of 120 titles. Since launching, our strategy has focused on the publishing of top-quality literary fiction, delivered by skilled, motivated and ambitious staff to high editorial and design standards and supported by innovative marketing and publicity.
Key achievements in 2016
•Best-ever sales and profits
•Biggest-ever list of critically-acclaimed and award-winning novels
•Highly visible web-based marketing campaigns
•Record year of rights sales
•Substantial digital investment and innovation
We enjoyed the busiest year in our history in 2016, publishing 25 new books. We maintained our focus on serious literary fiction that is overlooked by larger publishing companies, and pushed further into the translated fiction sector too. As our enclosed books show, we take great pride in the appearance and quality of our publishing. Our publishing highlights have included A N Author’s A Great Novel, which was critically acclaimed and awarded the literary novel of the year award; and A Writer’s Another Great Novel, which will be adapted for film next year.
Sales, marketing and publicity
Our sales are outsourced to Book Reps Ltd, which achieved prominent display and promotion space in bookshops over the last year. We traded especially well with independents, though our largest customers were Amazon and Waterstone’s, with whom we grew sales by 20%. Our bestselling title was A Great Novel, which sold 25,000 copies in its first six months (Nielsen Bookscan figures). Five more books sold more than 10,000 copies and none of the books published in the past year has sold fewer than 2,000.
We are constantly seeking out new sales channels and have sold books at venues including local festivals and fairs over the last year. We also reviewed our international sales strategies and appointed new agents in several territories, which we are confident will lift worldwide sales in 2017.
Our marketing campaigns have achieved great success on tiny budgets. We ran a small advertising campaign for A Great Novel, targeting rail passengers in particular, but have otherwise focused on innovative online marketing. We have built a large community of readers on the web via a twitter feed (@anonymouspublishing; 5,000 followers); and a facebook page (facebook.com/anonymouspublishing; 3,000 fans), both of which are used to publicise new titles and promote special offers. Our own website is another important hub, and has been enhanced by new blogs, author pages and video content. It received 30,000 unique visitors last year—a 25% rise on the year before. We email monthly newsletters to a mailing list of around 10,000 subscribers, and this helped to grow our direct sales by 20% to around £50,000 in 2016. We encourage contact from our readers and take their feedback into account when planning future acquisitions and marketing.
Our in-house publicity specialist meanwhile achieved widespread coverage for our books in the media. Highlights have included outstanding reviews for Another Great Novel in The Guardian, Times and Telegraph, and several newspaper features and radio appearances by A N Auteur on her visit to the UK to promote her new title, Le Bon Roman. We work closely with our authors to promote their books through their own professional and social networks, and encourage them to take part in literary festivals and readings.
After refocusing our rights strategy, we enjoyed our best ever year of rights trading in 2016. Having previously outsourced rights sales, we brought the job in-house and had a very successful few days on the IPG’s shared stand at the London and Frankfurt book fairs. We sold our books in a total of 15 languages in 2016, with highlights including seven deals for A Great Novel. The year’s rights deals were worth £80,000, up by 10%.
All our titles are available as e-books, downloadable from both our own website and platforms including Amazon. With the help of a local IT consultancy over the last year, we have introduced XML-first workflows to ensure that all our content can flow as easily onto digital platforms as well as print. Print and digital publication is now simultaneous for all books. As a result of our extra investment, digital sales have risen by 40% over the last year to £50,000—about 10% of our turnover. The year has also seen us switch the bulk of our backlist to print on demand, ensuring that all titles remain available and reducing our stockholding costs.
Ever since we launched Anonymous Publishing in 2001 we have kept a very close eye on our finances and cash flow in particular. Financially, the last year has been the most successful in our history—pleasing given the challenging conditions for publishers. Our sales rose by 10% to £50,000, our gross profit stood at £250,000, and our net profit was the highest in our history at £100,000. All this cash will be invested back into the business in 2017.
“Anonymous Publishing is one of the most imaginative independent publishers around, with a palpable passion for its books and a profile on the literary scene that belies its size.” A bookseller
“A Great Novel is a masterpiece, beautifully packaged by Anonymous Publishing.” A critic, The Guardian