1 What’s your company called?
2 What do you publish?
We currently publish hardback non-fiction children’s books for use in educational environments like primary schools. We publish on a wide variety of topics that adhere to the national curriculum, including history, science and PSHE. Our focus is on inspiring and educating young readers. We plan to expand into fiction in the coming months.
3 How’s business?
Very busy! The largest sales areas for us with physical copies are Australia, the US and China. We have also sold the rights to our series across the world. Our new Healthy Minds series has been approved by a leading mental health charity, Place2Be. This year we are headline sponsor for the national Children’s Book Award from the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, with past winners including Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo.
Our sister company BookLife has been running a Match Funding scheme to help schools double their book resources across the UK.
4 What do you enjoy about being independent?
We are able to enjoy more creative freedom. We have the flexibility to produce unique and quirky titles, such as our new How To Take Care of Your Pet Dinosaur series, which combines facts with child-oriented images, and have focused some books on hot topics, like identity and gender in the Our Values series.
As an independent we can also react to our customers’ requirements very quickly. Teachers and librarians often suggest new titles they would like to see, which we then slot into our schedules. Being independent allows us to take the ideas of our team and work together to create the best possible product.
5 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
Where it will go next. Ebook sales are down and paper prices are volatile. Will there be a standardised ebook format for all publishers to use? Readers still generally prefer physical copies, so how does publishing progress with technology? We hope the future brings a hybrid of traditional publishing and advanced technology to create a more immersive experience for readers.
6 What one piece of advice would you give a fellow independent just starting out?
Get your published work out there! Have it reviewed, submit it to awards and advertise it. Get to know your audience and seek suggestions from them; they are a great source of inspiration. Good luck!
7 What do you get out of belonging to IPG?
Being able to ask any question relating to publishing is a huge reassurance, particularly when you are new to this field and everything seems complicated. The IPG makes it easy to understand, and it’s always a great comfort to know it’s there to help.